Daily check of your truck
How does Swinkels Family Brewers handle this?
It makes sense to check that trucks are working properly before driving off. Here at DAF, we recommend carrying out specific daily checks on your truck, but what does that mean in practical terms? What if you are responsible for an entire fleet? We talked to Frans-Jozef, fleet manager at Swinkels Family Brewers. Read on to find out how he coordinates the daily checks on the company's trucks.
Procedure for daily truck checks
Frans-Jozef explains the daily routine at Swinkels Family Brewers: "Our drivers check their own trucks every morning before they set off. They inspect the tyres and the lights; they walk around the truck and look underneath. Are there any puddles of liquid, or can they see anything out of the ordinary? Finally, they check the dashboard; this has a readout of almost everything, which makes the daily check a bit easier than it used to be in years gone by. Nowadays, this daily check takes each driver no more than 10 to 15 minutes."
Why is a daily check important?
Frans-Jozef: "We do not have many problems with our DAF trucks. They are solid vehicles that are not prone to simply breaking down. However, safety is a priority at Swinkels Family Brewers, so the daily check is non-negotiable. We made a conscious decision to let our drivers carry out the checks. They know their own trucks better than anyone else and they notice any little noises immediately or if something does not feel right. Carrying out daily checks means that we know straight away if something is wrong, or might be. We do not take any risks."
Maintenance contract with the dealer vs in-house garage
What happens if a truck fails the morning check? "If it is something minor like a faulty bulb in the cabin, then the driver passes this on to the planner, who then schedules an appointment with our regular dealer. If it is something more important, then we take it there straight away", Frans-Jozef explains. "We used to have an in-house garage, but that is no longer efficient because it takes a lot of expertise and equipment to fix the advanced trucks quickly. We switched to a maintenance contract at De Burgh DAF dealers in Son around 12 years ago and that arrangement works really well."
The DAF dealer network
"De Burgh gives us excellent service and we have a lot of contact with them. They handle the annual MOT and servicing, and of course they take care of any repairs that are needed. They are just around the corner from us and that works really well. If a driver has truck problems elsewhere in the country, then they always look after us properly as well. We can always rely on any DAF dealer, wherever we are. Our trucks only operate in the Netherlands and the dealer network here is excellent. All of the arrangements are taken care of and we never have to wait for long. The DAF service organisation is really well thought out."
The ultimate tip for fleet managers
Frans-Jozef has another good tip for fleet managers: "Always get your drivers involved! Every now and again we sit down with our drivers and find out what they think about things. What are their requirements for a truck? What could be improved and made more efficient? They spend their days driving, so I see them as the experts. Lots of the guys also have a real soft spot for DAF. Some drivers are so protective of their particular truck that they would prefer it to be off the road while they are on holiday. They want to be sure that anyone who drives it while they are away is just as careful with it as they are. When trucks are treated like that, you can hardly see that they have been used after ten years of driving."
Want to know more about daily checks?
If you come across something unexpected during the daily check, or if you have any questions, then please do not hesitate to contact us. Our mechanics have years of experience in carrying out checks.