CHAPTER 21

TRUCK MALFUNCTIONS: DIAGNOSING & REPORTING

 

Introduction

 

You will find the significance of identifying problems and reporting them, as well as your part in troubleshooting, in this chapter. You should be aware that you are the expert on your vehicle. You can keep yourself and your vehicle on the road and in working order by diagnosing and reporting issues whether they are tiny or minor.

 

Diagnosing and Reporting Malfunctions

 

Driver awareness — You should always be informed of how your vehicles are doing. Your capacity for problem-spotting may be useful in determining the cause of a vehicle issue. Pay attention to your senses as well as warning lights, sirens, and buzzers. Sights, noises, smells, and/or the way the car feels might all point to a possible issue. Anything that does not appear right should be reported to your employer and investigated.

 

Sight — Look at the gauges in your vehicle. Understand what readings are OK and which readings point to a possible issue. When inspecting a vehicle, look out for flaws in every part of it.

 

Sound — Pay attention to any odd equipment noises. Squeaks, squeals, thumps, and rattles may be the first indication of a problem with a vehicle.

 

Smell — Be on the lookout for odd odors, such as burnt rubber, hot oil, or gasoline.

 

Feel — Be alert to any unusual movement, such as vibration or swaying, in your vehicle.

 

Early detection — Early problem detection, reporting to your organization, and having the issue investigated can save you and your business time and money. This is less expensive than experiencing a breakdown or accident.

 

Driver responsibility — You are in charge of driving your vehicle safely since you are a skilled driver. This obligation entails informing your employer of any vehicle difficulties and making sure they are investigated.

 

The corporate policy that you work for will determine your duties when it comes to real maintenance. The majority of businesses want you to fix straightforward issues but do not need or want you to do further fixes. Never try to fix an issue if you do not have the necessary skills, knowledge, or equipment.

 

Mechanic responsibility — Your vehicle's condition must be safe for operation, according to the technician. Your car should be examined after you report a problem, and the necessary repairs should be completed (if applicable).

 

Driver and mechanic responsibility — A driver and technician need to communicate. Your observations while driving may be very helpful in identifying car issues. Working together may help ensure that a vehicle is fixed correctly and effectively.

 

Troubleshooting

 

Vehicle knowledge — When it comes to troubleshooting, having a solid understanding of your vehicle is important. This involves becoming familiar with the systems of the vehicle, where they are, and how they operate (both independently and together).

 

Warning signs — A vehicle will often offer you hints about potential problems. Inconsistent or irregular gauge readings, strange noises (rattling, whining, grinding, etc.), or a dramatic decrease in fuel economy are a few signs to look out.

 

Detection of problems — As soon as it is safe to do so, stop your vehicle if you see a problem. Try to pinpoint the issue's origin if you can. If the issue can be resolved by business policy and your knowledge/experience, do so. Inform your organization if you are unable to resolve it. Make careful to describe what you saw and how the vehicle behaved or reacted. As quickly as you can, get mechanical assistance.

 

Reporting Requirements

 

Post-trip inspection — A driver must create and sign a written driver vehicle inspection report (DVIR) for each vehicle they run each day as per Section 396.11 of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). Any issues with the vehicle should be noted on this report by the driver.

 

The business is then expected to investigate the issue and decide if repairs are necessary. The technician who examined the issue must then attest on this report that the issue has been resolved or that no remedial action was required.

 

The driver must evaluate the action(s) performed and sign the report confirming the necessary repairs were made before operating this vehicle again.

 

Although the regulations call for this report, it should not be used as a substitute for direct communication with your business and the technician who will be doing any needed repairs. Finding the issue with your vehicle will be made easier if you know what you saw in addition to what you stated on the DVIR.

 

Summary

You have learned the value of identifying and documenting errors, your part in troubleshooting, and the requirements for reporting in this chapter. Remember that you are the expert on your vehicle. You can keep yourself and your vehicle on the road and in working order by diagnosing and reporting issues whether they are tiny or minor. Waiting until the issues are significant/large will cause you to be off the road for an extended length of time, which will cost you and your business money and time.