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A Budgeting Guide for Owner-Operators

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Mechanic Fixing an Engine – Rapid City, SD – Godfrey Brake Service & Supply

For those on the outside, running a trucking company as an owner-operator may look like any other trucking job. If you are an owner-operator, then you know that this line of work is so much more. Even if you have only a single truck, you are still a business owner running your own enterprise. Not only do you need to be a skilled driver, but you also must be a savvy businessperson.

Finances are often the most challenging part of running any business, especially for those without prior management experience. Getting it right means both recognizing and managing your costs so that you can keep yourself in the black no matter how tough times may get. This guide will help you deal with one particular category of entirely unavoidable costs: maintaining your rig.

5 Signs Your Semi-Truck Needs Maintenance

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Big Red Truck

Maintenance is an important part of keeping your semi-truck on the road and keeping you safe while you drive it. With other obligations, sometimes maintenance tasks don’t get completed. However, if you start to see any signs of wear or damage, you should make maintenance a priority. Learn about a few signs to look out for as you schedule your routine maintenance stops.

The Elements of a Good Semitruck Maintenance Plan

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The Elements of a Good Semitruck Maintenance Plan

If a semitruck isn’t moving down the road, it’s not making any money. Owner-operators are responsible for securing loads and taking care of the semitrucks that haul these loads. It’s imperative that you are able to create a comprehensive maintenance program if you want to keep your semi running reliably over time.

You can avoid both simple and not-so-simple mechanical problems through preventative maintenance. Highlighted below are some critical elements that should be included in your semi maintenance plan to ensure the productivity and reliability of your rig in the future.

5 Reasons Semi-Truck Brakes Fail and How to Prevent It

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Truck on SpeedBrake failure accounts for many semi-truck accidents. Because of the size of the truck and trailer, these accidents can lead to large amounts of property damage and tragic fatalities. Whether you have a single truck or a fleet, you need to understand these common reasons for semi-truck brake failure and what you can do to prevent it.

1. Using the Trolley Valve Exclusively or Depowering Your Brakes

The practice of depowering the front brakes isn’t something you should consider. Some brake failures occur simply because the driver didn’t use the brakes at all. Some drivers unhook their tractor brakes and rely on the trolley valve and the trailer’s brakes instead.

Your Truck’s Powertrain and Drivetrain

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couple at the back of pickup truck You may hear the terms powertrain, drivetrain, driveline, and others all used interchangeably. Really, these terms describe different things. Understanding the differences can go a long way towards understanding the types of repairs your truck may need when it’s having a problem. Here is a look at the different terms, what they mean, and what makes the distinctions important.

Your Truck’s Powertrain

The powertrain of your truck consists of all the components and mechanisms that allow your truck to move. Because the engine creates the needed power to move everything else, the engine is the main part of a truck’s powertrain. However, the powertrain includes just about everything that involves turning engine power into wheels turning. Those components include:

Maintaining the Air Bag Suspension in Your Semi Truck

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Company Truck Dickinson, ND Modern tractor-trailer suspension systems are most commonly airbag suspension systems, not leaf springs anymore. The airbag systems are incredibly durable, and with proper maintenance to the system, it will last as long as older leaf spring systems did. Proper maintenance and regular inspection of the system is the best way to stay ahead of any problems that may arise with use.

Watch for Signs of System Problems

The suspension system on your truck has several jobs. The first is to cushion the ride for the driver, and the second is to cushion the ride for the cargo in the trailer. The airbags also play a role in eliminating stress on the truck and trailer from bumps in the road.

A severe jolt from a pothole or crack in the road can damage other components in the suspension system is the airbags are not working correctly. A visual inspection of the suspension system should be done regularly by the driver, especially if the driver feels a change in the handling of the truck or the suspension ride quality.

The airbags are easily accessible when a trailer is no attached to the truck, so taking a second to look at them and check for damage or cracks can be the best way to catch a failing airbag before it fails completely.

3 Ways Owner-Operators Can Keep Their Transmissions in Good Shape

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Delivery Truck Dickinson, ND If you are an owner-operator, you probably know just how expensive it can be to keep your semi-truck in good condition. If certain expensive parts become damaged, then repair costs can be very expensive. For example, a transmission replacement can be very costly, and it’s something you want to avoid if possible.

In addition to the cost of replacing a transmission, you have to worry about how your business can be impacted by a transmission issue. If your truck isn’t running, then you aren’t able to work. Luckily, you can keep your transmission in great shape by following these three tips.

The Lowdown on U-Joints

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Body under the truck Heavy-duty trucks are at the heart of many industries operating in today’s economy. Without a reliable semi, consumer goods wouldn’t be transported to retail outlets and construction companies wouldn’t be able to haul heavy loads to job sites.

A fleet of heavy-duty trucks must be meticulously maintained to ensure each vehicle is in good working condition at all times. The engine, transmission, and body of a truck are easy to maintain, but the driveline is a critical component that can go overlooked.

Of all the parts installed on a heavy-duty driveline, the U-joints are subject to the most constant movement and stress. Premature U-joint failure can be costly, so you need to understand what these vital components are and how you can better maintain them in the future.


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Godfrey Brake Service & Supply

Address: 110 Poplar Avenue | Rapid City, SD 57701

Phone: (605) 343-5030

Email: [email protected]

Hours: Monday-Friday 7am-5pm, Saturday 8am - Noon

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