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Operator Maintenance Checks

Vehicle Inspections

Federal and State laws require that drivers may not drive a vehicle unless he/she is satisfied that it is in safe operating condition. Prior to using a motor pool vehicle, it is mandatory that the vehicle be visually inspected by the employee utilizing the vehicle. Employees using motor pool vehicles must complete a Motor Pool (Loaner) Vehicle Form (Appendix I) and describe any problems, malfunctions or changes in the condition of the vehicle that were noted. This will ensure that they are not held responsible for subsequent damage to motor pool vehicles.

Pre-Operational Checks

Failure to perform pre-operation checks may result in break downs and/or damage to the vehicle/equipment. An operator/driver is also in a position to detect vehicle deficiencies that cannot be detected by periodic preventive maintenance and inspection procedures. Hours of lost vehicle time could be reduced if each driver would operate vehicles in a caring and cautious manner.

10-Minute Walk - Around Inspection

Operators are responsible for performing a daily walk-around of their vehicles and heavy motorized equipment. In addition, at each re-fueling or at least once a week, a 10-Minute Walk-Around Inspection (Appendix II) should be performed using the approved Form in Appendix II for automobiles and light trucks, which includes the following:

  • Tire and body physical condition
  • Engine inspection (belts, hoses, fluid levels and leaks of any kind)
  • Exterior lights, signals and windshield wipers
  • Interior lights, gauges and horn
  • Windows, windshield wipers, and interior features
  • Miscellaneous (i.e., valid State Inspection Certificate and license plates)
  • Operator's Daily Checklist.

Heavy truck operators must perform a daily inspection and complete the Operator's Daily Checklist (Appendix II). Use of any other forms other than those included in this manual are prohibited unless prior approval from the Transportation Division is granted. Daily inspections include:

  • General condition of power unit
  • Fluids (oil, radiator, battery, hydraulic, transmission, washer..) and belts
  • In-cab condition (lights, gauges, backup alarms, windshield wipers)
  • Exterior condition
  • Transmission inspection
  • Brake inspection
  • Towed unit inspection

Inspection Forms

Inspection forms for motor pool and dedicated vehicles must be filed on a daily basis with the responsible agency supervisor. If operational deficiencies or need for repairs are noted, the supervisor is responsible for submitting a Vehicle Maintenance Repair Checklist Form (Appendix III) to the Transportation Division. A mechanic and/or the Transportation Supervisor will perform a review of the vehicle based on the remarks. Likewise, a Driver's Vehicle Inspection Report (Appendix II) will be completed by STS (transit) bus drivers and an Operator's Daily Checklist (Appendix II) will be completed by Equipment Operators.

Vehicle Maintenance Mechanic Responsibilities

Vehicle Maintenance mechanics will perform the following general service activities:

  • Topping fluids and changing oil
  • Inflating, rotating, replacing and balancing tires
  • Repairing and painting vehicle / equipment bodies and frames
  • Replacing wiper blades, lights, lamps, fuses and mirrors
  • Performing computer diagnostics on electrical and engine systems
  • Greasing and lubricating bearings, joints, fittings, etc.
  • Performing front end alignments, cleaning lines, etc.
  • Repair of transmission, brake, heating and air conditioning systems
  • Sharpening of blades, turning of drums and rotors, etc.
  • Road service repairs for off road equipment (ie STS and Transfer Trailers)
  • Installing tire chains for snow removal operations

User Department and Agency Responsibilities

User departments and agencies will not be responsible for the following:

Building and repairing tire chains for snow removal operations Changing blades and repairing and installing snow plows on vehicles for snow removal operations Installing and removing salt spreaders, greasing spreader bearings daily and cleaning spreaders as necessary and at season's end Preparing plows and salt spreaders for repainting at the end of the snow season Replacing blades on snow plows, loaders, buckets, graders, etc. Normal preventive maintenance activities including oil changes, lubes, tune-ups, etc. Replacing hoses and hydraulic lines Rotating (except for installing spares) and repairing tires

Out-of-Service, Red-Lining or Red-Tagging

Federal and State laws require that vehicles should not be driven unless the operator, mechanic or supervisor is satisfied that it is in safe operating condition. The Division shall not allow or encourage individuals to drive a vehicle or operate equipment that poses a bona fide safety or risk concern. Likewise, the operator has a similar shared responsibility to report any perceived abnormalities or problems to the Transportation Division. To supplement a computerized "red flag" system recommended as a part of this Manual, the Transportation Division Manager, or Supervisor, upon recommendation from the Shop Foreman (certified mechanic) and manufacturer, has the power and authority to place a vehicle or piece of equipment "out-of-service" until all required repairs have been satisfactorily completed and no longer exists. The following provisions are applicable:

  1. Adoption of Federal Standards. The out-of-service criteria contained in Parts I, II and III of Appendix A of the Federal Highway Administration's North American Uniform (NAU) Out-of-Service Criteria (OOSC) published by the Commercial Vehicle Alliance (CVSA) made effective April 1, 2005 shall be incorporated by reference.
  2. Person placing motorized vehicles in an "out-of-service" status shall install an "out-of-service" tag using a nylon tie to the steering wheel. The key to the vehicle shall also be attached to the nylon tie at this time and placed in the Vehicle Maintenance office. The keys shall not be left in the vehicle for safety and security reasons.
  3. The unauthorized removal of the "out-of-service" tag by anyone before the "out-of-service" condition(s) have been corrected may result in corrective / disciplinary action.
  4. Restricted Service Condition. Any motor vehicle discovered to be in a restricted service condition while being operated on the highway may be placed "out-of-service" at the inspection site, or allowed to continue in operation to a repair facility at a distance not to exceed 25 miles at the discretion of the Transportation Supervisor based on recommendation from the mechanic who performed the inspection.
  5. A bus shall be declared out-of-service if the exhaust system is leaking or not discharging at an outside edge of the wheel.