Proper trucking fleet maintenance is very important. The average cost of a new truck is between $125,000 and $150,000. Ensuring each truck is properly maintained increases its years of efficient, effective service, boosts its productivity and helps reduce its downtime. A good fleet maintenance software program can help you achieve proper and timely truck maintenance services, reduces operational costs and helps to keep the drivers safe. When trucks are properly maintained using a an excellent truck maintenance software system, fleet owners can more quickly recoup the money they invested in each trucks and helps their company remain profitable for many years.
Proper truck fleet maintenance is having each truck in your fleet serviced on a regular basis. This can be weekly, monthly or quarterly depending on how the trucks are being used. Basic maintenance includes checking and changing the oil, checking and servicing the brakes, checking the transmission, oil fuel, air, exhaust and cabin air filters and
the electrical system. As part of proper truck maintenance, check all the rubber parts to ensure they are not worn or brittle. It's also important to check all gaskets for signs of wear and leaks and replace them as needed. Checking the shock absorbers is an essential truck maintenance service to ensure it rides smoothly and evenly.
Trucks are rugged, reliable machines designed to run efficiently in tough conditions. Regular maintenance services is critically important to ensure they continue to provide good performance and safe operation. When you neglect the maintenance services trucks need, you compromise their ability to last a long time. Taking each trucks in to have
regularly scheduled servicing done helps you detect and address minor problems and stop them from becoming serious, costly issues that can affect their productivity and their durability.
Truck drivers play an important role in proper truck fleet maintenance. Ideally, they should check the engine oil level and clarity before they start their trucks each day. Drivers should also ensure the brakes are working properly and report all problems to the dispatcher or maintenance manager so the brake shoes, air valves and air dryers can
be serviced in a timely manner if there is a problem. Drivers should be sure to report any cabin air problems, so the maintenance team can make a point to look at the cabin air filter. Reporting blown fuses or lights ensures the electrical system continues to work properly. Proper fleet maintenance takes a team effort.
When any truck in the fleet is forced to take extensive downtime to have vital parts or systems repaired or replaced, it takes money out of the pockets of the driver and the company. Taking a few minutes on a regular basis to check things like shock absorbers can prevent problems that lead to unnecessary downtime and are essential to keep trucks
riding smooth and even. Stocking up key replacement parts can make repairs faster and easier, reduce downtime and keep all the trucks in the fleet up and running. Using high quality oils, fuels and replacement parts can also play an important role in preventing excessive downtime.
Employing a systematic approach to fleet maintenance can help keep the trucks in your fleet properly serviced, safe, in good condition and prevent unnecessary breakdowns. A systematic approach to proper fleet maintenance and good preventive vehicle maintenance requires thoughtful planning, timely scheduling, in-depth analysis and great execution.
Approaching fleet maintenance systematically and consistently can reduce the risk of a truck experiencing preventable breakdowns and road accidents due to worn tires, faulty brakes, steering and suspension issues and other common problems truckers often face.
The number one reason for doing proper fleet maintenance is to enhance driver safety. A truck driver is at a higher risk for injury if the trucks they drive are not properly maintained. Truckers often drive on dangerous roads and in inclement weather. If the truck they are in has bad brakes, smooth tires, steering issues or electrical problems,
their health and safety is unnecessarily compromised. Trucking fleet owners who care about their drivers' health and safety will ensure the trucks are in good working order and less likely to suffer a mechanical, braking or electrical system failure or a tire blowout that will put a driver's life, health and safety in jeopardy.
Another reason to keep your fleet of trucks properly maintained is to protect the cargo they are carrying. Customers depend on the trucking companies they hire to move their goods from one location to another safely and in a timely manner. Part of the fleet owner's responsibility is to make sure that their trucks are always maintained in good working order so they can do just that. Trucking fleet companies that have earned a reputation for always having well-maintained trucks and consistently get the cargo they are hauling to their destination on time and intact improve the chances they will enjoy long-term success, profitability and growth.
