Running a fleet repair shop is a lot of responsibility. It carries the responsibility of the drivers’ safety as well as the safety of everyone on the road. If a heavy-duty vehicle malfunctions and causes an accident on the road, it can have disastrous consequences. This is, of course, is the reason why there are strict regulations in place and it’s important that fleet operators are in compliance with the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) regulations to be able to operate safely and stay in business. This can be a daunting task.
There are numerous regulations in place related to the drivers, their safety and processes, but for the purpose of this blog post, we will focus on the vehicle and the repair shop.
The bottom line of compliance as it pertains to heavy-duty vehicles; any vehicle used for business purposes must be properly equipped, inspected, and maintained regularly. This will of course fall in large part on the fleet maintenance and repair shop. There are a couple of key tips to keep in mind when it comes to compliance:
- Create Schedules and Checklists
This means creating maintenance schedules and checklists for all your vehicles. Create schedules based on the age of the vehicle as well as the expected deterioration based on the regular route of the vehicle. Being proactive and having scheduled maintenance checks and checklists will put you ahead of any incidents or failures of the vehicles.
Checklists will ensure that everyone is following the same process when performing maintenance, and are checking all important items for compliance. It will also be helpful when onboarding new technicians and getting them up to speed on your requirements.
- Keep Centralized Records of All Repairs and Maintenance
So you do regular maintenance and make sure your heavy-duty trucks are all in great running condition, but how do you keep a record of that? If you still keep manual records on paper or in spreadsheets, it may be time to update your recordkeeping and get a fleet maintenance system. Fleet maintenance software like FleetSquared will help keep all records of the work you have done to your fleet, all in one place, and accessible from anywhere, at any time. There is no better way to stay compliant. If you do what you are supposed to do, just make sure you can easily support the claim and show the records.
In conclusion, ensuring that you as a fleet operator is DOT compliant can ultimately save you hefty fines and keep your business running and your trucks on the road. But the more serious benefit is that it will keep people safe on the roads. Although it can be difficult to navigate all the DOT regulations and figure out how to stay compliant, just remember that ultimately the key to staying compliant is making sure your vehicles don’t break down. So you have the same goal at the end of the day: you want to keep your trucks safe and on the road.