More than 3.5 million people work as truck drivers. Semi-truck drivers go through a lot of miles each year. This means they need to carry out regular maintenance checks to ensure safety and increase the lifespan of their trucks.
Don’t know where to start when it comes to maintenance checks? Here are nine things that you need to be carryout out often on your semi-truck.
1. Get the Oil Changed
When doing maintenance checks, you need to be sure the oil has been changed after a while. Generally, you should get the oil changed every six months. You could also go by the mileage and get it changed about every 7,500 miles.
Older semi-trucks need to have their oil changed more often. They will also need the oil filter replaced. This is truck maintenance that you can sometimes take care of yourself. If you don’t consider yourself auto-savvy, get help from the professionals.
2. Top of the Coolant
A semi-truck will be especially powerful. Because of this, the engine creates more heat when the truck is driven. During your truck maintenance checks, make sure the coolant is topped off.
Coolant should never be empty. If you drive without coolant, you could end up needing a completely new engine.
Not only is it dangerous to drive around without coolant, but it can also make your truck very hot. The last thing you want on a hot summer day is for your A/C to go out because you are low on coolant.
Check the coolant regularly, about every two weeks. If you start to run low, you will be able to catch it during a regular check before it does damage to your truck.
3. Change Brake Fluid
You need to watch out for your brakes during a truck check-up. This means changing the brake fluid when needed. Brake fluid is detrimental to bringing your truck to a safe stop.
If the brake fluid is not changed, it can get contaminated. Contaminated fluid can negatively affect your whole brake system. It can cause your brake lines to rust, forcing you to spend a lot on the truck maintenance cost.
The system will continue to run smoothly with regular checks. A technician will be able to check this for you.
4. Replace Air Intake Filter
The air filter in your truck will keep clean air running through it. An old air filter will be clogged with dust, dirt, and more.
About every 15,000 to 30,000 miles, you should replace the air intake filter. You may have to replace it more frequently if you drive your semi through dusty areas often.
You can check your filter and know it needs replacing if the light does not pass through it. This could happen before 15,000 miles so be sure to add it to your regular maintenance checks.
This kind of maintenance can help your engine last longer. Your semi will also be able to use less fuel when you accelerate by replacing a dirty air intake filter.
5. Schedule Alignments
You should regularly schedule alignments because if the alignment is off, it can cause wear and tear. Your tires can wear out sooner and make it harder for you to steer. This could be very dangerous, especially for a large semi-truck.
If your alignment is off, you will also be wasting more money on gas. An unaligned truck will require you to do more work to make it to your destinations.
If your steering wheel begins favoring one side, it is time for an alignment. A technician can also check your alignment for you.
6. Check Tire Pressure
It is natural for the tire pressure to go down in any vehicle. Because of this, tires should be checked about once a month for proper inflation.
Driving on underinflated tires can be dangerous and cause other issues to your truck. Your gas mileage can decrease, and your tires will wear out earlier. You will be replacing your tires sooner if your tire pressure is not checked.
7. Rotate Tires
Rotating tires is important for a semi-truck because they have more tires than the average car or truck. The wear and tear on the tires of a semi won’t be even. Normally, the front tires are worn out quicker.
The wear and tear may also be affected by misaligned tires. Rotating your tires can give them a longer lifespan and evenly distribute the wear.
8. Check Lights
Lights may be the most common type of maintenance to check, but they are also easy to forget. Don’t lose sight of the lights by getting too concerned with all of the other maintenance items.
Exterior and interior lights need to be checked. The interior lights are especially important because they can tell you when something is wrong with the truck.
You can easily check the inside and outside lights by putting the keys into the truck. This should be done every month. A burnt-out light could cost you a ticket if it’s not fixed.
9. Check Emission
You should check your emission every year to ensure it does not blow smoke that could give you a hefty fine. Any exhaust coming from your semi-truck can be damaging the air and should be taken care of right away.
An older semi-truck may have this problem more often than a newer one. Normally, the engine light coming on is a sign that there is a problem that could affect the emissions control system.
Carry Out Regular Maintenance Checks
Regular maintenance checks can save you a lot of trouble and keep your semi-truck working properly for a longer amount of time. Don’t wait until it’s too late to start carrying out regular maintenance checks.
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