The volume of commercial road traffic between Canada and the U.S. is staggering.
To comply with the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA), companies must maintain fuel and KM/Miles traveled by unit, and by province and state using either IFTA software or in an IFTA spreadsheet. Companies also must comply with minor differences in provincial and state laws with regards to accepted maintenance and repair practices of commercial vehicles.
We speak to countless fleet managers on a daily basis, and it astounds me that such a high percentage of managers are not familiar with the details of maintenance laws for their own jurisdiction.
Therefore, it’s often not practical to know every minute detail of every state and province’s maintenance laws. So, to keep it simple, it is critical for companies that run equipment throughout the U.S. and Canada to maintain their fleet to the highest standard, and be able to prove due diligence, especially when accidents and litigation is concerned. Proving due diligence is the key.
Staying in compliance doesn’t have to be complicated, and it’s mostly common sense. For starters, maintain your equipment as per manufacturer guidelines. Fix what is broken without delay. Not only will it help you stay in compliance, but also pay dividends when it’s time to trade in or sell your equipment.
Implementing a 45, 60, or 90 day thorough inspection of your fleet will help you identify problems before they become expensive repairs as well as prove to inspectors and auditors that fleet maintenance is a priority.
File all maintenance records by unit. I have seen companies implement accounting-type practices for their maintenance and repairs, whereby maintenance records (work orders, invoices, etc) are filed by date. It’s great for your accountant, but a real challenge when DOT or insurance is at the door asking for maintenance history for a specific unit. Maintaining a separate file folder for each unit will enable you to keep a running history of maintenance activities and save hours of research and preparing one- time reports for the auditors.
Use fleet maintenance software instead of a fleet maintenance spreadsheet. Spreadsheets can be easily manipulated so DOT auditors will have more confidence knowing you have a fleet maintenance software system in place with the appropriate processes, structure, edit checks and controls built in. They will be less likely to probe deeper to specific maintenance activities whereby the information recorded may be misleading or incomplete. Plus, the ability to instantly generate maintenance reports on specific units will mean smoother and less time consuming audits.
You don’t have to have a large fleet to justify the cost of fleet maintenance software.
Fleet Harmony Cloud Fleet Maintenance Management is priced based on the size of your fleet, making it affordable for anyone, regardless of their size. It even includes IFTA software and Accident Management Software.
Fleet Harmony Cloud Fleet Management can simplify the task of fleet maintenance and repairs and help keep your maintenance records organized. But even if you use the fleet maintenance spreadsheet method, the important thing to remember is to be complete, accurate, and consistent. This alone will go a long ways to proving due diligence.
Finally, if you are not sure where to begin, seek out help. We at Fleet Harmony are seasoned in fleet management. We can help.