Essential Maintenance Tips for Semi Trucks

Tips for Summer Truck Maintenance

Most of the carrier companies do not have a specialized maintenance setup for hot weather. Summers are here already in many areas of the country. Just like winters where most Truck drivers are prepared, you should also prepare to bring in your truck for summer maintenance service.

Some of the key components and systems which require additional attention in hot weather conditions are:

Cooling system of the Truck: 

First of all, take a look at the antifreeze concentration levels. The levels of the antifreeze to water should not be off otherwise the cooling system of your truck may fail in summers breaking down your truck in the middle of the road.

Your radiator mount needs a complete checkup. Take a detailed look at the fan shrouds and the fan clutch. A thorough wash of the radiator/air-cooling charger/air-conditioning condenser is necessary. This can be done by flushing it with a thorough pressure wash from the engine side. The debris will flush out from the front of the cores.

Keep your engine off. Don’t start it by mistake. From the top to bottom use the pressure washer to clean all the areas covering corners above and below the module. Be careful the pressure washer doesn’t bend the fan blades or cause damage to the cooling fins.

Air conditioning: 

You don’t want your truck driver to park the truck on the side of the road in case the air conditioning system breaks down and sign up with another carrier company. In summer heat its not possible for a driver to drive in hot weather conditions without a properly functioning air conditioner. Therefore check the following before the truck embarks on a new journey:

  • Check for any noises coming from the blower motor, if there’s any noise replace it.
  • Observe any gas leakages, if there’s any repair the leakages and charge gas.
  • Hose, fittings and bends, hose pipes, and flex points should be checked.
  • The condenser and the filters should be clean and free from debris.

Check list for Tires: 

  • Tires wear out quickly in heat as the rubber breaks down faster. The tread depth needs to be checked preferably with a tread gauge. This will show whether the tread depth is adequate for the wheel position.
  • Tire pressure should be checked. Extra air inside the tire might expand with heat and blow up the tire. The tire pressure should be as advised according to load. Periodical calibrations should be done with a calibrated pressure gauge to check accurate tire pressure.
  • Look carefully for damage to the tread and sidewall area of the tire, paying critical attention to the exposed belt or ply material.
  • Take the time to look at the dual tire inside, and for rocks and other debris between duals that can cause trouble.
  • Watch for uneven wear, too. If wear patterns are uneven, a truck alignment may be in order.
  • And don’t overlook the wheels too. Watch for damaged wheels as well as elongated bolt holes due to loose lug nuts.

Batteries: 

Corrosion around the batteries current-conducting grids happens due to heat. The current will not flow properly due to the build of corrosion resulting in lower voltage from the battery with time. Proper brushing can clear residue and corrosion on the grids. A battery cleaner can be used so that it neutralizes the acid.

Check if the batteries are not bloated of cracked.

All connections of cables should be fitted tightly while examining them for any damage. They should also be properly cleaned.

If the battery is reaching its expiry, it can die at any time suddenly. A hydrometer can test battery cells and show battery health and the state of charge. A significant difference in readings shows that the cells of the battery have become weaker and the time has come to replace the battery.

Electrical system: 

Alternators should be tested. See if the wiring has not corroded and look out for frayed wiring. The routing of all the cables should be checked to prevent any chafing and abrasive damage.

To prevent chafing and abrasion damage, pay careful attention to the cable routing. When testing electrical devices, do not use a test light or a probing tool because they poke holes in the wire and this may allow moisture to penetrate the system — and eventually corrosion.

Belts and hoses: 

Hoses and belts can wear out with heat and due to normal wear and tear over time. If the pulleys are loose vibration can break the belts quiet quickly. A simple inspection can make you understand their condition.

Inspect the coolant hose by squeezing it near its ends change it if it feels too spongy. All seepages and excessive dirt should be cleaned and repaired.

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