Cargo trucks are one of the strongest commercial vehicles on the road, but they are also the most abused.Despite being built to withstand heavy loads and extreme stress, trucks have their own limitations. Like all machines, trucks need proper car and adequate maintenance from trained professionals.
To maximize the useful life of your trucks, you need to be on the lookout for the following:
Brake failure is one of the most common causes of incidents that result in injuries, vehicle damage, third party claims and lawsuits. Prevent accidents by including the brakes as a part of your regular truck maintenance routine. The best way to keep your brakes in shape is to have them inspected and maintained every time you perform an oil change. Truck brake maintenance includes:
- Greasing of the slack adjusters
- Checking and greasing of the S cams
- Checking linings and hoses
2. Engine and Drivetrain Problems
Avoid costly downtime by being on the lookout for signs of engine trouble such as:
- Excessive exhaust
- Loss of oil pressure
- Decrease in power
- Increase in temperature
If you notice any of these signs you should seek help from a professional for your truck’s engine and determine if a medium duty truck repair is necessary.
3. Body Problems
Corrosion plays a huge role in the early dilapidation of a truck’s body. Some of its major contributors include salt and road anti-icing treatment. It is natural for steel to rust but you can slow down that process and add more years to your vehicle! Here are some practical ways to delay corrosion:
- Keep drains clear of debris
- Wipe door jams to keep them clean and free from moisture, dirt, dust and other particles
- Apply lubricants or penetrating oil (ex. WD-40) on door locks especially during cold weather
- If your truck often runs through snow or rain, have it washed often Snow mixed with road salt can coat your chassis and cause corrosion!
- Wash underneath the frame and chassis often after snow and ice events
4. Spare Parts
When parts break down or wear out, you need to replace them to keep your truck operating. But since truck manufacturers often stop producing parts for older models, you should keep an inventory of parts you will need in the future. This could mean added investment but it can certainly save your vehicle from becoming useless when certain parts become unavailable.
Keeping the truck well lubricated helps to prevent premature breakdowns. Use high-quality grease to ensure optimum performance of these components at all times.
6. Engine Oil
Prevent premature engine deterioration by making sure that your truck’s engine oil is viscous enough to prevent friction of the engine’s moving internal parts.
The recommended frequency for changing oil is once every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. Engine oil should be changed at half the recommended mileage if the vehicle is driven mostly in the city with multiple daily stops, and/or left idling.
The proper pressure of your truck’s tires help to keep your vehicle safe and fuel efficient. Properly inflated tires help to cut up to 3.3% of your truck’s fuel cost, and prevent blowouts and excessive tread wear. Check your owner’s manual for the truck manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure.
8. Engine Belts
Check your engine belts from time to time to ensure that they are in ideal condition. Worn out belts can lead to engine failure and damage to other components.
Check your belts for cracking once every 25,000 miles and have them replaced every 100,000 miles to avoid problems that can lead to medium duty truck repair.
9. Cooling System
Poor or improper maintenance of your truck’s cooling system can lead to engine failure. Avoid this by following the manufacturer’s recommendations, especially in regards to the type of coolant to use. For an efficient cooling system, always keep it clean. Replace damaged or corroded parts and see to it that you’re using the type and amount of fluid recommended by your car’s manufacturer. Remember, a malfunctioning cooling system can cause your engine to overheat and possibly fail.
Your truck’s operating condition can spell the difference between a profitable or failing operation for your business. Keep it well maintained with professional help from a competent commercial truck repair shop like Truck-N-Trailer Service to claim your initial benefit called peace of mind.
Contact us at (405) 467-3000 to schedule your appointment!