The Importance of Regular Maintenance for Haulage Vehicles

The Importance of Regular Maintenance for Haulage Vehicles

When you think of Australian transport, what’s one thing you think of? How does a country that’s so big, transport commodities from one side to the other?

The answer is simple. Heavy haulage vehicles and road trains have formed the backbone of the Australian transport and logistics industries for decades. Whether it’s delivering goods across cities or transporting freight across borders, the vast size of Australia means that heavy haulage is the most cost-effective means of running our country.

However, with such a reliance on heavy vehicles, ensuring their efficiency and safety requires more than just filling up the tank and hitting the road. Regular maintenance is the key to keeping your fleet meeting deadlines, minimising downtime and maximising operational performance, and reducing costs in your business.

Minimising downtime so you can meet deadlines

According to The Future of Trucking Report by Isuzu, there will be a predicted 25% increase in truck traffic across Australia to 2030. This is due to the national focus on exports but also the increased demand from the ecommerce sector. But what impact does this larger demand have on your business?

The competition for transporting commodities is going to become greater, therefore being able to demonstrate that your team can meet deadline with minimal downtime will help to set you apart in the field.

Haulage vehicles are often subjected to long hours of operation and demanding terrains, just look at the size of the Nullarbor, causing considerable wear and tear. Neglecting their maintenance can lead to a cascade of problems, ranging from decreased fuel efficiency to major costly breakdowns, which can all result in not meeting deadlines.

By regularly maintaining your fleet, you can lessen the probability of a maintenance issue causing you costly downtime.

Enhancing fuel efficiency to maximise operational performance

With the cost of diesel continuing to rise due to the economic environment, regular maintenance is not merely a precautionary measure; it’s an investment in fuel efficiency.

A well-maintained haulage vehicle will not only be more fuel efficient, but it will also reduce operational costs, helping to maximise your business’ overall operational performance. By performing simple tasks like regularly inspecting your vehicles for irregularities, checking tyre pressure to ensure safety, checking fluids, and replacing air filters can significantly improve fuel economy.

Ensuring the safety of your team and others

Tight deadlines and vast distances are placing more pressure than ever before on your team to deliver. The Road Trauma Involving Heavy Vehicles Annual Summary released by the Federal Government Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts, found that “a total of 163 people were killed in crashes involving heavy trucks in 2021. This represents 15.4 per cent of total road deaths.”

The safety of your team and others on the road needs to be paramount. Delaying minor maintenance issues can lead to major issues, increasing the likelihood of accidents. By adhering to a strict maintenance schedule through regular inspections, your business can mitigate potential risks and hazards, safeguarding both your drivers and the public.

Extending the lifespan of your haulage vehicles

With the average cost of a new semi-trailer being over $100,000, new haulage vehicles represent a substantial investment for your business. Therefore, protecting and extending the lifespan of your fleet with regular maintenance is not only in the best interest of your vehicles, but also in the best interest of the bottom line of your business.  

By addressing minor issues promptly and conducting routine checks, you can prevent small problems from escalating into major repairs that may even void warranties. With haulage vehicles being such a significant investment, being proactive with your maintenance will assist in extending the operational lifespan of your fleet.

Compliance with legislation and regulations

The Australian haulage industry is highly legislated and regulated to maintain safety on the roads. Regardless of whether your fleet operates solely in Western Australia, or they travel interstate, regularly maintaining your vehicles is critical.

  • Operating solely within Western Australia: If your business only operates within Western Australia, then you will need to be accredited with the Western Australian Heavy Vehicle Accreditation (WAHVA). As part of this accreditation, your business will need to:
    – Have a Maintenance Management Policy and Statement of Responsibility in place
    – Enter roadworthiness inspections on the Vehicle Maintenance Record and Vehicle
    – Have regular maintenance schedules in place that suit business needs based on manufacturer’s specifications/recommendations, time, intervals (week, month, annual), distance or hours of use and Road Traffic Vehicle Regulations and Australian Design Rules requirements.
    – Ensure that any operator undertaking maintenance on vehicles should ensure written copies of the manufacturer’s approved methods are available to describe the maintenance required and keep a record of any work carried out.
  • Operating within Western Australia and interstate: In addition to being accredited with the WAHVA, you will also need to comply with the heavy vehicle legislation of the state you are operating in. The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator sets the legislation, consisting of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), for vehicles over 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass. The Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, and South Australia have adopted and/or modified the HVNL as state law.

Record keeping of your maintenance activities is a key attribute to comply with all legislative and regulatory requirements. By committing to regular maintenance of your haulage vehicles you can be assured that you are compliant.

Enhancing Reputation and Customer Satisfaction

In this competitive market, reputation is everything. So, if your business is known for safety and reliability, then that translates into positive business relationships and can help you to build a more profitable business.

Prioritising vehicle maintenance can assist in building your reputation as a safe freight carrier and help your business to win large tenders and freight contracts. Whereas poor maintenance records and systems that cause breakdowns and missed deadlines, can tarnish your reputation and business opportunities.

Maintain your vehicles with WA Haulage Repairs

Your fleet is the biggest asset of your business. If time is an issue or you need guidance to establish an effective maintenance routine, then get in touch with us at WA Haulage Repairs.

Our knowledge of demanding conditions of the industry means that we are best equipped to keep your fleet in check and compliant. Our specialised repair services are available to a vast range of vehicles. Let us take care of the maintenance so you can focus on building your business.

Contact us today

Interested in enhancing the upkeep of your heavy haulage fleet? Reach out to WA Haulage Repairs today to explore how our specialised repair services can cater to your business requirements. Whether you require immediate repairs or are looking for a reliable partner for ongoing maintenance, we’re committed to providing solutions that propel your business forward.