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AUTOMATING FLEET INSPECTION

If you’re a fleet owner, you know that time is money. Having vehicles out of service for repairs is a costly expense and fleet owners want to maximize the life of their assets. Most often, the most efficient and effective way to keep your vehicles on the road is with a strong, disciplined preventive maintenance inspection (PMI) program. While service technicians can catch issues, it is ideal to keep every inspection as uniform as possible. You’d probably rather have your technicians working on solving problems instead of spending a lot of time diagnosing them.
What if you could have a machine inspect your fleet and print out a full report about each vehicle? There would be no room for human error and your technicians could spend their time getting the fleet back on the road. Vehicle Inspection Systems (VIS) introduced the VIS-Check®, a performance based brake tester (PBBT) machine, for that exact purpose. The VIS-Check was designed to test the brakes, steering, and suspension of a variety of heavy vehicles. When the testing is complete, the VIS-Check produces a Safety and Efficiency Report so your technicians can repair any issues with confidence. A VIS-Check inspection lasting 15 minutes could save you the cost of an out of service citation or on-road breakdown.

WHY USE A MACHINE?

Not only will you reduce the time your technicians spend diagnosing problems, but the VIS-Check also eliminates the risk of manual labor during inspections. For example, technicians will no longer have to use a pry bar to check kingpins. In today’s world, safety in the workplace has never been more important.
John Pierce, president of Pierce Transport, uses the VIS-Check to ensure a safe and efficient vehicle inspection operation. “Our drivers appreciate the extra effort we put into selecting, inspecting, and maintaining our equipment,” Pierce says. “That results in a more stable workforce.”
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Featured Image: The VIS-Check® was designed to test the brakes, steering, and suspension of A variety of heavy vehicles.
Above: A VIS-Check® inspection lasting 15 minutes could save you the cost of an out of service citation or on-road breakdown.    

SAFETY

Not only does the inspection process add safety and confidence for your drivers, it keeps your vehicles on the road as well. The VIS-Check tests to federal requirements as specified by the DOT and CVSA. Authorities are stepping up their enforcement of out-of-service criteria under FMCSA 393.52(a).
Fleet owners and managers run the risk of having vehicles put out of service and even having safety ratings challenged by a DOT audit. The VIS-Check can help eliminate those issues. The diagnostic process is minutes long, allowing you to test brake, steering, and suspension on each vehicle quickly. The road simulator on the machine allows you to recreate road conditions safely in shops for the most accurate testing.
Additionally, the VIS-Check comes with the expertise of the employees of VIS. VIS will train your technicians on how to properly utilize the machine for the most effective operation.
Donald Klukas of Janesville Fleet Operations says the VIS-Check has kept his fleet safely on the road. “With our mixer fleet, what used to take a mechanic two hours using a pry bar to check every spring shackle, pivot bushing, chute race, pedestal bolt, and other mixer components, now takes 20 minutes using the shaker,” Klukas says.

EFFICIENCY

Once your technicians are properly trained on the use of the VIS-Check, the inspection process will fly by. The machine requires a single technician to perform road simulation testing, which reveals otherwise undetectable issues in steering, suspension, driveline, and overall frame condition. The inspection process, which may take two technicians several hours to finish, takes just 15 minutes with the VIS-Check. The unbiased report shows the health of the truck, any issues, and the consequences if those problems are not addressed. Additionally, the report can flag potential issues to be inspected during the next PMI.
Pierce says late deliveries are virtually non-existent thanks to his VIS-Check machine.
Klukas says his trucks are back on the road quicker. “Within 40 minutes of bringing a truck in for routine service our shop managers can now inform dispatch of any major repairs that may be needed. This allows the dispatcher options to better serve our customers and put the driver in a service truck, send him home, or reposition equipment, if needed,” Klukas says.
“The VIS machine has given us flexibility in our parts inventory, also. During service, if VIS found components that are getting close to needing replacement and the unit would need to be downed, that repair can now be pre-planned. We can order the part and arrange for the repair to be completed after the parts come in instead of having the excess inventory,” concludes Klukas.
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SAVINGS

Cost is a big factor for anyone looking to purchase a VIS-Check machine. Pierce outlined multiple areas where the machine has cut costs for Pierce Transportation. Not only is his workplace stable and his customer base loyal due to on-time deliveries, Pierce says his vehicles have better fuel economy. The VIS-Check quickly identifies and corrects fuel wasting brake and bearing issues by measuring axle-by-axle rolling resistance at regular intervals. Pierce Transport has also maximized tire life on their vehicles.
“Basic wheel and bearing inspection has reduced our tire costs,” Pierce says. Because of the company’s superior maintenance practices, it has a great ROI when it resells trucks.
“We’re known as a great place to buy a used truck,” Pierce says. “The inspection and maintenance practices we follow are a big part of that.”
The VIS-Check has automated Pierce Transport’s most challenging inspection activities and kept employees safe, while highlighting cost saving opportunities. Documenting the next steps ensures a safe and efficient vehicle operation. “VIS-Check helps us reach the performance targets we set ourselves,” Pierce says. “Without it we couldn’t achieve the same results.”
For Pierce Transport, time is money—but you can save both with an automated process that ensures safety.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kristen Chapman is VIS’ marketing manager. She can be reached at kchapman@vischeck.net. Find out more about VIS-Check® and other VIS products, visit www.vischeck.net.
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MODERN WORKTRUCK SOLUTIONS: AUGUST 2016 ISSUE

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