In order to keep your fleet operating smoothly and to prevent costly breakdowns, it is critical that you bring your commercial vehicles to a mechanic for routine maintenance. These services can help to not only ensure that your vehicle remains operable, but also help you get the most out of your vehicle’s lifespan.
While there are numerous repairs and maintenance services that you will need to have performed over the lifetime of any commercial truck, these nine are key services recommended on an ongoing basis for your vehicle. Check out the following list and schedule services soon.
#1: A Tune-Up Service
A tune-up is a crucial maintenance task that helps you get the most out of your truck. This will involve lube, oil, and filter preventative maintenance services.
Your service mechanic should provide a complete tractor lube, including lubrication of the front and rear suspension, 5th wheel, S-cam slack adjuster, and clutch release bearing.
Additionally, during this service, your mechanic can inspect the 5th wheel, helping you mitigate issues before they arise.
Finally, a tune-up should include the installation of a new oil filter, new fuel filters, and a check over of all fluid levels and gearboxes.
Improper wheel alignment significantly shortens the life of your tires and increases fuel consumption. In fact, it takes being just a tenth of an inch out of alignment to have a major impact on your costs.
A total wheel alignment will reduce tire and component wear, improve handling, and minimize rolling resistance.
Next time you take your commercial truck in for a routine tune-up, ask about when you should schedule your next alignment.
#3: Diesel Emissions Testing
In many cases, fleet maintenance requirements will include emissions testing. Emissions testing measures how much unburned fuel and other gases your truck is emitting into the environment. Many states regulate how much can be expelled, creating a pass or fail system.
Scheduling diesel emission testing will ensure that you remain compliant with all regulations and can help you catch other issues with your truck early on. Look for a service mechanic that offers diesel emission testing in addition to regular maintenance.
#4: DOT Inspection
A critical task for fleet managers is keeping every vehicle compliant with all DOT regulations. A DOT inspection will evaluate parts and accessories on your commercial vehicles to ensure that they are in good condition and working properly.
Choosing a mechanic that offers DOT inspections as well as repairs can streamline the process. Any issues that are caught during the inspection can be handled through follow-up or same-day services.
#5: Overhead Adjustments
An overhead or valve adjustment can help prevent the degradation of your engine’s performance, as well as prevent engine damage.
Scheduling a valve adjustment can result in optimal engine performance and improved fuel economy.
A general rule of thumb is to schedule an initial overhead adjustment between 50,000 and 100,000 miles depending on the engine manufacturer.
After the initial adjustment, most engines will need application overhead adjustments in 300,000 to 500,000-mile increments depending on the application.
#6: Brake Services
In many cases, commercial trucks employ the use of airbrake systems to ensure safe stopping power even when hauling large loads.
Over time, these complex brake systems can wear down, leading to a major safety concern for the driver and others on the road.
Make sure to schedule routine brake inspections to look for leaks in any lines and to test the efficacy of parking brakes and the overall system.
#7: Tire Inspection and Services
Alongside brakes, tires play a vital role in the safety of vehicle operators. Every single day, drivers should be inspecting their tires prior to leaving for the day.
If any signs of cracking or worn tread begin to show, schedule the truck for tire replacement. Replacing tires before they fail is critical for ensuring safety and preventing roadside blowouts.
#8: Battery Check
A quick battery diagnostic service can go a long way in detecting a weakening battery early on. During an inspection, a technician can test your battery’s health and provide you with a good idea of how much life is left in the battery.
If possible, take your commercial truck to a service department that offers a VIS check. This is your best protection against safety and efficiency-robbing undercarriage failure. The inspection can be performed on any Class 3-8 truck, trailer, or bus, and includes analysis of brake, steering, and suspension components. The benefits can include improved fuel economy, a safer ride, and a lower risk of roadside breakdowns.
The Importance of Routine Maintenance
Scheduling routine maintenance is all about saving money and preventing dangerous situations from ever occurring.
When a commercial truck breaks down on the road, the following are all risks to your business:
- Missed deadlines
- Expensive towing or mobile mechanic bills
- Danger to your driver
- Accidents, which can lead to higher insurance premiums
Conversely, scheduling maintenance on a consistent basis can keep your fleet running smoothly. It can help you plan for costs at set intervals, allowing you to maximize your budget and utilize your business’ capital intelligently.
While it takes time out of your fleet’s busy schedule, routine maintenance will actually give you time back over the life of a commercial truck.
Visit a Transwest Location Today
If your commercial vehicles are in need of routine services, we are here to help. At Transwest, we offer premium commercial vehicle repairs and maintenance. Additionally, we can assist you with DOT inspections and many of our locations are also certified emissions testing centers.
Not sure what services you need to schedule? Our team can help you determine the best maintenance schedule based on your truck’s year, make, and model.
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