How Do I Carry Out a Preventative Maintenance Inspection?

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Updated 03/08/2023

A Preventative Maintenance Inspection (PMI), also known as a Preventive Maintenance Inspection or a Periodic Maintenance Inspection, is a routine check that must be performed on HGVs and PSVs to remain compliant with their respective licence. All fleet vehicles should undergo regular maintenance to ensure they are roadworthy and safe to drive. However, creating and keeping a schedule can be difficult, especially if you have a large number of vehicles in your fleet.

In this guide, we will explore what happens during a PMI, how to create an effective schedule for routine maintenance, and how you can get the best results from your preventative maintenance inspection. We will also discuss what to do if your vehicle fails its PMI, and how you can create a checklist using our digital fleet management system at AssetGo.

Truck technician working on the inside of a truck

What Happens During a Preventative Maintenance Inspection?

PMIs are carried out by competent professionals who either work externally or internally within your company. They aim to reduce the chance of vehicle failure, which keeps drivers and other road users safe, reduces downtime, and extends the vehicle’s lifespan without the need for costly repairs. During a PMI, a mechanic will carry out a visual inspection of the vehicle, paying attention to areas such as:

  • Brakes
  • Seat belts
  • Lights
  • Electrical system
  • Airbags
  • Suspension

Findings will then be reported to the fleet manager, and the vehicles will either pass their inspection, or corrective maintenance will need to be performed. All elements checked during a planned preventative maintenance inspection should also be monitored daily during your daily walkaround checks. Daily checks can help you prepare for your PMIs by identifying potential issues before they occur. You can find out more about daily checks in our advice centre.

How Do You Create a Schedule for a Preventative Maintenance Inspection?

PMIs need to be carried out on HGVs and PSVs every four to six weeks depending on their age and how many miles they cover in a year. Trailers only need PMIs to be carried out every 12 weeks. Therefore, preventative maintenance work should be scheduled on time to avoid safety issues and to remain compliant with your operator’s licence.

In order to create a schedule that is easy to access and follow, you should ensure you have the right software to help you plan maintenance work accordingly and lay out exactly what maintenance needs to be done. Our fleet management software at AssetGo can create schedules for your drivers and mechanics to follow, as well as checklists that enable PMIs to be carried out effectively. Mechanics, or a maintenance team, can also make note of any repairs carried out and next steps for the vehicle or trailer.

Scheduling preventative and corrective maintenance work is vitally important in decreasing downtime and ensuring your fleet is safe to operate. Paperwork can be hard to access, easily destroyed, and can lead to confusion within your workplace. Accessing your schedules and checklists via an easy-to-use software and app eliminates the need for paperwork, allowing your business to operate efficiently.

Get in touch with us today to find out more about our fleet management system.

How Do I Get the Best Results from a Preventative Maintenance Inspection?

PMIs should always be carried out by a trained, competent individual who either works within your company or for an external source, such as a garage. You must inform the Traffic Commissioner of the identity of this person.

To get the best results from your PMI, they should always be scheduled on time and carried out in an efficient manner. Fleet managers should utilise a DVSA-approved checklist, and mechanics should aim to create detailed reports of the issues identified and the repairs carried out.

Drivers, mechanics and fleet managers alike should utilise a digital PMI system that improves efficiency and allows data to be stored securely. The relevant people within your company should also be trained to use this system to avoid errors. You can request a free demo of our fleet management system today.

Male mechanic inspecting a truck wheel with a clipboard

What Should I Do if my Vehicle Fails its PMI?

PMIs are not the same as MOTs and therefore you cannot technically fail them. The purpose of a preventative maintenance inspection is to check for any defects and make the fleet manager and driver aware. Mechanics will either declare that the vehicle is fit for use, or they will perform corrective maintenance to remedy any issues.

PSVs, HGVs and their attached trailers should not be driven if a safety defect has been identified during either a daily check or a PMI. Once the vehicle has been inspected and passed, it can then be driven.

How Do I Create a Checklist for a PMI?

Preventative maintenance inspection checklists should be created to give fleet managers, drivers and mechanics a clear and concise agenda of what should be checked. Mechanics can then make a note of which parts of the vehicle are safe and which need maintenance.

Paper checklists can be easily damaged and lost, which is why you should consider digital checklists such as our straightforward examples at AssetGo. Our digital PMI checklists can be easily filled out and submitted into a secure CMS database, where they can be accessed quickly by the relevant people within the company.

How AssetGo Can Help

Our streamlined PMI scheduling system at AssetGo can help reduce downtime and store PMI checklists securely, where they can be accessed at any time to check the progress of a PMI and how a vehicle has performed. This can ensure that any issues are swiftly remedied, and your fleet is back on the road in no time.

To find out more about how our PMI, planned maintenance and daily check software can benefit your business, get in touch with our team today.

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