Let’s start with a definition of predictive maintenance: Simply put,in the trucking world predictive maintenance helps determine what part might fail before it fails. An example would be if you had a fleet of ten trucks and after three years the power steering pump failed on seven of your ten trucks. Well, odds are pretty good that the remaining three will fail soon.

So if you apply a predictive maintenance process you would go ahead and replace the remaining power steering pumps at a convenient time (pretty soon!) rather than experiencing breakdowns, tows and the costs associated with emergency repairs. As such predictive maintenance is performed while your equipment is still functioning properly under normal conditions. One could always apply some common sense to this process as well, if you purchase a 36 month battery, replace it at 30 months or at least test it well before it’s expiration date.

Ideally a shop foreman would combine Preventive Maintenance with Predictive Maintenance and theoretically you would reap the benefits of both worlds:less breakdowns, improved uptime and ultimately running more cost effectively and productively.

If you have a larger fleet there are software programs available that will draw from your historical data to determine what may fail and when. If taken further you can also enter information obtained from manufacturers. You can obtain more information by searching the phrase Predictive Maintenance.