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Tractors and trailers: How does suspension maintenance differ?

Proper tractor and trailer suspension inspection is more a question of your team’s focus.

Jason Morgan is the editor of Fleet Equipment. He has more than 14 years of B2B journalism experience covering the likes of trucking and construction equipment, real estate, movies and craft beer industries.

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The answer: The inspection process and maintenance needs are mostly the same.

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“The key is to have a good preventative maintenance program and stick to the intervals that are established for the fleet to prevent as many breakdowns or out-of-service situations as possible,” Hendrickson’s Melanie Elliott, marketing manager, and John Knutson, technical services manager, stressed. 

However, proper tractor and trailer suspension inspection is more a question of your team’s focus.

“The trailer tends to get overlooked by the drivers,” Reyco Granning’s Adam Kuiken, validation engineering and warranty manager, said.

“Tractors get the lion’s share of attention,” agreed Link Mfg.’s technical support specialist, Chuck Boden, “because they are more often part of a preventive maintenance program. While trailers may be parked on a drop lot somewhere, tractors are naturally inspected more frequently, because they are more maintenance-intensive, they are more indispensable and they are more easily served at a hub or maintenance location.”

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“Trailers can also be handled by different groups even on a daily basis and are more likely to sit for long periods of time and develop issues from lack of use,” Kuiken said. “Mileage on trailers also is not tracked nearly as closely due to these factors. This causes important maintenance intervals to be missed.”

“We see more out-of-service issues on trailers,” Boden confirmed. “A problem with a plain old dry van is the most likely profile for an out-of-service emergency maintenance run.”

For more on the best suspension maintenance practices, click here.

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