The Ultimate Truck Preventative Maintenance Checklist

Man inspecting a truck

Trucks are pushed thousands of miles every single day, often carrying extremely heavy loads along for the ride. While trucks are designed to take some abuse, nothing can withstand that level of stress forever. Get the most mileage out of your trucks with this truck preventative maintenance checklist.

Our Truck Preventative Maintenance Checklist

Truck repairs are expensive. Preventative maintenance for trucks can make sure that your engine hums, brakes grab, and undercarriage stays rust free. Follow our preventative maintenance plan to keep your trucks on the road and cruising properly long into the future.

Change Oil Regularly

Fresh oil is key to keeping any engine in good shape. Neglecting regular oil changes is punching a quick ticket to premature mechanical failure. While most manufacturers recommend an oil change every 5,000-7,000 miles, oil change frequency can depend on a few things. Some factors that affect how regularly you should change your oil include:

  • Type of oil: Does your engine use conventional oil or synthetic? Conventional oil is commonly found in older trucks and needs to be frequently changed.
  • Your truck’s oil levels: Driving with low oil levels isn’t advised, as truck engines are put under an enormous amount of stress when operated with low oil.
  • Driving conditions: External conditions could significantly affect how often you change your engine oil. Environmental factors like extreme temperatures or rough terrain can necessitate earlier oil changes.
  • Engine type: Every engine has slightly different oil needs. Consult your owners manual or online resources to find specific instructions for your truck.

If your engine oil color is dark and smoke is coming from your exhaust pipe, you probably need to change your oil. Exhaust pipe smoke is a bad sign in general, regardless of if you have a traditional or diesel engine. If your engine oil was recently changed but you still seem to be having oil issues, check your oil filter. Oil maintenance for trucks is the most straightforward step of our truck preventative maintenance checklist.

Check the Brakes

Brake failure can lead to terrifying accidents, especially with worn-out tank trucks. Commercial truck brake parts wear surprisingly fast and need to be regularly replaced.

Braking systems are more than just brake pads—your maintenance provider should install new springs, pins, and bushings throughout your whole system. Outside of that hardware, make sure that your maintenance provider checks the brake fluid and keeps application pressure at 60 psi or higher.

Failures with braking systems are serious. Have your fleet managers take pre-trip inspections of your braking systems to keep your truck drivers safe. These vehicle inspections could prevent your drivers from getting into scary accidents.

Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated

Always be sure to support your tires with the right amount of pressure. Underinflated tires create a drag on fuel efficiency and damage your wheels over time. On the other hand, overinflated tires are prone to dangers like blowouts and tread wear.

Use a pressure monitor to make sure your tires are getting the right amount of pressure. To find out the right amount of pressure for your tires, consult your owners manual or simply check the rim of your tire for markings.

Preforming a pre-trip inspection on a truck

Take Care of the Truck Body

Body corrosion is one of the leading reasons that trucks retire earlier than expected. Rust is an inevitability, but it can be slowed down with these best practices:

  • Touch up the truck’s 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.

This is a more intensive step of the truck preventative maintenance checklist, but it is critical to keeping your truck in good condition.

Protect the Engine Belt

The engine belt is the driving force of your truck and is crucial for maintenance for trucks. 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 them every 50,000 miles.

Replace Worn Parts

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 making expensive fleet purchases later on. Finally, make sure to adopt the longest-term warranty with each purchase.

Monitor the Coolant System

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.

Set Up a Truck Preventative Maintenance Schedule

Set up a truck preventative maintenance schedule to ensure your truck stays in great shape. This schedule can be set up on a time frame that works for you—whether it’s every two weeks or every six months. We recommend maintaining your trucks as regularly as possible.

Schedule Professional Inspections

It doesn’t take much for the value of your truck to depreciate, but a professional evaluation can determine if your equipment is safe for use. Safety inspections are a vital part of 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. 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 inspecting your equipment regularly.

Build Your Truck Maintenance Plan With the Right Experts

Keeping up with a maintenance routine can be tough—White Tank & Truck Repair makes it easy. Whether it’s hazmat testing, blower truck services, or tank body installations, you’re in good hands. Our team protects your vehicle while saving you money.

Contact us to get started with a scheduled service or preventative maintenance program.