You as a truck driver know that breakdowns are unpredictable. In other words, you have to deal with them at some point or another.
From flat tires, dead battery, oil leaks, and electrical issues to brakes problems, many things can cause truck breakdown while you’re driving.
It is quite frustrating to get stranded on the side of the road with no clue what to do. And the frustration gets bigger if your truck is hauling loads of cargo and you’re miles away from the help—somewhere in deserts or highway.
While you may have prepared for this, sometimes even the most experienced truck drivers encounter this problem.
That’s why breakdowns are a nightmare for truck professionals.
But that doesn’t mean preventing breakdown is beyond your reach. While some truck breakdowns are triggered by mechanical errors that might be impossible to notice, many of the common breakdowns can be spotted early and prevented.
All you need to get informed about the major causes of truck breakdowns. It will help you know more about how to keep them at bay, saving you money and hassles down the road. Here’s how…
Check Your Tires:
Did you know that tires problems make up 25% of all truck breakdowns? That’s why you should take care of your tires more than ever. First of all, make sure to check your tire pressure.
Underinflated tires are vulnerable to blowouts while overinflated tires lead to poor handling, thereby affecting your tire life as well as fuel economy. Read your owner’s manual to find out the right pressure for your tire.
Tire wear is another condition to deal with. Worn out treads, bald spots and cracks are red flags. The minimum tread depth for a steer tire is 4/32 of an inch.
Take Vehicular Maintenance Seriously:
Let’s accept it. Most truck businesses avoid maintenance for financial reasons, postponing it to the next month. While this might be okay for the short term, over the long term it adds to the risk of your trucks running into trouble and performance issues.
The key advantage of preventive maintenance isn’t just the minimized risk of breakdowns, but also that lets you see the issues before they can hit your truck. Preventive maintenance enhances the performance of your truck.
Inspect “Small Things” Before Long Trip:
Not all truck failures occur because of inadequate preventive maintenance. Sometimes, a small issue such as an underinflated tire can evolve into a blowout at the worst possible time.
The environment is also a key concern as it affects coolant and tire pressure. These small things can pose a big threat to your truck on the road, requiring you to be aware of them when they occur.
The best preventive measure is to get them inspected before any trip. From tire pressure, coolant, electronics, and fuel, everything should be checked
Opt for Truck Breakdown Services:
What if you experience a truck breakdown despite all preventive maintenance? This is where truck breakdown coverage comes in.
Generally, it is a roadside assistance service that provides towing, repairing, fuel delivery, lockout assistance, and even accommodation. This way, truck breakdown coverage assures you peace of mind in the event of a breakdown.
Choose the coverage that closely matches your requirements and routes.
Maintain Oil and Engine Coolant:
Make sure to properly maintain the oil and coolant systems of your truck. Keep the maintenance record file handy to know when these things were delivered and checked. Get the oil changed every 10,000 miles.
Once your truck crossed 300,000 miles, get your engine checked for its performance. Make sure to use the right coolant for your engine. Or you can test your coolant for clarity, color, and debris with a low-cost test strip.
Check the Brakes:
Brake issues also lead to truck failures, requiring you to check them regularly. You need to check the water and contamination in the air supply, oil traveling from the compressor, corrosion, leakage of air pressure and foundation brake performance. Besides, take note of brake system pressure and timing imbalance. Maintain the Battery:
You won’t be able to start your truck with a dead battery. A damaged alternator or loose connections at the terminals can cause your truck to stop performing; a similar result will occur if the alternator belts crack. Sadly, a battery on the verge of dying rarely warns you before it stops functions, but having battery assessment will. Needless to say, you should check your truck battery frequently.
These tips will help you reduce the odds of truck breakdown. However, as I have said before, breakdowns are inevitable due to unforeseen issues. If you encounter a truck failure anyhow, keep your calm and avoid making sudden moves.
Keep your head on straight so you can make the right decisions as to what to do next. Move it to a full stop, park safely, and apply the handbrake, and turn your parking lights on. Call your roadside assistance provider if things are beyond control. Or it is better to keep emergency numbers handy.
Author Bio: Tom Kilmer’s Breakdown Directory was formed in 2005. He offers instant access to numerous services for the transportation and travel industry. He is the author of The Ultimate truck breakdown Directory services provider to the truck drivers. Breakdown Directory is your most comprehensive guide to semi-truck repair facilities nationwide.