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  • Writer's pictureDealerPILOT HR

Equipment inspections aren't just in the shop

Safety inspections are a critical part of your safety program, and equipment inspections are a huge part of that, but are your equipment inspections truly as robust as they should be?

Dealerships generally do a great job of inspecting the shop equipment and taking quick and proactive action to ensure that equipment such as hoists are in good working order, but what about outside the shop?

Equipment such as service vehicles, fire extinguishers, movers and forklifts that are not part of your daily automotive operations are also part of your equipment- and can easily be neglected.

Here are some best practices to review:

  • Make sure you are aware of the requirement timeframes in your jurisdiction so that your inspections are occurring within the required period.

  • Don't forget the "uncommon" or "too common" aspects. Things like forklifts, fire extinguishers, large office equipment and even company vehicles are often not inspected as they should be. Some of these items should have a daily inspection done before use and after shift.

  • Be sure that the equipment is set up for its purposeful use. Is your forklift used outside but has interior tires? Is your service vehicle often in remote areas during the winter but not equipped with the right safety provisions? Do you have a mower or small snow removal equipment that should have seasonal alterations to mitigate the cold/heat of the operator?

  • Always maintain clear, consistent documentation of all inspections. The best way to do this (and know it will be legible when needed) is through an electronic system that houses inspections, asset tracking and safety records.

Did you know that one of the top 10 most common violations that are seen by inspectors is power equipment?

Although not all dealerships will have a forklift, mower or other related equipment, those that do need to ensure that it is operated safely and also be able to provide the documentation to support that. These records include training records, daily pre-use inspections/checklists, and maintenance records.

The key to good record keeping is consistency and clarity. Be sure that your records are completed in full, legible and done in a timely manner, every time.

Some other areas to ensure that you are paying attention to include fire extinguishers, office equipment and company vehicles. Here is a scenario that puts them all together-If you have service vehicles, do you know with absolute certainty that they are equipped with a fire extinguisher that has a current tag, is full of chemical, has no damage, is easily accessed by the driver and has been inspected both in an annual 3rd party inspection and in a routine visual? It is a small thing that can have big consequences.

How is the state of your office equipment? Yes, people also get injured on poorly maintained copiers, binders, mail machines and even the vending machine in your service lounge!

Finally, remember not to get complacent. Filling out the same report on the same equipment day in and day out can lead to inaccurate documents that were completed out of habit instead of a true inspection. This complacency also applies to responding to any identified anomalies. Get repairs done quickly, empower your team to take risky equipment out of service and stay pro-active.

Does this seem daunting? We can help! Ask us about how our team and our system can simplify inspections for you by emailing us at

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