As a trucker, your truck is an important part of your livelihood. You want it to operate well, from the steering wheel down to the tires. Regular maintenance is key to keeping it all in good working condition so you can avoid inconvenient problems while you’re trucking. Good semi truck maintenance takes a little extra care, but it’s worth it for the improved efficiency and reliability of the vehicle. Here’s how you can keep your ride in top condition, with special consideration for the unique qualities of a large semi truck.
Keep Things Efficient With Semi Truck Maintenance
With a busy trucker schedule, it’s easy to get behind on a maintenance routine. Even if you have the best of intentions, maintenance can get away from you. That’s why it’s important to make a plan for what repairs and tuneups you are most likely to need, and how often you’ll need them. These are some of the most important things to check up on in a maintenance program for trucks:
- Oil changes
- Coolant and other fluids
- Tires, tire pressure, wheels and hubcaps
- Steering column
- Suspension system
When you get all of these vital parts and systems checked regularly, you reduce the costs you’ll pay for reactive repairs. Reactive repairs are done when a part or component finally reaches its breaking point and are typically more expensive because they are being done in an urgent or even emergency situation. Preventive repairs are done on a schedule and usually cost less.
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy associates preventive repairs with a savings of anywhere between 12% and 18% when compared to reactive repairs. For truck owners, that’s a significant difference in cost.
Understand Preventive Maintenance
Preventive maintenance means you keep your truck in the best condition possible, avoiding situations like blown-out tires or failed components because you frequently get the vehicle checked by a professional mechanic. Scheduling regular maintenance checks is a cheaper and more convenient way to avoid having to get emergency service out on the road, likely from an unfamiliar mechanic.
You can save money on sudden dramatic repairs by catching problems as they develop. Scheduled maintenance is also helpful legally, in the case of an accident or other issue, to prove you have fulfilled your responsibilities as a driver. It also keeps your truck in service for as long as possible so you can avoid the expense of getting a new vehicle.
Your maintenance checks should happen on a schedule, according to the amount of use your truck is getting and the amount of time it’s been since your last check. Between checks, you can also observe the vehicle and how it performs. Checking the oil, replacing the air filter as needed and generally listening to the truck for anything unusual can all help identify vehicle issues as they develop.
Keep a Log
Starting a log of truck maintenance can help you keep up with preventive maintenance. When you’re paying close attention to your truck, it’s hard to remember all the details. Writing them down ensures you’ll know exactly what was going on with your truck at any given time. When you perform any kind of inspection on your truck, writing down the results will help you in the future.
After you get a maintenance task done, take note of what was done and when it was done. Keeping a log of maintenance and repairs will help you figure out when you’re due for another tune up or oil change. Receipts from the mechanic can go into your log too and provide useful proof that you have done everything possible to keep your truck in great working order.
Keeping good records gives you valuable information about each vehicle and its tendencies. For most trucks, tires are the biggest repair expense, taking up to a third of the overall maintenance costs. Learn how to avoid past mistakes by looking at your records and figure out what is the most common issue with a particular truck.
Add Insurance to Your Truck Care Routine
Truck preventive care will save you time and money, so invest time and effort into upkeep for your vehicle. If you want the best for your truck, also consider purchasing an insurance policy to protect your vehicle. Insurance will help you give your truck the care it deserves and keep you covered when you need it most. Contact Rev Insurance today to get started on a trucking insurance policy.