Proper truck maintenance can play a major role in reducing operational costs and lead to increased profitability. Properly maintained trucks are more likely to avoid the high human health and financial cost associated with preventable road accidents. Plus, timely preventive maintenance costs much less than reactive repairs. According to OSHA, the legal expenses, medical care, lost productivity and property damage as a result of vehicle accidents costs employers more than $60 billion a year. Making sure the trucks in your fleet are properly maintained can reduce the operational costs by thousands of dollars a year.
Making sure your entire fleet of trucks is always in good working order can help your company to avoid operational delays and help to maximize productivity. Having trucks go out of service for unscheduled repairs can result in missed deliveries and delays in the fulfillment of several succeeding obligations. Proper fleet maintenance can reduce truck malfunctions and ensure your trucks are always available to take advantage of any business opportunities that pop up. Good fortune favors the prepared and when you make sure your trucks are always prepared to work it can help your company's productivity to increase exponentially.
Proper fleet maintenance leads to improved efficiency in the use of the resources of any trucking fleet. Addressing minor problems before they become bigger ones, that are much more expensive saves you money you can invest in other areas of your company. If you use your company's resources more efficiently, managing your fleet will become much easier and more profitable. Plus, your drivers will be able to make more trips safely and earn a larger salary. Once your company earns a reputation for excellent efficiency it will attract customers and your fleet will be able to easily handle the increased opportunities.
Each vehicle in your fleet should have a vehicle maintenance log showing the services and repairs it has received and when. This can make it easier to manage its preventive maintenance schedule and prioritize specific vehicles with issues requiring immediate resolution to keep them running properly. Following a maintenance system like this can
maximize a fleet's profitability and help its trucks running for many years.
A number of different trends in trucking fleet management are coming together to make hauls more efficient and enjoyable. Software can now provide load- and truck-specific routes that cut down on drive times. That leaves more time for you and your family. What's also nice is that current trends like “bring your own device” (BYOD) are getting incorporated into trucking fleet management to make your routes easier to plan and navigate. The upshot is greater efficiency and more free time to do what you love.
Any modern device that runs on Android, Google's operating system, or iOS, Apple's operating system, will do as a BYOD device. As long as you bring along your smartphone, iPad, or Apple Watch, you should have access to thousands of trucking apps. By bringing your own device on the job you will have access to a number of helpful apps, including those that cover: navigation, load compliance, weigh stations, and possible vehicle inspections. For companies, BYOD policies can lead to reduced hardware costs, training expenses, and annoying software licensing fees.
Telematics is the branch of information science that covers the sending and receiving of information, potentially across long distances. Sensors are the glue that makes better telematics possible in the trucking industry. Better sensors can tell fleet maintenance managers when a truck needs repair or some kind of adjustment to bring its performance up to a certain standard. As a trucker, you will receive a much richer picture of the current performance of your rig, and fleet maintenance managers will be clued into upcoming repairs. Updates on potential problems can inform overall fleet management (e.g., by indicating a truck needs to be taken out of commission).
Getting to the next waypoint on time can be stressful enough without worrying about the literal stress of 75,000 pounds of truck and material not being able to make the journey. The end goal shared by all truckers is getting to the next waypoint efficiently, safely, and ahead of schedule. Truck navigation software is already used by hundreds of thousands of truckers around the country, and the reach of this innovative navigation software is becoming global in scope. Trucking navigation software can enable you to:
Today's navigation software can factor in the size of your route and the foregoing kinds of data so that your ride is smoother, safer, and more enjoyable.
Many of the solutions discussed above work synergistically to improve fleet management. For instance, bringing your own device to work will enable better telematics and access to helpful suggestions in terms of load- and truck-specific routes for your next haul. Why wouldn't you want to use these technologies?
