Caring for Your Semi Truck

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Out there on the open roads, the semi-truck is the driver’s best friend. This relationship is more than man and machine. It’s a mutually dependent and beneficial friendship. Because of this, it’s only natural that you would want to take extra special care of your rig.

Whether you’re an independent driver with your own semi, or a massive trucking company, you always want your rig (or rigs) to perform at their utmost capability.

Here’s how you can make sure.

Maintenance

There’s a reason the adage ‘prevention is better than cure’ is so popular. In trucking, most of the issues with the rig can be prevented with religious maintenance.

  • Checking the Oil – Ever heard of the phrase ‘well-oiled machine?’ Of course, you have. This is extremely applicable for semis with massive engines that have a lot of moving parts. Oil is needed to make sure those parts move fluidly. If you don’t have enough oil, or if the quality of your oil has declined, those moving parts may grind against each other causing expensive repairs and also posing risk when driving. Check your oil regularly and replace them when needed.
  • Checking the Radiator – Overheating is a nightmare especially when you’re on the road. Reduce the chances by checking your radiator fluid levels before a long trip. For peace of mind, you can also top up or replace the fluid if you feel that the radiator is no longer working at optimum capacity.
  • Checking Tire Pressure – Driving across states and cross-country roads hauling tons of cargo can take their toll on your tires. On a few tragic cases, a tire blowout can even cause road crashes. The worst part of these tragedies is how easily they could have been avoided. Here’s Popular Mechanics explaining this further and how you can avoid it.
  • Cleaning the Fuel Vent – During long stops or when the truck hasn’t been driven for a while, there may be insects building up in the fuel vent. This may cause you to think that there isn’t any fuel. Don’t let this nuisance catch you on the road and check that fuel vent.
  • Checking the Brakes – brakes are extra essential in semis. With their mass, the brakes have to work exceptionally at all times to ensure a safe ride. Every time you notice a squeal or any vibration, have your brakes checked by professional. You should never take any chances when it comes to the safety of your journey.

driving

Driving

While you’re on the road, it’s up to you to make sure that both you and your haul gets to your destination safely and efficiently.

  • Staying Attentive – Once you get on your truck, your eyes should be moving around to see possible dangers. Keeping this level of attention may be tiring, this is also why truckers are required to take periodic breaks over long drives. It will help if you stay extra attentive when turning or backing up.
  • Staying Patient – A lot of things can happen on roads. Keeping your cool can sometimes be a challenge, especially if you’re on a 12-hour drive. Just make sure everyone on the road is safe, including motorists who may drive irresponsibly.

Backups

Even if you take every precaution, there may come times when you would encounter breakdowns. When these happen, you should be prepared with spares. You should have everything on hand – fuel, batteries, tires, lights. Even parts like belts, caps, and diesel engine spares may come in handy especially if you’re out in the country.

Take Care of Your Truck

Taking care of your truck won’t only protect your livelihood, it will also protect your life. Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to have a long and healthy relationship with your rig.

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