If your business has a number of commercial vehicles on the road, you want to ensure they are well maintained. For the safety of your workers and the people around them, all your commercial vehicles need to operate properly in all weather and road conditions. Here are some extra precautions small business owners can take to ensure the safety of their commercial vehicles:
Preventative Maintenance Programs
Enforce a record keeping system amongst your employees. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, all small businesses with a fleet of commercial vehicles are required by U.S. regulation to keep records and have a preventative vehicle maintenance program. To comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and to keep your vehicles running safely and smoothly, check the following car components every day before your driver sets out for work:
- Check car floor for loose tools, items, or rags.
- Ensure all safety belts fasten properly and are in decent condition.
- Check that heaters and defrosters are functioning properly.
- Make sure there are no problems with the windshield wipers.
- Check the car’s brakes and steering.
- Inspect the outside of the car, including headlights, signals, mirrors, and tires.
- Account for all emergency equipment and ensure they are working properly
You should also be sure to keep an updated calendar of each vehicle’s service dates to ensure you do not miss a mandatory inspection or service. Keep records for all vehicles located somewhere safe, and be sure they contain all the necessary information you may need.
Doing your own service checks are not enough to guarantee the safety of your commercial vehicles. You must also keep them properly inspected and compliant with the state or federal safety regulations through compliance checks. Compliance checks can happen at any time for any vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of over 10,000 lbs. This means that even trailers may be susceptible to a compliance check.
Compliance checks and roadside inspections can happen both at a weigh station or should your commercial vehicle be pulled over by an inspector. While some states require the inspector to have probable cause for pulling your vehicle over, other states do not, so it is best to ensure your vehicle is always up to standards.
These compliance checks will look at everything from mechanical safety to cargo securement to ensure each component is compliant with the rules and regulations of the region. In addition to ensuring your vehicle is up to the state’s standards, drivers may be expected to provide a commercial driver’s license, medical cards, or hours-of-service logs.
To keep your business running smoothly and your customers happy with your quality of service, it is always best to check that each of your commercial vehicles fit the regulations and standards presented at the state or federal level. When you don’t need to worry about the safety of your vehicles, your drivers and service providers and put all their energy into delivering consistent, reputable service for your customers and clients.