National Connections, Local Ownership
National Connections, Local Ownership

3 Maintenance Tips to Ensure Your Fleet Is Ready for a Freight Uptick

The US Department of Transportation expects a greater need for freight transportation over the next few decades. Will your fleet be ready for the expansion?

Businesses are often so focused on the next quarter or the next fiscal year, they become short sighted when it comes to the future. Yet companies that are the most successful think years, if not decades, out. And being shortsighted can end up costing you.

Jane Clark, VP of Member Services for NationaLease, recently posted a blog on IdeaXchange, “Good maintenance practices prepare you to take advantage of freight upticks,” that addresses recent DOT estimates. Citing a report-published earlier this year by the Bureau of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, Jane notes that the prediction is that freight ton miles (the movement of one ton of freight for one mile) will reach 7.6 trillion in the next 30 years, an increase of almost 50 percent by 2045.

Certainly, some of that freight will be delivered by rail, ship, or air but most will still be transported by trucks, just as it is today. Jane suggests that this is a great opportunity for growth for businesses that are able to participate in this expansion. But more freight means your equipment needs to be in good operating condition, so Jane offers these three tips to make sure your inspection and maintenance practices are ready for this opportunity.

  1. Review all forms used for pre- and post-trip inspections. Make sure they reflect not only things that need to be inspected, but also any areas of concern specific to your operation. If the forms are not easy for drivers to fill out, then modify them.
  1. Pay attention to Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports – Make sure your technicians understand that drivers are the people most likely to pinpoint problems early on. Not acknowledging and working to correct the problems can lead to expensive maintenance and repair issues later on.
  1. Spot equipment failure trends – If your trucks are in good condition, you should not see them in the shop other than for their regularly scheduled PM service. If you see them more often, you need to understand why and take action throughout the fleet to avoid on-road breakdowns.

So forget the crystal ball and make sure the future is bright by making sure your fleet is ready today for tomorrow’s future growth in freight.

See how NationaLease can help your company get ready for future growth.

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