Your shipping truck is going to be the lifeline of your income as a trucker, and a single breakdown could bring your entire livelihood to a screeching halt. Not only that, but having unexpected breakdowns can be dangerous when they happen on the road, especially on long stretches of empty road where help will be long in coming. That is just one of the reasons why you must make every effort to ensure that your truck is well-maintained at all times. Here is a look at four maintenance tips that will improve the efficiency and service life of your shipping truck.
Skip the Idling
Letting your engine idle for a few minutes at a time won’t destroy your engine, but you shouldn’t idle the engine for long periods of time. In addition to wasting fuel, that practice can also damage your head gaskets, spark plugs, and cylinder rings. If you are leaving the engine on in order to power the cabin, then you might want to invest in a backup generator.
Stick With High-Quality Parts
It might be tempting to save a little money by purchasing secondhand parts, but that could be a big mistake in the long run. Secondhand parts are rarely inspected by qualified professionals, and you might end up installing faulty components. High-quality truck body parts from a reputable dealer are going to last for years with the proper maintenance, and many of those components are backed by extensive warranties.
Schedule Premiums Inspections Annually
You might be able to carry out some basic maintenance tasks on your own, but there will come a point when you need to work with a certified mechanic. During a premium inspection, the mechanic will inspect every major mechanical system in your truck and replace any damaged parts. They are also going to replace all of the fluids, rotate the tires, and check the tread on the tires. Getting these checks done is especially important to preventing unexpected breakdowns, as well as ensuring that your truck is able to drive through poor weather conditions that would be dangerous with low tread on your tires.
Avoid Cold Soaks
A cold soak occurs when the engine stays at the ambient temperature for an extended period of time. As a general rule, you want to bring the engine up to its normal operating temperature at least once every few days if the vehicle isn’t being driven. If you are in a particularly cold climate, then you might want to invest in an engine block heater as well. Those devices need to be turned on whenever the truck is going to sit in freezing temperatures for more than a few hours.
A minor mechanical issue could result in major damage in the blink of an eye, and those issues are going to eat into your income. This is especially hard on beginning truck drivers who are relying on their investment in a quality truck to pay itself off as soon as possible. Luckily, you should be able to avoid most mechanical problems with a little bit of preventative maintenance, while also ensuring your own personal safety while on the road.