Even though professional truck drivers have thousands of miles under their belts, they still have to take time to inspect the rigs they are driving. Having regular tractor-trailer inspections and maintenance is important to ensure that your vehicle is running smoothly. Proper maintenance can also prevent costly breakdowns. Below are some vehicle maintenance tips for your used semi-trailers.
1. Check the Air in the Tires
Before you change tires or start your journey, make sure that they’re at the proper inflation level. Also, make sure that the tire pressure monitoring system is working properly. Maintaining the proper air pressure is important to ensure that your tires last for a long time.
As explained by the experts at Hale Trailer, “Drivers often forget to check their tires.” Also, make sure that the power supply and the regulator pressure are checked monthly. The shut-off valve should be checked every time a visual inspection is performed.
2. Inspect Suspension System
Dave Vanette, a business development manager for Firestone Industrial Products, said that visual inspection is important to check the suspension system. Doing so can help identify signs of wear and heat cracks on the air springs.
In some cases, the ride height of the air suspension gets damaged. This can prevent it from performing its full function, which is to prevent the truck from rolling over when navigating overpasses.
3. Apply Lubrication Properly
Getting the right amount of lubricant is important to ensure that the truck’s components are working properly. The type of grease, its grade and its thickening system are some of the factors that will help determine the proper amount.
Most of the greases used on commercial vehicles are lithium complex based, while some are calcium-based. The grade of grease determines its viscosity, and the most commonly used on trailers is NLGI.
Although some greases are labeled with their performance characteristics, not all of them are listed on the label. Talk to a professional to find the right grease for your vehicle.
Getting the proper amount of new grease is important to ensure that the truck’s components are working properly. The debris that can collect in the old grease can prevent components from functioning properly.
4. Check Braking System
John Thompson, a sales representative for TMD Friction, noted that it’s important to check the angle of the air chamber push rod and the slack adjuster when it’s applied. If it’s not aligned properly, the brake might not be working properly.
While performing wheel end or brake service, it’s recommended to check the drums. It’s important to measure the material to ensure that they’re still in good condition.
Although regular inspections are usually the first step in establishing a good maintenance program, it should be noted that drivers need to do more than just check the boxes on the checklist. According to Hale Trailer, “Every hour your equipment’s out of service is money lost. Whether you need routine trailer maintenance, emergency repair, inspection or a complete restoration, our Service NOW option gets you moving again.”