No matter what number or size of fleet you own, investing in every vehicle’s routine maintenance is crucial to extending its longevity. Here, keeping a commercial truck maintenance checklist is more than important. How? keep reading on and get your answers!
In the trucking business, the dependency on commercial trucks is huge. You get all the major tasks done with your fleet. Whether you are hauling loads across state lines or within a limited radius, your commercial trucks need to run flawlessly at all times.
It is not a surprise that trucking is prone to accidents. When your commercial truck gets impacted by an incident, it undergoes repairs depending on the damage and severity.
No matter how big or small the needed repair is, it carries repercussions for your trucking business that cause expensive downtime.
Such circumstances impact the reputation of your business and the reliability of your trucks, which leads to loss of customers.
One of the best ways to increase your credibility is to have the right commercial truck maintenance checklist in place. Regular maintenance and inspection of your commercial trucks help you to spot issues and avoid costly downtime.
So, let’s understand the ways to take care of your fleets with a preventive maintenance checklist. But first, you should understand what a commercial truck maintenance checklist actually is and why it is required.
Let’s roll in!
What is a Commercial Truck Maintenance Checklist? Why Do You Need One?
A commercial truck maintenance checklist is a list of preventive measures that keep vehicles running smoothly and minimize costly downtime or failure.
When it comes to maintenance of commercial trucks, it includes all aspects like inspecting fluid levels, brake systems, oil changes, tire pressure, replacement of filters, etc.
By keeping a watchful eye on your commercial trucks, you can reduce small problems that turn into big and damaging issues if left unchecked. For instance, you can avoid engine damage if you keep checking its fluid levels and refiling them. The semi-truck maintenance checklist includes all such essential checks that help truckers maintain their trucks that cause less or no downtime in their operations.
Now you know what a commercial truck maintenance checklist is, let us move on to the top reasons why you need one in the first place.
An effective maintenance truck checklist is more than just changing engine oils and rotating wheels. It consists of a comprehensive maintenance process that keeps your commercial trucks in top condition.
Not only this but following a commercial truck maintenance checklist offers the below-mentioned advantages to your business.
Longer Life Expectancy
When you follow truck maintenance, the odds of emergency and failure repairs can be reduced considerably. Following a commercial truck maintenance checklist keeps your fleets in excellent condition for longer periods. Additionally, a well-maintained truck will last longer without frequent wear and tear. Hence, provides more value to your trucking company.
On the contrary, when you don’t maintain your trucks, they keep developing recurrent requirements for maintenance and safety. Such minute issues become big with time, causing huge damage to your commercial truck. Instead of being an asset, these recurrences make your truck a liability for your company.
More Time on the Road
Experiencing a halt after an accident or needed repair is a nightmare for any transportation business. Unless you have taken a rental reimbursement coverage, these circumstances can put the whole trucking operation on a big pause. However, if you follow the commercial truck maintenance checklist, the health of your vehicle will be up to the mark and would serve more to your company.
It is more than important to maintain your truck’s health to keep it functioning and carry out activities without a halt. Maintenance log for vehicles ensures that no single fleet is left unattended which increases its dependability and reliability. This helps your company to prevent delivery delays and maintain its reputation.
Reduce Repair Expenses
If you want to avoid paying massive amounts of money on big repairs, consider taking care of minor ones immediately when you find out. When you follow the commercial truck maintenance checklist, you understand minor flaws in your vehicle that can be fixed with a small and inexpensive repair. This way, you can easily address minute issues with a regular vehicle maintenance log.
Other than maintenance, vehicles go through a range of expenses. Fuel expenses and purchasing truck insurance are examples of it. As insurance is one of the biggest outlays of a trucking business, keeping the health of your trucks upright can help you minimize the policy cost.
Keeping trucks well-maintained is one of the best ways to lower insurance rates. This is because new or maintained trucks are likely to experience fewer repairs.
Want to insure your fleets? Get free truck insurance quote now.
Improve Vehicle Security
A well-maintained commercial truck is safe to operate as it reduces the chances of mechanical mishaps both on and off the road. If a truck is in a roadworthy condition, it improves the overall security of the vehicles, drivers, and the passengers inside or driving near it.
Keeping tires properly inflated is one of the best examples. On the other hand, tires that are worn out can cause huge damage in an accident and place the drivers and passengers in great danger.
Driving a well-maintained truck also boosts the confidence of the drivers as in the back of their minds they know that the safety condition of the truck is upright. It makes drivers feel more confident whenever they are behind the wheel. You can use various AI tools to make trucking safer for drivers and your company.
Also, many states have regulatory bodies that follow stringent maintenance requirements. If truckers fail to adhere to regulatory criteria, drivers are supposed to make quick adjustments to their trucks.
So, maintaining security is also one of the strict maintenance requirements in some nations. Therefore, having the right commercial truck maintenance checklist in place also helps you stay compliant with the rules.
Saves a Lot of Money
Vehicle maintenance is not only vital for internal business operations but also for its reputation. Nobody partners with a company that has a record of consistent delays in deliveries or a history of several halts taken due to repairs. To make more customers trust you and elevate your goodwill, you need to follow the commercial vehicle maintenance checklist to upkeep your trucks.
Also, a well-maintained commercial vehicle becomes more fuel-efficient, so you can save a lot of money on this unavoidable outlay as well. Trucks with a healthy engine and good tires become more fuel-efficient than those vehicles that are not maintained. This ensures a significant saving for your company over a period of time.
