Q:

How do you set up a preventative maintenance schedule for your vehicle?

A:

Quick Answer

Set up a preventative maintenance schedule for your vehicle by contacting the vehicle manufacturer and inquiring about the recommended schedule, developing cut-off points for worn-out components, and developing records in compliance with your own standards and the standards of any agency that may later audit you.

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Full Answer

Begin by contacting the manufacturer of the vehicle and asking about the recommended maintenance schedule of the vehicle. This includes the recommended intervals for inspections and replacements, such as having the vehicle inspected after a certain number of miles or certain number of days.

Next, determine a cut-off point for the major vehicle components that lets you know when to replace them. Consult the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or the original manufacturer of the equipment to determine the recommended cut-off points. Replacing such components in a timely manner helps avoid dangerous and costly breakdowns while driving.

Keep detailed records of the vehicle and any inspections and maintenance conducted on it. At minimum, these records must include the vehicle's make, model and year, its vehicle identification number, its tire size, its owner, and its fleet number if it has one. Records should contain the vehicle's maintenance schedule, any maintenance previously conducted and any upcoming maintenance dates. Keeping such records may be necessary for future audits and can also assist in maintaining the health and safety of the vehicle.

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