It is well known that for commercial refrigerated transport companies, including owner-operators, truck maintenance can be at times taxing. We understand that all jobs, as well as short journeys, seem to be nonstop. In fact, there isn’t much respite for truckers, whether it’s staying on the road, or taking care of your truck. Thus, it’s critical to have an efficient or effective maintenance plan in place, to avoid unnecessary downturn or faults.
We’re sure that you already know the importance of due diligence and correct maintenance with your truck. However, we thought that’d we’d share our three simple maintenance tips to keep the high-mileage fleet vehicle on the road. Although we are in the refrigerated transport industry, these tips apply to all owner-operators and company drivers. So, if you would like to learn how to make your fleet or truck (for owner-operators) on the road, keep reading.
3 Simple Maintenance Tips
Apart from meeting regulatory standards, as set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, (FMCSA), committing to regular schedule maintenance ensures that your truck or fleet can endure frequent long-haul, high-mileage journeys.
Besides, the obvious loss of income, when your truck and/or fleet is not fit for service, you can disappoint your customers, and be out much more money if repairs are required. Also, for companies, you will be letting your employees down if it results in them losing hours due to out of service trucks. But, the good news is the negative impacts of improper maintenance of your trucks are avoidable. So, here are our three maintenance tips:
1. Oil Checks and Analysis
The best way to describe carrying out oil checks for analysis is like having a blood test checked by a doctor. The oil is the life force of your truck, so ensuring that your engine oil is healthy can prevent costly repairs. Sending your oil for analysis can help you to identify the health of the engine, as well as identifying smaller, less expensive repairs.
Alternatively, there are some great self-check oil kits, which means that you can check this regularly. Regardless if you’re a company driver or an owner-operator, frequent oil checks ensure that your truck drives more efficiently, and results in less time off the road.
2. Create a Maintenance Schedule
Now, we understand that for truckers, being on the road seems never-ending. So, the best tip is to schedule regular maintenance checks, either quarterly or monthly. Sometimes, maintenance flies out the window due to a trucker’s hectic schedule. Moreover, many truckers and even fleet owners, often panic when it’s time for scheduled regulatory events and rush to complete all the work needed just prior to the inspections that happen during these times.
Instead, set out some time to conduct the Level 1 CVSA checks, as often as you like to identify any problems or issues that could result in your truck being out-of-service. The best tip is to create a maintenance schedule that suits you so that you will stick to it to prevent downtime.
3. Low rolling, resistance tires
Having the correct tires which suit your trucking needs has quite a few benefits. For instance, if you change to low rolling, resistance tires, it’s more cost effective, reduces the travel time, which can save you a significant amount of cash when it comes to fuel. Although these tires are slightly more expensive, in the long term, you can improve the efficiency of your truck as well as making savings. The price for fuel seems to increase continually, this year it costs approximately 3% more to fuel your truck or fleet. Therefore, investing in more cost-effective tires is advantageous long term.