You have a job to do and a deadline to get the work done whether you drive a big rig with a trailer, a box truck, or a cement mixer. There is no time for a breakdown. In our experience as a company that offers road service for trucks, many of our customers have neglected to use some of the seven secrets to maintaining their truck’s road-ready condition. You’ll complete the task on time and develop a reputation as a dependable driver if you take the time to do these. You might even receive a raise. These advice will even result in cost savings if you are an owner operator.
1. In particular, before a long drive, check your oil frequently. Trucks are robust machines that require oil like we need quality coffee. Add more oil if you notice it is running low. You shouldn’t delay this because you’re pressed for time. Later, it will cost you time and money because it will come back to haunt you.
2. Make sure your radiator fluid level is adequate before a long drive. Don’t just focus on the spill bottle. Check the fluid level visually after removing the radiator cap. Developing this habit will enable you to detect small leaks before you travel. Fill up on fluids as needed to eliminate the risk of overheating. To avoid potential engine damage in the future, fix any leaks you notice right away, especially ones that are small but persistent.
3. At the very least once per week, check the pressure in your tires. Weather variations and highway use at high speeds both affect tire pressure. To maintain your tires’ optimum performance level, check your tire pressure frequently. By doing this, you can identify a slow leak and fix it before getting stuck on the road. Underinflated tires reduce fuel efficiency, increase truck wear and tear, and make steering more challenging. When driving over potholes, tires that are overinflated are more likely to sustain damage and punctures. To determine the proper tire pressure level for your truck, consult the owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s website.
4. Do not park your truck sideways on a hill so that one side is higher than the other if you are operating a vehicle with dual fuel tanks. The fuel in the tank on the high side of the truck will flow into the other tank if you do this. Due to the truck’s uneven fuel tanks, the fuel intake system will draw in air rather than producing a vacuum to pull fuel into the engine when you turn the key. The truck will present as if it is running low on fuel. If you must park on a hill, position yourself so that the hill slopes forward rather than backward.
5. Before driving away if your truck has been stationary for a few days, check the fuel vent. The fuel vent is a popular place for wasps and other insects to nest, which can block it and make the truck appear to be running low on fuel.
6. It’s time to have your brakes checked if you notice that as you slow down or stop, your steering wheel starts to vibrate. In addition, if you hear squealing as you stop, that is also accurate. Make a note to remind yourself to get this done as soon as your load is delivered. Deal with this now rather than waiting until the brakes actually malfunction, and you’ll save time and money in the process. More affordable than replacing the entire brake system are brake pad and rotor replacements.
7. Keep a small notebook in your truck. List the make and model of your truck, the size and load weight of its tires, and its make and model on the first page of the document. Utilize the notebook to record truck maintenance concerns so you can stay on top of any repairs the truck might require. You can prevent having a breakdown while driving by keeping this information in a convenient place. Because the technician will know what parts are required and be able to deliver them more quickly to the work site, having good records can also help you get quicker road service when you need it.
Use these seven tips to maintain the functionality of your rig.