So often, fleet managers when asked about how much equipment is in their fleet, they count only the power and heavy equipment, almost like their trailers are an afterthought. Often times their trailer equipment maintenance plan reflects this view, fixing only when something is broken or when it is required to do so by law.
Depending on the usage and environment, a complete and thorough trailer inspection should be completed every 45 days to 6 months. Maintenance reminder software can help. It is also important that an equipment maintenance log be maintained for each trailer. Additionally, a fleet maintenance checklist for trailers will help ensure nothing gets overlooked.
At every inspection, it is a good practice to not only physically check and inspect the trailer, but also to take the opportunity to verify regulatory documents. Catching upcoming insurance renewals, DOT Inspections, registrations, and special permits before they expire can avoid compliance issues and save money on fines.
A thorough inspection of the hitch and undercarriage will help identify issues or potential issues related not only to hitch ball and assembly, but also the frame, suspension, and landing gear. Also remember that mud flaps are required by law in most states and provinces.
With tires representing a significant expense, a complete inspection of all wheels and tires will help minimize tire costs. Inspect not only lug nuts, valve stems and tread depth, but also wheel bearings, brakes and hoses. Don’t forget the torque tag for all wheels removed.
Check all electrical connections including lights, reflectors, and connectors. Carefully inspect wires for wear and damage and replace accordingly.
Include the checking of safety and emergency kits, chains, straps part as part of your fleet maintenance checklist and don’t forget to check the lug wrench.
For dry, heated, and refrigerated vans, look for exposed rivets and screws, sharp edges, and soft spots in the floor. For trailers with reefer and heat units, cranes, and other accessorial equipment, refer to the manufacturer for recommended maintenance guidelines.
It is also important to track trailer maintenance in a means by which it is organized and can be quickly and easily referenced. While managers of smaller fleets often track trailer maintenance and repairs using a fleet maintenance spreadsheet or series of spreadsheets, there is now fleet management for small business software options available that don’t break the bank and include fleet maintenance software to replace the fleet maintenance spreadsheet making tracking and scheduling maintenance easier.
Why not contact the equipment maintenance experts at Fleet Harmony to learn more.