A Clean Rig Can Make Inspections Less Painful—and Less Likely

Posted by Skye Robinson | May 19, 2015 | Newsletter

Semi Truck FleetThat dirty truck is like a red flag driving down the highway, and it’s going to get noticed—for all the wrong reasons.

A clean rig is better for your brand for sure, but it also communicates to the powers that be that you’re paying attention to your fleet’s maintenance and safety issues. What do maintenance and safety have to do with cleanliness? Not much, but the appearance of your trucks can be an indicator of how well you are—or aren’t—doing at keeping up with the others.

Consider someone’s personal hygiene when they come to you for a job interview. Someone who shows up in dirty clothes, in need of a shave, or smelling unwashed is telling you without any words at all that they are not detail oriented. And that lack of attention to detail could show up in how they do their job as well.

It’s the same with your fleet vehicles. Ensuring the safety of trucks, drivers and other motorists is the reason we have such inspections in the first place. If you’re not paying attention to the outside appearance, are you paying attention to what’s under the hood or in the cab? And that’s exactly what a DOT inspector is going to wonder as they ponder whether or not your truck is going to be the next one they inspect.

How can you decrease the chances of an inspection? Follow the advice of this former police officer who spent 11 years as a DOT-certified inspector: Keep cabs clean, documents handy and attitudes in check. But also decrease an inspector’s interest in your vehicles in the first place by keeping them clean.

Outsourcing your fleet cleaning is one of the best ways to ensure the cleanliness of your fleet no matter how busy you are as a fleet manager or how short-staffed you might be. When you have a reliable fleet cleaning service regularly scheduled to come onsite and wash rigs inside and out, you can send those rigs back out on the road without worry.

Reflective mirrors, clean wheels, shiny chrome and signage that’s clearly readable—these all indicate that a rig is well-maintained inside and out, and that means it’s less of a safety hazard. Caked on mud, a dirty windshield, layers of gray grime—these all tell a different story, and they can cause an inspector to be suspicious of a vehicle, wondering what else might have been neglected either under the hood or by the driver.

Don’t give them any cause for alarm or to single out your vehicles as problematic. Keep your fleet clean instead, with a regularly scheduled and reputable fleet cleaning service.

Tips for Choosing a Fleet Cleaning Service You Can Count on
Not all fleet cleaning services are created equal, nor are they priced the same either. See these tips to know what to look for—and what to pay for—to keep your vehicles as clean as can be. Read more…

Block Safety Records or Keep Them Public? 
If one of your trucks is cited for a violation, it becomes public knowledge. And each citation affects your CSA score, no matter how minor the violation. A new law could change this. Read more…

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