Keep on trucking: Maintaining your fleet for optimal performance

Keep on trucking: Maintaining your fleet for optimal performance

Even the most reliable trucks need a little TLC to avoid unexpected breakdowns and downtime.

When it comes to the trucking business, time is money. Any unnecessary downtime can result in a significant loss of profits. That’s why it’s important to keep your trucks in tip-top shape with a well-planned maintenance schedule. After all, a truck not on the road is like a fish out of water–totally out of its element. Even the most reliable trucks need a little TLC to avoid unexpected breakdowns that can leave you high and dry (or rather, stuck in the garage).

Take a look at your aggregated data from the past. This can help you identify any patterns in breakdowns so you can perform the necessary repairs before your truck decides to throw a tantrum on the road. If a certain model in your fleet historically runs into engine problems every 90,000 to 100,000 miles, you can better track when this could happen next and take some preemptive measures to avoid it. 

Implementing regular maintenance schedules is crucial for common practices such as changing fluids, battery charging, and inspecting oil and tires. The frequency of such practices is typically based on the mileage covered and the number of operational hours of the vehicle.

On a daily basis, it is also essential to have your drivers carry out pre- and post-trip inspections even though your trucks may be undergoing regular maintenance schedules already. This ensures proper maintenance of things such as the truck’s exterior, tire pressure, and the condition of the components such as engine, transmission and lights. 

When determining the frequency of these maintenance practices, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. You’d rather be a bit early than too late, especially when it comes to critical components like the truck’s batteries and brakes. These components play a crucial role in keeping your truck moving. Hence, changing the battery every three years and having the brakes checked every three months can help prevent a breakdown, even if they seem to be functioning correctly at the time.

If you aren’t scheduling and carrying out the service on your trucks in-house, look for a shop that understands the needs of your fleet; you might be surprised at how accommodating they are so that you can maximize time on the road. Scheduling preventive maintenance during off-hours or meetings can ensure that your drivers each have a vehicle when the time comes. 

Fleet Equipment’s On The Road is sponsored by Rockland Flooring. Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every episode as we dive into the best practices and servicing information to keep your trucks On The Road.

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