Practice Preventative Maintenance
You invested your hard-earned money to buy your truck. So, creating your own preventative maintenance (PM) schedule and sticking to it at consistent intervals can prevent breakdowns which will help keep you on the road, save you money and importantly, keep you safe.
The key is to not think of a maintenance program as being reactive, only doing something when something goes wrong. An effective maintenance program should be proactive, checking your equipment often and doing your PM on time. Here are three simple things we suggest for taking care of your truck:
Step 1) Pre-Trip/Weekly Inspections
Your truck is your responsibility. So, get in the habit of doing a pre-trip or, weekly inspections. They don’t take long and can save you thousands of dollars, lost time and lost revenue. A pre-trip/weekly inspection should include inspecting hoses for leaks, checking fluid levels, inspecting belts for looseness or fraying, looking for loose or broken components. These short quick inspections can lower the chances of a breakdown and tremendously reduce downtime for a major repair. Don’t risk an outcome you will regret.
Step 2) Consistent Regens
Regens can be time consuming and inconvenient with your busy schedule. However, they are absolutely needed, sometimes as much as once a day, for your truck to perform at its best. When the yellow regen light goes on, don’t ignore it. The light is telling you there is an excessive amount of soot in your DPF that needs to be burned off. In newer vehicles this will happen automatically. But if not, you can perform a “parked regen”. Do not perform a parked regeneration on grass or leaves as the exhaust will become extremely hot and could cause a fire. Make sure you are parked on cement, asphalt or gravel. If you light is red, pull over as soon as possible and call for service.
Step 3) Listen
The simplest of the three steps is listening to how your truck sounds. When its running smoothly, it hums. When something is wrong, or about to go wrong, you can often hear it. Like the lights that go on, don’t ignore funny or unusual sounds. Check them out right away.
Taking some very simple precautions every day on your truck will help you keep your business running smoothly without downtime and helping prevent huge equipment repair bills. And to protect your business and your livelihood when you do have major repair costs, ask your used truck sales rep about the value of a commercial equipment warranty.