Driving isn’t the only factor that causes accidents – one of the most prevalent causes of truck accidents is overlooked. Truck maintenance plays a vital role in ensuring drivers are safe and prepared for the trip ahead. Worn tires or inadequate braking systems can cause drivers to lose control on the road. Poor fleet maintenance can also cause downtime affecting your transport operations.
Read these tips to brush up on maintenance tips to make your truck last for the long haul.
Common Truck Maintenance Issues That Can Cause Accidents
Studies show that 5% of all truck accidents are caused by faulty brakes. It is imperative to understand how to keep brakes in peak condition. Daily, check brakes to ensure they are in working condition. But do not forget the braking system of big rigs needs the attention of a maintenance specialist. They can listen for air leaks in the brake chamber, look for broken or loose parts and more.
Tire Pressure, Wear and Tear
Most of us have seen shredded strips of rubber left behind by truck tire blow-outs. The immense weight of a truck and products required exacting air pressure to keep the vehicle maneuverable. The weight evenly distributed – even one tire with improper pressure-can compromise safety.
Only buy tires that meet federal requirements for tread depth, match the truck’s size and are correctly aligned. Every tire should be the same make and model and air pressure. Do not forget to check tires before hitting the road and look for any damages.
Check Exterior Lighting
A quick walkaround to verify your lighting is working can help catch burnt-out bulbs and replace them before driving. Test your running, brake, signal and hazard lights before driving.
Inspect Clutch and Gearbox
High-torque engines and heavy loads mean your clutch and gearbox are always working hard. Ensure your clutch isn’t slipping, as it can affect reliability and harm fuel consumption.
Fuel Lines and Filters
Fuel the second largest expense faced by fleet managers. Dirty air filters and worn fuel injectors increase fuel consumption, leading to the engine running inefficiently. Over time, these issues can lead to permanent engine damage.
Check Battery and Electrical Systems
Long distance hauls and frequent stops put your truck’s electrical system to the test. Check your battery, alternator and electrical system yearly. If you drive in a colder climate, check before winter hits to avoid any problems.
Utilize A Maintenance Schedule
Invest in management software that can accurately maintain records that show when vehicle registration needs to be renewed, insurance, inspection dates, and monitor fleet assets. Having a set schedule for maintenance can help drivers plan their trips accordingly.
Vehicle Replacement Cycles
Some parts or vehicles will increase maintenance costs and make it less safe. If you notice a truck with high mileage and expensive service and repairs, it may be time to mitigate any risks and buy a new hauler.
Reminder: Keep track of all maintenance checks – including oil changes. If faulty equipment is to blame, a trucking company can be held liable.