Systematic maintenance of equipment is an essential element of our transport operation. Part 396 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations requires motor carriers to ‘inspect, repair, and maintain all motor vehicles’ under their control. Even if there were no federal regulations in place, however, it makes excellent business sense to have an organized maintenance program in operation. At Cowtown Bus Charters, Inc., it is our policy to keep all company transportation equipment well maintained and in safe and efficient operating conditions at all times.
It is further the policy of Cowtown Bus Charters, Inc. to use the ‘preventive maintenance’ approach with our transport equipment. The specifics of that approach will be detailed in the procedures to follow.
Vehicle Maintenance Procedures
Cowtown Bus Charters Inc. keeps its passengers safer through its records keeping. When you look at each of our vehicles you’ll notice a number unique to only that coach. We also keep information that includes the make, serial number, Year of manufacture and tire size.
If for some reason we are leasing or borrowing a vehicle from another company, we also will have records about who owns or supplied the bus to us. This includes information about that coach’s maintenance and inspection records detailing its history and the types of repairs performed. This extra information not only helps us know the vehicle’s history but it gives us the chance to know if the bus is fit for safe travel.
Not only is this a good idea, it is also a federal law that all bus companies are required to follow. When we tell you that your safety is our top priority we mean it.
Cowtown consistently does the following:
- Keeps maintenance records on file for a period of five years.
- Maintains a complete record on each vehicle in its fleet as a matterof course. That record will include basic vehicle information, along with a listing of repair orders, procedures performed and dates of maintenance.
- Keeps each vehicle subject to its control properly lubricated, and free of oil and grease leaks, per the provisions of the FMCSR.
- Operates an in-house maintenance shop which has full service capabilities for most routine maintenance jobs. Large or specialized maintenance jobs will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
Cowtown Employees Qualification Requirements
Cowtown Bus Charters, Inc. employees who are responsible for inspections, maintenance, repairs, or service to the brakes must be qualified in accordance with Sec. 396.25
The regulations require that Cowtown Bus Charters, Inc. employees be qualified as follows:
- Understand the brake service or inspection task to be performed.
- Knows and has mastered the methods, procedures, tools, and equipment used in inspection and servicing the brakes.
- Has training or experience under one of the following:
- has successfully completed a state or federally sponsored apprenticeship or training program or has a certificate from a state or Canadian province qualifying the person to perform brake work, or
- has training or experience totaling 1 year, which may include appropriate training in a manufacturer sponsored or commercial training program, or experience performing brake maintenance or inspection in a motor carrier maintenance program, commercial garage, fleet leasing program, etc.
Drivers who have passed the air brake knowledge and skills test for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) are considered qualified to inspect air brakes, but not to adjust or repair them with out meeting the other qualification reqiurements listed above.
Documentation of the brake inspector’s qualifications must be retained for as long as the employee is responsible for brake related work and for one year thereafter.
Maintenance is part of the cost of doing business, and every fleet has a major investment in its equipment. Making certain that equipment operates well is where preventive maintenance comes into the picture.