Your fleet vehicles are essential to your business’s daily operations. Keeping them running properly promotes business as usual and may decrease your liability associated with vehicular accidents. More than that, regular truck trailer repair and service will extend your vehicles’ lives and minimize service costs in the long run.
The specific intervals between recommended maintenance services may vary in some cases. For example, if your vehicles are driven long miles regularly, services should be scheduled based on mileage. On the other hand, fleet service based on engine hours may be more suitable for vehicles that travel short distances at lower speeds and spend a lot of time idling. This preventive maintenance checklist will help you to stay on track with recommended fleet services.
1. Adjust the Tire Air Pressure
Tire air pressure affects everything from a vehicle’s traction and braking capabilities to its load capacity and fuel economy. Check the tire air pressure on every vehicle in your fleet regularly. This is especially crucial when the seasons change as air temperature changes can impact tire air pressure.
2. Check the Tires
When tires are worn, cracked or damaged in other ways, your vehicles may develop suspension and alignment problems. Blowouts, braking capabilities and other factors are also concerns. Your drivers can visually inspect the tires frequently in between professional inspections during truck trailer repair and service.
3. Inspect the Brakes
Slowing and stopping heavy vehicles can take a significant toll on your fleet vehicles’ brake pads and other braking system components. While they are on the road, your drivers should be observant of the signs that the brakes are wearing out, such as squeaking, longer slowing times and more. In addition, regular brake inspections should be completed as part of your routine maintenance services. Keep in mind that a DOT inspection includes a review of the brakes.
4. Monitor Fluid Levels
Your fleet vehicles require several essential fluids to function, including oil, power steering fluid, coolant, brake fluid and transmission fluid. These fluids will be checked during regular maintenance services. Fluid replenishments in between fluid flush and replacement services may be necessary.
5. Replace Essential Fluids
Fluid levels should be replenished when they are low, but they also need to be replaced regularly. The intervals vary by fluid type and driving conditions. For example, a coolant fluid flush is often recommended every 750,000 miles, and a transmission fluid flush is recommended every six months or 500,000 miles.
6. Replace Filters
Several filters in your fleet vehicles serve the important purpose of capturing dust, dirt and other potentially damaging elements before they enter crucial areas of the vehicles’ mechanical systems. These include air filters, oil filters and more. An oil filter should be replaced when the oil is changed, which is recommended at 825 engine hours or 35,000 miles. The air filter should be replaced every six months.
7. Inspect Exterior Lights
Your vehicles’ exterior lights will be reviewed at each DOT inspection, but your drivers need to look at the lights before each shift as well. Headlights, taillights and turning signals impact driver safety and liability. Keeping them functional also ensures that your vehicles are compliant with the law.
8. Check the Electrical System and Battery Load
Heavy driving as well as regular starting and stopping will take a toll on your vehicles’ electrical systems, alternators and batteries. Ideally, these will be inspected as part of your annual preventive fleet service. However, during winter weather conditions, more frequent checks are recommended.
9. Inspect the Fifth-Wheel Platform
Your trucks’ fifth-wheel platforms can develop excessive wear and accumulate dirt from regular driving. In addition to regularly inspecting the platforms for signs of filth and wear, grease should be applied periodically. Doing so promotes more secure trailer hookups and optimizes your drivers’ performances on the road.
10. Look at the Gearbox and Clutch
Regardless of the type of fleet vehicles your business uses, the gearbox and clutch should be inspected regularly. This is essential at more frequent intervals if your vehicles regularly carry heavy loads or have high-torque engines. This service promotes superior fuel economy, vehicle reliability and overall performance.
Is it time for your fleet vehicles’ next maintenance services? Ferguson Truck Center is your complete and trusted source for truck trailer repair and service in the Houston area. Schedule service by calling our office today.