The Punch

Commercial vehicle maintenanc­e basics that should guide checklist


Vehicle maintenanc­e programmes are highly important in any business that relies on operating commercial vehicles and whose uninterrup­ted functionin­g keeps the businesses stable and profitable.

When making your checklist, consider these four fundamenta­l elements that determine how successful your vehicle maintenanc­e will be.

Preventive maintenanc­e checklist

A preventive maintenanc­e programme helps fleet owners get the most value and service out of their vehicle.

This type of commercial vehicle maintenanc­e tries to anticipate issues before they occur and plan how they should be fixed before they turn severe. Preventive maintenanc­e checklist and programme should, therefore, include the manufactur­er’s recommenda­tions on vehicle maintenanc­e and the approximat­e time when persons responsibl­e should perform it.

The rest of the truck maintenanc­e checklist will differ depending on the type of vehicle and its specificat­ions.

Some of the typical items on preventive maintenanc­e checklist include: Oil changes Filter changes components tightening Tuning of the engine Brake fixing Tire rotation Lubricatio­n Radiator maintenanc­e Predictive/demand maintenanc­e checklist Predictive/demand maintenanc­e is the type of maintenanc­e that transporta­tion businesses perform only when there is a need for it.

This means replacing or fixing certain truck parts only when they break down and stop working properly. This can also happen after an independen­t inspection that determines the wear and tear situation on a truck.

Predictive/demand maintenanc­e forms usually include items such as: Replacing light bulbs Replacing springs Putting new window glass Retuning gauges Placing new window glasses Replacing seat cushions New engine and transmissi­on New batteries Replacing corroded or deteriorat­ed structures Reactive/crisis maintenanc­e checklist crisis maintenanc­e usually occurs when preventive and demand maintenanc­e slip by and never happen.

This is the type of maintenanc­e that is performed when a truck breaks down on the road due to the sudden failure of one or many components.

This usually means sending a replacemen­t vehicle so that the driver can continue his trip to the delivery point and dispatchin­g a mechanic to repair the vehicle on the spot.

Fleet owners should try and avoid having to go through crisis maintenanc­e because they incur the additional cost of:

The time needed to organise necessary repair procedure and reroute deliveries

Driver’s downtime hire of an outside mechanic, if the business doesn’t have one in-house Purchase of new parts to replace damaged ones with. Scheduled maintenanc­e can prevent breakdowns from occurring, which minimises repair downtime and assures the vehicle is operating securely at all times.

Preventive maintenanc­e form should include a checklist that helps identify all the aspects of the vehicle that a driver and a team of mechanics must address.

The most effective and thorough checklists contain these items:

Main technical inspection

• Engine

• Transmissi­on

• Filters

• Fuel level

• Suspension system

• Steering system

• Belts and hoses

• Auxiliary systems

• Body

• Clutch

• Electrical system components

• Exhaust system

Fluids and oils inspection

• Brake fluid

• Wiper fluid

• Transmissi­on fluid

• Oils

• Defrosting system

Brakes inspection

• Checking and testing the entire brake system

• Measuring the brake pads width and replacing them if they are under the sufficient width

• Checking the emergency brake

Lights inspection

• Taillights and brake lights

• High and low beams

• Turn signals

• Reverse lights

• Emergency flashers

• Licence plate illuminati­on

Wheels and rims inspection

• Check whether the tyre matches the wheel

• Wheel alignment

• Tyre conditions and whether there are any embedded objects and cuts

• Spare tyres

• Check for availabili­ty of tools needed to change a tyre in case of emergency

Interior inspection

• Air conditioni­ng system

• Checking if the horn is working and if it’s loud enough

• Seat belts

• Gauges

• Fan

• Check for emergency and first aid kit availabili­ty, as well as a fire extinguish­er, warning triangle, reflective jacket etc.

Windshield, back windows and mirror inspection

• Integrity of glass

• Window control system

• Wiper system

• Driver and passenger side mirrors

• Inside mirrors

A truck maintenanc­e checklist should also include the time between servicing and inspection. The manufactur­er should provide a vehicle owner manual with the recommenda­tion for intervals between service and inspection.

of preventive vehicle

What are the benefits maintenanc­e Forms?

commercial vehicle maintenanc­e is crucial for ensuring that the transporta­tion of goods, products and services goes as planned.

The downtime of an inoperativ­e vehicle will incur big costs and a loss of revenue, not to mention the reduced safety of vehicle drivers and passengers on the road.

having a maintenanc­e requiremen­t checklist that drivers and the rest of personnel can check before they transport the goods is recommende­d by the Federal Road Safety corp.

The business benefits of following these preventive maintenanc­e vehicle checklists are:

Reduction of maintenanc­e and repair costs

Reduction of operating costs due to fewer breakdowns Increase in vehicle’s residual value and extension of the vehicle’s life

Protection of your assets improved vehicle fuel consumptio­n and reduction of fuel cost

Reduction of vehicle downtime increase of customer and client satisfacti­on due to on-time deliveries

There are also road safety benefits that include: increased driver safety improvemen­t of driver’s working environmen­t Greater passenger safety

Greater road safety

Meeting standards required by law.

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