Trucking is a tough business, and the margins are tight, but keeping your vehicle on the road is paramount to success. At the same time, you want to keep your costs down as much as possible, so use the tips below and perform regular maintenance to keep the truck wheels turning.
Watch the Oil
No matter what vehicle you run, if it’s a conventional combustion engine, it relies on oil to lubricate the moving parts of the engine, reducing friction and therefore wear and tear. Engine oil is so important to the proper running of your truck that even a small reduction can cause issues.
Most mechanics recommend changing your engine oil every seven and half thousand miles or every six months. Remember that when you change your engine oil, you also need to change the filter or the new oil becomes contaminated. Check your oil easily using a cloth and dipstick.
Rotate the Tires
Tire condition is another important aspect of truck maintenance for safety and longevity. The tire tread gives you traction on the road and protects your vehicle in extreme weather conditions, like when you’re driving in the rain or in freezing conditions. The front tires tend to wear down most.
Mechanics recommend changing your tires every time you change your oil – so every six months or seven and a half thousand miles. Chances are you will only have to change your front tires, but this is recommended to ensure that tires wear down evenly and remain safe.
Various systems in a truck are interconnected – such as the tire, axle, and fuel economy. When your axle is out of alignment, it affects the coordination of the wheels, causing them to wear down more quickly and impacting your mileage. Axle misalignment happens due to road impacts.
Again, you can have your axle alignment checked and realigned when you check your oil and tires every six months or so. If you want more information on truck maintenance or you are looking for a specialist truck mechanic to advise you, check out these truck repair videos.
Levels and Lights
Simple checks that keep your truck in the best condition are fluid checks and light checks. While light checks are important to keep your truck legal, fluid checks are vital to ensuring your truck stays on the road and prevent you from having to call a breakdown service instead of arriving.
The fluids you need to check include the engine oil, the coolant, the water levels, and window washer fluid, which becomes more important when driving in winter. In terms of lights, you need to check all the bulbs regularly, including the smaller plate lights, to ensure you are visible and legal.
Most of the maintenance in the list above can be carried out by individual truck owners – except perhaps the axle alignment, which requires some specialized equipment. Still, it’s good to know when to bring in the experts for a routine service. Try to use a professional service once a year.