Trucks are often said to be the hardiest of road vehicles. But regardless of their toughness and durability, trucks too are made up of components and moving parts that wear out with time. Trucks are, after all, heavy duty vehicles that are in continuous use and usually made to travel long distances. Therefore it becomes all the more necessary to conduct routine maintenance to ensure that trucks always operate in peak condition. The practice of conducting routine checks and maintenance of your truck will also help you identify potential problems before they actually happen.
Whether you are an individual who owns a truck for private use, or an owner of a fleet of trucks, carrying out regular maintenance is essential. In this blog, we give you a few simple tips that will help you keep your truck in tip-top shape.
1. Having a well-stocked toolbox
Theoretically, a toolbox functions as a ‘first aid kit’ for vehicles. According to ToolBoxWiki, one of the simplest and most useful tips for truck owners is to always keep a toolbox that is sufficiently stocked. Sometimes we end up misplacing the most frequently used instruments or stoolvearching for them in multiple possible places, only to end up locating them where we least expect to. Therefore, keeping a toolbox inside your truck will help you organise all your tools in one place so that whenever you need something, you know where to look. Having all your tools in a dedicated toolbox will also protect them from external factors such as excessive sunlight, rain, snow, dust collection and extreme temperatures. The possibility of theft is also eliminated by the security of keeping all your tools in a toolbox.
2. Replacing parts that are subject to wear and tear
Trucks are vehicles that are made of a complex system of moving parts. With use, these moving parts are subject to erosion and wear and tear. It is highly advisable to have a list of truck components that wear out the quickest so that arrangements can be made to have them replaced as soon as possible. Performing routine inspections of your truck will help you discover degradation in any components, in turn allowing you to nip potential problems in the bud. Additionally, you should consider stockpiling parts that you know you will need to periodically keep replacing, as well as purchasing parts that come with lifetime warranties. Manufacturers eventually discontinue producing these parts, leading to obsolescence, so while it may sound unappealing at first to spend extra money on parts, the reassurance of having these parts should the need arise is incomparable. It is indeed a small price to pay for peace of mind knowing you won’t be left high and dry.
3. Checking tires regularly
Obvious as it may sound, tires are, in fact, what gets your truck in motion. Even if everything else in your truck is working perfectly, a flat tire means you won’t be able to go anywhere at all. That being said, it is crucial to make sure your truck’s tires are always in perfect condition. Even if any of your tires are not flat, having tires that are not properly inflated will cause performance issues for your truck. Underinflated tires cause more friction as more of the tire’s surface area is in contact with the road, leading to overheating. This can cause premature tire wear, tread separation, as well as tire blowouts. Overinflated tires are also a problem. Having tires that are overinflated can result in a more uncomfortable ride as the tires are less able to grip uneven road surfaces and absorb shocks. This, in turn, will cause damage to the tires and also to the truck’s suspension due to harder impacts. Determining the optimum tire inflation pressure for your truck will not only help to get you better mileage, but also make for a more comfortable ride, while ensuring your engine is not strained more than it needs.
4. Changing oil and performing engine checks
Problems with the engine of your truck as well as with the drivetrain will likely be one of the first causes for your truck to go off the road. It is important to be on the lookout for signs of engine trouble such as smoke, a decrease in power or performance and a drop in oil pressure. When any of these situations happen, it is highly recommended to address them immediately and preferably by an experienced technician. Equally important is making sure that the engine is adequately lubricated with clean oil. Oil can easily get contaminated with dust and dirt from the engine, so replacing it with clean oil helps to minimise friction in the moving parts of the engine leading to better engine performance and engine longevity. Regularly monitoring coolant levels, oil pressures and engine exhaust temperature are also recommended.
5. Preventing body problems
Body corrosion on your truck is also a problem to keep an eye out for. Counterintuitive as it may seem, looking after the basics is often what goes a long way in preventing problems. Even though rust cannot be prevented, its effects can be greatly slowed down – and in turn, the longevity of your truck prolonged – by keeping the body clean and contaminant free. For starters, keeping the body of your truck clean contributes in more ways than just making it look great. Regular cleaning helps to protect the paint on your truck from abrasion as well as removes dirt and dust. Washing your truck will keep contaminants from damaging the paint. Cleaning the undercarriage is equally important as dirt from the roads and other surfaces can cause immense corrosion to your truck’s undercarriage.
Just by keeping these simple things in mind, you can save yourself a lot of time, money and the hassle of running to shops for procuring parts and arranging repairs that may often turn out to be very expensive. As the old proverb goes, “you get what you put in”, the better you take care of your truck, the less likely it is to break down, in turn providing you with many years of satisfactory and undisrupted service.