In the Know: Truck maintenance

June 30, 2022 By    

In the Know is a monthly partnership between LP Gas and Propane Resources. This month, Shawn Treat discusses the importance of truck maintenance and repairs – while considering shortages with labor and supplies.

QUESTION: How should retailers handle vehicle maintenance schedules amid labor shortages and supply constraints? 

ANSWER: In the recent past and for the foreseeable future, we’re dealing with labor shortages and supply constraints, which could drastically hamper our ability to deliver if any vehicle maintenance or repair issues arise.

Below is a compilation of tips to keep you on top of your delivery game by avoiding the labor and supply issues we’re currently facing.

  • Partner with a maintenance professional. Get to know your local mechanics and discuss a possible trade of service.
  • Make a preventative maintenance plan and schedule for each vehicle. Not all trucks are the same, and each has different maintenance needs based on manufacturer specifications, driving conditions, idle hours and mileage.
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) truck files are required and should include: owner; vehicle identification number; make, model and year; tire size; fleet number, if applicable; and current and past maintenance schedules. FMCSA maintenance and repair documentation should be kept for at least one year while the vehicle is in use and a minimum of six months after it is decommissioned.
  • Service your truck while en route. Taking care of small repairs and service while close to the shop saves money and downtime.
  • Train drivers to finish inspections properly. They are your first line of defense when it comes to truck maintenance.
  • Ask drivers to complete pre- and post-trip inspections. These inspections bring to light possible issues needing service before they become bigger problems.
    • Brakes: Brakes deteriorate rapidly with use. It’s important for them to undergo a comprehensive inspection before the start of a trip.
    • Tires: They are the most frequently used and replaced parts of any vehicle. Early detection of tire issues will prevent major problems.
    • Fluids: Leaking fluids can be problematic and costly for a truck operator. Frequently checking the fluid levels helps avoid bigger issues further down the road.
    • Electrical: Lights are also important. They communicate your presence to other drivers, helping prevent accidents and, in turn, downtime due to repairs.

Shawn Treat is director of operations and safety at Propane Resources. He can be reached at or 417-631-8595.  

1 Comment on "In the Know: Truck maintenance"

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  1. You are 100% spot on with this Shawn.