Jane Clark

Jane
Clark
VP, Member Services,
NationaLease
81

Jane Clark is Vice President, Member Services for NationaLease. In this position, she is focused on managing the Member Services operation, as well as working to strengthen member relationships, reduce member costs, and improve collaboration within the NationaLease supporting groups. Prior to joining NationaLease, Jane served as Area Vice President for Randstad, one of the nation’s largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Companies, Pro Staff, and Manpower, Inc.

Articles
Brake problems persist, deal with yours before the next safety blitz

The good news is that Brake Safety Day, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Administration’s unannounced inspection, which took place on May 3, 2017, found that 79% of the vehicles inspected had no major vehicle violations.

During the blitz more than 9,500 inspection were conducted — 8,140 in the U.S. and 1,384 in Canada.

Neatness counts in the shop

“A place for everything and everything in its place.” That might be a good adage when it comes to today’s service shop.

Take a look around your service shop or the bays of any outside service provider you send work to. What do you see? Some amount of disorder is to be expected as technicians often have to disassemble components to make repairs and some grease and oil on the floor is a given during the course of normal shop operation.

Making the most of your CSA data

If you are not analyzing the data from roadside inspections reports, you are missing out on a big opportunity to improve your fleet’s maintenance and repair operation.

As you know, Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s safety compliance and enforcement program. The goal, of course, is to prevent commercial vehicle crashes. Violations in the Maintenance BASIC account for a large percentage of overall CSA violations and cover brakes, lighting and tires.

DVIRs play an essential role in reducing service costs

Federal regulations stipulate that drivers preform pre- and post-trip inspections and file Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs) when they find a problem on a truck. What you do with the information you get from DVIRS can have an impact on your service costs.

The DVIR covers a variety of items on a truck including brakes, lights, tires, windshield wipers, mirrors, wheels and rims, and more. It can be completed with pen and paper or via an electronic device.

Protecting your business before and after an accident

Accidents happen. And while nobody likes them, it’s almost impossible to avoid them. But there are things you can do to reduce your risk such as spec’ing vehicles with safety-related options and continuously training drivers in safe driving practices.

There are also things you can do to protect your business in the event of an accident, especially when you are performing your own maintenance and repair.

Choosing the right diagnostic tool

There are lots of options when it comes to diagnostic tools but selecting the wrong one(s) can be a costly mistake.

When evaluating a tool you need to consider the following factors:

  • Initial cost
  • On-going costs
  • Coverage
  • Available training
  • Technical support
  • What it reads

Every tool has good and bad points so the one(s) you select should mesh with your needs as closely as possible.

In-house maintenance: Make sure you look at all the factors

A recent study came out that reported fleets are seeing productivity improvements by bringing maintenance in-house. That likely is true for large fleets that already have shop locations and technicians in areas where large quantities of their trucks are domiciled.

Cooling system maintenance is more important than ever

Proper maintenance of the cooling system has always been important, but with today’s engines running hotter than ever it is even more critical that you maintain your cooling system properly. A compromised cooling system can affect the vehicle’s fuel economy and durability.  In fact, 40% of all engine problems are related to the cooling system problems.

The cooling system has a big job to do. It has to provide heat transfer, prevent failures from overheating, provide freeze protection and inhibit corrosion.  

Becoming an innovative organization

Do you ever wonder how some companies seem to continue to come up with innovative ideas over-and-over-and-over again? Perhaps you imagine they’ve found some magic formula.

The reality is that innovation doesn’t just happen. You need to set up your organization so that it continually fosters innovative and creative thinking.

Tying down cargo securement

Roadcheck 2017 is taking place June 6 through 8. The annual Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance event will see triple the number of inspections normally completed during a 72-hour period.

This year, as in years past, CVSA is placing special emphasis on a single violation category. For the upcoming safety blitz, it will be cargo securement. Inspections are not limited to this area, but as we know, when an inspector finds one thing wrong, he or she is more likely to check other areas of the truck.

Having engaged employees matters

While you may think it is just the latest HR buzzword, studies have shown that there are a number of benefits to having engaged employees — ones who are committed to your company and its goals.

Those benefits include:

  • Reduced employee turnover
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved customer retention
  • Increased profits

Employee engagement is more than employees who are happy; engaged employees give their best effort every day and go above-and-beyond, taking initiative to solve problems for your customers.

Measuring shop productivity

Do you know how productive your shop is? I mean really know, because you are measuring things like dwell time, actual repair time, and rework/come backs, or whatever key performance indicators are important to your operation?

Without hard data it is nearly impossible to know just how well your shop and technicians are doing. If you are not currently measuring shop and technician productivity, you should consider doing so.

Make sure wheels are aligned from beginning

Wheel alignment is critical to tire life. Proper alignment decreases irregular tire wear and improves tire mileage by decreasing rolling resistance.

According to the Truck-frame & Axle Repair Association website, toe error can shorten tread life by 25% and correct vehicle alignment will improve fuel mileage by one-half to one mile per gallon. Pretty impressive statistics.

Trend data improves fleet operating costs

The data that comes off a truck’s sensors has proven invaluable in improving the vehicle repair process. The fleet owner not only receives notification of fault codes, but also often gets an indication of just how serious the problem is. This allows him to make decisions about when and where to get the asset repaired. It also means that not all trucks need to be brought in immediately, depending on the nature of the problem.

Technician competitions foster excellence

The Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) is known for its commercial technician skills competition called SuperTech.  The two-day event features a qualifying round that consists of a three-part written test and some hands-on skills challenges.  Day two is a hands-on skills challenge where only a select group of technicians from the previous day are chosen to participate.

Winning the competition is quite prestigious and brings a lot of attention to the high level of skill needed to be a truck technician today.

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