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The primary mission of motor transport companies is to support combat units engaged in winning the battle. Deadlined equipment is not conducive to the accomplishment of this mission. While limited repairs and higher echelon maintenance are expected, problems can be greatly reduced by properly operating and caring for the equipment. Other measures include conducting timely preventive maintenance, supervising preventive maintenance, and promoting competition to realize maintenance standards and reward achievement.

This chapter discusses preventive maintenance responsibilities. It should be used as a guide for commanders, platoon leaders, vehicle and equipment operators, and other responsible personnel. Because preventive maintenance requires the use of POL and hazardous materials, SOPs must cover proper storage and disposal, spill response, and compliance with applicable environmental regulations.

9-1. RESPONSIBILITIES. The object of preventive maintenance is to avert equipment failure by finding and fixing minor problems before major defects occur. The company commander is responsible for preventive maintenance on all organic equipment. Platoon leaders, aided by platoon sergeants and squad leaders, are responsible to the company commander for supervising preventive maintenance, providing technical advice and assistance to operators performing preventive maintenance, and reporting required repairs that are beyond the scope of preventive maintenance. The equipment operator is responsible for doing the required preventive maintenance on his equipment.

Where possible, all operators should be permanently assigned to their equipment. No one else should operate the equipment except in an emergency.

a. Platoon Leader. The platoon leader is the cornerstone of the total maintenance system. He is responsible to the company commander for user maintenance on all equipment in his platoon. This includes the platoon's weapons, tentage, protective masks, and communications equipment, as well as vehicles. His leadership ability and job performance greatly affect unit mission effectiveness.

It may be difficult for the platoon leader to establish a rigid maintenance schedule covering all his equipment. Maintenance depends largely on the needs of each piece of equipment.

The following guidelines can help the platoon leader with his maintenance responsibilities. These tips apply to all equipment:

  • Clearly define what is expected from each platoon member.
  • Explain what maintenance each member is responsible for.
  • Delegate supervisory responsibility for preventive maintenance to the platoon sergeant and squad leaders.
  • Establish high standards of maintenance and spot-check the equipment.
  • Recognize special effort with incentive awards.
  • Have the operator present during technical inspections.
  • Have the platoon sergeant and squad leaders present during supervised maintenance periods.
  • Ensure all operator maintenance is done before equipment goes in for unit-level maintenance.
  • Have the operators assist mechanics during unit-level maintenance.
  • Check areas of responsibility to ensure members of the platoon are doing their jobs.

b. Operator. Preventive maintenance performed by the operator is accomplished according to the -10 TM. It includes cleaning, inspecting, servicing, preserving, lubricating, adjusting, and spot-painting. It also includes making minor replacements that can be done with hand tools in the BILI for the equipment. These services are generally done IAW the following schedule:

  • Before-operations service includes checks and services done at the start of each day's operation, IAW the -10 TM for the vehicle. This ensures that the equipment is operational and safe and has not been damaged since the last service.
  • During-operations service includes checks and services done during vehicle operations. The operator observes the gauges and listens for unusual noises. He looks for malfunctions and, if possible, corrects them. He reports on return faults he cannot correct. If continued operation would damage the equipment or cause personal injury, the vehicle should be shut off and recovered.
  • After-operations service is usually done at the close of each day's operation. The operator should clean, refuel, and service the vehicle as needed and report any faults he cannot correct to the squad leader.
  • Scheduled service includes most of the before- and after-operation services. Operator services, during-operations services, and certain other services are done less frequently. Weekly and monthly services are types of scheduled services.

9-2. MAINTENANCE CHECKLISTS AND REFERENCES. See Appendix T for a checklist to use as a general guide in inspecting semitrailers. More information may be found in the following references:

  • Operator's manual. The operator's manual (-10 TM) for the specific piece of equipment is the primary guide to use in preventive maintenance. This manual gives information needed to find and fix problems discovered during preventive maintenance checks or equipment operation. It lists possible problems, explains what may cause them, and suggests how to correct them. Problems not covered in the -10 TM should be reported to unit maintenance.
  • DA Pamphlet 738-750. This publication contains detailed information on the forms and records used to document maintenance services.


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