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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Used Bucket Trucks and DOT's New Safety Rules!

For companies that purchase used bucket trucks for their aerial needs, it is imperative to stay current with the new Department of Transportation (DOT) safety rules.

Fleet owners, as well as individual drivers, need to be well-informed about the safety rules in order to comply with those regulations that have been issued by the governmental agency charged with enforcing safety, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), under which is the Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) program. A driver's primary responsibility is to closely monitor the bucket truck and address any safety concerns of the vehicle.

Guidelines

It is important to be aware of the scope of the rules spelled out by FMCSA. One of their most recent standards declares that any equipment with flagged safety defects must be taken out of service until necessary repairs have been completed. During the time period that the equipment is flagged as defective and in the process of being repaired, it is important to ensure that drivers as well as dispatchers maintain and keep the records of the required restorations. If repairing the flagged defects is somehow delayed and the company fails to comply with the standard set forth by the FMCSA, it can result in prolonged downtime of the bucket truck. As a result, this can affect the company's profitability and delay project deadlines.

Furthermore, the new CSA requirements for record-keeping of safety and repair activities are strictly imposed. If a company fails to abide by such guidelines, it may become overwhelmed with the necessity to complete all necessary paperwork. For this reason, businesses must have a system that better assimilates drivers, dispatchers and the repair shop.

Fleet Maintenance Software

Technological advances have brought much convenience to businesses, especially with the present maintenance and repair scheduling challenges. There are computerized software systems available on the market that can be installed in existing vehicles. These systems can help keep up with maintenance and repair record-keeping in order to keep the bucket truck up-to-date with the record requirements of the CSA.

There are software systems available that allow companies to easily track problems on the road or at the work site and schedule repairs before the bucket truck even returns to the company's home area. These programs allow the driver to fill out an electronic inspection report form regarding the bucket truck. The system also prompts the driver to ensure the entire checklist has been filled out completely as required by CSA.

This information is then delivered electronically to the central maintenance system which will automatically generate a notice of repair for the specific equipment if there are any safety-related issues. With this automation, worries can be eliminated and companies can be assured that there are no miscommunications between drivers, dispatchers and technicians. Also, all the paperwork of the repair requirements is secure, which eliminates the risk of losing it in the process.

Keeping up with the new DOT safety rules and using the technological advancements designed for bucket trucks is very useful. It may be helpful to check with the repair shop used by the business to discuss with them how to work together with the business to abide by the FMCSA and DOT guidelines!

Christopher M. Hunter is an expert in commercial specialty trucks. Click here to find out more about Used Bucket Trucks.


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