698409 | Peter Galbraith | Dreamstime
Dreamstime Older Trucks Peter Galbraith 698409

Steps to keeping older assets on the road

Nov. 7, 2022
Keeping aging trucks running smoothly is more important than ever with supply chain issues, so ensure your preventive maintenance is planned out and you're paying attention to the right information with these simple steps.

Regardless of the age of a truck, maintenance is important to its proper operation. However, maintenance is now critical as the industry continues to operate with older assets because of supply chain issues.

Here are some ways you can make your maintenance program stronger.

  • Review maintenance schedules: Don’t assume that the maintenance schedules you used when you were on your normal asset replacement cycle are valid today. Spend some time reviewing maintenance schedules and adjusting as needed for older assets. A good source of information for determining optimal maintenance intervals is repairs between scheduled maintenance. Ideally, you do not want to see a truck in the shop between scheduled preventive maintenance appointments. If assets are showing up before their next scheduled PM, you may need to adjust your maintenance schedule.
  • Monitor PM compliance: Skipping a scheduled maintenance service is never a good idea, but with older assets, it can spell disaster. Make sure someone in your organization is responsible for tracking PM compliance. Give them the authority to bring a truck in for maintenance if they notice an appointment has been missed.
  • Understand failure types: You want to know what problems are occurring or recurring in your fleet. One good way to understand failures is to use VMRS codes for all maintenance and repair. These codes tell you exactly what was wrong with the truck and what was done to repair it. You can use this information to further refine maintenance schedules.
  • Rely on your drivers: Your drivers are your first line of defense when it comes to developing problems with trucks. They often can tell by the way a truck sounds or operates that something is going wrong. Remind them of the importance of performing thorough pre- and post-trip inspections. Make sure you pay close attention to anything they note on their Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports. Take immediate action to fix any problems they have identified.
  • Monitor trend data: Take time to analyze the types of problems occurring in your fleet. Look for wear and breakdown trends and use that data to adjust maintenance schedules accordingly.

By following these simple steps, you should get the most out of your maintenance program and keep your older trucks on the road where they belong.

Jane Clark is vice president of member services for NationaLease. In this position, she is focused on managing the member services operation as well as working to strengthen member relationships, reduce member costs, and improve collaboration within the NationaLease supporting groups. Prior to joining NationaLease, Clark served as area vice president for Randstad, one of the nation’s largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Cos., Pro Staff, and Manpower Inc.

About the Author

Jane Clark | Senior VP of Operations

Jane Clark is Senior Vice President, Operations for NationaLease. Prior to joining NationaLease, Jane served as Area Vice President for Randstad, one of the nation’s largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Companies, Pro Staff, and Manpower, Inc.

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