As a trucker, your ability to get the job done right and on the expected schedule depends almost entirely on how well your big rig runs over a trip of potentially thousands of miles. For that reason, you would be wise to make sure that truck is in great shape every time you hit the road, so that you can keep rolling together for many years to come.
What does proper truck maintenance include? Some things will be obvious, others may not, but either way, you should incorporate all of the following into your regular efforts going forward:
1) Check all the fluids before every run
This is perhaps the most basic tenet of automotive maintenance on the whole: Make sure your fluids are topped off every few thousand miles at most, according to Job Monkey. That means not just your motor oil, steering fluid, or transmission fluid, but also your windshield wiper fluid.
2) Patch even the smallest leaks
You should make sure to visually inspect all the hoses that feed the various systems under your hood and if you notice a single imperfection, it's time to repair or replace them, Job Monkey said. You don't want a relatively small problem to turn into a big one a few hundred miles down the highway.
3) Line up your tire pressure
Before heading out, need to always check that your tires are properly inflated to avoid the risk of a blowout and maximize your gas mileage, Job Monkey added. Take the time to adjust everything to the recommended level before you hit the road.
4) Examine all your lights
Your goal as a trucker should be to stay as visible as possible to other drivers and ensure they can always guess what you will do at least a few seconds before you do it, according to Intermountain Trailer. For that reason, you need to make sure all your lights and signals work.
5) Visually examine the suspension
Over many runs and potentially tens of thousands of miles, your big rig's suspension will take a beating, Intermountain Trailer advised. For that reason, you should always ensure it's in the best possible shape, and a visual inspection will help you determine if there is anything that needs to be repaired or replaced.
6) Keep everything lubricated
In much the same way as your fluids need to be topped off and your tires need to be inflated properly, you should make sure the various components of your truck are lubricated properly, Intermountain Trailer noted. That includes not only what's under your hood, but also the undercarriage of your vehicle.
7) Swap out the filters
Your engine and fuel filters will necessarily need to be swapped out more often than you might think, according to BullRing. If you are proactive about this effort, your vehicle will run more efficiently on an ongoing basis.
8) Keep it clean
You may not consider just how much damage months' worth of dust, dirt and grime can do to your vehicle's structure, but it's actually a potentially massive problem, BullRing warned. Making sure to regularly clean off the tractor trailer from from to back is vital to long-term performance.
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