When navigating the roads, it’s prudent to expect the unexpected. This advice is especially important for truck drivers to heed. With considerable caution and on-the-road safety tricks, you can ensure that you remain out of harm’s way while en route. Whether you’re preparing for a trip or traveling to your destination, here are some tips to consider while in the driver’s seat.
When bad weather rears its ugly head, driving becomes exponentially more dangerous. According to the Federal Highway Administration, nearly 21 percent of vehicle crashes are weather-related. With that said, it’s critical to check the weather both before you’re driving and while on the road.
There’s nothing more bothersome than being uncomfortable in the driver’s seat. Fidgeting and constantly adjusting will only distract from what’s going on on the road. To keep yourself cozy and attentive, find your sweet spot before the trip begins.
It’s all too easy to get distracted while driving. If you feel your concentration waning, take a break. As a result, you’ll give yourself the opportunity to refuel. Much like your truck, you don’t perform as well when you’re running on empty. To avoid an accident, it’s crucial to stay alert while behind the wheel.
Due to their large size, trucks are sensitive to wind, speeding cars, and other unpredictable elements. When these forces are too strong, it can cause you to swerve into the next lane. By keeping both hands on the wheel, you remain in complete control of the vehicle and, in turn, manage to stay in your lane.
If you have to come to a screeching halt, you’ll need about seven seconds to do so. With that in mind, keep a reasonable distance between you and the car ahead of you. When you do have to come to a stop, you’ll find comfort in knowing that you won’t plow into the vehicle in front of you.
Every seasoned trucker knows the feeling of coasting down the open road only to hear an unsettling screech, thump or bump radiating from the front end of the vehicle. Repairs are a part of trucking life and we have to decide right on the spot whether it is within our scope of knowledge, or if an outside contractor must be sent in to address the issue at hand. These types of decisions have to be made in the moment and as on the road trucking fleet operators, we have to prepare ourselves with the knowledge base necessary to make these types of decisions. There are several different common repairs that truckers have to address. There are those repairs that can be overlooked by the trucking fleet ownership and the trucking fleet operator must address them on the spot due to a lack of due diligence. These include oil changes and oil leaks. There are also routine repairs that must be made regardless of the ownership's upkeep of the vehicle, such as tire changes and battery jumps.
All semi-trucks must undergo frequent oil changes. How often the truck will require oil changes depends upon many factors. If the truck is climbing steep terrain frequently, then it will require a frequent oil change. It also depends upon how many miles the truck travels in a period of time. The more miles on the vehicle, the more frequently the truck will require an oil change. As truck operators, we know that diesel engines require oil changes just like gasoline engines do.
Another issue that may arise on the road is an oil leak within the engine. Oil leaks must be addressed by experienced mechanics. If the truck operator happens to have a background in engine mechanics, by all means, he can perform the repair. However, more likely than not, the truck driver will have to call upon the help of a seasoned semi-truck engine mechanic. This can require being off the road for a longer amount of time than expected in order to allow for repair time for the vehicle. Oil leaks are indicated by a consistently low oil level gauge even when the oil has just recently been refilled in the engine.
Routine tire changes must be made on the semi-truck vehicle. As semi-trucks frequently travel through rough terrain, worn roads, icy conditions, and generally hazardous environments, it is important to keep up a good thick tread on the tires. The tread on semi-truck tires gets worn down more quickly than on a standard vehicle both because of the extreme nature of the terrain and also because of the sheer amount of mileage being put on the tires. A seasoned semi-truck driver should become familiar with how to properly remove and install tires.
The life of a battery is very important when it comes to trucking because few vehicles that could stop alongside the road to help with a jumpstart would have battery power strong enough to jumpstart a semi-truck engine. It is important for the driver to consistently monitor battery life so that he never ends up in such a situation.
This Video shows you how to use spreadsheet 138 to find all the equipment that has not had odometer or hours meter readings updates since before a specific date.
In this video, you'll also discover
Here is a screenshot example of what the spreadsheet looks like:
You can download this spreadsheet directly from here:
And you can see all the available spreadsheets here
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