As unpleasant winter weather finally leaves even the coldest parts of the U.S., spring is coming into full bloom - and that means truckers may need to change their approach to properly caring for their tractor trailers. Fortunately, many of these steps will allow you to take a set-it-and-forget-it approach for at least a few days or any one trip, meaning it will be easier to conduct this kind of maintenance throughout the next few months.
The following tips will help you make sure your truck runs well and looks good as spring progresses:
1) Clean every inch of the exterior
If you do a lot of driving in states where they sand and salt the roads in winter, it's always a good idea to get that accumulated debris cleaned off your truck and trailer now that winter is over, according to Trick Trucks and Cars. That means a deep clean for every surface you can see, but also making sure the under carriage gets a thorough rinse and cleaning as well. The corrosive properties of all that stuff are significant, so cleaning it off sooner than later is a must.
2) Take a look at the tires
Your tires take a beating at any time of year but winter weather can be particularly tough on them, Trick Trucks and Cars advised. For that reason, you need to make sure every one of your tires is properly inflated and in good shape before you hit the road. Doing so is especially important in spring because wet roads require tires with sufficient treads to navigate safely.
3) Inspect the wiring
There are a lot of wires that connect everything in your truck and trailer, and over time the changing conditions can start to wear out their casings and connections, according to Cardinal. As such, now is the time to carefully look at all those wires and cords to ensure everything is in good shape, there's no corrosion around the connection points and so on. Doing so will help you avoid potentially more serious problems that can arise in the middle of a trip.
4) Clean the interior
This is as much an aesthetic change as a more necessary maintenance tip, but cleaning the inside of your truck will help guarantee the floor mats remain in good shape, as well as giving you as much visibility as possible with your windows, Cardinal added. That, in turn, is not only going to help you feel a little better about the state of your truck overall, but also boost your ability to see potential hazards around you on the road.
5) See that the battery and lights are in good shape
Now is the time to go under the hood and make sure your battery is in good shape, and then test all the lights on your vehicle - inside and out - to see if they're in order, according to TA Petro. Replace any that aren't working as expected, and you will help ensure you're as visible as possible on the road, and other drivers know when you're trying to turn or change lanes.
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