Guide to Semi Truck Care

A semi truck can be a great investment, especially if you own a business that requires hauling goods. However, you also need to offer quality care to your truck to get the most out of it and to protect yourself and your enterprise. If you’re searching for a way to keep your vehicle in top condition, below are some top semi truck care tips you should consider.

Keep Your Truck Clean

One of the top semi truck care tips is to keep your rig clean. This is especially important when you use your truck for business purposes; the vehicle will be an extension of your business image. On top of that, a clean truck will give you a great sense of pride when you’re on the road.

However, there are several other benefits to keeping your semi truck clean. One of the top ones is that it helps to protect the paint job. On the road, your truck body panels are exposed to elements like road salt, dust, debris, and acid rain, which can corrode and damage the paint. Therefore, regular cleaning helps to remove these elements, increasing the lifespan of the paint job.

Keeping your truck clean can also help you avoid trouble with authorities. According to the U.S. Compliance Services, dirty rigs are often targets of DOT and police stops and will attract more thorough inspections. On top of that, something like a dirty windscreen, reflector, or lights could be considered a violation, which can result in a hefty fine.

So, given how vital cleanliness is, you should take your semi truck to a car wash or clean it yourself as often as possible. In addition, you can hire painting services from time to time to refresh your truck’s look. A new paint job will also help to increase the protection of its body panels, thus, adding to its lifespan.

Invest in Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is another top semi truck care tip that can help you to properly care for your vehicle. It helps to identify and fix problems in your truck before they become costly. In addition, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, poor maintenance is a leading cause of large truck accidents. Therefore, regular maintenance will not only keep your vehicle in top condition, but it will also improve your safety and the safety of other road users.

You can invest in several maintenance services for your semi truck, one of the top ones being the fluids. For example, you should routinely check, top up, and, if necessary, change the engine oil to keep your rig running smoothly and efficiently. You must also check and top up or replace fluids like the engine coolant, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, windshield washer liquid, and gas.

The wheel system is another vital area to maintain for your semi truck. First, ensure the tires are roadworthy and always keep them properly inflated. Secondly, you should get regular wheel alignment services, which can help prevent damage to your tires and suspension system. Lastly, you should regularly maintain your brakes and replace any damaged or faulty components to ensure maximum safety for your truck while on the road.

Get Prompt Repairs for Your Truck

Regular maintenance can keep your semi truck in perfect shape and reduce the risk of breakdown. However, given the heavy usage of your vehicle, it’s likely to suffer a breakdown at one point. When this happens, getting prompt repairs can help to prevent the problem from worsening, making them another top semi truck care solution to invest in.

You can invest in several semi truck repairs to keep your rig in perfect condition. These include simple repairs like replacing a dead battery, fixing burnt-out lights, and replacing worn-out drive belts. Then, there are the essential repairs like fixing faulty brakes, body damage, engine issues, electrical problems, tire damage, suspension issues, and a faulty transmission.

When repairing your truck, you should also invest in services that improve the comfort of your vehicle, especially if you use it for long-distance trips. For example, an AC repair can help to keep the truck comfortable on extremely hot or cold days. You can also make your vehicle more comfortable (and even safer) by fixing issues with the seat, safety belts, and air filters.

Of course, some of your semi truck issues might be hidden, and thus, you might not notice them until it’s too late. Therefore, you should be on the lookout for tell-tale signs of problems, including increased fuel consumption, weird noises from the engine, unresponsive brakes, leaking fluids, excess exhaust emissions, etc. In addition, you should strictly adhere to the manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedule, which can further help to sniff out issues with your semi.

Find a Good Auto Repair Shop

According to Freight Wave Ratings, a semi truck costs between $100,000 and $200,000, making a huge financial investment. As a result, when investing in semi truck care solutions, it’s not enough to hire prompt repairs for your rig; you also need to pick reliable professionals. This helps ensure you’ll receive quality services while minimizing the risk of something going wrong during repairs, further damaging your rig.

One of the top things to consider when choosing a semi truck repair shop is experience. The auto garage you choose must have a wealth of experience in truck repairs and, most importantly, the specific model of the semi you own. On top of that, when you take your vehicle in for repairs, you must ensure that it’s handled by experienced technicians and not novices who’re learning on the job.

When choosing an auto repair shop for your rig, you should also look at the services offered. Depending on the damage to your truck, you might need various solutions like brake & clutch repairs, engine rebuilds and replacement, transmission repairs, a paint job, suspension repairs, and more. A good shop should have all of the services in-house, which, consequently, can guarantee you fast repairs.

Quality equipment and availability of repair parts are other top factors to consider when choosing a repair shop for your semi truck. Quality equipment like diagnostic tools, hydraulic lifts, and service bays will ensure you receive high-quality repair services. On the other hand, spare parts availability will protect you from lengthy delays, which can be quite inconvenient for your business.

