Tips on truck upkeep
THERE ARE many factors that entrepreneurs should consider to keep their businesses running. One of them is choosing the most suitable vehicle that can easily transport their goods anytime and anywhere. Although new trucks and vans in the market are all roadready, it is still important to have the basic knowledge of how to maintain them for a better drive and longer life.
Since commercial vehicles spend a lot of time in traffic, they are also more prone to idling than a normal vehicle. This has also been pointed out by Kenneth Calhoun, customer relations vice-president of Truck Centers of Arkansas. In an article by Kevin Jones titled “Pro tips: Truck maintenance for the ownerop” published in American Trucker, an online resource provider for trucking operations, Mr. Calhoun said that the most common issue he encountered in his shops came from idling. “Idling’s never really been good. [It is] cooking some very expensive equipment,” he added.
In another article issued by RoadandTrack. com, an information provider about cars and driving, writer Hans Aschim tapped Ford’s global chief engineer John Norton to come up with tips on how to maintain the good running condition of trucks.
Topping the list is one of the most important and basic thing to do — change oil. Though there are varieties of oil in the market, make sure to choose the best oil according to vehicle’s need.
Mr. Calhoun of Truck Centers of Arkansas, for his part, suggested the need to monitor fuel quality on a daily basis.
Ford’s Mr. Norton also shared the importance of tire rotation. “We recommend that you rotate your tires every time you have your oil changed so that your tires are wearing evenly,” he said. As the front tires typically wear the most, it is essential to rotate them not only to extend the tires’ life but also to have a smoother drive.
A balanced tire is another vital point tackled by Mr. Aschim. Every bump the trucks encounter could make the tires out of balance, which could result in suspension and tire wear caused by vibrations on the road. Wheel alignment should also be done especially when the vehicles are used in off-road driving, he added.
Mr. Jones, for his part, emphasized in his article the proper tire inflation. “Proper inflation figure should be determined by taking into account actual weight by axle and using a load/inflation table,” he explained. “Check inflation pressure on a regular basis.”
Another factor on Mr. Aschim’s list are the lights. Make sure that interior and exterior lights are properly working. It is also significant to examine the fluid levels such as the engine coolant as this is what keeps the truck from overheating. Engines can also be more efficient by having a clean air filter.
Of course, truck brakes should be inspected. One should examine the calipers, guide pins and brake pad wear.
As with all the vehicle parts, avoid buying less expensive, low-quality replacements parts. Remember that road and travel safety should always be at the top of one’s mind. —