Maintaining your truck and using an effective maintenance checklist to keep your equipment in good order will keep you and others safe on the road. Maintenance will also keep our overall operating costs down. A 2016 study by the ATRI (American Transportation Research Institute) marked repair and maintenance costs at 15.6 cents per mile. Several factors could impact this cost, such as the age of the truck and trailer, vehicle configurations, and technologies installed. The best way to keep repair costs as low as possible is to perform routine maintenance on your truck and trailer.

A basic daily preventative maintenance checklist should be performed at the start of every trip. They include checking tires, lights, turn signals, and hazard flashers to ensure all in good working order. It is also key to pay attention to basic warning signs and unusual noises.

What constitutes “routine maintenance” for a diesel truck?

Regular preventative maintenance is the best way to reduce operating costs – sudden mechanical breakdowns are often expensive and can, in most cases, be avoided by routine truck and trailer maintenance. Performing regular preventative maintenance inspections can be based on time or mileage. Check the vehicle’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations on maintenance. Here is a checklist of the areas to pay attention to for diesel trucks:

  • Tires – Regularly examine every tire to make sure it is properly inflated and meets DOT requirements for tread depth. Tire pressure changes when temperatures drop, reducing fuel economy and creating a greater risk of tire failure at high speeds. Underinflated tires can also affect weight distribution, which in turn can cause problems with the framework, alignment, traction, steering and braking.
  • Brakes –  Test for stopping performance, adjustment, and air system performance.
  • Steering System – Check for excessive wheel play, which indicates system deterioration.
  • Battery – Check your battery’s age before cold & and hot weather seasons arrive. Make sure the battery is properly secured and that the connections are tight, to prevent malfunctions. In general, drivers should look at replacing their batteries if its life has exceeded 72 months.
  • Mirrors and lights – Examine to make sure they are operable and clean too allow for clear visibility.

What constitutes “routine maintenance” for a trailer?

The inside of the trailer also requires routine maintenance and inspection. Here is our checklist of areas to pay special attention to for trailers:

  • Temperature control unit and temperature monitoring devices – must be calibrated and accurate.
  • Refrigeration air delivery chutes – attached properly and free of rips, tears, or any other damages that may affect air circulation.
  • Trailer’s insulation through walls, ceiling, doors, and floors – the trailer must be airtight!
  • Floor grooves and drains – must be free of debris, cracks, and holes.

Routine preventative maintenance helps to ensure success upon deliveries, and reduces a carrier’s exposure to claims and/or additional charges. So, take care of your truck, trailer, and yourself – inside and out.

The Only Preventative Maintenance Checklist for Diesel Trucks was last modified: by