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Controlling Semi Truck Maintenance Costs Through Policy and Procedure

Every fleet owner, regardless of the number of trucks they own, faces the same challenges, namely keeping costs low while continuing to maintain their fleet. For most fleets, the cost of maintenance and repairs is right around 10 percent of the total expenses. While there are other costs that outweigh this figure, such as driver's compensation and fuel, these areas are more difficult to reduce. However, with a few adjustments to the semi-truck maintenance policies and procedures practiced internally, maintenance and repairs can be controlled and even reduced.

Develop a Program

It's vitally important that every fleet has a set maintenance schedule for their vehicles, however, this is only half of the equation. Fleet owners also need to make sure the work is actually completed and documented. This is difficult to accomplish without some type of automated system in place, as human errors and forgetfulness can render a schedule ineffective. Fleet managers must be diligent in their tracking of the maintenance that's been completed, or is due and insist that trucks and other equipment are brought in at regular intervals for a thorough checkup. Posting schedules in plain sight of maintenance crews and drivers and setting reminders are a couple of ways that this task is made easier.

Documentation Processes

Federal law requires that fleet owners document maintenance and repairs done to their vehicles while they are in service and for six months after removal from service. These, along with annual inspection reports are used in case of an accident or other incident to determine whether the company has followed proper protocols. These records are also a useful tool for owners as they show repair trends, which helps them replace components before they fail. The obvious benefit of this is less downtime, thus, more productivity for the truck and driver. What's more, it reduces costs by eliminating emergency situations that require immediate attention.

Training, Tools & Equipment

Perhaps the most important aspect of a good maintenance program for your fleet vehicles is a highly trained staff of mechanics. The must be capable of making necessary repairs and performing regular maintenance activities for every vehicle you own and operate. This may require on-going training and certifications. No matter how great your staff is, however, they simply cannot do their jobs properly without adequate tools and equipment. While the costs of implementing these standards may seem high, ultimately, it will reduce costs by providing more accurate repairs and more thorough maintenance procedures.

Without your fleet, you are incapable of delivering the products your customers need when they need them. Therefore, you must ensure that they are in excellent condition and that they run reliably every time. A set maintenance schedule, detailed documentation and top-notch staff and equipment are imperative to making sure this happens. Please contact us if you have any questions about semi-truck maintenance and repairs. Our expert staff will be more than happy to share their knowledge and experience with you.