Trucks Require Constant Maintenance to Avoid Accidents

By: Lynn Fugaro

18-wheelers and large commercial vehicles pose a significant hazard to most other vehicles on the road due their massive weight and size. A jackknifed trailer can become an impenetrable wall and result in a multiple vehicle collision and lost lives. An overwhelming majority of truck accidents that result in a fatality involve a passenger vehicle. This is the inevitable result of a truck weighing 60-80 tons colliding with a passenger vehicle weighing a little over one ton.

Trucks require proper maintenance. Mechanical failure of a truck, particularly the brakes, can create a great danger to other drivers. Brakes, truck lights and other safety equipment must be properly maintained and regularly checked. Truckers should always perform a pre-trip inspection of their truck, regardless of the length of the trip.

Maintenance Checklist

Truckers and their mechanics should do a chassis inspection daily (if possible). Any identified problems should be scheduled for repairs as soon as possible. Also, the following must be checked for each trip:

?Check the engine, transmission, rear differential, power steering, and wheel seals for lubricant or coolant leaks.
?Check your air pressure and make sure your truck is building up air to the proper level.
?Check the condition of all belts, hoses, and lines (engine belts, fuel lines, radiator hoses, water and air lines, automatic transmission lines, and power steering lines).
?Check tire tread and wear of all tires.
?Check the brake shoes and drums for cracks and wear.
?Drain your air tanks daily and check for excessive moisture.
?Make sure all lights work.
?Make sure horns and wipers work.
?Check windshield and mirrors for visibility and/or cracks.
?Keep flares and a fire extinguisher in the truck at all times.

It is very important that truck drivers watch all gauges while driving for signs of trouble.

There are inexpensive items that you can put on your truck to extend the life of the components. For instance, you can add oil coolers to the hydraulic system, power steering system and the automatic transmission. These simple additions can double, if not triple, the life of those components.

Also, preventative care is something that is typically much lower than repairs. Investing some money in the upkeep of your truck may just prevent you from investing thousands after a part breaks.

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