NSC: Vehicle Safety Plans
The 4 required areas of enforcement.
The National Safety Code has 4 required areas of enforcement
- Hours of Service
- Safety Requirements
Selecting the proper vehicles and properly maintaining them can “make or break” a trucking company. Companies have to select the right vehicles for their business and have to consider issues such as hauling capacity, fuel efficiency, and distances being travelled.
Maintaining vehicles should be another primary concern for the company. If vehicles are constantly breaking down, so can the success of the business itself. A company should have vehicle maintenance and safety plan. Not only to protect the vehicles but also to protect the company itself, as a vehicle safety plan is a legal requirement.
Vehicle maintenance starts with a proper Pre-trip inspection of the vehicle at the beginning of the day, and a Post-trip inspection when the day’s travel is completed. This will insure that all necessary repairs are finished prior to resuming work. All repair work must be recorded and kept current. If an accident or audit happens, the records will be called into question. Many issues a vehicle might have cannot be easily identified by a non-mechanic. Regular, full-mechanical inspections should be scheduled no more than 90 days apart. Generally, a vehicle component may wear or fail within that (90 days) time period. Therefore, regular mechanical inspections should be scheduled in addition to the daily driver Pre and Post-trip inspections.
Documenting the process of vehicle maintenance and inspection must be contained in a proper written document. National Safety Code Auditors or Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement Inspectors can and will audit your company’s records. In the event of an accident, having properly organized maintenance and repairs records is crucial to saving your company from liability.
Several vehicle safety plans are available online, and many plans are simple enough for even the most modest maintenance departments to keep their vehicles properly managed. A good safety and maintenance plan should be detailed but achievable. Always remember, a little bit of organization can save a company many headaches in the long run!
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