Are Vehicle Maintenance Costs Busting Your Budget? Why Construction Companies Should Make Transmission Health A Priority


The transmission of every vehicle is tasked with transferring the power produced by the engine to the axles and wheels in order to propel the automobile forward or backward, as needed. With such a huge task to perform, especially in vehicles used by building contractors and construction companies, a failing transmission can impact completion times for jobs, create difficulties in moving labor or materials from site to site, or even pose serious risks to the workers who operate them.

If your small construction business is dependent on the use of safe, reliable vehicles, the following information can help improve and prolong the health of the transmissions in your company's trucks, vans, and cars.

Insist that all operators abide by approved usage policies

Misuse by employees can increase the stress on complicated vehicle parts, such as transmissions, and create unnecessary repair costs that negatively impact your operating budget. Common vehicle misuse issues that are particularly damaging to vehicles used by small construction companies include: 

  • driving too fast for road conditions
  • overloading the vehicle or positioning the load where it will create unnecessary stress on the drive train
  • pulling trailers or equipment that are too heavy for the transmission's load or weight range ratings
  • operating the vehicle with tires that are unevenly or incorrectly sized 
  • excessive, unnecessary stops and starts that can place sudden stress on the vehicle's transmission

To avoid this and other types of misuse that can damage the transmissions and drive trains of your company's vehicles, owners should consider establishing usage guidelines and enforcing their use by every employee. When instituting this type of policy change, it is best to provide all workers with an opportunity to receive any training needed to help ensure their compliance.   

Make periodic inspections part of the normal work day

In addition to making sure that the vehicles necessary for your contracting or construction business are operated carefully to avoid unnecessary wear and tear, it is also important to carefully monitor the vehicle's condition for any sign of a developing issue. To do this, business owners should insist that transmission fluid levels be checked periodically and topped off as needed. 

A record of this information, as well as any potential issues noted by the operator should be immediately entered into a dated computer or paper file or log. Some of these issues include: 

  • vehicle warning light activation on the dashboard
  • difficulties in shifting, especially when pulling or hauling 
  • unusual shift patterns, such as an automatic transmission that takes too long to shift while accelerating
  • noises during the shifting process, such as whining or grinding
  • signs of leaking fluid, such as fluid accumulation under the vehicle when parked several hours or overnight
  • signs of overheating, such as smoke or excessive heat emanating from the transmission, rear end, or drive train of the vehicle

Employees should be instructed to bring issues of this type to the attention of their manager or the person in charge of handling the company's vehicle maintenance so the vehicle can be checked before being put back into service.

Service transmissions regularly to keep them in optimal condition

Vehicle transmissions, especially those that are used frequently in a work setting benefit from regular inspection and servicing. During operation, the interior components inside transmissions can experience wear that allows tiny fragments of metal parts and other debris to accumulate in the transmission's fluid and in the filter that is meant to capture them. If the fluid and filter is not removed, and cleaned or replaced periodically, these particles can build up in the fluid, creating additional friction and wear on the moving parts inside the transmission case. Overtime, this can lead to transmission problems, including failures.

Having your company's vehicles inspected and serviced regularly by a certified transmission repair professional, like one from Huntington Beach Transmissions, is the best way to make sure that wear issues are reduced and that any problems can be addressed quickly before they impact your company's schedule or budget.  


6 November 2017

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