A truck that turns on isn’t necessarily in the best condition. There are varying degrees of operation for semi-trucks, and it’s in your best interest to ensure your truck is running as optimally as possible. Chances are that you’re working for trucking companies in Nashville like Beacon Transport who take care of most of the maintenance on your truck.
So why should you take the time to perform your own maintenance?
Because it’s in your interest, as well as the trucking company’s interest, to run the truck as cleanly as possible. There are some simple things you can do to give yourself the best gas mileage, make operating the vehicle easier, and ward off the possibility of dealing with a breakdown.
So here are a few simple things you can do to give yourself a trouble-free ride.
Your tires are your connection to the road. Every mile you drive takes its toll on your tires and every mile is also directly affected by your tires. Keep an eye on them. They can be the difference between a successful trip and a major headache.
The first thing you should do before each trip is to make sure your tires have an adequate amount of tread on them. Tread helps your vehicle maintain control in conditions like rain and snow. Bald tires tend to slip easier than those with a good amount of tread.
The easiest way to know if your tires have enough tread is with the help of a penny. Stick the penny into the tread of your tire with Lincoln’s head down. Can you see the top of his head? If so, that means the tread is too low.
You should also check the air pressure within your tires. Under-inflated tires sag which means there is more surface area coming in contact with the road. This creates friction, which generates heat, and can lead to a blow out. Blow outs are dangerous for the driver as well as anyone driving around them. Vehicles can lose control after a blowout, leaving them prone to being hit or to hit someone else. Debris can also come flying off the tire during a blowout.
Aside from the safety issues, under-inflated tires can lead to a reduction in gas mileage. Find the recommended tire pressure inside the driver’s side door and make sure all of your tires are at the appropriate level.
Another simple thing you can do to make sure your truck is running to its full potential is to verify the levels of your fluids prior to every trip. A well-lubricated truck will perform the best and taking a few moments is all you need to check it.
Oil is probably the most important fluid in your truck. Without it, the engine can be ruined. Park your truck on an even surface. Open the hood and find the oil dipstick. Pull it out, wipe it off with a rag, and replace it. Then, pull it out again and compare the depth of the oil to the “fill” indicator on the dipstick. Replace the oil every 3,000 – 5,000 miles or if you notice the oil is black.
Transmission fluid can be checked in a similar way. Locate the dipstick, wipe it off, replace it, and pull it back out. There will be an indicator if you need to add some fluid.
Brake fluid can be checked as well, but take great care not to drop any dirt into the reservoir. Clean the area around the cap really well to avoid this possibility.
There are a lot of circuits and wires that make your truck do all the wonderful things it does. A misfire for one of these systems can be annoying at best, or illegal and dangerous at worst. Take the time to make sure all of the basics are working properly. Anything that requires a specialist will be apparent pretty quickly, in which case it’s time to consult a professional.
But at the very least, you can turn on all of your lights to make sure they work. This includes your headlights and brights. Also check your back and front blinkers. Click them on and walk around your truck to make sure they come on. You can check your brakes by looking in your mirrors to see the bright red reflection off of a surface near your truck.
You should check to make sure all of these systems work before leaving to start your trip.
Make a Schedule
All of these systems are important but there are even more things that should be attended to by a professional. Keep track of all of the repairs and services done to your truck so you know when it is due for some preventative maintenance.
Performing these duties before anything is wrong might seem like a waste of time, but you’ll thank yourself when you see another truck stopped on the side of the road with their hood open. These tricks can’t guarantee that’ll never happen to you, but it gives you the best chance you can get to avoid a breakdown.
Beacon Transport is among the top trucking companies in Nashville. Visit us today to see how we can get you started on your new career.