Semi-trucks are regularly operated on the roads on a daily basis. The drivers of these large vehicles have to go through thorough training before being allowed at the helm. Even after all that training, there is important semi-truck maintenance that needs to be carried out on a regular basis by all drivers. To make sure you’re practicing the right maintenance procedures on your semi-truck, take a close look at this comprehensive guide to semi-truck maintenance for truck drivers.
Maintain Regular Oil Changes
Just like your everyday cars, semi-trucks require regular oil changes. Staying up-to-date on oil changes is essential to the semi-truck’s ability to work on the road. If you don’t keep up with regular oil changes, then you may run into some costly repairs if you neglect it long enough. As a good rule of thumb for all truck drivers, check your oil each and every time before you start your journey each shift. As with all parts of your car, it’s integral you become familiar with your truck’s oil.
Keep the Fuel Vent Clear
Another section of your truck that should be checked before embarking on a trip is the fuel vent. While you’re away from the truck, it’s easy for debris and bugs to find their way inside. If you don’t check the fuel vent before going for a ride and there does happen to be blockage inside, you won’t get accurate fuel readings for the truck. Even worse, neglecting this can lead to engine damage, which is obviously not the most ideal scenario for truck drivers. Blockage tends to happen to trucks left outside for an extended period of time, for days or even weeks, but it’s easy and important to check it every morning as well.
Just like any other motor vehicle’s tires, the tires on a semi-truck are incredibly important to inspect and maintain regularly. However, a few of the processes for checking and dealing with these issues differ slightly between cars and trucks.
Check Tire Pressure
Because of the various specifications for different kinds of trailers, you’ll have to figure out what your truck’s specific PSI should be. Semi-truck tires are a hefty expense, but they can last you a healthy amount of time if you keep an eye on them properly. Just like with your oil, you should be checking your truck’s tire pressure before you start your trip. Additionally, if you’re going to be driving for a particularly lengthy period of time, you should check it regularly during your trip.
Don’t Forget About Regular Tire Rotation
Semi-truck tires endure a lot of pressure on a regular basis. Like with any motor vehicle, it’s important for the tires to wear evenly. This improves fuel economy and keeps the tire performance consistent. If you’re not familiar with how much wear-and-tear your tires should endure, research this to find out what specific requirements you need to meet. Check the tires regularly for wear-and-tear, so you can catch any issues that must be dealt with right away. Take it in to a professional ASAP to have them rotate all your tires. Again, similar to everyday cars, you should get all your truck tires rotated when one or more of them need it. This will help ensure consistent performance among all tires.
Keep Up With Brake Inspections
Semi-trucks haul tons of materials on a daily basis, literally. This means that when applying the brakes, those brakes have to slow down way more than they would in an everyday minivan. Not only are the hauls heavy, but so are the truck parts doing the hauling. That’s why it’s important to get your semi-truck brakes checked regularly, even more often than you would your car’s brakes at home.
Keep an Eye on the Radiator
A semi-truck requires a high-powered engine for it to run. Likewise, the high-powered engine needs the help of a radiator to function properly. The radiator helps the engine maintain a cool temperature to keep it from overheating during your drive. Check the radiator often for things such as if the fluid needs to be topped off, as well as if any leaks are present. If you do spot a leak, you need to get it fixed ASAP. A small leak can lead to serious problems for your truck if not dealt with quickly enough.
Grease Necessary Parts Regularly
There are various parts of the truck that must be greased regularly. Luckily, this is a very simple process. Find out which parts in your specific truck need to be greased, and you’ll probably notice there’s quite a few of them. Don’t be worried by the number of parts that need to be greased. Not only is this an easy process to follow, it gives the driver an opportunity to get to know his or her truck. If you have a keen eye for repairs, this process also offers you a chance to spot any loose or broken parts that need to be repaired. By doing this regularly, you can truly understand the ins and outs of your semi-truck.
Keep Safety Sensors Clear
If your truck is outfitted with advanced security devices such as exterior sensors, you should check them on a daily basis. During your trip, these sensors can get blocked by dirt and other debris you encounter on the road. Checking them after every ride will help ensure they don’t become obstructed and rendered useless. You should also educate yourself on the proper protocols for realigning the security sensors outside your truck in case you ever have to do it on the road.
Luckily, finding the right semi-truck parts for your ride is easier than ever with online suppliers like BIG Machine Parts. As mentioned throughout this list, dealing with any repairs or replacements that need to be made to your truck must be done promptly. Good semi-truck maintenance for truck drivers is something that needs to be practiced on a regular basis. By properly understanding and practicing all the factors mentioned above, you can ensure yourself a safe ride while on the road.