Whether you’re a fleet owner, an independent truck driver or a mechanic, you know that your best investment is in your truck’s maintenance. You don’t have to be a mechanical expert or a mechanic to do basic maintenance on your own vehicle. In fact, most of the work can be done quickly and with little effort by following some simple tips.
Neglecting Safety Checks
Safety checks are an important part of your truck maintenance routine, but they’re also easy to overlook. The fact is that a few minutes spent checking the safety equipment on your truck can help prevent accidents and keep you safe on the road.
You don’t need to be a mechanic or even have any previous experience with cars or trucks in order to do these inspections–just take a look at our list below!
- Brakes: Make sure all four wheels are functioning properly by pressing down firmly on each brake pedal; if any of them feel soft or spongy when pressed, it may indicate some sort of problem with the hydraulic system in that wheel’s drum brakes or disc brakes (or both). If this happens when going downhill at high speeds on an icy road, it could lead directly into an accident without warning!
Ignoring Maintenance Schedules
A truck’s maintenance schedule is an important part of your vehicle’s life, according to Dayne Yeager. Ignoring a schedule and not performing the necessary services on time can lead to expensive problems down the road, so it’s critical that you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific model.
The first step in setting up a proper maintenance routine is determining how often each service should be performed. Some trucks require more frequent changes than others, but there are some general guidelines that apply across the board:
- Change oil every 5-7k miles (10k km) or sooner if using synthetic oil or driving in extremely harsh conditions such as desert heat or off-roading;
- Change air filter every 15k miles (25k km);
- Change fuel filter every 30k miles (50km) or sooner if driving in dusty conditions where debris may enter through the fuel system; * Transmission fluid change every 80-100k miles (130-160km), depending upon make/model of transmission used by manufacturer; * Power steering fluid change every 100-125k miles (160-200km).
Overlooking Tire Pressure
The first thing to know about tire pressure is that it’s easy to check. All you need is a good-quality gauge and a few minutes of your time, and you can make sure that all four tires are properly inflated. The second thing to know is that not checking your tire pressure regularly–or at all–is dangerous and could lead to serious damage in the long run.
Not Inspecting the Engine
Inspecting the engine is one of the most important things you can do for your truck, says Dayne Yeager. It’s also one of the easiest ways to spot problems before they become big ones, which is why it should be a regular part of your maintenance routine.
- Check oil level and condition
- Check coolant level and color (should be light green or yellow)
- Look for signs of leaks under vehicle that might indicate worn hoses or gaskets
Check brake fluid level (should be in between minimum and maximum marks)