Although it may be tempting to cut as many costs as possible and push your equipment to its limit, regular maintenance of vehicles is of the utmost importance. Not only will it ensure the safety of drivers and passengers, but it will also save you money in the long run.
A significant amount of public transportation accidents, especially bus accidents, happen due to improper maintenance. This leads to potential injuries, potential lawsuits, and money lost for your company. In this blog, we will discuss the importance of proper maintenance of vehicles and provide you with a quick checklist to use next time you inspect your equipment.
Maintenance Is Key: Tips To Ensuring Proper Maintenance
Staying on top of vehicle maintenance is an essential part of keeping your passengers safe and your businesses afloat. This can be an overwhelming task when you operate an entire fleet of buses, but once you come up with a plan for regularly inspecting your vehicles, it becomes routine. Here are some tips to ensure the proper maintenance of your fleet.
Implement Daily Inspections
Every driver on your team should check for obvious maintenance issues at the start of their shift. This drastically reduces the chances of an incident while carrying passengers. Provide your drivers with a quick and easy checklist to keep in mind before operating the vehicle. This list should include visually checking fluid levels, overall structure/integrity, turn signal function, seatbelts, brakes, steering/horn operation, door function, and overall cleanliness. All of these things can be easily checked on a daily basis and can potentially save your company tons of time and money.
Schedule Regular Inspections With Professionals
Although your drivers can check daily for obvious maintenance issues, you can’t expect them to become experts in vehicle maintenance and repairs. This is why it’s important to have your vehicles inspected routinely by a professional mechanic/specialist. During these inspections, mechanics can take care of routine maintenance tasks such as changing the oil or filling the coolant. Having your fleet inspected by professionals will prevent stress as they will help identify potential issues with major components such as the tires, brake system, cooling system, battery, and rusting.
Take Care Of Issues Immediately
A large portion of extensive and expensive maintenance repairs start out as quick, cheap fixes. Addressing maintenance issues right away will help lower your costs of maintenance in the long run. You may be tempted to put off fixing minor problems, but you can be sure that minor issues snowball and become expensive, time-consuming problems down the road. This will minimize the chances of an injured passenger, a broken-down bus, or in drastic cases, a bus fire.
Bus Maintenance Checklist
The following is a more in-depth checklist that we recommend you share with all your drivers:
- Check for fluid leaks. Inspect the underside of the bus for any leaks. Visually inspect the engine and compartment including all lines, pipes, and hoses.
- Check exterior lights. Make sure all exterior lights are operating and are illuminated.
- Inspect all drive belts. Check for any cracks, tears, or burns. Check tension.
- Inspect tires. Check for proper air pressure per manufacturer’s specifications. Visually inspect for any damage and wear.
- Inspect wheels. Look for cracks, damage, or loose lugs.
- Check coolant level.
- Check engine oil life.
- Check transmission level.
- Check hydraulic fluid level.
- Fill DEF tank. If applicable to your equipment.
- Check the air intake restriction indicator. If a restriction is indicated, advise your shift supervisor.
- Report any defects discovered during the inspection IMMEDIATELY.
Ensure Your Fleet Is In Good Hands
Preventative maintenance is key to avoiding potential injury or accidents within your company. However, in the world of public transportation, accidents are sometimes unavoidable no matter how much care and maintenance you put into your equipment.
That’s when you need to ensure your fleet is in good hands. KF&B serves all your transportation insurance needs. Whether you need assistance with public auto needs, shuttle buses, luxury cars, or limousines, KF&B is your number one choice. Our team holds vast knowledge of transportation insurance and can help guide you through all the different plans and coverages. For more information on our services, please contact us today to set up an appointment.