Preventive maintenance is a big deal—you certainly don’t need us to tell you that.
But with that said, trucks, like the rest of us, need a checkup every now and then. For a truck, that means a full, thorough inspection and tune-up to help them perform at their best.
If you stick to PMs and do nothing else, you’re bound to miss some stuff. Regular inspections help you take a proactive approach to maintenance, no matter how small the issue seems at the moment.
But just a casual inspection isn’t enough. Missing one or more items during regulatory inspections can increase your clients’ risk of encountering unexpected breakdowns, being tagged as Out Of Service, or even getting involved in accidents. Without thoroughly inspecting every truck in a given fleet, you won’t be able to give your customers (and their trucks) the quality service they deserve.
Why Use a Checklist?
Sometimes a truck rolls into your shop with just one known issue on the docket. You might be tempted to fix that problem and call it a day, but why stop there? Tackling issues your customers don’t know about can serve as an incredible new revenue source—one too many shops miss out on.
When it comes to heavy machinery, it’s worth the extra time to make sure every vehicle leaves your shop in tip-top shape. Beyond the obvious financial benefits, finding and resolving as-yet undiscovered problems can keep your fleet customers safe on the road and satisfied with your work.
Of course, this begs the question: how can you be sure you’re checking everything on a vehicle? That’s where checklists come in. A thorough checklist can upgrade your approach to truck care, making it easier than ever to deliver quality fleet maintenance to your customers.
When you use a checklist, your shop can benefit in terms of:
- Efficiency. Neglecting your checklist can allow undetected minor issues to become much more severe (and more time-consuming to fix). When you follow a checklist, you’ll spot these issues early and keep the trucks where they belong—out on the road.
- Improved ROI. A comprehensive estimate makes sure you’re providing customers all necessary services and repairs—and getting fairly compensated for your time.
- Peace of mind. Your customers want to know that their shop is doing the best possible job of maintaining their fleet. Following a checklist gives you confidence that you haven’t missed anything, helping you meet those high standards and keep your clients 100% satisfied.
By now, you know what makes regular inspections so essential and why it’s best to use a fleet vehicle inspection checklist on the job. That leaves one more question: what should your checklist actually include?
Any time a truck visits your shop, be sure to check the following:
- Fluids. Trucks rely on engine and transmission fluid to operate. While providing service, always top off or replace these fluids as directed by the manufacturer’s maintenance guide.
- Oil. Motor oil is technically another type of vehicle fluid, but it bears special mention. Perform an oil change if the truck you’re working on is due for a change—and while you’re at it, take time to look for any potential oil leaks.
- Brake systems. It’s no secret that brake components can wear out due to the friction these systems create. Make a point of replacing any worn brake pads, shoes, or drums that you spot.
- Lights. Whenever you’re working on a truck, take a few minutes to check its headlights, tail lights, turn signals, and brake lights to ensure they’re in complete working order.
- Tires. Without functioning tires, a truck can’t do its job correctly. Check tires for excess tread depth or uneven wear.
- Mirrors. A cracked or damaged mirror makes it much harder for a driver to check their surroundings. In addition to replacing broken mirrors, make sure each truck’s mirrors are correctly adjusted.
- Batteries. If a truck’s battery is past its prime, it can quickly develop problems related to starting and charging. Replace old batteries and double-check terminals for signs of corrosion.
- Windshield wipers. Drivers rely on their wipers for visibility during inclement weather. If a truck’s wipers are damaged, make sure you replace them.
That isn’t a complete list of everything you’ll need to check, but it should get you off to a good start. By combining these inspection items with the services you know your clients need, you’ll be well on your way to creating a reliable fleet inspection form.
Never Miss Another Inspection Item
Are you already using paper checklists at your shop? If so, you might think you don’t need to make any changes to your fleet vehicle inspection checklist. However, physical fleet inspection forms are easy to lose and a hassle to fill out. If you want to digitize them to set up digital alerts, you’ll have to reenter all that info on the computer and possibly decode hastily-scrawled handwriting.
Having a solid regulatory checklist might sound boring, but it’s crucial to your shop’s success. That means it’s in your shop’s best interest to take your checklists to the next level with Fullbay’s reliable, technology-driven service order workflow capabilities. When you’re armed with this technology, you can get up-to-the-minute info on repair progress, provide internal notifications to your entire crew, and much more.
If you’d like more information on what Fullbay can do for you, schedule a demo today!