Preventative maintenance. It hangs over all our heads and applies to nearly everything we have. As annoying as it may be, it’s also the easiest and least expensive way to make your car hauler last longer. A little bit of work every week is better for you, your hydraulics system and your bottom line than a huge fine and a long overhaul in a shop. So here are our top five safety and maintenance tips to make sure you’re running at tip top efficiency and stay safe on the road.
- Brakes – Brakes are the #2 reason for an Out of Service [OOS] order for trucks. In 2020, that was almost 6,000 trucks taken off the road due to a brake violation. More importantly, that’s almost 6,000 trucks on our roads that couldn’t stop in an emergency. Take some time at your next home time to check the adjustment and lining. Any brake issues should be corrected as soon as you find them. Auto carriers can be tricky to check, but brake issues should never be taken lightly.
- Tires – A flat tire or audible leak were the #1 reason for an OOS order in 2020, taking over 10,000 trucks off the road. Every time you get in your truck, take a minute to walk around and check for tire damage. And every month, check your tread depth and inflation pressure. Then look for tire defects, especially inside dual tires. Tire issues should be ID’d and corrected during your DVIR, but some extra time spent looking at your tires ensures that your connection to the road is solid and reliable.
- Lights – Lights are the #1 reason for a violation during a roadside inspection in 2020. Lights are a key part of staying safe on the road. They tell other drivers where you are and where you’re going. When they don’t work, you put yourself and everyone else on the road in danger. Brake lights and turn signals are often the culprits, but both are sure to get you an OOS order.
- Leaks – Oil or grease leaks were the #3 reason for a violation in 2020. While not the biggest safety risk, a leaking truck is still a dangerous truck. Oil and grease leaks can earn you some hefty fines, but they’re also an indicator of bigger problems to come. Getting them fixed sooner saves on fines, service costs and downtime. And don’t forget about your hydraulics. Any signs of a pinched or leaking hose or fitting should be fixed immediately. There are few things worse than showering a load of cars in hydraulic oil because of a leak. But one of those is bathing yourself in it. Not an easy clean-up job.
- Seatbelts – Always wear your seatbelt! Multiple studies have shown that truck drivers who don’t wear their seatbelt are more likely to take other safety risks. A seatbelt is an easy way to keep yourself safe and serves as a reminder to make other smart choices.
Preventative maintenance can seem like a big hassle, but it’s the first step to a truck that can keep you safe on the road. And with a partner like TEC on your side, it’s easy to manage. Whether you’re in Portland or Phoenix, stop by for parts and service. Let us take care of your preventative maintenance and keep your truck safer on the road.