A Commitment to Semi-Truck Maintenance Saves the Life of the Truck and Life on the Highway

by Andrew R. Young | January 7th, 2012

Credit goes out to Land Line Magazine’s author Jeff Barker for his article featuring OOIDA Member Ray Kennealy for owning a Freightliner that he has driven for over 18 years.  During that time he has logged more than 3.1 million miles with the same rig.  Mr. Kennealy’s secret is a commitment to maintenance that includes “thorough pre-trip and post-trip inspections every time he uses his truck.”

Performing maintenance checks and identifying minor problems before they become major breakdowns can save money by saving the life of the truck.  Meticulous inspections allow the truck driver to avoid costly breakdowns requiring expensive tows, days off-the-road, and costly repairs.  Regular inspections, maintenance, and properly documenting both will also help prevent the truck from being tagged out-of-service for Federal Code Violations.  Most important, regular inspections and timely maintenance can prevent equipment failures that could cause accidents producing serious injuries or fatalities.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “it is necessary for a motor carrier to generate an additional $1,250,000 of revenue to pay the cost of a $25,000 accident, assuming an average profit of 2%.”  Direct costs of an accident include: injury(s), driver medical costs, cargo damage, vehicle damage, loss of revenue, administrative costs, effect on the cost of insurance, and towing costs.  Indirect costs include: lost customers or contracts, lost time at work, the cost of hiring a replacement driver, damaged equipment downtime, replacement rental vehicle, accident reporting, medical costs, and poor public relations.

Conscientious inspections provide for the safety of the truck driver and for all highway motorists. Mr. Kennealy is quoted in the article as stating, “the last thing I would want to do is place myself and my truck in a bad situation where I could total my truck or, worse yet, lose my life.”  Not just truck drivers, but all motorists, should follow Mr. Kennealy’s example.  A commitment to maintenance saves money and the life of your vehicle, and can even save lives on the highway.

Authored by: Trial Attorney / Truck Attorney – Andrew R. Young, Esquire – Class A CDL License