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Preventive Maintenance

Updated: Oct 5, 2023

Preventive maintenance cannot be overlooked as part of the important functions of a carrier company. Some carrier companies even conduct operations with older trucks. This strongly supports the numerous needs to have a maintenance schedule


Under Biennial MCS-150 Compliance, carriers are required to report accurate vehicle mileage in their fleets. Failure to report this could lead to the deactivation of the carrier's DOT number, along with fines of up to $1,000 per day up to $10,000.


Besides staying in compliance with FMCSA regulations, preventive maintenance allows carrier companies to match the workflow and increase runtime. Now with the dire situation of the economy, trucking companies are forced to focus on preventive maintenance to reduce repairs and get the maximum output out of the trucks and equipment.


Types of Preventive Maintenance

There are mainly two types of maintenance: Preventive (scheduled) maintenance and corrective (unscheduled) maintenance. Preventive maintenance is an organized and scheduled service for your machines and equipment. It greatly reduces the risk of faults and accidents. Corrective maintenance on the other hand means repairs that occur after a fault has been discovered. It is usually unpredictable and causes unexpected downtime in the operation of the company.


Why is Preventive Maintenance vital to a Carrier Company?

Preventive maintenance is vital to a carrier business because they maximize the output of equipment and vehicles while also lowering the cost of operation. And if handled properly, preventive maintenance can additionally extend the life of equipment thereby removing the need for purchasing new equipment.

This brings us to some of the main goals of preventive maintenance:

  • Avoiding road violations & accidents

  • Reduction of maintenance total cost

  • Maximizing revenue by reducing operation downtime

  • Fulfilling one of FMCSA's safety requirements

  • Improving safety score by passing dot road inspection

  • Prolonging vehicles' lifetime


How Accidents and Violations are Avoided Through Preventive Maintenance

There has been news of accidents and violations of safety rules due to systemic failures in maintenance. Damage to properties, injuries, and in worse cases, death, have resulted from companies' neglect of the preventive maintenance factor. It would also lead to the sanctioning of the company by governing bodies and overall jeopardy in the operation of the carrier. Here is an example of such an accident and its repercussions.

Back in February 2013, a tour bus crashed on a winding mountain road in California. Investigators later revealed several safety violations including “bald tires, defective or missing axle parts, insufficient brake linings, and a total of 59 violations”, which have been recorded in the US Department of Transportation safety records. The bus company’s fleet maintenance was under serious suspicion that the firm was put on a special federal watch-list. Now just imagine the massive costs that neglect in preventive maintenance programs has caused this company. They lost revenue, incurred huge corrective maintenance costs and we're prey to several liability lawsuits from the accident. This seriously impacted their operating costs and caused irreparable harm to their stock prices.

The majority of accidents just like this can be avoided with the proper implementation of an effective preventive maintenance program. Not to talk of reduced safety scores with the FMCSA and DOT.


The backlash of Failure To Implement Preventive Maintenance In Carrier Companies

  • Failure to implement a good preventive maintenance program results in more thorough DOT inspections. And negative results from these inspections increase safety scores and cause the company to face more in-depth inspections thereby disrupting operation time. The carrier company suffers these high points even if the safety point was due to another driver working on the same carrier. Carriers with higher safety points must therefore be more focused on preventive maintenance to gain back the trust of shipping and transport companies.

  • If implemented effectively, preventive maintenance can lower safety scores and extend the lifetime of vehicles. Failure to do so would incur avoidable expenses on the company's account. For example, a truck’s brake failure in the middle of a highway will cost an extra fee for towing, on-the-road assessment fee, extended hours of services, and possibly expenses for motel and food, while the truck is under service which could take days. As if that is not enough, this breakdown would affect the relationship between carrier company and broker due to delayed or missing delivery time, which will affect future loads among brokers since they keep track of reviews of carriers.


Why You Should Use ZTrucking For Your Preventive Maintenance Scheduling

  • ZTrucking provides an automated way for preventive maintenance scheduling, which is accessible to both the carrier admin and drivers.

  • ZTrucking provides a schedule that is calendar or mileage based.

  • ZTrucking provides a snapshot of a summary of truck/trailer preventive maintenance implementation. Which shows the trucks/trailers that are behind schedule or have completed tasks, all with an easy display.

  • As a carrier safety manager, by simply communicating these schedules with drivers or owner-operators, preventive maintenance could be implemented which would then result in fewer violations or accidents, good standing when DOT inspection is conducted, no issues with deliveries, great relationship with brokers and low insurance due to low safety scores. Low safety scores reduce insurance premiums which means more attraction to your carrier company from other drivers or owner operators to join your carrier company.

  • ZTrucking makes operational decisions easier with its added feature—reporting tool. This tool gives preventive maintenance reports such as “Incomplete maintenance schedule”

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