Vehicle downtime caused by malfunction costs your business anywhere between $448 to $760 per day!
But did you know that you can reduce your downtime by 20% just by introducing a simple preventive maintenance program?
In hindsight, a simple process upgrade can reduce your fleet downtime and maintenance cost, while increasing your vehicle lifespan.
How do you do it?
Enter commercial vehicle maintenance checklists.
Read on to learn how they help businesses reduce their operational costs and vehicle downtime, extend vehicles’ lifespan and help you stay compliant with safety regulations.
What Is A Commercial Vehicle Maintenance Checklist?
Commercial vehicle maintenance checklist is a paper-based or electronic form that consists of items that truck drivers, mechanics and other relevant parties must inspect in order to ensure reliable functioning of a commercial vehicle.
Commercial vehicle maintenance checklists differ depending on the particular vehicle and usage pattern.
These checklists allow transport businesses and fleet managers to schedule maintenance and repairs before the vehicle(s) leave for transportation duties and, in doing so, avoid breakdowns.
They also make sure transport companies run their business smoothly and save time, money and effort.
4 Commercial Vehicle Maintenance Fundamentals That Should Inform Your Checklist
Vehicle maintenance programs are highly important in any business that relies on operating commercial vehicles and whose uninterrupted functioning keeps these businesses stable and profitable.
When making your checklist, consider these four fundamental elements that determine how successful your vehicle maintenance will be.
1. Preventive Maintenance Checklist
A preventive maintenance program helps enterprises get the most value and service out of the vehicle.
This type of commercial vehicle maintenance tries to anticipate issues before they occur and plan how they should be fixed before they turn severe.
Preventive maintenance checklist and program should, therefore, include the manufacturer’s recommendations on vehicle maintenance and the approximate time when persons responsible should perform it.
The rest of the truck maintenance checklist will differ depending on the type of vehicle and its specifications.
Some of the typical items on preventive maintenance checklist include:
- Oil changes
- Filter changes
- Components tightening
- Tuning of the engine
- Brake fixing
- Tire rotation
- Radiator maintenance
2. Demand Maintenance Checklist
Demand maintenance is the type of maintenance that transportation businesses perform only when there is a need for it.
This means replacing or fixing certain truck parts only when they break down and stop working properly. This can also happen after an independent inspection that determines the wear and tear situation on a truck.
Demand maintenance forms usually include items such as:
- Replacing light bulbs
- Replacing springs
- Putting new window glass
- Retuning gauges
- Placing new window glasses
- Replacing seat cushions
- New engine and transmission
- New batteries
- Replacing corroded or deteriorated structures
3. Crisis Maintenance Checklist
Crisis maintenance usually occurs when preventive and demand maintenance slip by and never happen.
This is the type of maintenance that is performed when a truck breaks down on the road due to the sudden failure of one or many components.
This usually means sending a replacement vehicle so that the driver can continue his trip to the delivery point and dispatching a mechanic to repair the vehicle on the spot.
Businesses should try and avoid having to go through crisis maintenance because they incur the additional cost of:
- The time needed to organize necessary repair procedure and reroute deliveries
- Driver’s downtime
- Hire of an outside mechanic, if the business doesn’t have one in-house
- Purchase of new parts to replace damaged ones with
4. Maintenance Form Records
The three types of commercial vehicle maintenance above underline the importance of having an up-to-date record-keeping program that checklist records can provide.
Maintenance checklist forms, such as those doForms can provide, must:
- Stay current
- Record meaningful data
- Identify the vehicle clearly
- Go through periodical reviews
Commercial vehicle maintenance forms inform the driver, mechanic and other relevant personnel to regularly and systematically inspect the vehicle by looking up any eventual problems contained in the form.
These forms should also keep records of preventive maintenance and repair work that any of these parties have already performed on a truck.
The transport business management can analyze the maintenance work contained in a checklist to establish whether there is a need for additional work.
These records can also document any unsolved problems, the sources of said problems and the reason why they’re not solved. They can also identify equipment that a driver may have unknowingly ignored.
