The key to a long service life—regular truck maintenance
Few vehicles take more abuse than trucks. Despite its durability, a truck degrades quickly over time, especially if it’s not treated properly. The goal is to get the most value from your vehicle, but that’s only possible with ongoing care. Professional maintenance keeps engines humming, brakes grabbing, and your undercarriage free from rust.
In this blog, we reveal what a proper preventative maintenance strategy looks like. We guide you through the process and show you what to do when things go wrong with your truck.
It doesn’t take a lot for the value of your truck to depreciate, but a professional evaluation can determine if your equipment is safe for use. Safety inspections are vital in keeping your vehicle compliant with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Be consistent with your check-ups and examine all interior and exterior parts and accessories. At the very least, you should plan an inspection at least once a year, but if you’re seeking the best results, try keeping your own maintenance log and inspect your equipment regularly.
Fresh engine oil prevents premature mechanical failure. Many manufacturers recommend an oil change every 5,000-7,000 miles, but that varies depending on how much service you get from your vehicle. Since tank trucks undergo a lot of long-distance travel, it’s best to schedule oil changes every couple of months.
Many accidents are linked to brake failure, and it happens most often with worn tank trucks. Brake parts wear and need to be replaced on a regular basis. When you bring your vehicle in for new brake pads, your maintenance provider should also install new springs, pins, and bushings. Make sure they check the brake fluid and keep the application pressure at 60 psi or higher.
Keeping your truck lubed is a vital way to prevent parts from rubbing against one another. Use the highest-quality grease on your suspension lifts, steering system, and drivetrain zerks. As a best practice, you should lube all applicable parts and fittings before each haul. Make a note for yourself to check for leaks and slop in drivetrain parts.
Be careful to support your tires with the right amount of pressure. Underinflated tires are a drag on fuel efficiency, while overinflated tires are prone to various safety risks such as blowouts and premature tread wear. To find your truck’s proper tire pressure, check the owner’s manual or the markings around the rim of the tire.
Body corrosion is a major reason some trucks retire earlier than expected. You can’t prevent rust, but you can slow it down and extend the life of the vehicle with these best practices:
- Touch up the paint job and remove rusty paint chips.
- Spray door locks with WD-40 lubricant to prevent unwanted moisture.
- Wash your truck every 10 days. For best results, perform a tank body wash after every haul, especially if you’re traveling in snowy and wet conditions.
Stockpile parts you know you’ll need. It’s best to purchase equipment in bulk in case a manufacturer discontinues a specific product. This may cost more upfront, but the investment will prevent you from having to make expensive fleet purchases later on. Finally, make sure to adopt the longest-term warranty with each purchase.
The engine belt is the driving force of your vehicle. These durable rubber bands are responsible for stabilizing the mechanical components of your engine, including the alternator and air compressor. Although engine belts are robust, they break down over time. As a best practice, check your belts frequently and replace every 50,000 miles (or anytime small cracks appear in the rubber).
One of the most common mistakes in truck-handling is mismanagement of antifreeze coolant. Make sure to use the right fluid and keep the coolant system clean at all times. You should also invest in a coolant filter to help maintain balanced fluid levels.
Keeping up with a maintenance routine can be tough, but White Tank & Truck Repair makes it easy. Whether it’s pump truck maintenance, hazmat testing, or blower truck services, you’re in good hands. Our team protects your vehicle while saving you money. We work to prevent safety violations, unwelcomed delays, and frustrating repairs.
Contact us to get started with a scheduled service or preventative maintenance program.