The trucking and transportation industry has been one of the most essential industries over the last few years when supply chain issues began spiraling. Transportation specialists—from local delivery drivers to cross-continent truck fleets—kept us fed, clothed, entertained and connected through a global pandemic and into our new way of life.
Since the spring of 2020, trucks, trailers and tires have all been more difficult to procure. As raw materials and components like semiconductors became less accessible and plants shut down due to the pandemic, the backlog of trucks waiting for repairs grew, reducing active fleet sizes. As fleets rebuild their numbers, the trucks in use need additional fleet maintenance and TLC to keep them running at optimal efficiency.
Heavy fleet maintenance accounts for a significant portion of a company's expenses. According to a study by the American Transportation Research Institute, repair and maintenance costs have risen by 12 percent. Proper maintenance of heavy fleet vehicles ensures they are in good working condition to minimize the risk of accidents and keep your drivers safe.
The best way to maintain accurate, real-time data on your fleet is with a digital, cloud-based computerized maintenance management software solution (CMMS) as part of your regular business systems. Proper fleet maintenance also extends vehicle lifespan, saving the cost of prematurely replacing a truck, and it keeps your organization compliant with safety regulations and inspections.
Heavy Equipment Fleet Maintenance Software
Using heavy equipment maintenance software keeps every truck on track, every time it’s on the road, with nothing forgotten or overlooked. Anyone carrying a CDL knows that ongoing driver training and education helps keep them safe, and a working knowledge of their vehicle is essential.
The more a driver knows about his or her truck, what your maintenance team is doing to keep the truck road-ready and safe, and how he or she as a driver can take ownership of helping to maintain the truck, the more your drivers and maintenance staff will work as a well-oiled machine.
Heavy equipment maintenance software creates a single source of truth for anyone involved in the upkeep of transportation vehicles. Using our handy checklist, you can input a few of the vital maintenance tasks into your CMMS with ease.
Your Fleet Maintenance Checklist
When safety comes first, it’s important to conduct a pre-trip inspection of your fleet. Taking this preventive measure helps ensure the safety of the driver, passengers and others on the road. Identify any issues that were not caught during routine maintenance operations so you can address them before hitting the gas.
✔ Tire Condition and Fluid Levels
Checking levels such as tire pressure, tread depth and overall condition helps to prevent blowouts and ensure optimal grip on the road. Monitoring and maintaining proper levels of engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid and brake fluid in fleet trucks is important to sustain optimum performance and maintain safety. Keep your engine, transmission and braking systems functioning efficiently with these simple but vital inspections.
✔ Brake System
Faulty brakes are not something you want in your heavy fleet equipment; bad brakes can pose a safety risk and rack up repair costs if not maintained properly. Train your drivers on the signs of brake issues, and schedule regular inspections to check the condition of the brake pads, discs and drums. Look for signs of wear, cracks, corrosion or any other maintenance issues.
Often the manufacturer will publish recommendations on maintenance schedules, brake fluid levels and quality and other item-specific tasks to note. Brake maintenance is an ongoing process. Regular inspections, proper training and prompt repairs are essential for maintaining the brakes in a heavy fleet.
✔ Lights and Signals
Ensure all lights (headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals) are functioning properly for visibility and communication with other drivers. This also keeps you compliant with legal regulations for road safety as well.
✔ Suspension and Steering
Check for signs of wear or damage in the suspension and steering components to maintain vehicle stability and control.
✔ Electrical System
Inspect the battery, alternator and other electrical components to prevent unexpected breakdowns.
✔ Safety Equipment
Confirm the functionality of safety features such as seat belts, airbags and any driver assistance systems. The sensors in these safety features can go bad just like any other electrical system. Making sure the sensors and wiring are in optimal condition will allow the seat belt to cinch if needed, the airbag to deploy in an accident and anti-lock brakes to do their part in keeping your driver unharmed in the event of an accident, bad weather or other unforeseen situation.
✔ Exhaust System Examination
Check your exhaust system for leaks or damage to ensure driver and passenger safety from harmful emissions. This also works hand-in-hand with compliance regulations, especially as certain states and regions pass laws regarding emissions.
✔ Wipers and Windshield
Verify the condition of wiper blades and check that windshields are clear for optimal visibility during rainy, snowy or hazy weather conditions.
✔ Emergency Kit Review
Every driver should have a well-stocked emergency kit that includes tools, first aid supplies and other essentials. The best way to face an unexpected issue is by being prepared with an easy-to-use asset management solution. Before hitting the road, check your emergency kit to make sure you have items such as:
Reflective warning triangles or flares to help with visibility and to warn other drivers
Spare tire, jack and lug wrench
Tire pressure gauge
Flashlight and extra batteries
Bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers and other basic medical items
Duct tape and rope or extra tie-downs
Multi-purpose tool or toolbox
Gloves and hand sanitizer
✔ Maintenance Documentation
Keeping a detailed record of maintenance checks, repairs, manuals and servicing information is imperative to ensuring the longevity of your fleet and the safety of your drivers. A CMMS designed for the transportation industry makes document storage and easy retrieval quick and painless.
In your machine maintenance software, store digital, cloud-based files for each truck that include maintenance history, pertinent manufacturing information and uploads, insurance and warranty information and a log of tasks associated with every vehicle. Creating a habit of uploading your maintenance checklists into your CMMS and implementing a preventative maintenance schedule is easier when you have technology to remind you.
Your Digital Fleet Maintenance Checklist
A heavy fleet CMMS keeps your trucks moving and avoids unscheduled maintenance and repairs, which leads to costly downtime. The system tracks inventory levels, automatically generates purchase orders when stock reaches reorder points, and ensures that you have the necessary parts on hand for maintenance and repairs.
Replacing heavy equipment like trucks and other delivery vehicles is costly. Keep your drivers safe, your budget on track and your trucks rolling by seeing how a CMMS can work for you. Book your demo today.