Truck Maintenance Checklist: 40+ Form Must-Haves
Scheduled maintenance can prevent breakdowns from occurring, which minimizes repair downtime and assures the vehicle is operating securely at all times.
Preventive maintenance form should include a checklist that helps identify all the aspects of the vehicle that a driver and a team of mechanics must address.
The most effective and thorough checklists contain these items:
Main technical inspection
- Fuel level
- Suspension system
- Steering system
- Belts and hoses
- Auxiliary systems
- Electrical system components
- Exhaust system
Fluids and oils inspection
- Power steering fluid
- Brake fluid
- Wiper fluid
- Transmission fluid
- Defrosting system
- Checking and testing the entire brake system
- Measuring the brake pads width and replacing them if they are under the sufficient width
- Checking the emergency brake
- Taillights and brake lights
- High and low beams
- Turn signals
- Reverse lights
- Emergency flashers
- License plate illumination
Wheels and rims inspection
- Check whether the tire matches the wheel
- Wheel alignment
- Tire conditions and whether there are any embedded objects and cuts
- Spare tires
- Check for availability of tools needed to change a tire in case of emergency
- Air conditioning system
- Checking if the horn is working and if it’s loud enough
- Seat belts
- Check for emergency and first aid kit availability, as well as a fire extinguisher, warning triangle, reflective jacket etc.
Windshield, back windows and mirror inspection
- Integrity of glass
- Window control system
- Wiper system
- Driver and passenger side mirrors
- Inside mirrors
A truck maintenance checklist should also include the time between servicing and inspection. The manufacturer should provide a vehicle owner manual with the recommendation for intervals between service and inspection.
What Are The Benefits Of Preventive Vehicle Maintenance Forms?
Commercial vehicle maintenance is crucial for ensuring that the transportation of goods, products and services goes as planned.
The downtime of an inoperative vehicle will incur big costs and a loss of revenue, not to mention the reduced safety of vehicle drivers and passengers on the road.
Having a maintenance requirement checklist that drivers and the rest of personnel can check before they transport the goods is recommended by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The business benefits of following these preventive maintenance vehicle checklists are:
- Reduction of maintenance and repair costs
- Reduction of operating costs due to fewer breakdowns
- Reduction of insurance costs
- Increase in vehicle’s residual value and extension of the vehicle’s life
- Protection of your assets
- Improved vehicle fuel consumption and reduction of fuel cost
- Reduction of vehicle downtime
- Increase of customer and client satisfaction due to on-time deliveries
There are also road safety benefits that include:
- Increased driver safety
- Improvement of driver’s working environment
- Greater passenger safety
- Greater road safety
- Meeting standards required by law
Another massive perk that comes with using electronic maintenance checklist forms is reducing a huge amount of paperwork and logistics to simple files that you can backup and store either locally or on a cloud.
How to Create an Electronic Commercial Vehicle Maintenance Checklist With doForms?
doForms makes commercial vehicle checklist forms easy to make according to specific business’ needs and capacities.
Our mobile forms collect data on smartphones or tablets and have an intuitive web dashboard for building forms from scratch or from pre-made templates.
With doForms, you can create unique commercial vehicle maintenance checklists specific to any company, its fleet of vehicles and the number of drivers.
Drivers, mechanics and managers can fill these checklists forms on-site or remotely, without internet connectivity required. The data captured with doForms checklists can be synced with your business’ central database.
Check out the doForms’ sample form with a checklist and signature capture features HERE!
Takeaways On Commercial Vehicle Maintenance Checklists
Commercial vehicle maintenance checklist forms help freight companies keep their fleet of vehicles in good technical condition, safe and reliable for the transport of goods and services to retailers and consumers.
There are three types of checklists depending on the type of maintenance and situation that requires them:
- Preventive maintenance checklist
- Demand maintenance checklist
- Crisis maintenance checklist
Maintaining trucks with the help of these checklists:
- Reduces operational, insurance and maintenance costs
- Prevents accidents and breakdowns from happening
- Extends the vehicle’s life
- Increases client satisfaction
- Increases driver and general road safety
- Makes the driver’s working environment better
- Complies with standards required by the law