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A Manager’s Guide to Creating an Effective Vehicle Maintenance Program

Why is a good maintenance program important for HGVs? Obviously, if a lorry is regularly checked, it’s much more likely to stay in top condition and safe. Another benefit is that you and your drivers adhere to the laws that exist in the UK.

As such, it’s incumbent on transport managers to have an effective and thorough HGV maintenance program in place and to make sure that it’s followed. In this article, we look at how to put a program like this together.

Comprehending Its Importance

Of course, staying on the right side of the law is important for any business, but when it comes to HGV maintenance, it goes beyond compliance. A well-maintained fleet of trucks is safer to drive, more efficient in terms of fuel consumption and will stay on the road longer than those that aren’t.

Fully grasping this fact is a vital step in this process and the core components you need to have in any program you create include:

  • Regular inspections without fail, as they’re they only way you can spot potential issues before they turn into major ones.
  • Preventative maintenance in the form of routine servicing – something that will significantly extend the life of the trucks in your fleet.
  • Rapid repair protocols to ensure that your fleet enjoys minimal downtime.
  • Detailed record keeping is essential to monitor your program’s efficacy and ensure all your drivers are working in a compliant way.
  • Adequate training for your drivers and maintenance crews must be given as you can’t not offer it and expect standards to be met.

Putting Your Maintenance Program into Action

So, how do you put it into action in a real-world setting? Well, firstly, you create a schedule that covers regular inspections, servicing and preventative maintenance. Next, you put experienced, qualified personnel in charge of carrying out these important maintenance tasks.

It’s a good idea to use the latest maintenance software and other technological tools to streamline the process, as it will take much of the legwork out of it. Keeping a well-stocked inventory of essential parts that commonly need replacing will also speed up any repairs that need doing.

Lastly, you should put a system into place – that everyone’s aware of – for addressing and reporting maintenance problems as they occur. This helps to get everyone in your team on board with what’s required and make them feel comfortable bringing things forward.

Monitoring & Assessing Your Program

It’s not guaranteed that the system you bring in will be perfect, which is why you must monitor your progress on an on-going basis. This will allow you to make any necessary adjustments to rectify problems and by establishing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), your progress can be tracked.

It might also be required make tweaks to your program based on team feedback, the introduction of newer, better technologies and changes in regulations.

On the subject of feedback, it’s important to engage your team. By fostering a culture of responsibility and investing in training, you’ll get a well-informed group of people who can contribute to your program’s success. Needless to say, this is a good thing to have as a transport company.

Getting the Right Elements for a Successful Program

The best HGV maintenance programs have a few things in common; they’re well-though-out, employ the right resources and have the buy-in of everyone.

By following the guidelines we’ve shown you here, you’ll be able to develop your own effective system that keeps everyone safe while boosting your efficiency and compliance levels, which are all ingredients for a successful organisation.

About the author

Jonathan Gilder

Jonathan Gilder

Head of Training and Transport
Jonathan is a distinguished NRI HGV Instructor accredited by RTITB, with certifications in IOSH Managing Safely, RTITB Lift Truck Instruction, and ROSPA Assured PAT Testing. His expertise extends to EdI Level 3 NVQ Assessing, Btec Level 2 in Transportation of Goods by Road, and he is a skilled Trainer in Driver CPC and Incident Investigation from GH Safety.

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