For the trucker, the owner-operator, and the transport company, the technical condition of the truck is a priority:
- A lot of money may be required in the future for repairs.
- It is an opportunity to work and earn money.
- It is insurance against accidents on the road at the most inopportune moment.
However, many ignore the maintenance of the excellent condition of the truck, believing that while the problem is not visible, it means there is no problem. However, this is a mistake, which can then be costly. Many life hacks allow you to extend the life of a truck or draw your attention when there is a breakdown. Because you understand for sure that a small problem now can become huge over time. Maintaining a fully serviceable truck is much more profitable than repairing a hopelessly broken one.
For truckers, their truck is like an extension of the arm. And it needs to be taken care of and helped. How to do this, we will tell you in this article.
Tips for Vehicle Maintenance
The most basic minimum you can do is conduct a regular inspection of the truck. For example, you have completed the work with the reefer loads and checked the serviceability of critical parts of the truck to notice the problem or ensure that everything is fine.
You also need to regularly undergo a diagnostic inspection of the parts to ensure everything is in good condition. This will help identify potential problems in the early stages when the breakdown can be easily and quickly fixed. If you are a trucker working for a transport company, technical and diagnostic inspections are carried out regularly. But if you are a freelancer or an owner operator, then this is your responsibility. This can also become your headache if you do not detect the problem in time.
Only some people can independently perform diagnostics only if they have the education and skill of a mechanic. Therefore, you will need to go to a truck specialist who has both the knowledge and the equipment to test the truck and its parts. However, there are those checkpoints where you can track yourself and prolong the life of your vehicle. What are they?
• Changing the oil in the truck
Thanks to the oil, your truck can work, so this is one of the most important parts of our article. The engine parts rotate and work smoothly thanks to the oil, but it can get dirty due to exhaust gases and heating. At this point, your main assistant will be the operating manual of your truck, which indicates how often you need to replace the oil and how to check its quantity/content.
• Checking the air filter
It works as a purifier and air for your engine. However, it can get dirty over time. This means that your engine will overheat, spoil the oil, use more gasoline, and go further down the list. In the most advanced cases, this can lead to the engine simply stalling. Therefore, check it and clean it when you see dirt. This will save you money on repairs, gasoline, and oil change.
• Maintenance of brake pads
Here the rule is straightforward; every trucker knows it: the more often you brake, the more often you will have to change the brake pads. You must understand that this is a significant part of the truck, which often suffers because of the car’s weight and driving intensity. Most brake pads are equipped with a built-in wear indicator so that you can look at their condition without the help of a specialist. Also, an important fact for those who might not have known it – squeaking brakes does not always mean that there is a problem. They either have to creak, or they’re just dirty.
If you ask many people in accidents, they will advise you to check the truck’s tires. They wear out unmarked and many truckers are limited to visual inspection from the side. But believe us, such negligence can cost expensive repairs and even life. The tires also have built-in wear indicators so that you can monitor them at least daily. How to do it? There are protrusions between the tread, and when the tread is on the same level with these protrusions, then you need to change the tires to new ones. You also need to look very carefully at the tires’ appearance to see if there are bubbles, defects, or tread wear.
By doing these simple actions, you are doing yourself a great favor. Therefore, remember that the truck operation manual is your best friend and helper. In some matters, observing more actively than showing indifference is better.
But sometimes, something fails that cannot be reached and that an ordinary person cannot check. And a quick repair is required. You know when it happens. The truck makes strange noises; the engine starts up; something is wrong with the exhaust pipe, etc. In this case, you do not need to turn on the radio louder and pretend nothing is happening. It is necessary to come to the mechanic immediately and fix the malfunction. If the indicator on the dashboard tells you to check the engine, check it. If you have a brakes or acceleration problem while driving, check the truck.
Constant inspection of the truck is like insurance. You want to avoid paying it, especially when nothing happens. But we do it because we understand that we can save money in the future during big health problems. It’s the same with a truck. You can give great money for repairs because you need to be more active in checking the tires and brakes. But why, if you can monitor the condition of spare parts constantly and save money?
There are other advantages. You save money not only on repairs but also on fuel consumption. And this is very important for owner-operators and transport companies, who value profits and expenses. You will also save time on repairs. You understand that in case of problems, the truck can be repaired for weeks. And you sit at home all this time, waiting and losing profit/salary. I wouldn’t like that. Therefore, it is easier to devote 15 minutes a day to the truck and not worry about anything.