Many businesses rely on their fleet of vehicles to get their goods from point A to point B. Complex logistics systems are made possible by unimpeded movement, from the transport of raw materials to the delivery of products to stores and customers. To ensure the round-the-clock movement in goods, businesses invest in regular fleet maintenance. This minimizes downtime and improves vehicle utilization.
Preventive maintenance is just one of the many proactive measures businesses should adopt. Mistakes happen and things break down all the time. The only way to guarantee safety on your end is to keep vehicles in good condition. Without preventive maintenance, your vehicles are more likely to break down while on the road. It also keeps costs down by fixing small problems before they become bigger.
Small things can have a transformative effect on the entire system: a responsible driver, easy access to Cummins parts, regular checks. Investing in vehicle maintenance will prevent operational delays and improve service. Here are a few truck maintenance tips to get you started.
Focus on brake maintenance
Trucks are designed to transport heavy loads on a daily basis, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less susceptible to brake failure. In fact, you need to focus on brake maintenance because trucks are larger and heavier than your average car. If one of your vehicles gets into an accident, you could be liable for damages and injuries. With that in mind, your maintenance routine should emphasize checking the brakes for signs of wear and tear.
Brake parts deteriorate over time but the rate differs from vehicle to vehicle. It’s not enough to know that parts have to be replaced; you also need to know when to replace them. Regular inspections should indicate whether the brake pads are close to failure. It’s best to replace the entire brake instead of swapping out individual parts to simplify maintenance and minimize micromanagement.
Test the engines often
Engine problems are a sure way to get a vehicle off the road, you need to constantly check for signs of engine failure such as loss of power and pressure and smoking. Drivers should also inform their managers if they notice anything out of the ordinary. Any engine issues should be dealt with immediately to minimize downtime.
For starters, your maintenance teams should conduct regular tests to get a sense of the engine’s condition. If they think that the engine is close to failure, even without any outward signs, it’s best to perform the necessary repairs and replacements before waiting for the problem to rear its ugly head.
Touch up the vehicle body
Now that you’ve covered vehicle performance, the next area you need to focus on is the service life. If your vehicles are being retired earlier than expected, it could be a sign that the body has been pushed to the limit.
For instance, extreme corrosion isn’t just a cosmetic issue, it can also affect safety and body integrity. Rust is a fact of life for any vehicle, particularly for long-distance travel. There’s no way to stop rust from eating away at the metal, but you can slow the process down. For starters, you need to touch up the car paint as often as possible. Small chips look insignificant, but they provide a point of entry for rust to form. Any metal that’s exposed is at risk of corrosion so keep it covered with paint as much as possible.
You also need to wash your vehicles at least once a week. You might have to wash daily during rainy and winter seasons. Salt combined with water and other contaminants from the road will slowly degrade the coat, paint layer, and exposed metal. Keep the interior clean and free of trash and unnecessary items.
Check the electrical system
Newer models are often fitted with computers and electrical systems to keep things running. The computer is connected with the truck’s different systems through a system of sensors and wires, and constantly monitors the performance of the engine. A break in the electrical system means unreliable readings at best, and catastrophic failure at worst.
Your electrician should inspect the vehicle’s electrical system at least once a week or after a long-distance haul, whichever comes first. Just like other aspects of preventive maintenance, it’s best to repair and replace small electrical problems to prevent major headaches down the line.
These are just some areas you need to focus on when maintaining a fleet of business vehicles. Whether you own a fleet of one or hundreds, it’s important to adopt a preventive approach to vehicle maintenance. Keeping a close eye on your vehicles allows you to make better decisions when it comes to maintenance and lower overall costs.