The Do’s and Don’ts of  
Fleet and Rack Maintenance  
o glaziers follow best mainte-  
nance practices for their fleets?  
USGlass magazine spoke with  
several glass truck and carrier man-  
ufacturers to get the scoop on what  
glass companies should and shouldn’t  
be doing in order to maximize the lon-  
gevity of their fleets.  
. Do Routine Inspections  
According to John Weise, president  
of F. Barkow Inc. in Milwaukee, setting  
a monthly reminder to inspect carriers  
toward establishing a maintenance  
routine. “We recommend putting it in  
and trucks) should be the first step  
writing on your calendar the first of  
every month,” he says. “You schedule  
your mortgage and monthly bills, so  
Schodorf suggests completing a routine trouble-shooting of all the hardware why not include your carriers?”  
on glass racks every six months.  
. Don’t Forget the Bolts  
Exactly what should glaziers be  
routinely inspecting? Weise weighs  
in. “Check the hardware of your glass  
racks once a month to make sure road  
vibration hasn’t loosened anything;  
make sure the running lights are func-  
tional; make sure you’re not missing  
any [hardware] pieces, and just make  
sure everything is tight.”  
Paul Schodorf,vice president of sales  
at Schodorf Truck Body & Equipment  
in Columbus, Ohio, agrees.“We advise  
a six-month routine trouble-shoot-  
ing of all the nuts and bolts to make  
sure they’re tight—there’s a lot in the  
mounting unit that secures [racks] to  
the trucks,”he says.“I would guess that  
95 percent of the glass in the U.S. is  
hauled on trucks and vans. Glass racks  
need to be inspected routinely to make  
sure they’re tight and to make sure  
nothing has become loosened. They’re  
pretty basic creatures.”  
The Extra “Do’s”  
hen it comes to trucks and glass racks, there’s a lot to inspect  
aside from nuts, bolts and fluids. Michael Frett, sales director at  
MyGlassTruck, weighed in on what glaziers should watch.  
. Make sure the rack’s glass protection padding is intact and free of debris.  
If any padding is missing or damaged it should be replaced, and any debris  
should be removed to prevent damage to glass.  
. Inspect the bottom glass support ledge. A damaged or uneven ledge pre-  
vents glass from resting flat against the pads, which could result in damage or  
breakage during transport. If you notice ledge damage or worn pads, replace  
them with a new part.  
. Be sure the front stop is in place and intact. A missing or damaged  
front stop may result in glass sliding forward and possibly breaking when  
you apply the brakes.  
. When securing glass with poles, be sure there is no debris on the portion  
of the rubber cleat that touches the surface of the glass. Any foreign object  
between the glass and the cleat could cause scratches on the glass.  
. Be sure the cleat is snugly tightened against the glass’s surface and  
placed directly across from the padding on the horizontal slat.  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | February 2017  
You schedule your mortgage and monthly  
bills, so why not include your carriers?  
Schodorf adds that he advises cus-  
tomers not to overload the truck, too,  
though it’s “what everybody does.”  
John Weise, F. Barkow Inc.  
5. Do Plan Ahead  
There are preventative actions these  
Michael Frett, sales director at My- check the bolts, check to make sure ev-  
GlassTruck in Glassboro, N.J., has sim- erything is tight and in order.” This, he manufacturers suggest glaziers take to  
ilar advice.“Check that the underbody says, will significantly improve a rack’s help maximize transportation efficiency.  
and top mounts [of the rack] are at- performance and lifespan.  
“Plan ahead when you make a purchase  
because people buy their truck and ex-  
pect the glass rack to be available, but  
If there’s one thing truck and rack we’re a manufacturer, so we need time  
tached securely and tightly to the truck  
and rack. Tighten any loose bolts and 4. Don’t Overload  
replace any that are missing,” he ex-  
plains.“This will prevent the rack from manufacturers would emphasize to to make it,”says Schodorf.This,he adds,  
shaking during glass transport and glaziers, it’s not to overload the truck’s may be helpful in alleviating the loads  
provide better support to the load.”  
weight past capacity and stick to what trucks carry since glaziers won’t have to  
the manufacturer’s guidelines advise. carry them all in one truck or trip.  
Weise suggests purchasing racks in  
. Do Make a Checklist  
“Customers tell us they don’t, but it  
Basic maintenance of a fleet also happens all the time—they need to be the most optimal material available.  
has a substantial role in the life- sure not to overload the gross weight, “We strongly recommend purchasing  
span of a truck. Just as any vehicle, the maximum capacity of the truck,” a stainless steel glass rack instead of an  
routine top-offs and check-ups have Weise stresses.“You have to include the aluminum one because they’re stronger,  
a significant impact on its overall weight of the glass rack, the glass, the more durable, will never rust and last  
driver, the fuel, anything that’s in the much longer.”  
Given the hefty weight most trucks truck has to be accounted for. I know  
carry on a frequent basis, Weise sug- [customers] vi-  
gests regular oil changes.“It may seem olate it all the  
—Katherine Coig n  
basic, but have the oil changed every time. That’s  
,000-5,000 miles,” he says. “Along a big no-  
that same theme, rotate the tires and no.”  
make sure they have adequate tread.”  
The same implications could be said  
for glass racks, as Schodorf points  
out. “The mentality is preven-  
tative maintenance. Just  
like a truck, you have to  
change the oil,fill it with  
gas, check the belts and  
hoses as it gets older;  
and if you have a fleet,  
you probably have a  
checklist of things to  
make sure are working  
properly,” says Schodorf. Weise recommends  
racks: check the ladder, due to the material’s durability.  
Same thing with glass purchasing stainless steel glass racks  
February 2017 | USGlass, Metal & Glazing  

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