Get Your Truck Insured

Insurance is another vital semi truck care service to invest in. Having your rig covered protects it from damage in case of an accident or other eventualities that result in damage. On top of that, it protects you and your business from any liabilities you might incur if your vehicle causes damage to other persons, vehicles, or property.

Unfortunately, unlike other vehicles, you’ll need commercial auto insurance; unless you’re using your rig for personal reasons only, which would be impractical. And to protect yourself and the truck full, you must invest in several auto coverage options. One of the top ones is liability insurance, which covers medical expenses to injured persons and damage to other vehicles during an accident. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, this should be at least $750,000 for freight trucks.

Apart from liability cover, physical damage insurance is another vital insurance plan. This one helps to cover your truck in case of damages sustained during an accident where you (or your drivers) were at fault. You might also need cargo insurance, especially if you operate a moving business or use your track to haul expensive cargo.

Several other commercial insurance plans can help to protect your semi truck when it’s on the road. For example, a Bobtail cover can protect you from any liability in case an incident occurs when you (or your drivers) are using the rig for personal reasons. In addition, you can invest in workers’ compensation insurance to protect your drivers, especially if you own a heavy trucking company.

Inspect Your Truck Regularly

You should consider truck inspections if you’re looking for more semi truck care tips for your rig. First, inspections are a vital part of preventive maintenance that can help identify problems with your trucks before they result in costly breakdowns. They also offer several other benefits, such as reducing the risk of accidents on the road, improving fuel efficiency, and keeping your insurance premiums low.

Another top reason to invest in inspections for your semi truck is that they are mandated. According to the DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, all commercial vehicles must undergo periodic inspections, with at least one major annual inspection. Failure to follow these guidelines can result in hefty fines and, in the worst case, criminal prosecution.

So, how often should you inspect your truck? Well, first, you must fulfill the DOT inspection requirements. This means you must take your rig to a certified DOT inspector at least once yearly. Also, you must strictly adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines, including the recommended service schedules. On top of that, your insurance company might have specific inspection guidelines you must follow for your auto coverage to be valid.

You can also have your truck inspected whenever you take it to an auto shop for repairs or basic maintenance. During these inspections, some vital things to check are the battery, spark plugs, engine oil, brake fluid, tires, brakes, transmission, suspension, etc. Lastly, you (or your drivers) should conduct daily pre and post-trip inspections to ensure that the truck is in top shape every time it’s on the road.

Keep Your Truck Safe When Parked

Semi truck care is not only vital when your vehicle is on the road or in preparation for a trip; you also need to care for it when not in use. And the best way to do this is by ensuring that your rig is safe and secure against threats like theft, vandals, or any other incident that can damage it. Consequently, this will protect your investment and avoid a situation that can inconvenience your business operations.

One of the top tips for keeping your semi truck safe is to park it in a secure area. This can be your business premises or a secure parking or storage facility. And to protect your track, you must invest in intruder deterrent solutions, like installing a fence, alarms, and surveillance cameras.

Another thing to note is that intruders and vandals aren’t the only danger your truck faces when in parking. Indeed, natural phenomena like hailstorms, flying debris due to severe winds, and falling trees can easily damage it. Therefore, you also need to secure your rig against these elements, for example, by hiring a storm proof screen manufacturer to install a secure structure in your parking lot.

Lastly, it would help if you took other proactive measures to keep your semi truck safe. Of course, you should already have a comprehensive insurance plan that protects your rig from theft, vandalism, and other forms of damage. You can also install onboard security systems like an alarm or GPS tracker to further deter acts of crime.

Prepare Yourself for Problems on The Road

Even after investing in various semi truck care solutions, you can still face problems, especially on the road. Unfortunately, this can be inconvenient, especially when your rig is on a business trip. As a result, you need to be well prepared for any incidences that might occur to mitigate their impact.

A breakdown is one of the top problems your truck can experience when it’s on the road. Unfortunately, this can be dangerous, especially if it becomes stranded in an unfamiliar area when carrying expensive cargo. So, to avoid this, you can invest in a semi truck roadside service that rescues you (or your driver) and get your rig back on the road or to a garage.

An accident is another common problem that could affect your truck. According to the National Safety Council, there were 117,300 large truck crashes, a figure that has risen over the past few years. Therefore, even if you’ve taken all the necessary precautions, your rig could be caught up in such a scenario.

To mitigate the impact of an accident, you should be well prepared in advance. First, your rig should have an emergency kit with all the necessary first aid supplies. Then, you (or your driver) should know what to do in the event of an accident, for example, calling for medical services and police, collecting evidence of the crash, and not discussing fault or liability with other parties. Lastly, it would help to have good relationships with professionals such as your insurance agent or a local personal injury lawyer who can assist you in navigating the aftermath of an accident.

The above semi truck care tips can be vital in keeping your truck safe on the road. They can also help reduce your rig’s maintenance and repair costs and extend its lifespan. Lastly, they can help to protect you and your business from several incidents that could cause severe financial loss.

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