It costs trucking companies an average of $15,000 per year, per truck, in maintenance and repair costs. These high costs result from trucks being constantly on the road and subject to wear and tear. Moreover, most trucking companies do not have maintenance facilities and must rely on third-party service providers.
Without proper maintenance, trucks can break down and cause costly delays. Therefore, a truck maintenance checklist is essential to ensure its longevity and safety on the road.
Truck Maintenance Checklist
Regular and preventive truck maintenance is key to reducing semi-truck maintenance costs and keeping your trucks on the road. Moreover, a well-maintained semi-truck can help prevent breakdowns and accidents and keep business running smoothly.
Businesses can use a truck maintenance checklist to keep track of monthly maintenance tasks and ensure that their trucks are properly maintained. Companies can use this semi-truck maintenance checklist as a guide to help them create a truck maintenance schedule.
- Inspect Truck for fluid leaks
- Engine oil level and quality
- Check the transmission fluid
- Check the truck’s coolant level and condition
- Inspect the battery and charging system
- Take a look at the undercarriage and frame
- Ensure the brakes and steering system are in good condition
- Inspect the tires, wheels, and rims
- Make sure the suspension system is in good condition
- Inspect the lights and electrical system
- Inspect the exhaust system
- Ensure the cooling system is working
- Check the drive shaft and CV joints, as well as belts and hoses
- Make sure that windshield wipers are operational and that there is enough wiper fluid
- Test seat belts and auxiliary systems like horns.
- Perform regular tune-ups
- Clean the truck’s cab and interior
How Weather Conditions Affect Truck Maintenance
Truck maintenance is essential all year long, but certain weather conditions can impact truck performance and safety. It is even more important to maintain your trucks in certain weather conditions regularly. Truckers and fleet managers should be aware of how different weather conditions can affect their trucks and take the necessary precautions.
Dust is a significant problem in dry conditions for trucks and semi-trucks, as it can clog filters, leading to engine problems. Truckers and fleet managers should, therefore, check their filters regularly and clean or replace them as needed.
Truck maintenance checklist in dry conditions:
- Inspect for fluid leaks
- Engine oil level and quality
- Coolant level and condition
- Battery and charging system
- Brakes and steering system
- Inspect the Truck’s tires and wheels
- Check the Truck’s lights and electrical system
- Inspect the exhaust system
- Clean the Truck’s cab and interior
Truck engines may not start as quickly in wet weather, and the brakes may not work either. Moreover, wiper blades may need to be replaced more often in wet weather because of the constant exposure to water.
Truck drivers should also be aware of the possibility of hydroplaning, which is when a truck’s tires lose contact with the road, and this can be a serious safety hazard.
Semi truck maintenance checklist in wet conditions:
- Replace wiper blades as needed.
- Keep the engine clean and corrosion-free by regularly cleaning the truck’s battery terminals.
- Check the battery regularly
- Inspect the brakes for wear and tear.
- Check the tires for tread wear and proper inflation. It is crucial to have good tread on your tires in wet weather to prevent hydroplaning.
- Inspect the Truck’s lights and electrical system to ensure that all bulbs are working and that there is no corrosion.
- Clean the Truck’s cab and interior to prevent mold and mildew from growing.
Hot weather can cause several truck problems, such as overheating and engine failure. Truck drivers need to be aware of these dangers and take steps to avoid them. For example, trucks may need more coolant in hot weather because the engine may overheat. Truck drivers should check the level of coolant and add more if necessary. They should also make sure they have inflated the tires to the proper pressure, as hot weather can cause tires to lose air.
Truck maintenance checklist for hot weather:
- Coolant level and condition. The coolant should remain between the “full” and “low” marks on the coolant reservoir. Truckers should also replace coolant that is older than two years.
- Tires and wheels. Truck drivers should check their tires for proper inflation and tread depth before each trip. Hot weather can affect tires, making them lose air and tread depth.
- The air conditioning system should work properly to keep the cab cool and prevent driver fatigue.
- Electrical system. Truckers should check the electrical system to ensure that all lights work correctly. The battery can lose power in hot weather, and the alternator can overheat.
Winter weather conditions can be harsh on trucks. Brakes may not work well in the cold because the brake fluid can freeze. Truckers should, therefore, ensure their brakes are in good working order before driving in cold weather.
Truck maintenance checklist for cold weather:
- Check that the oil level and quality are good. Oil may thicken in cold weather, and this can cause engine problems.
- Coolant level and condition. Coolant shouldn’t be too old, as it can freeze in cold weather. It should also remain between the “full” and “low” marks on the coolant reservoir.
- Battery and charging system. Batteries lose power in cold weather and may need replacements more often. Truckers should also check the charging system to ensure it is working correctly.
- Braking system. As mentioned earlier, brakes may not work well in the cold because the brake fluid can freeze. Truckers should, therefore, ensure their brakes are in good working order before driving in cold weather.
Preventative Truck Maintenance
Preventive truck maintenance involves taking steps to avoid problems before they occur. Semi truck drivers and managers should be proactive about truck maintenance and regularly check their vehicles to prevent future breakdowns and repair costs.
Truck drivers should, therefore, develop a maintenance schedule and stick to it because it can help truck drivers track when different truck parts need servicing.
Truck Maintenance Technology
There is a wide range of technologies available to help truck drivers with maintenance. Truck Maintenance Software programs can help truckers track their maintenance schedules and keep track of repairs and service history. This can help identify potential problems before they occur.
Truck maintenance technology, such as truck telematics systems, can monitor truck performance and maintenance data in real-time. Truckers and fleet managers can use this data to improve truck maintenance and prevent problems.
Other truck maintenance technology includes GPS tracking, heavy-duty truck scanners, and truck maintenance software.
Truck Maintenance Software
Some benefits of truck maintenance software:
- Truck maintenance software can help truckers keep track of their maintenance schedules.
- Truck maintenance software can help identify potential problems before they occur.
- Truck maintenance software can help improve communication between drivers, mechanics, and fleet managers.
- Truck maintenance software can help optimize a fleet’s maintenance operation.
Whip Around is a truck fleet maintenance software that helps drivers, mechanics, and managers automate the management and maintenance of trucks.
The software helps keep track of maintenance schedules, repairs, and service history. This allows for easy fleet preventive maintenance and improved communication between drivers, mechanics, and Fleet Managers.
In addition to inspections, Whip Around provides reporting functionality that allows users to access data vital for optimizing a fleet’s maintenance operation.
Truck fleet maintenance is vital for keeping trucks in good working condition and safe to drive. Truckers should be proactive about truck maintenance and regularly check their vehicles. Many technologies are available to help truckers with maintenance, from Truck Maintenance Software programs to Truck Telematics Systems. These tools can help truckers keep track of their maintenance schedule, identify potential problems before they occur, and optimize a fleet’s maintenance operation.