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7 Best Practices for Managing Your Trucks and a Basic Maintenance Schedule Outline


junk removal truck maintenance

Managing your fleet of trucks and other assets like dump trailers, dumpsters, and heavy machinery in an organized and consistent way will be crucial for the success of your business. These efficiencies lead to optimized operations, lower operating costs, and increased profits. Proper scheduling, route planning, and maintenance ensure that resources are utilized effectively, reducing downtime and increasing productivity. 

Here are some best practices and a basic maintenance schedule for hauling companies:


#1 - Driver Training


Before we dive into the management of the physical assets, let’s quickly go over the importance of investing the time to proficiently train your team that will be using the assets. Provide comprehensive training and record the process so you improve the quality of training and reduce the time it takes to get to completion. Simply take notes and refine the process over time. Ensure they are familiar with the specific features of each vehicle/asset and emphasize safe practices. 


In addition to this you should consider regularly inspecting your assets as well: Conduct routine inspections of each truck before and after use. Check for any visible damage, ensure lights are working, and inspect tires, brakes, and fluid levels. These simple quick checks can help you spot potential problems before they occur.


#2 - Truck Maintenance Records


Keep detailed maintenance records for each truck when they are serviced. Document repairs, inspections, and routine maintenance check-ins. This will help you track the asset’s history and plan for future maintenance. Insurance companies also love to see organized maintenance records when they are renewing or auditing a policy. Keeping clean and organized records will put you one step ahead.


"Take care of the little things, and the big things will take care of themselves." - Emily Dickinson

#3 - GPS Tracking


In my company we have GPS tracking systems plugged into all of our trucks and they spit out a ton of information to help us monitor the location and performance of each vehicle. We get current data about trucks, and live traffic reports on the GPW website which helps us optimize routes, reduce wear and tear, and improve fuel efficiency. We also use this tool to ensure drivers are following planned schedules or help when making same day route changes


#4 - Emergency Kit


Equip each truck with an emergency kit containing basic tools, first aid supplies, and contact information for roadside assistance. Ensure drivers know how to use these resources. This will also be the first thing the DOT police check when you inevitably get pulled over, for likely no reason at all.


#5 - Fuel Efficiency Practices


Educate drivers on being fuel-efficient when on the road, such as avoiding excessive idling, maintaining steady speeds, and properly inflating tires. This can contribute to cost savings and can help do your part in reducing the environmental impact of the trucks (if you care about that kind of stuff).


#6 - Scheduled Downtime for Maintenance


Plan scheduled downtime for major maintenance tasks. This could include a comprehensive check of the engine, transmission, and other critical components. Schedule these during periods of lower demand if possible like the winter time for my company in the northeast. We conduct federal annual inspections on all trucks and have this done in the winter time when we don’t need every single truck on the road every day.


#7 - Compliance with Regulations


Stay informed about and comply with local, state, and federal regulations related to vehicle maintenance, emissions, and safety. Non-compliance can result in fines and penalties. So do what you need to do, get the stickers on your trucks, and keep it moving. Some of the compliance will ask questions about mileage used in a specified timeframe, so keeping good records will help you complete these nonsensical bureaucratic forms quickly.


Basic Maintenance Schedule


Daily:

  • Pre-trip inspections by drivers, checking lights, tires, brakes, and fluid levels.

Weekly:

  • Check tire pressure and tread depth.

  • Inspect and clean air filters.

  • Visual inspection of the engine and transmission.

Monthly:

  • Oil and filter changes.

  • Brake inspections.

  • Check and top off all fluids (coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluid, etc.).

  • Inspection of belts and hoses.

Quarterly:

  • Rotate tires.

  • Inspect and clean the exhaust system.

  • Check the battery and electrical system.

Annually:

  • Comprehensive inspection of all major components.

  • Brake system flush.

  • Alignment check.

As Needed:

  • Address any issues reported by drivers promptly.

  • Emergency repairs or unscheduled maintenance.


In Closing


This is just an example of a basic schedule and can be adjusted based on the specific needs of your type of operation. Conducting regular maintenance and being proactive is essential to extend the lifespan of your trucks and assets, it’ll help ensure safety, and minimize downtime, contributing to the overall success of your hauling business!


I would love to hear about your business so shoot me an email if you've got any questions.

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