Maintenance Tips for Your Big Rig by Chris Hums
Posted: Jun 09, 2016
Proper vehicle maintenance is important for all vehicles. It ensures safe operating, and a reliable ride. If you are a commercial truck driver, maintaining your rig is just as important – if not more important – than maintaining your car. Proper maintenance not only ensures that your rig is reliable and ready to take on jobs, but it also keeps it safe.
Prior to taking any job, it is imperative that you perform routine maintenance inspections on your rig. What parts should you be focusing on when it comes to routine maintenance? While it is important for all areas of your rig to be in excellent condition; there are key areas that you need to focus on before you take any job. What areas are those? Keep on reading to find out what you should be checking before you head out on a job so that you can keep your commercial truck in excellent, reliable, and most importantly, safe condition, before you hit the road. The last thing you want is to accept a job and find out that your rig isn’t working properly, or that it isn’t able to safely handle the road.
Key Maintenance Tips for Your Rig
Where do you start with maintenance for your rig? What should you always be on top of? Here are some key maintenance areas that you have to keep in check in order to ensure your success and your safety.
- Check the oil. Oil is an essential part of all vehicles, including a big rig. If your oil isn’t topped off, or changed regularly, you could be dealing with a seized engine down the road. Just like any other vehicle, make sure you have routine oil changes every 3,000 miles. Check your oil to make sure it is at the right level prior to each job you go on.
- Check your coolant. Coolant is another important fluid in your rig. It keeps the engine cool, preventing it from overheating. Just like the oil, check your coolant levels before each job you go on. If it’s low, top it off.
- Tires are important, too. Your tires are what separate you from the road. If your tire pressure is low, you could be looking at a blow out, or serious skidding (which is always a huge problem, especially in a big rig.) Make sure your tires are at the right PSI before you head out on any job. If they’re low, fill them until they are at the right level. Check your treads, too. Worn treads mean your tires need to be changed, ASAP. When the treads are low, you don’t have as much friction between you and the road, which could spell disaster.
- Stay on top of the fuel vent. Before setting out on a job, check the fuel vent. It’s not unusual for insects to build nests inside of a fuel vent, and when they do, a blockage can happen. A blocked fuel vent could make your rig act as if it is out of fuel, and that’s the last thing you want when you’re on the road.
- Do a wiper inspection. Your wipers are super important when inclement weather happens. If they are worn, you will be looking out of streaky windows when it rains, which can seriously impact your vision and make for very hazardous driving conditions. To check the wipers, simply turn them on and see how well they clean off your washer fluid. If you see streaks, it’s time for them to be changed.
Your rig is the staple of your commercial trucking business. If it isn’t in good condition, you could be looking at some serious problems, and you could be costing yourself a good bit of money.
About the Author: Chris Hums is a commercial trucker with 15 years of experience under his belt. He highly recommends Peak C&I fluids for big rigs.
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