The ultimate truck maintenance checklist
Commercial Truck Maintenance Checklist Based on Different Periods
Our comprehensive semi-truck maintenance checklist is based on inspections, checks, and replacements that should be done during different periods of the year.
Monthly Commercial Truck Maintenance Checklist
To keep your commercial vehicle healthy, you need to check the following aspects of the truck every month.
Check the filters of both cabin and engine filters. Analyze whether filters need to be replaced or simple cleaning would do the job.
Inspect whether your truck’s air conditioners are working properly or not.
Check the level of engine oil and fill it if you think it is required.
The Pressure of the Tires
Check the general condition of your truck tires. See if there is any wear, leaks, stuck objects, tread depth, and other things that need to be fixed or removed.
Check the exterior lights of your trucks like brake lights, tail lights, indicator lights, headlights, and signal lights. Inspect if every light is working or has burnt-out bulbs that need to be replaced.
Inspect if the windshield wipers of your truck are working properly. Check for streakiness, rips, and tears and get them fixed if needed.
Windshield Washer Fluid
See if the windshield washer fluid tank is full or not. If needed, top up with more water.
Inspect the level of coolant (antifreeze) levels of your commercial vehicle. Check if the fluid is at the fill line and refill if required.
Quarterly Commercial Truck Maintenance Checklist
You need to follow this commercial truck maintenance checklist every 3000-5000 miles or every 3 months.
Check the cables and terminals of the battery. Inspect whether the battery is charged or not. If you see any connector loose or corroded, clean the impacted part and charge the battery. If necessary, get the battery replaced.
Upkeep of your safety belts in your commercial vehicle is crucial. Check if there are any sort of cracks, signs of glazing, fraying, or splits. If needed, schedule a repair service soon.
Glass and Mirrors
Check if there are any cracks or chips and get them fixed or replaced as soon as you find them.
Transmission Fluids and Mounts
Inspect if the automatic transmission fluids are at the fill line. Also, check truck mounts for loose brackets, cracks, and missing bolts. Do the needed action.
Check the truck hoses for nicks, cracks, and bulges. Get them fixed if required.
Power Steering Fluids
Check the level of power steering fluids. If they are not at the fill line, refill them soon.
Exterior and Interior Body
Thoroughly check the exterior and interior of the body of your truck. Schedule a quick repair service, if required.
Undercarriage & Frame
Check if the undercarriage and frame of your truck are damaged. Get it fixed, if you think it is needed.
Bi-annual Commercial Truck Maintenance Checklist
You need to follow this maintenance checklist for trucks every six months or when you cover another 12000 to 15000 miles.
Check the lines and pads of your truck brake. See how burnt out they are and take the needed action soon.
Auxiliary and Electrical Systems
Check if the auxiliary and electrical system of your truck is working properly. If not, schedule a repair.
Check if the truck horns are working properly and take the necessary action.
Brake Fluid Levels
See the level of brake fluid and refill it if required.
Check if your truck seat belts are working fine. If you see any damage or frays, book a repair service.
If you have stopped feeling the bounce effect whenever you push the break, it means the shock absorbers of your truck need some sort of maintenance. Get them fixed ASAP.
Spare Tires or Staphnee
Check the inflation level of your tires. You need to check for damages, leaks, etc. Purchase a new tire and keep it handy in the backside of your truck always.
Whenever your commercial truck is in motion, check for noises like popping, clicking snapping, or grinding. Get your vehicle checked and fixed.
Alignment of Wheels
Does it feel like your truck is pulling right or left while driving? You need to check the alignment of the wheels and the abnormal wear on them. Check if rotating tires would work or if repair is needed.
Annual Commercial Truck Maintenance Checklist
The following truck upkeep checklist needs to be maintained every year or after driving 24000 to 30000 miles.
Steering and Suspension System
If you feel that your truck vibrates or bounces whenever you drive it, then your steering and suspension system needs repair.
Whenever you park your truck, check if the engine lifts whenever the vehicle accelerates. If you see any mark on the hood underside above the engine, it needs maintenance.
Frequently Asked Questions On Commercial Truck Maintenance Checklist
Semi-truck maintenance checklists include all those preventive measures that should be followed to upkeep the health of commercial trucks. This involves oil change, filter changing, checking safety belts, analyzing brake systems, etc.
All the pointers that we have mentioned in our commercial truck maintenance checklists should be followed to keep trucks smoothly running to minimize costly downtime and repairs.
A preventive maintenance checklist should be followed by every business to save money, reduce downtime, lower truck insurance rates, and increase the longevity of the commercial vehicle.
The following are the top methods to maintain a truck with a diesel engine.
– Change filters and oils regularly.
– Keep water away from the fuel tank.
– Preserve water control components.
– Check compressor, radiator, alternator, and condenser mountings for cracks and looseness.
– Keep a watch on unusual sounds and get them fixed soon.
The Closure: Commercial Truck Maintenance Checklist
We understand that truck maintenance is challenging. However, if you compromise on fleet upkeep, its performance would be impacted so would your trucking business. Consider keeping up maintenance vehicle logs and timely inspections to minimize the costly downtime and heavy repairs.
Now you have thoroughly understood the importance of following a commercial truck maintenance checklist and pointers to achieve it efficiently. Using this checklist, you can prevent hefty repair costs, extend vehicle longevity, improve driver safety, and slash fuel expenses.
Once you try any or all of the semi-truck preventive maintenance checklists, do visit here again to share your experience. We would love to hear from you!