When it comes to maintaining your fleet of concrete mixer trucks, do you have a solid process in place for technicians and fleet managers? In keeping your team safe and prolonging the life of your equipment, it’s sometimes easy for the occasional inspection to be missed without the right process in place.
While there are several key elements to consider to make sure nothing is missed, in this blog post, we’ll break down 7 of the most important maintenance practices for concrete mixer trucks specifically, also applicable to many other truck types you may be operating.
1. Start with a documented process for cleaning your truck at the end of each day
To extend the life of any truck in your fleet, making sure that operators have a well-defined process for what is expected of them in terms of routine cleaning is imperative.
For unloading and cleaning trucks each day, here are a couple of common checklist items for operating, including:
- Make sure your hydraulic system is operating properly
- Make sure all remote controls are clean at the end of each shift
- Hose down the back of the truck and chute prior to unloading
- Creating wind rows (for extra product)
The video below is a great overview of this process if you are looking into revamping your current pre or post-trip inspection process:
2. Use a concrete dissolver to clean your truck periodically
Another cleaning trick that can help remove dried concrete from your trucks is to use a product like Back-Set.
This product is biodegradable and is an acid-free solution to soften cement that can be rinsed off.
This product you essentially apply and let sit for 15 minutes, and will begin to slowly soften. You can then take a brush to begin removing the excess concrete from your trucks. This stuff comes in a plastic tank with a foam sprayer and works best on concrete that isn’t older. Check out this video to learn more.
3. Have a process for rinsing off your chute correctly on-site
One of the most important daily maintenance checks is making sure the chute is cleaned off prior to exiting a job site. It’s also important to communicate to your team that this should be done prior to getting back on the highway to prevent potential safety hazards to drivers.
You’ll want to make sure you have a documented process for how to do this, including where exactly to rinse off on the job site your team is at.
Many jurisdictions levy penalties for contaminating storm drains, so you will want to ensure drivers follow the proper procedures each and every time they rinse the chute.
4. Attend concrete mixer truck maintenance classes
One of the best ways to familiarize your leaders with proper maintenance for your fleet of trucks is to have service technicians attend concrete truck mixer maintenance classes.
McNeilus, one of the largest truck manufacturers and part of the OshKosh Corporation, has run this type of full-day maintenance program that helps train a team on a variety of key topics, including the following:
- Electrical components
- Drum and chute
- Control systems
5. Consider a washout system
Another device that many mixer truck owners utilize to ensure washouts are easier is by installing a washout system like this one by McNeilus. With cutoffs at ground level controlling the hopper, collector, and drum nozzles, this ensures you clean the entire collector, drip ring, chute, and drum.
So long as you maintain this type of system and dispose of washout properly, it’s a good step to add to your process to ensure your trucks stay clean and maintained. If considering a new fleet of mixer trucks, this is one of those features that can make things a bit easier for drivers during post-trip inspections, and get your drivers back on the road a bit faster.
6. Perform faster, easier inspections that will enable data-driven preventative maintenance
One of the common pitfalls associated with vehicle inspections is the lack of data produced and acted on.
This is one of the reasons companies in this space use the Whip Around app, as operators are able to conduct regular or periodic inspections easier than hunting for paper or forgetting to turn in inspection forms.
This also ensures the data collected can be used and acted on, which is especially useful when used to create preventative maintenance schedules and keep track of maintenance within the platform’s fleet maintenance solution.
Imagine how much more efficient and safe your fleet would be if the daily inspection items your team is already performing–like a washout process–could be digitally verified as complete each day?
Whatever paper forms or processes you have in place, digitizing these steps in an order that makes sense not only will streamline things for operators during inspections, but keep fleet managers well aware of what’s been inspected.
7. Streamline your concrete truck inspection process with Whip Around
Maintaining the safety of your drivers and fleet in general is non-negotiable. This is why having an inspection or maintenance process that is easy to use and implement is key for having peace of mind that these important tasks actually happen and are tracked.
To explore the Whip Around app in great detail and how it helps concrete companies simplify their daily pre and post-trip inspections, request a demo today.
Our team will be happy to show you a few templates for your exact use case, how other Ready-Mix companies use Whip Around, and how to customize everything to your own unique needs.