Efficiency on the Road

How Great Communication Can Increase Efficiency On The Road

Inter-departmental communication is key to improving vehicle performance. Frequent communication with drivers and dispatchers helps the maintenance team know what is needed to keep the fleet in optimum condition. Proper scheduling of routine preventative maintenance and listening to a driver’s observations leads to increased efficiency and can prevent costly issues from occurring.

Here are some ways where maintenance teams can find valuable insights about the fleet:

Quantitative Reports

We use various financial reports, computer tracking reports, maintenance logs, road-call reports, engine-diagnosis software and driver vehicle incident reports (DVIR’s) to gauge what needs to be done to keep the equipment in excellent condition. The information provided is evaluated before making important decisions on repairs.

Communication

To ensure that requests and suggestions are heard, it is essential to coordinate a network for the sharing of relevant information between departments. Drivers complete pre-trip and post-trip inspections at the beginning and end of each day. The reports they submit to the maintenance department are called DVIRs. DVIRs are a valuable tool we use every day. These reports inform our maintenance teams about truck and trailer performance. Necessary repairs identified by the DVIRs are made during the equipment’s down hours. The completed repairs are then communicated back to the drivers.

Communication between the maintenance department and dispatchers is also a valuable tool. The dispatch group will aid in scheduling routine maintenance as well as required major repairs within the shop. In this fashion the dispatchers are able to plan the equipment from day to day, monitor if a piece of equipment needs to be taken out of service for a longer period of time, and make schedules in coordination with the drivers’ schedules.

Preventative Maintenance

Road calls can saddle transportation companies with unforeseen expense and lost opportunities. The good news is that calls can be effectively managed and prevented through a good vehicle preventative maintenance program. By scheduling equipment into the shop for regular inspection, the maintenance team is able to make required repairs on the equipment in a controlled environment. It is better to make minor repairs in the shop then major repairs while on the road.

To keep trucks at peak performance, it’s important to schedule regular maintenance inspections. Maintenance teams can then diagnose and address issues as soon as they become aware of them.

It is also important to empower drivers to play an active role in preventative care by equipping them with a sense of the problems regularly associated with a needed repair. When drivers know what to look for, they’re better able to communicate with their dispatchers or the shop.

At the end of the day, we want our drivers to be as safe and efficient as possible. We know that achieving those goals depends on having reliable, high-performing equipment, and a strong network of communication with everyone on the Wadhams team.