Commercial trucks get a lot of use and go through a lot of abuse. Even though they are made from incredibly durable materials, the constant wear and tear on the different components cause deterioration over time. In addition to the expected decline, an accident may require the repair or replacement of parts like a truck frame cross member, exhaust pipes or bodywork pieces. A good maintenance plan is proactive in addressing potential problems. Here are some things to look out for.
Brake Wear and Tear
One of the common causes of trucking accidents is brake failure. Even a minor accident could lead to third-party injuries and litigation. Rather than risk losing everything, include brake servicing as a part of your truck maintenance schedule. The wear and tear that occurs will depend heavily on your driving habits, but it’s a good rule of thumb to have them inspected whenever you get the oil changed in the rig.
You can find yourself off the road and stuck in a garage if you allow engine or drivetrain problems to continue unaddressed. There are several telltale signs of a problem, including consistent decreases in power, a loss in oil pressure and excessive engine smoking. These all need to be dealt with immediately if you want to prevent more serious damage to your engine. Have a compression test conducted periodically to get a sense of your engine’s health.
Washing your truck does more than just keep it looking shiny and new while you transport goods across town or the country. Salt and other chemicals that come into contact with the body and undercarriage can cause corrosion of they are not removed. You will have this most often when driving in winter conditions where the roads have been prepped for snow or ice accumulation. It is hard to prevent rust, but you can slow it down considerably by washing your truck every two weeks, filling in paint chips and avoiding driving through puddles of dirt and grime.
Many manufactures stop making parts for older truck models, and if you happen to own an older rig, you could be out of luck when it’s time for a repair. Stock up on common replacement parts and buy parts that offer a lifetime warranty. Oil seals, alternators, brake pads and starters commonly need to be replaced but also usually come with a lifetime warranty.
An aggressive maintenance plan can give you more peace of mind concerning the longevity of your truck. It’s better to spend now in order to save thousands later.