|What is a PDI?
Anyone buying a new vehicle may notice a “PDI” line item on their bill of sale. PDI stands for Pre-Delivery Inspection. It applies to new vehicles. The PDI represents the final inspection that a vehicle goes through before it is delivered to the end customer and registered to travel over the road. The truck, bus or trailer will be examined top to bottom including the paintwork, interior and engine to check for any defects which may have been missed during the manufacturing process. In short, the PDI process helps ensure that a new vehicle delivered to a customer doesn’t come back to the dealership with a problem soon after delivery.
|Don’t new vehicles get inspected at the factory – why do they need to be inspected again at the dealership?
Yes, Manufacturers have their own version of the PDI that they go through before releasing a vehicle from the factory. But the dealer PDI is the all-important final step in the process. No matter how good the manufacturer is, there are always issues that come up – it may be minor but it’s part of a thorough checklist. And in some cases, for newer models especially, there may be issues like air lines routed incorrectly causing wear or electrical harnesses that may be too close to the exhaust pipe. Those are things caught and rectified during a PDI.
What happens during a PDI?
Another very important part of a PDI is checking for damages that may have happened at the factory or while the vehicle was in transit to the dealership. When customers take possession of a new vehicle, there is zero tolerance for any imperfections or damages. The PDI is intended to catch and fix any damages before going to the customer.
Lastly, a PDI can include installation of accessories. The sales rep works with the PDI Technicians to order any additional accessories or modifications that the customer has requested. This could include winter fronts or engine and bunk heaters on commercial trucks and tarps or tire swaps on commercial trailers for example.
|How are new commercial vehicles delivered from the factory to dealerships
While most passenger cars and pickup trucks are transported by rail and truck carrier, larger commercial vehicles are generally driven from the factory they were built at to the dealership where they are sold. Some trucks and even deck trailers can be stacked to allow for the transport of two or three units together. In the case of larger commercial vehicles manufactured in Mexico or the USA, these units are driven or towed to dealerships all over North America including Canada where Maxim Truck & Trailer is located. A commercial bus for example is not stacked or decked. Each bus is driven up to 1,000 miles from a factory in Oklahoma to our location in Central Canada. And new 53-foot semi-trailers get hauled over the road from the manufacturing plant in Indiana over 1,000 miles to our location in Central Canada.
|Who performs the PDI at a Dealership?
PDI’s at Maxim and most other dealerships are performed by mechanics. At Maxim, our commercial PDIs are performed by seasoned journeyman technicians. Further, at Maxim, our PDI Technicians are focused exclusively on performing PDIs, so they are proficient at this important step for new vehicles performing hundreds of PDIs each year.
How much mechanic time is allotted for a PDI?
|Can you opt-out of a PDI to save money?
No. The PDI checklist is a requirement imposed on the Dealer by the Manufacturer. It is meant to ensure the vehicle is completely safe and in good working order prior to delivering it to the customer. Generally, the PDI is a requirement to validate the new vehicle warranty so without a PDI – the warranty may not be valid. And at Maxim, we won’t release a new vehicle to a customer without performing a PDI to ensure it’s completely safe and operational. Following are examples of three PDI Checklists for Commercial Trucks, Commercial Buses and Commercial Trailers. As you can see, the checklists are much more involved for Trucks and Buses than for Trailers which explains the significant difference in mechanic time allotted to each. These are just examples that will vary by Manufacturer and Dealer.
Walk Around Inspection
Under Vehicle Inspection
Inspection Completion & Closeout