Did you know that approximately 5,000 people lost their lives in road accidents involving personal vehicles and semi-trucks?
This is why it’s imperative to take all necessary steps to ensure your truck is in shipshape at all times. Being unprepared for different issues on the road often leads to disastrous outcomes.
Mind you, semi-trucks take more damage than any other type of vehicle. And the moving parts and materials used to make them degrade over time.
So to stay on the safer side and preserve your beloved rig, you must undertake ongoing semi truck repair and maintenance.
Check out the guide below for everything you need to know about caring for a truck.
Different Kinds of Semi-Truck Repair Jobs
Here are some semi-truck repairs that you are likely to come across:
1. DIY vs. Professional Repairs
Whether to DIY or call in an expert mostly depends on whether you’re a company driver or the owner of the vehicle, as well as what kind of repair the truck needs.
But you can prevent common semi-truck repairs by having regular servicing and preventative maintenance done on your rig.
2. Simple vs. Not-so-simple repairs
It’s advisable to carry basic tools when driving to deal with simple repair task that may arise at any time.
These are repair tasks that even a novice trucker can DIY and wouldn’t need a lot of time. Some examples include:
- Replacing a burnt our headlamp
- Installing a tail-light and grommet
- Replacing mud flaps
On the other hand, larger repairs and body works require the services of a professional.
Take note that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations behoove truckers to complete daily inspection reports and deal with anything that requires corrective action. This includes issues like
Disabling and Cosmetic Damage
As you know many drivers scrub their wheels in off-set or tight docks
Semi-Truck Repairs After a Breakdown
Drivers will normally have their trucks towed to a repair station depending on the nature of their breakdowns, prior preparations, and the services as well as parts available in the area.
If you don’t have spare tires, have a professional replace any blown-out tires due to the weight concerns.
All in all, you’ll need to be extremely skilled and have a large number of tools together with parts to solve major semi-truck issues.
General Semi-Truck Repair Tips
Consider the following quick repair tips to semi-truck problems:
Procure Vital Tools and Services
Even if you’re excellent at DIY repairs, it’s difficult to survive during breakdowns without hazard triangles, flashers, warning devices, and towing services.
Purchase Quality Spare Parts
When it comes to spares, you can choose brand new parts (from manufacturers), replacement parts (third-party manufacturers), or used parts.
Ensure to always consider quality, warranty, and your semi-truck repair financing options before you buy any spares.
Semi-Truck Maintenance Tips
You can prevent many simple as well as not-so-simple problems by having regular servicing and preventative maintenance done on your rig.
Yes, regular maintenance will keep your brakes from grabbing, the engine from humming, and the undercarriage free from dust.
Here are some preventative things you can do to avert major repairs:
Create a Plan to Check Brake Wear and Failure
Brake failure arguably the biggest cause of accidents involving semi-trucks.
Thus, it’s crucial to have a professional service your vehicle’s brakes regularly to avoid catastrophic results that often lead to damages and third-party lawsuits.
How long a rig can roam between brake servicing depends on the driver’s driving habits. And no matter how good of a driver you’re, always have your brakes inspected and the fluid changed every once in a while.
Also, have the brake pad, bushings, pins, and springs changed regularly as they wear quickly. For the drums, your experts should replace them at the same time with shoes since they develop heat cracks and also wear down.
And don’t forget to ask your service provider to grease the S cams, slack adjusters, and check the horses as well as linings.
Conduct Tests to Curb Engine Problems
Drivetrain and engine problems are notorious for taking trucks off the road.
Thus, it's advisable to always keep an eye out for signs such as loss of oil pressure, decrease in power, and excessive smoking. These symptoms indicate that you’re riding on an unhealthy engine.
Other than that, your maintenance provider should undertake period compression tests as well as monitor exhaust and engine coolant temperature.
This way, you’ll nip all major engine issues in the bud.
Prevent Body Problems
Many load carriers endure extended downtimes because of body corrosion.
Corrosion emanates from rusting, which is mostly caused by the chemicals and salt used to treat ice and snow.
If you’ll be driving through snowy areas, you can’t prevent rust, but you can slow down the corrosion process by:
- Having big paint chips removed
- Washing your truck every ten days
- Spraying door locks to protect them from moisture
- Cleaning the rig immediately after rain, snow, or sleet
- Avoiding parking or driving in large puddles
Good vehicle storage will also prevent rusting.
Keep your truck lubed in the steering, drivetrain zerks, and suspension with only high-quality grease.
In fact, it’s best to lube all applicable fittings and parts as well as check for slop and leaks in the drivetrain area before each haul.
Be Wary of Extended Idling and Short Trips
City driving and short trips are engine killers.
So if you can, try to avoid them or simply prepare well in advance. You can have a pre-lube system installed so that your vehicle delivers oil to critical parts using an electric pump to avoid cranking. You can also go for a tuber timer for alerts when the engine heats up too much.
Inflate Your Tires Correctly
While over-inflated tires are prone to premature tread wear and blowouts, under-inflated tires can negatively affect your rig’s fuel efficiency.
It’s, therefore, paramount to inflate your tires to the proper levels.
Check for Storage and Fuel Tank Contamination
If you want to keep your engine purring and the fuel flowing seamlessly, strive to keep the tank free from moisture or contamination.
Ask your maintenance provider about the most favorable moisture control treatment.
Protect Your Trucks With Proper Semi Truck Repair and Care
Next to equipment and fuel, semi truck repair and maintenance are the costliest aspects of any trucking business.
And the truth is that you’ll be saving yourself a lot of expenses in the future by creating a regular maintenance plan.
For trucking gigs, sign up to Com Freight today!