There’s a load to deliver and a lot of road to cover, and you need to make good time. But if your big rig isn’t working at its best, you aren’t either. Staying on top of regular maintenance is the best way to ensure that you meet your deadlines while you and the traffic around you stays safe.
Before heading off on an over-the-road long haul, be sure to keep your semi-truck running in top shape by performing these essential maintenance tasks.
- Check your oil before a long haul, particularly if your rig has just had motor work done or if the rig is unfamiliar to you.
- Check your radiator, but don’t just check the overflow bottle. Be sure to give the entire radiator a once-over for leaks before topping up the fluid. If you find a leak, make sure it’s repaired before heading out.
- Tire pressure has a direct effect on your rig’s performance, and it can change with weather and wear. Always follow the recommended pressure for your brand of tires.
- Checking your fuel may seem like a no-brainer, but there are certain things to watch out for. For example, a rig with two fuel tanks parked sideways on a slope will cause fuel from one tank to flow to the other. This may cause the fuel system to draw air from the lower tank instead of fuel. Parking front-to-back on a slope will help avoid this problem, and will also remind you to ensure that your parking brake is always working properly. Fuel vents can also become stopped up by insect nests if your rig is left sitting for a while, which can make it seem like you’re out of fuel.
- Inspect your brakes often. Irregularities like vibration or squealing when the brakes are applied are signs that it’s time for a checkup.
- Fifth wheel maintenance is essential for the safety of your load and everyone on the road. Degrease and remove the buildup of old grease and road dust, and look closely for broken welds, cracks, and components that are damaged or missing. Most fifth wheel manufacturers recommend maintenance every three months or 30,000 miles.
Even with regular maintenance, problems can sometimes arise. That’s why Noonan Truck and Trailer offers everything from repair and bodywork services to 24-hour emergency roadside assistance and tire repair on all makes and models. We are a locally owned and operated full-service truck and trailer repair center located on highway 50, just four miles west of Emporia. We’re also proud and longstanding members of many of the nation’s best repair networks including NTTS, Fleetnet, AAA, Interstar, and more. Contact us at 620.340.0115 or visit us online to find out more about how we can help you.