7 Preventative Maintenance Tips To Keep Trucks In Top Condition

Whether your trucking fleet delivers long-distance orders or primarily handles local bulk orders, preventative maintenance is vital. 

Just as you would prioritize your vehicle’s maintenance to avoid disasters that stem from neglect, such as an increased probability of road accidents, decreased safety, and increased repair costs, the same applies to your fleet vehicles. 

Preventative maintenance is crucial to avoid disasters that could cost your company substantially in terms of both finances and reputation. And these seven tips will help you keep up with the ongoing priority of keeping your trucking fleet in top condition. 

Service Trucks Routinely

Basic, thorough, and full inspections are essential for trucks, just as they are vital for regular road vehicles. Every 15,000 miles, trucks require basic maintenance, including checking the lights, brake system, and refilling engine fluids. Moreover, every 30,000 miles, a thorough service is required for trucks. Thorough service inspections include oil, lubricant, and filter changes. In addition, minor repairs are carried out to prevent severe damage in the future.

You can find international truck parts online to ensure your fleet is always repaired using original quality parts; unbranded parts are never the best choice, as they fail to provide the same level of essential quality. 

That said, a full inspection should be done on each vehicle once each year. Regardless of how far trucks have driven, an annual full inspection is crucial. During this service inspection, the engine is inspected, repaired, or replaced. Because all potential faults can be identified during a full-service inspection, prioritizing an annual service for your fleet should never be neglected. 

Request Regular Driver Reports

Maintaining a fleet can be tricky for one simple reason; you aren’t constantly aware of their condition because it’s not you driving the vehicles. It’s easy to know when your car needs a brake change or a new set of tires because you are the vehicle’s only driver. 

Fortunately, there are ways to monitor your vehicles more closely, and requesting driver reports is an excellent option. 

Instead of going with the approach that only you are responsible for the condition of the vehicles, you should view maintenance as a rotating responsibility. Your drivers should keep you in the loop with the state of the trucks they are driving, informing you of even the slightest issue as soon as it arises. 

But because drivers could overlook this responsibility, implementing a reporting system is essential. 

Prioritize Tire Care

Tire pressure is a critical player in the overall driving experience. Moreover, it’s also a vital element of safe driving. Tire pressure has a notable impact on vehicle handling, fuel efficiency, and even general wear and tear. So, keeping your fleet’s tires in top condition is pretty important; neglecting truck tires can lead to accidents and astronomical repair costs. 

Tire pressure must be checked before drivers start on their routes, and a monthly inspection is also crucial. Beyond that, you should also replace tires as soon as the tread wears down, punctures are present, or tears start forming. 

Keep Your Fleet Clean

Cleanliness might be considered more of a cosmetic detail, although your trucks do represent your business. But beyond that, keeping your trucks clean is also vital in ensuring value is maintained.

If you aren’t cleaning your fleet, rust can devour your vehicles, or their value can decline dramatically over time. It’s also a little effort to upkeep your fleet’s value. 

Plan Routes In Advance

It’s imperative to plan routes for your drivers, as trucks aren’t suitable vehicles for all roads. Neglecting this could mean your trucks end up off-road, stuck under bridges, or involved in collisions. All of these instances can be pretty costly for your business. But more than that, they jeopardize the safety of your drivers and other road users. 

You can use logistics apps to plan routes better and ensure your drivers are traveling on roads that won’t damage your vehicles or put anyone in danger. 

Train Drivers

Your drivers will influence everything about the process of deliveries, from upholding your business’s reputation to keeping your trucks in good conditions. So, if they don’t really know how to drive a truck, they will negatively impact your bottom line. 

Instead of assuming that your drivers are licensed to drive trucks, and this fact is enough, you should train all your drivers properly. That said, training should inform your drivers of all the technical details, such as checking tire pressure, oil levels, and other vehicle functions. 

Invest In Fleet Management Software

These days, there’s a tech solution out there for just about everything, from identifying and caring for garden plants to keeping your truck fleet in top condition.

Fleet management software can benefit any business that operates with a fleet. This telematics tool will help your company gain a competitive edge; some reports suggest that this software can enhance productivity by up to 15%. What’s more, fleet management software is also exceptionally affordable, especially when considering just how much it will do for your company.

This type of app can notify of reckless driving and other vehicle issues in real-time while also sending notifications to drivers at the same time. Therefore, this type of app will improve driving while also reducing repair costs and enhancing efficiency as a final result. 

There’s genuinely no arguing the importance of ongoing fleet maintenance for your business; your fleet is at the core of your company’s functions. Neglecting your vehicles will mean amplifying your expenses as the chances of replacing vehicles will increase dramatically. Unfortunately, vehicles cannot last long without regular services and upkeep.

And whether your fleet consists of new vehicles, pre-owned trucks, or a mix of both, you will have to prioritize vehicle maintenance. That said, you could consider creating a fleet inspector role to ensure someone is always overlooking this vital area of your business. Your fleet inspectors’ job responsibilities will revolve solely around keeping your trucks in top condition, which makes these employees exceptionally beneficial to all companies that operate with a fleet of vehicles. 

Robert Cooke
Rob is a certified mechanic and long-time automotive enthusiast who has worked on everyday passenger vehicles, race and rally cars, and derby cars.