6 Reasons Semi Truck Maintenance is Crucial

Strong Tie Insurance March 15, 2021 Our Blog

Truck drivers spend so much time on the road that their trucks often become a home away from home. It’s important to keep your home in good condition, especially if it travels hundreds of miles a week.

The best way to prevent serious truck issues is through regular maintenance to keep everything running smoothly. Even with commercial insurance, major repairs can be inconvenient. That’s why maintenance is so vital for every truck driver.

Here are some of the main reasons to get frequent maintenance on your semi truck.

What Is Preventive Maintenance?

Preventive maintenance is an approach to maintenance that prioritizes regular checks and tune-ups in hopes of preventing a failure or major issue from cropping up. Ideally, a frequent maintenance schedule will keep your truck in great condition, and prevent any actual breakdowns, extending the life of your truck.

Prevention is the best way to save money and prevent costly, dangerous truck problems. A reactive approach to maintenance means only taking your truck in for repairs when something is noticeably broken and preventing you from driving as normal.

What Are the Benefits of Preventative Maintenance?

Reactive maintenance can end up costing more money, because it often results in more extensive damages. Some top benefits of preventative maintenance include: 

1. Nip Small Issues in the Bud

An occasional scraping noise or a drop in tire pressure might not seem like cause for alarm, but even minor changes to your truck’s performance could signal trouble. Tire pressure, for example, is easy to miss, but the wrong pressure level can cause dangerous blowouts as you drive.

The main goal of preventive maintenance is to prevent serious problems and damage. It emphasizes frequent checkups. Even when the spark plugs or filters on a truck may not be showing any signs of trouble, it’s a good idea to check them whenever possible. That can diagnose issues as soon as they crop up.

Mechanics suggest checking the following as part of your routine:

  • Fluid levels
  • Drive belts 
  • Engine air filters 
  • Spark plugs 
  • Truck battery

2. Avoid Large Repair Bills

Regular maintenance makes it more likely that you can nip any problems with your truck in the bud, before they turn into huge issues that are expensive to repair.

Unexpected repair work is expensive, especially during an emergency when you don’t have time to shop around. It often requires purchase of spare parts, and you might have to pay a higher fee for fast shipping. It may be hard to find a trustworthy mechanic able to tackle a semi truck, as well.

If you haven’t scheduled maintenance on your truck in a long time, the end result could be a breakdown or stall in your schedule when you least expect it.

Quality truck insurance can help you get back on the road, but that doesn’t cancel out the time wasted during repairs. It may be inconvenient to submit a truck insurance claim from the road.

3. Extend the Lifespan of Your Truck

As a driver, you want your truck to last as long as possible. A commercial vehicle like a semi truck is built to last through about 750,000 miles out on the road, and some can even make it to a million. The best way to keep your truck going for hundreds of thousands of miles is to set up regular maintenance for it.

If a vehicle is continually running low on oil, or driving with low tire pressure, those issues can take a toll and wear it down. Care for your truck and make sure it has the right fluid levels to make sure it will last throughout your career.

Aside from avoiding issues with your truck, you can actually improve how your truck performs by taking it in for regular maintenance. Auto experts suggest that you can get better mileage this way. Oil changes, filter changes, and perfectly aligned wheels will all keep your truck in top shape, and allow it to use up less fuel.

4. Keep Maintenance on a Schedule

A key part of preventive maintenance is the regular, frequent tune-ups and maintenance. Creating a schedule keeps the guesswork out of when you should take your truck into the shop.

For example, tire rotations should occur every several thousand miles, somewhere between 6,000 and 8,000 miles. That keeps your tires evenly worn, and it keeps scheduling simple. You won’t have to wonder when it’s time to fine-tune your truck, because you’ll have a clear answer. Some truckers like to keep this information in a binder for easy access.

5. Make a Good Impression on Clients

A well-maintained truck makes a good impression in several ways. First of all, it looks solid and reliable, which is what clients like to see. A truck that’s in good shape will also make its deliveries on time and stay on track with its schedule, and clients will appreciate the adherence to plans.

A delivery slowdown costs money and annoys clients. It means that a driver will be spending some time waiting for the truck to be ready for use, and it might mean shelling out for a stay in a hotel, as opposed to sleeping in the cab. 

6. Save Time

If you don’t make time for maintenance, it could end up encroaching on time that is scheduled for work. Unexpected truck issues can have you waiting for repairs and throwing off a delivery schedule.

Stores depend heavily on truckers for inventory to sell, so providing deliveries on time is vital. If a truck is out of commission for repairs, however, there’s usually no way around it. Planning ahead will help you present a professional, reliable appearance to clients. 

Creating Safer Driving Conditions for Your Team 

Regular maintenance makes your truck a safer place to be, and eliminates the hazards that could be found inside a poorly-maintained truck. This is good for the driver and for the other people on the road. When semi trucks are in great condition, they’re easier to control, and that makes everyone safer.

Finding the right commercial insurance is another way to take care of your truck and ensure that it has a long lifespan. Strong Tie Insurance offers a wide range of policies at affordable prices. We’re happy to provide you with a free quote, so contact us today to learn more.