They say prevention is better than a cure, this also applies in trucking. The best and easiest way to avoid costly repairs to your truck fleet is having preventive measures in place. Sometimes it’s a good idea to go back to basics of truck maintenance. By ensuring these consistent checkups, you guarantee your truck will pass road checks, traffic regulations and drivers’ road measures.
The Driver’s Basic Truck Inspection
Drivers are the most important people in the maintenance of the truck. The experience the condition of the truck daily and are the first responders to the care and maintenance of their vehicle.
New drivers should be trained on how to properly inspect the vehicle and document any pre- and post-trip records of inspection, ensuring that any concern is reported immediately to the management for immediate action.
The following are basic truck maintenance every driver should know.
- Windshields and lights
- Brakes, shocks, and suspension
- Oil changes, engine fluids, and transmission fluids.
- Tires and air hoses regular checkups.
All drivers should be supplied with a pre- and post-inspection checklist in order to track the regular maintenance issues. This helps management know the truck maintenance pattern, and if there’s a recurrent maintenance need in a certain truck or any regular reports regarding maintenance from the same driver, it means that deeper training is a need or there’s a need for proper truck inspection.
The drivers must also review the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance Guidance Section.
Scheduled Truck Maintenance
Truck fleets should have a scheduled maintenance check that’s periodically set based on the trailer and truck mileage, age, and type of the vehicle. Maintenance schedule calendars should be formulated based on the kind of cargo that the truck ferries and truck additions. Regular maintenance reduces the road safety risks and increases the lifespan of your truck.
The scheduled truck maintenance include:
- Inspection of brakes
- Tire checking for proper inflation
- Steering inspection and wheel alignment
- Electrical and lighting system inspection
Truck maintenance requires a well-dedicated calendar to trace all the truck regular service in your fleet. Maintenance responsibilities should be assigned to one member of staff by the management to ensure follow-through from the last maintenance to current maintenance and also per mileage. For a better and formulated maintenance program, you can check on the government fleet article on a preventive truck maintenance program.
Preparing for the Season
Seasonal changes always come with extra expenses that we must adapt and include in our budget. During winter, the engine should be repaired with fuel additives, check chain readiness to ensure that it is imperative for snowy roads and ensure that all heaters are in good condition.
For the summer season, ensure that you check the clutch conditions to prevent engine essential parts from overheating, air conditioners and truck blow fans also should be in good condition.
Check properly for rusting and ensure that you replace the worn-out parts. You can view the manufacturers manual for any recommendations in preparation for seasonal changes.
Basic truck maintenance and scheduled services are the most important measures in ensuring truck safety and general road requirements. The management, drivers, truck manufactures all must combine efforts to make sure that the truck on the road is legal, safe and ready to move without any challenge. Most road accidents and major expenses emanate when the vehicle falls out of repair. So well maintenance planning helps deflect these challenges and helps the vehicle last for long.
We’d love to know what tasks you perform for keeping your fleet up to date. Leave us a comment below!
We’ve also done a short article on car maintenance basics.