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.
Check Brake Wear
Brakes are one of the most important safety features on your semitruck. Without reliable brakes, it can be impossible to bring your semi and the load it’s pulling to a stop in time to avoid an accident.
Experts estimate that 29% of all commercial trucking accidents are caused by defective brakes. Professional brake services can go a long way toward preventing catastrophic brake failure.
Many factors affect the amount of time that you can go between brake services. You will need to consider your personal driving habits, the conditions in which you drive on a regular basis, and the weight of the loads that you pull with your semi.
Discuss these variables with your mechanic to create a brake maintenance schedule that will prevent significant brake wear and help you avoid a potential accident while behind the wheel of your semi.
Prevent Engine Problems
An engine or drivetrain malfunction can take your semi off the road for an extended period of time while it’s being repaired. The easiest way to avoid losing valuable revenue due to engine troubles is to create a preventative maintenance plan that will stop engine problems from progressing to the point of failure.
Start by becoming familiar with the warning signs of an unhealthy engine. You need to seek immediate mechanical help when you notice a loss of oil pressure, notice a decrease in power, or see smoke coming from under the hood of your semi. These are the warning signs of impending engine failure.
Regular engine testing should also be part of your maintenance plan if you want to prevent serious engine problems from affecting your business. Your mechanic can complete periodic compression tests, monitor engine coolant temperature, and record exhaust temperature to assess the health of your semi’s engine.
Address any problems uncovered during these tests before they sideline your semi.
Avoid Body Damage
A comprehensive maintenance plan will address not only the mechanical condition of your semi but the condition of the semi’s frame as well. Body damage can do more than make your semi less attractive, it can also render your semi inoperable or inefficient to drive.
Chipped paint or dents can lead to corrosion, which can spread throughout the frame of your semi and compromise the truck’s ability to support the weight of the commercial loads you haul. Immediately repair any body damage that you see, no matter how minor.
You should also be proactive in protecting your semi against damage caused by road dirt or debris. Wash your semi regularly to remove any abrasive particles or chemicals that might contribute to body issues over time.
Moisture can also pose a threat to the structural integrity of your semitruck. Avoid large puddles when possible, and be sure that you are protecting your semi from the elements when storing the truck between loads.
The condition of your semitruck is directly related to your safety and profitability on the road. Contact Godfrey Brake Service for help maintaining your semitruck properly. We’ll get you back on your regular schedule and delivery route as fast as possible and at an honest and affordable price.