Vehicle Maintenance

Motor carrier/operators must ensure that all commercial vehicles are in safe operating condition before being operated on a public highway and that no vehicle is driven in an unsafe condition.

There are several steps in establishing a successful vehicle maintenance program. The program will include:

  • preventative maintenance
  • daily vehicle inspections
  • periodic mandatory vehicle inspections (PMVIs or safeties)

It is recommended that the company establish a separate file for each vehicle. Under the National Safety Code (NSC), a company must keep the following records for a minimum of two years, and at least a further six months after the vehicle has left the control of the company:

  • records of routine preventive maintenance
  • records of vehicle repairs
  • records of government commercial vehicle inspections
  • records of manufacturer recalls and corrective actions
  • records of Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) inspections

The records must contain a description of the service or repairs completed along with the date and odometer reading of the invoice.

Daily vehicle inspection reports must also be kept or a minimum of six months.

The company should establish and maintain a schedule of regular maintenance on all commercial vehicles. The manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule should be considered when determining the maintenance program. Suggested maintenance items in an effective preventive maintenance program include:

  • oil and filter change
  • chassis lubrication
  • check of all fluids, lubricants, hoses and lines
  • brakes (including compressor, tractor protections system and low air-warning)
  • steering system
  • tires, wheels and lug nuts
  • fuel tanks and caps
  • batteries, lights, horn, windshield, mirrors, instruments and emergency equipment
  • visual inspection of the engine and all axle units
  • overall walk-around to ensure that the vehicle is in good working condition