Heavy commercial trucks have very high maintenance requirements. Unfortunately, truck crash lawyers recognize that many of the trucks on the highway today do not receive such maintenance. Many such vehicles only get the minimum amount of care required to pass yearly regulatory inspections.
Lack of proper maintenance leads to mechanical failures, which are a prime cause of many serious truck crashes. Avoiding these accidents requires tractor trailer owners and operators to comply with better maintenance practices that can reduce the chance of a mechanical failure.
Federal Maintenance Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversees commercial vehicle maintenance by enforcing a number of safety regulations for all tractor trailers. These regulations provide a definition of the minimum maintenance that must be performed on these vehicles and requires that all trucks pass a Periodic Maintenance Inspection (PMI).
Many truck owners fail to realize that their yearly PMI is only the minimum required for these vehicles, even though most trucks on the road require more maintenance. While a daily inspection by the driver is required as well as a yearly safety inspection, it does not replace other important maintenance and inspections that should be done throughout the year to prevent dangerous truck crashes.
The Importance of Routine Maintenance
In addition to the maintenance required to pass a yearly PMI, truck crash lawyers stress that commercial trucks should receive maintenance timed according to how the truck is used and not based on dates alone. Yearly maintenance may be sufficient for some vehicles that spend less time on the road; however; this is not enough for most trucks. Many tractor trailers require frequent inspections to ensure they remain mechanically sound and receive the maintenance they need between yearly inspections.
Driver inspections are important for spotting more obvious problems and ensuring that the truck is in good shape every day before going on the road. Of course, this should not replace regular inspections performed by skilled technicians timed in relation to the amount of miles driven. It make it much easier to prevent issues that could lead to mechanical failure and deadly truck crashes.
Exercising Caution with Maintenance Inspections
Frequent maintenance inspections play a key role in preventing mechanical failure since this allows technicians to uncover any developing maintenance concerns before they can progress to the point of failure. Still, this only works when the inspections are carefully performed with the right amount of detail so the truck receives proper attention. Too many times, truck crash lawyers find the trucks that supposedly received periodic inspections by mechanics have important details and maintenance issues that were overlooked.
One common reason why carrier companies do not receive the best service even when they do seek essential maintenance is because of how many mechanics are paid for their work. Considering this, truck owners should be wary of technicians who are paid a flat rate for servicing. It is better work work with reputable maintenance services with a good record with other customers.
It is the responsibility of commercial truck owners to provide essential maintenance to their vehicles in order to prevent mechanical failures that can result in deadly truck crashes. Besides daily driver inspections and yearly Federal PMIs, owners must work with reliable technicians throughout the year to ensure the vehicles receive proper maintenance. Truck crash lawyers stress that routine vehicle care which corresponds with the amount of miles driven is a critical safety factor. All owners must understand and comply with this to prevent disastrous mechanical breakdowns and deadly crashes!
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581