An accident or breakdown of a company vehicle can hurt your productivity and hurt the reputation of your company if it results in late shipments or deliveries and no-shows for appointments. Believe it or not, there is a very easy way to reduce the number of breakdowns and accidents that your vehicle fleet has and that is by continuously providing preventative maintenance.

Preventive maintenance is done outside of the scheduled oil changes and tune ups and instead 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 it is up to them to make sure that preventative maintenance occurs. There are several steps you can follow to do so.

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

  • The condition of the service, parking, emergency, and trailer brake systems.
  • Integrity of the wheels, tires, and rims.
  • Functionality 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.
  • Note 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. There are many minor problems that can be missed when you complete your daily pre-drive checklist that become abundantly clear when you drive the vehicle for an extended period of time. 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 sure to document the signs of the problem, when it occurred and anything that may have been unusual about the driving conditions that day.

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Further Reading
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