When your career takes place on the road, so does a large chunk of your life. As a truck driver, your semi truck becomes a temporary home on wheels. It’s important that your vehicle is reliable so you can fulfill your job without getting stuck somewhere unexpectedly. Although bumps along the journey are inevitable, regular maintenance of your semi truck will keep many of these bumps from happening. Keep yourself and others on the road safe by making sure your truck receives proper maintenance on a regular basis.
A semi will face more wear and tear than the average car on the road — not to mention there are more parts to take care of. That’s why the maintenance on a semi goes beyond merely checking your tire pressure on a weekly basis, although that is extremely important too. In order to properly care for a semi truck, recognize the importance of preventative maintenance (PM).
Stay Organized With a Maintenance Calendar
Because a semi truck will require more maintenance than a regular vehicle, it’s important for drivers to stay organized so they can make sure all bases are covered when it comes to safety. Drivers should categorize jobs/inspections as daily, weekly, monthly, and annual maintenance.
Use an organizational system that works best for you — something digital is a plus because you can set it to give you reminders. You should also create a list of things to check before you go on the road and ones to check once you return. Overall, an organized calendar will help you stay up-to-date with your truck and its maintenance, especially since you already have a laundry list of things to remember while you’re out on the road.
Common Problems a Truck Faces
Since mechanical problems lead to many truck driving accidents, drivers should be aware of the most common mechanical issues trucks face:
- Steering component problems
- Brake problems
- Underinflated tires
- Improper wheel hub assemblies
There are more mechanical problems a truck can face than the above, so be on the lookout and educate yourself on the mechanical functions of a truck.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
FMCSA requires at least one Periodic Maintenance Inspection (PMI) every year, although truck operations require more than this. An experienced truck driver knows that once a year isn’t nearly enough for a truck and driver that spend so much time on the road. Drivers should follow Preventative Maintenance (PM) instead of fixing problems as they come along. Not receiving maintenance can get truck drivers and supervisors in trouble as well as lead to a truck not running as long and troubles while on the road.