Maintaining a fleet of semi-trucks is crucial for the smooth operation of any transportation or delivery company. Regular maintenance not only prolongs the life of your trucks, but it also helps to minimize the risk of breakdowns, costly repairs, and can even save lives. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at why truck maintenance is so important and how it can benefit your business.
Reasons for Truck Maintenance
- One of the most important reasons to keep your trucks well-maintained is to ensure their reliability. Regular inspections and maintenance can help to identify and fix any potential issues before they become major problems. This can help to keep your trucks on the road, reducing downtime and ensuring that your deliveries are made on time. It also helps to avoid unexpected breakdowns that can cause delays and result in lost revenue or angry customers.
- Another major benefit of truck maintenance is that it can help to improve the fuel efficiency of your vehicles. Properly maintained trucks are more efficient, which means they consume less fuel and emit fewer pollutants. This can lead to significant cost savings for your business, as well as being better for the environment.
- Additionally, regular maintenance also helps to increase the safety of your vehicle. Trucks are often seen on highways and interstates, and their safe operation is crucial to ensure the safety of other road users and the truck drivers themselves. Regular maintenance and inspections can identify and fix any potential safety hazards, such as worn brakes, tires in poor condition, or faulty lighting. These issues can compromise the safety of the vehicle, as well as the safety of other drivers on the road.
- To better emphasize the importance of truck maintenance, we can calculate how much force a semi‑truck has when weighing around 80,000 pounds and going 80 km/h. We can use Newton’s formula for the calculation: F = m x a (Force = Mass x Acceleration). That gives us around 8,055,000 Newton which translates to around 1,810,000 pounds or 225 elephants. Now imagine a person, vehicle or building gets hit with that force. Even an empty semi-truck that weighs around 35,000 pounds and only goes 50 km/h has the force of almost 500,000 pounds or 67 elephants.
Why governmental inspections are beneficial for everyone
- Safety: The example calculation emphasized the importance of maintenance regarding safety reasons and why governmental inspections are crucial. Regular inspections ensure that semi-trucks are in safe operating condition. Inspectors check for issues such as insufficient brakes, worn tires, load security, and other potential safety hazards. This helps to minimize the risk of accidents and breakdowns, keeping the truck drivers and other road users safe. It also helps reducing the number of accidents and the following road closures.
- Compliance: Inspections help to ensure that semi-trucks are in compliance with federal and state regulations. These regulations cover a wide range of issues, including weight limits, emissions, and equipment requirements. By ensuring compliance, the streets don’t need as much maintenance (less potholes or damaged infrastructure), and the environment gets better protected.
- Efficiency: Regular inspections can also help to improve the efficiency of semi-trucks. Inspectors can identify issues that can negatively impact fuel efficiency and performance, such as dirty air filters or worn engine components. By addressing these issues, inspections can help to improve the overall performance of the truck, leading to higher efficiency for the whole economy.
Simple Check List for Truck Maintenance
- Regular fluid inspections are a must. Maintaining the fluids of a truck is an important aspect of ensuring that the vehicle is running safely and efficiently. Fluids such as engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, and brake fluid play a critical role in the proper functioning of the truck’s various systems. Regularly checking and replacing these fluids can help to minimize the risk of breakdowns and costly repairs, as well as ensuring the longevity of the truck’s engine and other components. For instance, engine oil lubricates the moving parts of the engine, reducing friction and wear. Transmission fluid helps to cool and lubricate the transmission. Coolant helps to regulate the temperature of the engine and prevents it from overheating. Brake fluid helps to transfer the force applied to the brake pedal to the brakes, allowing the truck to stop safely.
- Check and replace air filters regularly. Air filters play a crucial role in keeping the engine running smoothly by preventing dust and debris from entering the engine. A clogged air filter can reduce the engine’s power and fuel efficiency, so it is important to check and replace them regularly.
- Keep the tires in good condition. Tires are the only point of contact between the truck and the road, so it is essential to keep them in good condition. Regularly check the tire pressure, tread depth, and wear patterns. Always make sure to rotate the tires as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Regularly inspect and maintain the brakes. Brakes are one of the most important safety features on a truck, and they need to be always in good working condition. Regularly inspecting and maintaining the brakes will ensure that they are working properly and will reduce the risk of accidents on the road.
- Check and maintain the vehicle’s lights. Regularly check the headlights, taillights, turn signals, and brake lights to ensure that they are working properly. It’s very important that other drivers see you clearly on the road and for them to see when you are going to take a turn or change lanes.
- Keep the interior and exterior clean. A clean truck not only looks better, but it also helps to prolong the life of the vehicle. Regularly wash and wax the exterior and keep the interior clean and organized.
Real-Life Consequences of neglected Truck Maintenance
Poorly maintained emergency brakes of a tanker truck, which suddenly activated, were a key factor in a fatal crash in Montreal in the year 2016. This caused the death of the driver of another tanker truck (The Source).
In conclusion, regular maintenance is essential for the safe, efficient, reliable, and compliant operation of a fleet of trucks. By following these tips and regularly maintaining your vehicles, you can ensure that your fleet is running at its best, and that your drivers and others are safe on the road.
Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Numode Delivery Solutions has been the leading voice for same-day courier and trucking in Metro Vancouver since 2016. Explore the individual delivery options we offer, or get in touch with us.