Truck Maintenance Tips & Checklist
Do you know how much you’re spending per year on your truck maintenance costs? Operating a commercial truck is incredibly expensive, but this is a necessary investment when working in the construction, waste and transportation industries.
The majority of modern trucks have systems in place that will notify you of any irregularities whilst driving. Everything from tyre pressures to oil warning lights are integrated into your trip computer, however, what can you do to spot these issues before they become a costly problem?
We wanted to share some of our top tips with you on how to reduce truck maintenance costs by creating a checklist, with tips on the steps you can take to decrease costs.
Enforce your daily walk around routine.
- The Freight Transport Association (FTA) found that over 50% of the safety defects uncovered by its Vehicle Inspection Service could have been picked up by the driver, during their daily walk-around check.
- By implementing a system of reporting and recording faults on a daily basis, you’re much more likely to spot issues before they become substantial problems, both legally and for the sake of the cost to your business.
- The Government have a handy guide for daily walk round routines here
Change your oil regularly
- Changing your oil is perhaps the simplest, but most effective way of prolonging the life of your vehicle. Due to the nature of commercial vehicles, you can spend a lot of time with the truck sat idling whilst waiting to load up or in heavy traffic.
- This results in your oil breaking down quicker, and it not providing the efficiency it did when new. By changing your oil frequently, such as every 3000 miles, you ensure that your engine is well lubricated and the heat generated through friction is absorbed more effectively, improving longevity and performance.
Make sure your engine & coolants are topped up
- The majority of businesses we work with spend time doing short journeys, often between the same locations day in, day out. During these short journeys, especially if you’re stopping and starting frequently, the oil can have difficulty building up enough pressure to protect the engine, which creates wear.
- Also, due to the nature of commercial trucks, they can heat up to incredibly high temperatures. Ensuring your coolant is topped up means more heat is distributed away from the engine, before returning to the radiator for cooling.
- Often both of these will deplete over time due to the heat trucks generate, and it’s important to keep them topped up for efficiency and reliability.
Check your suspension
- Over time, especially for commercial vehicles carrying a great deal of weight, suspension components can wear out. Although it sounds like common sense, you can usually spot if this is the case by experiencing a rougher ride than normal, and beginning to feel more bumps and shakes are you drive.
- By checking your suspension regularly – through visual inspections, bounce tests and braking tests, you can identify is your suspension needs assessing.
- This is particularly important for commercial vehicles as you have a health and safety requirement to the driver, plus if weight loads aren’t being properly absorbed whilst driving, they can become dangerous.
Inspect tyres for tread wear
- Especially on larger trucks, rotating tyres is imperative to ensure they wear down at an even rate. When travelling long distances or carrying heavy loads, you may have to go outside of manufacturer’s recommendations in terms of tyre pressures, as they can’t always predict the weights you’ll be carrying.
- Ensuring all of your tyres are balanced, and the tracking on your wheels is correct, you will further minimise tyre wear.
- As a quick side note, looking at tyre wear and whether they’re wearing evenly can help out with our previous tip – indicating suspension could be failing on one side if the tread is lower.
Change your air filters
- Your truck needs clean air to cool and function at the most efficient levels. Over time these can become clogged up and not perform as they did when new, but luckily it’s easy to maintain air filtration systems. Usually these can be taken out, washed and replaced, or replaced with an entirely new filter at a low cost.
Health & Safety requirements
- Finally, as with any commercial vehicle, it’s imperative you check your truck complies with Health & Safety standards. http://www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport/checklist/section4.htm
Truck Maintenance Costs
As we’re sure you can imagine, carrying out the points we mentioned above in our truck maintenance tips can be costly to resolve.
A recent study in the US states that truck maintenance costs can amount to nearly £12,000 per year, when you take into account repairs, tyre replacements, and general ongoing maintenance that operating a truck in the UK requires.
One of the most significant benefits of hiring or leasing a truck from Mac’s Trucks is that all of these truck maintenance costs are included in your monthly price.
This means you know exactly how much your truck will cost you each month, without the headache of repairs and maintenance to consider should something happen to your vehicle.
What’s more, we manage and plan your maintenance meaning you don’t have to organise getting your truck in at a garage, we’ll simply book your checks in at a time that works for you.
Talk to us today for more information on how your business can benefit from truck leasing.