ExecutiveChronicles | A Compact Guide To Commercial Truck Maintenance | Unlike other vehicles, commercial trucks are usually used to transport heavy items across hundreds to thousands of miles now and then. Because of this, it’s more critical to regularly maintain these vehicles to ensure they’re in good working condition. This is especially true since driving a commercial truck that’s not in perfect shape may cause problems, including catastrophic road accidents and severe vehicle damage.
Aside from routine maintenance and checkups of your vehicle, this article outlines a compact guide to commercial truck maintenance that you may consider. As a good start, below is a checklist you can follow to ensure your commercial truck keeps running as it should.
Check Fluid Levels
Inspecting the fluid levels of your commercial truck is always a good practice. This includes the inspection of coolant, engine oil, brake, transmission, and power steering fluids, to name a few. Checking fluid levels regularly can help ensure your truck runs smoothly, its longevity, and even fuel economy. Moreover, doing so can give you better insights into your truck’s condition. For instance, should there be a fluid leak, you can have it addressed right away before it becomes a bigger issue.
Part of this also includes changing your commercial truck fluids. Your vehicle’s engine oil, for example. Aside from checking its level, the condition and color of your truck’s engine oil are also considerations to look out for. If the oil has a darker color or grainy texture, it may be time for an oil change. This preventive maintenance can also allow you to remove the oil sludge and engine wear particles. It’s an essential maintenance task for commercial trucks because an excessive and prolonged buildup of dirt and grime can adversely affect the engine’s performance in the long run.
Hence, for example, if you have a diesel-powered commercial truck, you need to check the filters, including the diesel particulate filter (DPF), which is designed to get rid of diesel particulate from the exhaust system of a diesel engine. If it’s filled with particulates, clean it with the help of a DPF cleaning machine to extend the engine’s life. However, if you’re unfamiliar with how this machine works, you can check this guide and other online resources to obtain more valuable information.
Having properly functioning brakes is essential in ensuring commercial truck drivers obtain control of their vehicles while on the road. This is especially true if they’re carrying a heavy load.
Regular visual checks of the brake pads’ width before sending the truck for a long trip can be a good start. You can also conduct routine inspections of drum brakes for cracked linings, schedule replacement of brake parts such as springs, bushings, and pins, and check the air compression pressure gauge.
Check Tires Condition
Another vital part of your commercial truck maintenance checklist is inspecting your tires. Like the brake system, tires play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of your truck driver and other motorists on the road. Operating even with minor tire issues can be risky- both in terms of finances and safety.
For this reason, it’s vital to do the following maintenance tasks:
- Examine whether the tires match the wheels
- Check the tire conditions, such as whether there are any cuts, damages, or embedded objects
- Make sure the vehicle has functioning spare tires
- Inspect whether the tires are inflated with adequate air pressure.
Electrical System Inspection
The electrical system of your commercial truck also plays an integral role in keeping your driver and the vehicle safe throughout the trip. When all the electrical wirings are in good working condition, you can ensure that the lights are functioning well, resulting in better road visibility and road safety compliance.
To ensure your truck’s electrical system is properly maintained, it’s vital to do the following maintenance tasks:
- Check the wirings for all the truck lights;
- Replace burnt-out light bulbs or faulty wiring;
- Inspect emergency flashers and license plate illumination.
Other Commercial Truck Maintenance Checklist
Aside from the fundamentals of maintaining your commercial truck discussed above, here are other essential tasks you can do for your truck:
As a commercial trucking business owner, it’s also essential to maintain the vehicle’s interior components to ensure everything is working properly and avoid unnecessary repairs. To make sure the truck’s interior is properly maintained, the following tasks should be considered:
- Inspect the air conditioning system
- Ensure the horn is functioning properly
- Check if the seat belts, gauges, and fans have no damage
- Make sure the warning triangle, reflective jacket, and first aid kit are available and intact
Windshield And Mirror Maintenance
Aside from the interior, maintaining the windshield and mirror of your commercial truck is also essential. These truck components should always be in good working condition to ensure safe driving on the road. Any issues with these parts may cause some visibility issues and increase the chances of a truck accident.
To prevent this from happening, the windshield and the mirror should be maintained by:
- Checking the integrity of the windshield glass
- Inspecting the wiper and window control system to spot any issues
- Examining the side and inside mirrors for any damage
- Replacing damaged windshields or mirrors
Indeed, commercial truck maintenance can be essential to prevent the risk of road accidents, minimize costly repairs and replacements, and ensure the safe transport of goods to customers. Therefore, as a commercial truck business owner, keeping the information mentioned above in mind can be a good start in maintaining your vehicle.
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