The Long Haul: Preventive Maintenance for your Commercial Truck
The only way to avoid costly repairs as a manager or business owner is to assume responsibility for a preventive maintenance program. This involves regularly scheduled inspection with tests and repairs which will reduce the risk of equipment failure while improving your uptime. Every successful business owner knows that the key to proficiency lies in preventive maintenance which is also a vital safety measure for drivers, shipments and road-sharing traffic.
Despite their size and durability, trucks are also machines made from moving parts and materials that can damage-over-time if these aren’t cared for permanently and diligently. Fortunately, a truck maintenance list ensures that every crucial piece of equipment is examined, replaced or repaired at the right time and nothing gets missed in this process. However, here are a few maintenance tasks that should be done regularly to prevent accidents and expensive breakdowns.
How to schedule your commercial truck’s maintenance?
Truck fleets should get periodic, scheduled maintenance checks based on the truck age, type and mileage. You either use a maintenance calendar whether is software or manual based on the latest truck additions and your company. As previously mentioned, there are various inspection options and scheduling types, but they might depend on your fleet size and age.
Another great way to ensure a great functionality of your fleet is to delegate trustworthy employees to work on proactive maintenance, a dedicated schedule to all trucks in your business fleet. To make things more bearable you can assign maintenance tasks to key members of your company and ensure better performance and timing from last maintenance.
Encourage Drive Inspection
Common truck maintenance is a sure way to avoid accidents and failures. The best way to prevent them is to support driver inspections. Since nobody knows a truck better than its driver, they are considered an interesting part in the truck’s maintenance. Regardless of the nature of your business, your drivers, every pre-trip and post-trip check-up should be registered together with any concerns addressed immediately. It goes without saying that every truck driver must be informed about possible failures and properly trained to face technical failures and inspect their vehicle exemplary.
Prevent Brake Wear and Failure
Preventive maintenance is what makes the difference between life and death since you can avoid failures and stressed drivers. Recent data shows that at least 5% of all truck accidents occur due to faulty brakes. To prevent that, the federal government has implemented high standards and stressed the importance of truck maintenance.
However, such responsibility doesn’t lay only on the drivers alone. Your drivers are legally required to make daily inspections and ensure everything about vehicle is in good condition, but the brake system is something which requires the full attention of a specialist with enough patience to listen for air leaks in the brake chamber, ensure that there are no wrecked or loose parts within the brake system and complete other safety checks.
If a truck owner or management company cannot perform these special inspections due to financial issues, they can apply for a loan to obtain necessary truck finance and schedule essential maintenance that will benefit their business. This is also called a commercial truck loan and provides business owners necessary funding to support repairs, upgrades and other enhancements to the existing vehicle. In many cases, industry operators find it highly beneficial and cost-effective to enlarge the operating life of the through various improvements to its brakes, engine and other such features.
Avoid Engine Problems
Engine problems will take your commercial fleet off the roads as fast as you’ve ever imagined, a reason why many managers and business owners stress the importance of preventive maintenance. This isn’t something they do only for business efficiency but also safety and environmental reasons.
Your drivers and maintenance specialist must be completely aware of possible technical issues such as loss of oil, excessive smoking and a sudden decrease in power. Such symptoms are often related to an unhealthy engine and should be dealt with as soon as possible. But, with regularly scheduled inspections, repairs and tests, you will ensure vehicle maximum functionality, avoid engine problems and tired drivers.
Be Wary of Short Trips and Extended Idling
To make sure your engines function at their maximum capacity you or your staff members should reconsider short trips and extended idling. City driving and other short trips are famous for being engine killers, and if you cannot avoid them, you can surely prepare for them.
It’s advised to ask your maintenance specialist to install a pre-lubber, which delivers oil to crucial parts of the engine before it is activated. Moreover, investing in turbo timers can also work wonders for the engine. A turbo timer will sense how hot the engine is and maintains it activated until it’s cool enough to shut down safely.
Get Your Seasonal Needs Right
Regardless of the season, it’s a wise choice to get your fleet ready for it by implementing preventive maintenance checks and often used equipment on that season. For instance, to winterize your trucks, your maintenance specialists should prepare engines using various fuel additives, make sure the heaters are working at their maximum capacity, and check the chains and tire tread readiness for difficult winter roads. While for summer, a truck’s air conditioners, blow fan and clutch are essential for overall efficiency.
The only sure way to skyrocket your business proficiency would be to invest and protect your truck or fleet with regular maintenance checks. Beside steady equipment and fuel, maintenance is one of the most expensive aspects of the commercial trucks industry. Nevertheless, by simply maintaining a maintenance routine you can avoid lots of expensive unanticipated emergencies. In time you’ll realise that by establishing a well-thought routine, with professional and trustworthy truck maintenance you’ll be doing yourself a favour. After all, is everyone’s dream to boost profits, be more efficient, avoid delays, failures and life-threatening situations and reduce repair-related costs.