Heavy Truck Inspection: Preventing Unscheduled Downtime

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Forewarned is forearmed.

That saying applies to everything—including truck repair. That’s why we encourage a full truck inspection every time a customer brings in a commercial motor vehicle for a specific issue. There are two immediate benefits to a heavy truck inspection: one, it can often turn up problems the customer may not have otherwise noticed, and two, it usually doesn’t take long at all.

You can even turn it into an additional source of revenue for your shop.

The Heavy Truck Inspection

By forewarning your customer, you’re preventing potential unscheduled downtime of their vehicle—and nothing builds trust like keeping their vehicle working properly and saving them from an expensive roadside breakdown. You’re also generating more work for the shop—a win-win situation.

The inspection itself is similar to a truck driver’s vehicle inspection but geared more toward preventing unscheduled downtime. Whether you charge for the inspection is up to you, but consider the amount of time your tech will put into it, based off this sample list of inspection steps to follow when checking a unit:

  • Check all engine and auto transmission fluid.
  • Check all lights.
  • Check brake pads/shoes/drums and adjustments.
  • Check for oil leaks.
  • Check belts, tensioners, and pulleys.
  • Check all tires for flats and tread depth.
  • Check radiators for leaks/debris.
  • Verify service order VIN to unit’s VIN.

These are the areas a tech is most likely to diagnose existing or potential problems. Depending on how much time they have and what the customer has authorized, they can add these new issues to the workflow or get back to them later, after addressing the customer’s original complaint.

The reality is, any problems identified during the inspection become complaints of their own. They can be priced out and presented to the customer on the same estimate as the original complaint. The customer then has the choice to say yes or no to each complaint.

If the customer says no to a potential repair, then your shop can still keep track of the rejected repair. By recording these rejected repairs, you’re covering your shop in case those problems cause trouble for the vehicle down the line. (You can also use rejected repairs as a way to build up your revenue funnel—more on that here.)

Benefits to the Shop

  • The shop is protected by identifying any preexisting damage or issues—cutting down on “Why didn’t you notice this before?” follow-ups.
  • The shop can get more business by finding issues the customer would like fixed.
  • The customer trusts the shop to find problems—a trusting customer is a returning customer, and will likely tell their colleagues about you.

Benefits to the Customer

  • Avoid unscheduled downtime by catching issues before they become major problems.
  • Take care of multiple issues all at once instead of downing the truck multiple times.
  • Peace of mind knowing there are no major issues when the inspection comes back clean.

The Right Tool

Performing a truck inspection while diagnosing an issue clearly benefits the customer and the shop. By helping your customers keep their commercial motor vehicles working properly, you’re making sure they can keep their operation running smoothly. You’re also showing them that your shop is clearly on top of any mechanical issues that might arise.

But is your business equipped to quickly perform and document an inspection?

We’ve built a way to document an inspection right into the natural workflow of Fullbay. To see how it works, as well as check out other cool features like faster invoicing, instant authorizations, and tracking preventive maintenance, request a demo.

Jacob Findlay

About Jacob Findlay

Jacob Findlay is the CEO and co-founder of Fullbay. Five years ago, he made the leap from healthcare to truck repair. He wanted to take the best ideas from the electronic medical records world and apply them to heavy-duty repair. In other words, build a medical record for trucks. Today Fullbay is the number one fleet repair platform in North America. Jacob is a CPA licensed in Arizona, has a Master's degree in Accounting, a cellist, a so-so surfer, and the father of eight children.

Jacob Findlay on LinkedIn

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