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Tractor Trailer Maintenance

Keeping Your Rig in Top Shape

It's almost as important to take good care of your vehicle as it is to get the trucking job of your dreams. With deadlines and work to be done, it's not always easy to keep track of the small details that help to keep your semi truck operating at peak efficiency.

It doesn't take much to make a big difference in the way your vehicle works. And let's be truthful here, if your truck's not working at its best, neither are you, right? With that being said, here are a few ways that you can easily keep your truck running in tip-top shape, so that you can stay on the road and not have to worry about losing any time or money with any downtime. The six secrets to taking care of your rig include:

  • It's important that you take the time to check your oil, especially before a long haul. This is especially important if your rig is new to you or if major motor work has just been performed on it. Powerful engines need lots of oil and if you forget to check it often enough, it can harm your engine very quickly, costing you lots in repair costs.
  • Be sure to check your radiator before any long trips, being especially careful to check the radiator itself and not just the overflow bottle. Top up the fluid and if you spot any small leaks you should deal with them quickly before they cause overheating and do damage to your engine. This is always a good habit to get in as it allows you to get to know your rig that much better.
  • Tire pressure is also very important to check and this should be a weekly ritual, performed even more often if long trips are in the schedule. Tire pressure can fluctuate with changes in the weather and from driving at high speeds on the highways. Under-inflated tires can lower fuel mileage and make steering more difficult. Over-inflated tires are more prone to punctures and pothole damage. Check for the proper pressure for your particular brand of tires.
  • A truck with dual fuel tanks will act like it's out of fuel if you park your vehicle sideways on a hill, making one side of the truck higher than the other. Fuel from the higher tank will flow to the lower tank, and when you start the truck the uneven tanks will cause the fuel uptake system to draw in air instead of fuel. If you need to park on a hill, look for a way to park on the slope from front to back and not side to side.
  • If your truck has been sitting for a few days, make a point to check the fuel vent before setting out. Wasps and other insects often build nests in the fuel vent, creating a blockage and causing the truck to appear as if it's out of fuel.
  • Make sure to have your brakes checked often. If you feel vibration or hear squealing when you apply the brakes, it's probably time for a checkup. Dealing with the problem, sooner rather than later, will save you a lot of money and down time.