Fleet Vehicle Maintenance

When you are transporting live cargo, like chicks or pheasants, the importance of vehicle maintenance can’t be over-emphasized.

You get a flat tire or encounter a fuel problem on the road, and it’s an hour or two wait for repair help, that’s an inconvenience. If you have that problem with a cargo of 10,000 MacFarlane pheasants – that’s a catastrophe.

Our logistics and maintenance supervisor keeps on top of vehicle repairs, preventative maintenance and mileage tracking. We’ve got 27 licensed vehicles, spread over five farms, as well as other implements including tractors, gators, ATVs, and manure spreaders.

We keep our fleet current. Last year we purchased a Kenworth, and a new Mercedes Sprinter. We use the Sprinters for chick deliveries – we use half-ton pick-ups as our duty trucks on the farms. The Kenworths have a sleeper berth so one driver can sleep while the other drives, which makes for very efficient delivery and turn-around times.

When we get a different vehicle, new or used, our maintenance supervisor does pre-trip work on the vehicle. As we’ve found out, even the ‘new’ vehicles could have some glitches that need to be attended to before we trust them on the road with our drivers and a load of pheasants. Pre-trip checks have uncovered leaking seals, broken leaf springs, flat tires, and coolant leaks.

We use a tracking board to record miles on a vehicle and preventative maintenance like oil change dates. We also keep a spreadsheet of all repairs, no matter how small.

Seven of our 10 fleet trucks have GPS systems. Customers getting live birds need precise locations when trucks are coming and GPS is great for that – and also to monitor fuel mileage. We can use the fuel mileage data combined with vehicle speed to get some great information to use for future vehicle buys. The GPS is also a great tool for keeping an eye on electrical or mechanical issues.

Keeping our fleet in top shape keeps our drivers and our cargo safe.

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Vehicle Maintenance

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