Trucking Fleet TelematicsMaintenance is an unavoidable expense in the trucking industry. However, taking a proactive, smart approach to maintenance can keep costs down and help improve the longevity of fleet vehicles. Trucks are made of moving parts and all that friction causes degradation. The following tips can help fleets keep their trucks in good shape:

  1. Prepare for brake wear and tear. Brakes take a lot of abuse in the day-to-day operation of driving a truck. Brake failures can cause accidents, vehicle damage, and injuries that can lead to costly lawsuits. Fleets should include regular brake inspections by a skilled professional in their maintenance routine.
  2. Fight corrosion early and often. Body corrosion isn’t just unsightly—it can lead to early retirement for vehicles. Salt and road debris can corrode the truck’s body and lead to rust. To avoid this, fleets should wash their trucks at least every ten days to remove buildup and grime that can eat through the trucks’ clear coats. Dealing with paint chips early is also vital as any chip bigger than the tip of a pen can rust.
  3. Invest in replacement parts. Replacing parts that have worn out may not be as simple as many expect it to be. As new vehicles hit the roads and older vehicles fall out of popularity, manufacturers stop producing parts for older model trucks. Fleets should stockpile on parts that wear out often as well as invest in parts with lifetime warranties.
  4. Have a plan for electrical issues. Newer model trucks have an increasing reliance on electrical systems to keep them operating at maximum efficiency. Fleets should invest in technicians that know how to diagnose electrical issues as well as service electrical components.
  5. Focus on exact tire inflation. Over-inflating tires poses just as much of a maintenance issue as under-inflating them does. Both lead to excessive wear on tire tread and over-inflating can cause tire blowouts.
  6. Keep up with oil changes. Every truck driver knows oil changes are vital to keeping trucks in good working order. However, how often they need to change the oil is a little murkier. Most manufacturers recommend an oil change every five to seven thousand miles. However, this is assuming average use. Commercial trucks spend way more time on the road than the average vehicle does. Fleets should check with their mechanic for recommendations as some vehicles may require more frequent oil changes to prevent damage.

The best way to prolong fleet vehicles’ lives is with preventative maintenance. Next to fuel and equipment, maintenance is one of the top costs of operating a fleet. Staying on top of it can keep this expense in check while keeping unexpected repairs to a minimum. Preventative maintenance is also a key element to reducing risk. Contact the experts at DriverCheck for more tips on improving your fleet’s safety.