Vehicle and Equipment Maintenance
Gore Nitrogen houses a large fleet of vehicles and equipment that are frequently inspected and evaluated. The company is committed to providing the safest, most efficient equipment in the industry. Preventative and routine maintenance is performed on all equipment in order to keep up to date and meet the industry standards and regulations. Several programs have been implemented and are outlined in the Gore Nitrogen Maintenance Program manual. The programs enable the company to monitor and maintain quality equipment. The programs and policies described in the manual include; driver vehicle inspections, annual vehicle inspections, vehicle maintenance, roadside inspections and vehicle breakdown/road repair.
Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services (PMCS)
A-PMCS - Gore Nitrogen routine PMCS is a required inspection and service on all small trailers, specialized and small equipment such as generators, compressors, fuel trailers, etc. This maintenance is scheduled on a monthly or hourly basis depending on the equipment type.
B-PMCS - Gore Nitrogen routine B-PMCS is required to be performed on all tractors and trailers every 5,000 miles. All items designated on the Vehicle Maintenance & Inspection Report (VMIR) must be inspected by qualified personnel and all lubrication points must be lubed. The condition of each item is noted by a check mark for "OK" or an X indicating service is required. All repairs and services noted are completed as necessary.
C-PMCS - The C-PMCS is required to be performed on all tractors every 10,000 miles in conjunction with the 5,000 mile B-PMCS and at 5,000 miles for all pickups. The oil and all designated filters must be changed and all lube points are to be lubricated as designated.
Driver Vehicle Inspections
Gore Nitrogen is committed to following a consistent daily inspection program. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations require commercial motor vehicles to be inspected every day they are operated. The daily inspection procedures performed by Gore Nitrogen drivers and employees help avoid DOT penalties and provide sound basis for an effective maintenance and inspection program. Daily inspection of vehicles helps prevent small problems from becoming big problems.
All drivers, mechanics, and supervisors must know and apply the driver vehicle inspection procedures. Drivers only operate commercial vehicles that have been inspected and deemed safe. Procedures followed during the driver vehicle inspection include the driver pre-trip inspection and the driver post-trip inspection report. During these procedures, any abnormalities are reported immediately and the appropriate steps are initiated to repair problems.
Annual Vehicle Inspection
In addition to a consistent daily program, Gore Nitrogen is committed to following an annual commercial vehicle inspection program as outlined by the Department of Transportation regulations. All equipment items not meeting the minimum standards must be repaired before the vehicle is put back into service.
All vehicles subject to Gore Nitrogen's control must be inspected at least once a year. This includes each vehicle in a combination. For example, for a tractor semitrailer or full trailer combination, the tractor, semitrailer and the full trailer must each be inspected. The components that are to be inspected are listed in Appendix G to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. All vehicles are inspected under strict inspector qualifications and documentation of the inspector qualifications are retained for as long as the inspector is performing inspections for the motor carrier and for one year thereafter. The qualified inspector performing the inspection prepares the annual inspection documentation. The original as well as copies of the report are retained at Gore Nitrogen where the report is retained for a minimum of 14 months as required. The report is also carried within each inspected vehicle and accompanies the annual inspection sticker affixed to the corresponding vehicle.
Systematic maintenance of equipment is an essential element of Gore Nitrogen's transport operation. Part 396 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations requires motor carriers to "inspect, repair and maintain all motor vehicles" under their control. It is the policy of Gore Nitrogen to use a "preventative maintenance " approach with transport equipment.
Section 396 of the FMCSR specifies required vehicle records that must be kept on each vehicle controlled for 30 consecutive days or more. In accordance with this regulation, Gore Nitrogen keeps maintenance records for 3 years containing information based on vehicle identification, make, serial number, year and tire size. In addition, complete records containing information listing repair orders, procedures performed, dates of maintenance and routine inspections are retained for each vehicle.
Also in accordance with Section 396, brake inspections are frequently performed by the company's qualified brake inspectors. Corresponding reports and documents are retained for at least one year prior.
Preventative maintenance (PM) is an attitude and commitment by Gore Nitrogen to get the most out of transport equipment by investing in maintenance on a regular basis, according to planned schedule. The PM policy saves money for a company that is committed to its principles. The philosophy says: "If it's scheduled to be replaced, replace it whether or not it has failed." This methodology is a factor in promoting highway safety (as a well-maintained truck is a safer truck), prolongs the useful life of equipment, reduces unscheduled downtime, and reduces cost related to unscheduled repairs. A good preventative maintenance program lowers repair frequency and lowers overall maintenance cost.
DOT regulations authorize special agents to enter and perform inspections upon a motor carrier's vehicles in operations. It is the policy of Gore Nitrogen to behave in the most cooperative and professional manner if asked to participate in an inspection. All results of a roadside inspection are reported to the Maintenance Supervisor and documents are retained at Gore Nitrogen.
Vehicle Breakdown and Road Repair
The goal of Gore Nitrogen is to minimize breakdowns and repairs. However, breakdowns do occur from time to time. Should there be a breakdown, Gore Nitrogen has an implemented procedure that all drivers follow based on Section 392.22 of the Department of Transportation. Any and all breakdown instances are documented and reported. All reports are retained by the Maintenance Supervisor at Gore Nitrogen.