The secret to heavy-duty truck preventative maintenance success

The secret to heavy-duty truck preventative maintenance success

MTR's Eddie Lawrence's insights on avoiding roadside breakdowns and sticking to PM best practices.

Eddie Lawrence has seen plenty of heavy-duty truck service needs over his 27 years in the business that could have been avoided. The secret to avoiding catastrophic truck service events should come as no surprise: preventative maintenance. That’s what Lawrence’s Mobile Transport Repair (MTR), mobile truck service operation, focuses on to keep the fleets he works with rolling productively.

“When I was working out of my service truck years ago, I would do a lot of the breakdowns on the side of the highway, but I try not to put my guys in that situation now. I had a couple close calls and it’s just not safe,” Lawrence said. “That’s where the preventative maintenance plans come in place, and we can take care of them onsite to minimize work on the side of the road.”

Preventative maintenance is such a basic process in fleet management but is also one of the most difficult to execute consistently. Demanding schedules and razor-thin margins require trucks on the road. Yet, a structured program tailored to the specific service intervals based on the year, make and model of the trucks in your fleet can help ensure that all parts of a truck are inspected, maintained and repaired as needed, before any major issues arise. The failure to establish such a plan often leads to a reactive maintenance mindset, where fleets find themselves dealing with unexpected breakdowns and service challenges that could have been avoided.

“A lot of times, if the truck is on the side of the road, there’s a good chance that they don’t have a smart reoccurring interval plan in place where they’re getting serviced and looked at on a regular basis. When fleets are reactive, they’re way over their service intervals and PM services; that’s when we get more calls,” Lawrence said. That’s why MTR puts the focus on preventative maintenance contract work.

The foundation of any successful preventative maintenance program is built on trust and partnership between the fleet managers and their service providers. Lawrence stays focused on providing preventative maintenance services in a mobile repair operation to go to fleets to service the trucks when it fits into the fleet schedule instead of making the trucks come to him. In that way, he’s seen a lot of fleet operations and different levels of attention paid to preventative maintenance.

Watch the video to hear what Lawrence has learned throughout his decades working in truck service and advice for fleets that want to minimize service events that put their trucks on the side of the road.

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No script? No plan? No problem. Welcome to Fleet Equipment Unscripted—the video interview series that connects you with the greatest minds in the heavy-duty trucking world. Fleet Equipment Unscripted is sponsored by Hendrickson.

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