Scores of inspections
CSA 2010 could fuel demand for maintenance technology
By Aaron Huff
For the past year, Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 has been a popular discussion topic in boardrooms and at industry events. The highly anticipated safety regime is scheduled to go live in December, and when it does, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will begin using the Safety Measurement System (SMS) in lieu of the current SafeStat to determine safety ratings for motor carriers. The SMS will create a monthly safety fitness determination for motor carriers based on seven Behavioral Analysis Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs).
With the substantial amount of live CSA 2010 data that fleets soon will have to manage, it might be easy to overlook the impact that a successful preventive maintenance program can have on a company’s overall safety score. Successful programs will result in fewer roadside inspections and citations, which in turn will result in a better safety score. A PM program especially will become important in regard to tires, brakes, lighting and other obvious defects that might show up during a roadside inspection.
The new regulations under CSA 2010 include 275 maintenance items, and a driver can be found in violation for 202 of them during a roadside inspection. Violations count against a driver’s score just as they count against a motor carrier.
Ultimately, the driver is responsible for identifying that his vehicle is in safe operating condition and for reporting those items that are not. Since drivers can’t make most of the repairs or adjustments, they will be conducting more thorough pre- and post-trip inspections to catch problems – and will expect them to be fixed quickly.
One way to improve this maintenance reporting process is with electronic driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs). Many fleets already have tools in place to make the transition from paper to electronic.
For example, drivers using TMW Systems software can send pre- and post-trip inspections through a macro message in their onboard communications systems to the TMT Fleet Maintenance software system. An electronic DVIR macro can be used to trigger an inspection ticket and repair order in the software system, says Dave Walters, technical services manager of TMW’s TMT Fleet Maintenance product.
Whether fleets use electronic or paper DVIRs, fleet maintenance software can provide documentation that driver-reported complaints are addressed in a proper and timely manner. Documents that should be retained for each vehicle inspection service include a completed repair order certifying that the unit passed inspection, the location where the inspection was performed, the vehicle’s ID number and the date and mileage at the time of service.
The repair order should include a detailed checklist of the items inspected and serviced. Ideally, these items should be signed by the servicing mechanic. Finally, this document must be maintained and made available for inspection for at least 14 months, says Charles Arsenault, president and chief executive officer of Arsenault Associates, developer of the Dossier fleet maintenance management software system.
Inspections and repair work performed by outside vendors also can be captured electronically. Paccar Parts, which offers the Connect fleet maintenance management system, is adding more EDI-type capability so that its customers can import repair records directly from Karmak and other software systems used by third-party repair shops.
The Dossier software has a feature that allows fleet managers to develop their own customized inspection checklists. It also has a Daily Reminder feature, a scoreboard that tells maintenance managers what units have items due or overdue, including CSA 2010 annual inspections.
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