Heavy haul trucks take a significant amount of abuse. While these vehicles are durable, they are machines made of moving parts & materials that do degrade over time. They need ongoing maintenance by certified and experienced professionals. These are some of the aspects to keep in view for successful truck maintenance:
1. Keep An Eye On Wear And Tear
Brake failure is an incredibly common cause for trucking accidents, and these can result in damage to the vehicle as well as third party lawsuits and injury. The best way to avoid this is to get routine truck maintenance done. While the maintenance schedules will vary based on how many miles the truck has seen, its best to get truck maintenance and inspections done at every oil change.
2. Brake Repairs
The brakes tend to wear over time. You would need to replace them regularly. The shoe indicators that are built into the brake pads will tell you when you need to replace them. During the brake pad replacements, you should also get the brake bushings, pins and brake pins replaced. When you are changing out the brake shoes, get the drums replaced too, as they tend to develop heat cracks and wear down. The other thing is to grease the slack adjusters, as well as grease and check the S cams, and inspect the hoses and linings.
3. Get Engine Testing Done
Drivetrain and engine problems can cause more issues in trucks than you can imagine. Some signs of trouble include a decrease in power, loss of oil pressure, and excessive smoking. All of these indicate an unhealthy engine, and you need to get it looked into right away. Certified technicians will diagnose the problem correctly and carry out the required repairs. Some checks include periodic compression tests, monitoring the exhaust temperature and engine coolant as well as keeping an eye on the boost and oil pressures.
4. Body Problems And How To Prevent Them
Body corrosion is one of the major reasons why particular trucks have to be retired earlier than the others. Chemicals and salts from the roads are the common causes of rusting.
If your vehicles ply roads during wintertime where the roads are treated for ice and snow, the truck body will likely start to corrode over time.
While you can’t prevent rust buildup, you can extend the life of the truck by slowing down the process. Some things you can do include- fix all paint chips in the body that are bigger than a pen tip. Clean the truck’s exterior every fortnight as that helps to prevent the contaminants from eating into the paint and coating. The best way to protect the door locks from moisture is to spray a lubricant like WD-40 liberally. Wash your truck thoroughly after driving in rain, sleet, or snow. The road salt in the snow or sleet corrodes the chassis, while the rain collects deposits like pollutants that damage the truck’s surface finish.
5. Fix Electrical System Issues On Time
Newer trucks rely a lot on electrical systems to keep their engines running at top efficiency at all times. The more modern vehicles use various sensors and many bundles of wires to communicate with the onboard computer to ensure the engine keeps turning. Specialized truck maintenance centers know how to diagnose & maintain all the electrical components of trucks accurately.
Replace all worn and old parts like worn belts, etc. on time. Make sure that your truck is lubed using high-grade grease. Make the oil changes at the prescribed times, as per manufacturer recommendations. Monitor the coolant system for signs of malfunction and get that fixed without delay. This regular maintenance will help ensure that your truck stays in good condition at all times.