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Best Practices for Vehicle Maintenance Record Keeping

If you want your vehicle maintenance program to run effectively, record-keeping is a central aspect of it, particularly when talking about Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs). However, it’s not just about complying with laws, as keeping records also serves to ensure your fleet’s roadworthiness and overall road safety.

In this article, we offer insight for transport managers with responsibility over an HGV fleet with regards to vehicle maintenance record keeping best practices.

It Starts with Knowing Its Significance

Keeping on top of your vehicle maintenance records process has its foundations in understanding its significance and treating the task with the respect it deserves. Solid accounting for all your maintenance activity represents the backbone of any effective program, so it’s important to run a tight ship.

A well-kept set of records helps in tracking your maintenance activities so you can remain legally compliant and promote a culture of safety and accountability within your company. Core elements of maintenance record-keeping include:

  • Vehicle Details, which cover each vehicle’s precise specifications, MOT details and registration number.
  • Your Maintenance Schedule, which should document all instances of routine inspections, servicing, and preventive maintenance.
  • Maintenance Activities of all kinds should be recorded, relating to inspections, repairs and services.
  • Parts Inventory needs to be tracked, with details of all purchases, uses and the current stock levels of each component.
  • Incidents & Accidents must all be documented, as well as subsequent repairs and maintenance carried out.

Putting Your Record-Keeping System into Action

So, what’s the reality of how you actually put your own vehicle maintenance record-keeping system into action? To begin with, you should ensure you’re using the right tools, which in this case, is one of the many digital software tools designed for this specific task.

The next step is to establish standard procedures for all of the vehicle maintenance work that’s carried out and train your team on how to follow them, to ensure consistency. Naturally, you’ll want to stress the importance of accurate records through any training you provide.

Tips For Maintaining Accurate Records

You need to create a work environment and culture of compliance when it comes to record keeping. This meaning you must be strict in ensuring everyone does what they’re supposed to. This can be encouraged by:

  • Checking that records are updated promptly after every occasion in which maintenance is carried out.
  • Putting a process into place for verifying the accuracy of maintenance records made – also ensuring that entries are not left incomplete.
  • Securely storing all records to prevent them from being lost, damaged or accessed by someone without the authority to do so.

It’s also essential to regularly review your records, so that you can ensure that all your legal requirements are being met. This will allow you to spot areas in which you can improve and see any developing trends. When you come across missing info or anything inconsistent with standard practice, take corrective action as needed.

Staying Organised & Striving for Improvement

Another part of the responsibilities for both transport managers is the need to have your maintenance records available to be presented to compliance authorities when asked during audits and inspections. This means they must be easily accessible, up-to-date, accurate and well-organised.

You should also be continuously striving to improve your process. This can be done by encouraging team feedback on how your system is working and their ideas on how it might be made better. Staying current with any changes in vehicle maintenance record-keeping legal requirements will also help you make any necessary changes.

The Hallmark of a Well-Managed Vehicle Maintenance Program

Well-kept records are the hallmark of a well-managed vehicle maintenance program, and they give you the reassurance of knowing that you’re staying on the right side of the law. Furthermore, by following best practices as described here, transport managers can extend their fleet’s lifespan and ensure their drivers are safe.

Not only that, but they can also demonstrate your company’s reputation for doing things the right way in the eyes of both regulatory authorities and customers.

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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