Every trucker who has experienced a roadside breakdown knows that it is stressful, expensive and time consuming ౼ but it’s also avoidable!
A roadside repair can cost four times as much as one done in a garage! Sidelined drivers need to wait for a tow (lost time), wait for parts (more lost time), and wait for an emergency repair (even more lost time!). On top of that, trucks, and the goods they haul, are kept off the road ౼ a hard hit to your bottom line.
Here are 3 tips to save time and money!
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With a little bit of Preventive Maintenance (PM), you can save as much as 50%* on repairs, can boost overall safety and extend the lifespan of your fleet.
Train your drivers and technicians to ensure that vehicles are “roadworthy” before and after each trip. Verifying visible damage and tyre pressure pre- and post-trip is not only good for fuel economy and general wear and tear, but it can prevent a blowout, which accounts for as much as 25%* of breakdowns.
PM also includes visually checking other key areas, such as:
- engine coolant levels,
- lights in order to identify minor issues before they become major.
Scheduling repairs and tuneups during off-hours can further reduce downtime.
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Look for the signs
While not all breakdowns are preventable, many are. Teach your team to look for key signs while on the road. For example, flickering lights while idling, could signal a problem with the alternator or battery or overheating could signal radiator troubles, which if left unaddressed, could lead to severe engine problems. Sometimes signals can be as clear as a blinking “check oil” light.
While it’s easy to put off “till tomorrow,” oil leaks can cause engines to break down or even burn other parts of the vehicle.
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Have a plan in place
Even the most well-maintained trucks can break down, so it’s essential that your fleet knows what to do if they’re stranded on the side of the road. The safety of the truck driver and other passing traffic is of utmost importance. Drivers should know who to call, how to chock the wheels or otherwise secure the truck itself and be familiar with roadside safety protocol.
As technology develops, predictive maintenance procedures are becoming more mainstream as well. This data-driven approach to maintenance relies on onboard sensors and advanced digital systems to automatically detect problems before they arise, order parts ahead of time, better plan for repairs and better allocate technicians and drivers’ time.
Whether your fleet relies on sensors or their own five senses, the bottom line remains the same: anticipating maintenance issues will minimise breakdowns and keep your trucks on the road!
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Michelin ONCall: the tyre breakdown service
Because you should never make your customers wait, nothing should keep your fleet off the road.
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