You thought running a trucking company would be great. Hauling cargo as owner/operator of your own truck or managing a small fleet seemed like the perfect job. What you might not have counted on are all the regulations heavy-duty trucks are subject to. For instance, the FMCSA’s rules on commercial truck maintenance. At first glance, they might seem confusing and you’ll probably wonder how you’ll keep track of it all. However, you’re likely doing most of it already, you just need a system such as fleet management software. It will organize everything and get your trucks on a schedule that makes the FMCSA happy.
Commercial Truck Maintenance Record Keeping
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration drafted the code of regulations for commercial truck maintenance to keep heavy-duty trucks on U.S. roads in safe, working order. Logically, the best way to prove that you’re in compliance is to keep files on repairs and maintenance. That’s why written records are part of the requirements for commercial truck maintenance. They prove you’ve done everything required, whether you have one truck or 100.
The information the FMCSA wants to see on all commercial vehicles are things like:
- make, model, year
- fleet number (if there is one)
- tire size
Plus, the record must also list the truck’s inspection, repair, and maintenance schedule. That includes the date of the most recent maintenance and when the next PM will to occur.
What’s more, the records should show what parts were replaced or repaired and when. That’s because the FMCSA rules also have guidelines on the age and amount of wear specific components can have. You have to replace things like fuel filters, brakes, clutches, and tires after a certain amount of time or if they’re worn to a specified extent.
Fleet Management Software is Best for Keeping Maintenance Records
You can read through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association’s regulations, but don’t be surprised if you come away not knowing what particular form of commercial truck maintenance records is acceptable. Anything in writing is OK as long as it includes all the information the FMCSA is looking for. That means records can be an invoice from the heavy-duty shop that does your maintenance or even a handwritten memo from your tech.
On the other hand, fleet management software is the easiest and most accurate way to keep track of commercial truck maintenance. Plus, electronic records are acceptable as long as all the information is listed and a report can be provided on demand.
How Long Should You Keep Maintenance Records?
The FMCSA only requires you keep maintenance records for 12 months for vehicles in service and 6 months after a vehicle is out of service. Additionally, you must keep annual inspection reports for 14 months. However, the further back you can go with commercial truck maintenance records, the better. Doing so shows a more complete history for your truck. That’s where using fleet management software comes in handy. Because it’s computerized and stored in the Cloud, you can keep a truck’s entire history for as long as it’s in service. After that, you can archive the information, so you can still access it if the need arises.
The great thing about fleet management software like Fullbay is that it does more than help ensure your trucks comply with FMCSA regulations. It assists with parts ordering, monitoring inventory, tracking costs, and of course scheduling repairs and maintenance and giving a vehicle’s history when you need it. Fullbay software makes it easier to comply with regulations and enjoy the trucking business the way you want to.