An accident or breakdown of a company vehicle can affect your company's productivity negatively. Furthermore, it can hurt the reputation of your company if the breakdown results in late shipments or deliveries and no-shows for appointments. The good news is that there is a simple way to reduce the number of breakdowns and accidents that your vehicle fleet sustains: continuous preventative maintenance.

Preventative maintenance is done in addition to regularly scheduled oil changes and tune ups. It occurs when an employee spots something that could become a problem and reports it to the maintenance department before it disables the vehicle.

No one knows the company vehicles as well as the drivers, and they have a responsibility to make sure that preventative maintenance occurs. Below are some steps you can follow to properly maintain company vehicles.

The Daily Pre-Drive Checklist. Before you begin your work each day, you should go through a checklist of inspection points for the company vehicle you will be driving. The checklist should encourage you to inspect the following:

  • The functionality of the service, parking, emergency, and trailer brake systems.
  • Integrity of the wheels, tires, and rims.
  • The condition of the horn, reverse alarm, windshield wipers, headlights, brake lights, reverse lights, steering wheel and turn signals.
  • Visibility and effectiveness of the windshield, side windows, rearview and side view mirrors, side markers, dashboard instruments, and reflectors.
  • Examine the cleanness of the exhaust system and the ability of the vehicle to idle without stalling.
  • The presence of a safety kit including flares, reflectors, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, tools to assist with minor repairs while on the road, any safety items needed by your industry. You should also check the cleanliness and effectiveness of each item in the kit.

Daily Incident Reports When Necessary. Despite the daily checklist, some problems do not surface until you begin driving the vehicle. If you notice any problems while you drive, you should report them to the maintenance department immediately so that the vehicle can be repaired before the problem puts another employee in danger or pulls the vehicle off the line. Be certain to document the signs of the problem, when it occurred, as well as anything that may have been unusual about the driving conditions that day.

If you have a minor accident as you are driving, you should report it immediately... Even if the accident results in no visible damage to the vehicle and no one is hurt, an incident report must be completed and the maintenance department should be informed.

Following these guidelines will help your company stay productive and profitable, while keeping employees safe and producing satisfied customers.

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