Text by Rick Tachuk
If you own and operate a commercial vehicle today you should have calculated your cost per mile of operation. Included in those costs should be the cost of a solid maintenance program.
Whether you operate a single unit or a fleet of trucks you know that the demands placed on equipment today are harsh and constant. The operation of your vehicle over rough terrain and roads, hauling heavy loads, in extremes of temperatures can devastate components from your engine and electrical system to your suspension and tires.
The days of an oil change, lube job and a thump of your tires are gone. If you are still trying to operate in this fashion, be prepared to operate in the red very shortly. The only way to have a viable profitable operation, is to have a viable cost effective “Maintenance Program” that allows you to be one up on possible repairs or component failures before they become critical and result in an on the road breakdown.
Below is a brief description of just some of the ways you can benefit from a good professional maintenance program, with some of the things you should ask and look for from your maintenance provider.
Be able to track parts, keep notes, and keep track of tire rotations, tire depth, and tire air pressures, fuel logs including fuel cost per mile, filters and oil samples for each piece of equipment. All records can be previewed or printed!! (will assist with tax information)
30-Day Report that shows each piece of equipment requiring inspection, Lubrication, vehicle registration, and all repairs in the last 30 days. (will help provide CVSA monthly reports).
Detailed record of (90-day you decide inspection interval) inspections completed and shows each item inspected for a truck or a trailer.
You check the defective part and then the program automatically schedules the next inspection and starts notifying you of upcoming inspections prior to due date.
Clear and concise record of lubrications performed and schedules the next lubrication based on time, miles or hours of operation.
A simple to read All Equipment Last and Next Maintenance Report lists a useful summary of each unit’s, equipment number, VIN number, license number, year, model, last lubrication, next lubrication and the month in which registration is due.
The detailed history of your repairs and cost for each repair. Lets you see all the repairs done on each piece of equipment. All records can be previewed or printed.
An all Equipment Summary Report, get an overview list of all the equipment in your entire fleet. It lists units that are out of service as well as in service
Detailed report of the entire year for each item inspected during the 90 day (You decide inspection interval) safety inspections, the printout tells you if the item was OK or Defective, the mileage or hours and date when the item was inspected and who inspected it. This is very handy for CHP BIT and DOT inspections.
Decide if you wish to set up your Maintenance Program in-house or outsource the responsibility. In any case ensure your maintenance provider is committed to quality service and can assist you in keeping your costs to a minimum and provide the records you need.
REMEMBER! A well maintained vehicle is not just a necessity, not just important, its good business sense.