Commercial trucks are an essential investment for businesses that rely on transporting goods and services. Although they may require a significant initial outlay, these vehicles can yield substantial returns, mainly when there is a steady stream of clientele.
However, even with a consistent customer base, your operations can be compromised if your commercial trucks are not deemed road-worthy. A road-worthy truck is safe to operate on the road without posing a risk to the lives of its occupants or other road users.
As a commercial truck owner, it is crucial to maintain your vehicles in optimal condition to avoid them being declared unroadworthy by authorities. Here are some essential maintenance tips to help ensure that your trucks remain safe and road-worthy at all times:
- Read The Manual
Commercial trucks are made differently, with different parts made by different manufacturers. It means no one maintenance solution suits all. The best way to know how to take care of each of your commercial trucks is to understand the maintenance needs of each.
Manufacturers inform you of this in the truck’s manual, given during purchase. Therefore, go through your Volvo d13 maintenance manual for guidance. Where you can’t locate it, most manufacturers have websites where they have this information, often in pdf format.
Following the maintenance manual to the letter is important, especially regarding replacing damaged parts.
- Identify What A Road-Worthy Truck Is
State regulations can vary significantly in how they define and enforce roadworthiness standards. As such, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the specific requirements for commercial trucks in your region. By doing so, you can ensure compliance with local laws and avoid potential penalties. These regulations can also serve as a valuable guide for your maintenance practices.
You can obtain this information from your country’s national roads authority or the agency responsible for issuing roadworthiness certificates. These organizations typically provide a detailed list of inspection criteria.
For instance, a road-worthy commercial truck may be required to have the following:
- Featuring an anti-slip surface.
- With control cables and pivots that are not worn out.
- With pads that make proper contact with the brake drum and do not protrude more than 3mm.
- Without any missing or damaged rims.
- Free from missing or cracked nuts and washers.
- Fitted with protective valve lugs.
Using these criteria as an example, you can create a comprehensive checklist to guide your maintenance efforts and ensure that your commercial trucks remain in peak condition.
- Service Your Trucks Regularly
Servicing refers to the routine check-ups of your commercial trucks by a mechanic. It aids in identifying and addressing issues with your trucks, preferably in their early stage. The process ensures you’re road-worthy at all times.
It’s important to service your trucks regularly. It might entail oil changes, and filter and engine checks, among others. Most manufacturers give the intervals often based on the mileage covered.
Besides relying on the manufacturer’s intervals, you can service your trucks more frequently. Do this if your commercial trucks often carry heavy goods. These are more likely to develop issues than those used moderately.
It’s best to keep records of your servicing. The records act as guidance, especially in decision-making. You’ll know when to replace a given part, maybe after several repairs.
Also, only use high-quality spare parts where replacement is needed. Quality serves you for a long time, saving you money in the long run.
- Train Your Truck Drivers
Your drivers will be with your commercial trucks 90% of the time. Therefore, they greatly contribute to the roadworthiness of your trucks. How careful are they as they handle your trucks?
It all goes down to their skills. First, ensure you only hire qualified truck drivers with experience driving commercial trucks. The drivers shouldn’t learn how to do this when they’re on the road with your trucks.
It’d help to train them in the ideal driving for trucks, like not speeding, especially when carrying heavy loads. They should also change the gears in the right order; otherwise, there’ll be damage.
Consider bringing in experts regularly to educate them on this and equip them with advanced truck-driving skills. The training should also include how they can inspect and identify issues with the trucks. However, their inspections shouldn’t replace servicing.
- Work With A Qualified Mechanic
The expertise of a mechanic plays a pivotal role in the maintenance and longevity of your commercial trucks. They are responsible for inspecting various components, replacing faulty parts, and conducting routine check-ups. An incorrect diagnosis can lead to improper repairs or interventions, which may ultimately cause more harm than good to your vehicles. This could result in a reduced lifespan or failure to meet the minimum roadworthiness standards.
For this reason, it is essential to hire a qualified and experienced mechanic, particularly one with a strong background in servicing commercial trucks. When selecting a mechanic, consider asking for a portfolio of their previous clients. A larger clientele base can indicate a higher level of trust and reliability in their expertise. By entrusting your trucks to a skilled mechanic, you can help ensure their safety, performance, and compliance with roadworthiness requirements.
It’d help to look at their Google reviews from previous and current clients. The feedback you get will help you gauge their capabilities. It should all be positive.
Consider getting recommendations on the mechanic to hire. Where you don’t find a mechanic, having the trucks’ manufacturer service the trucks is the way to go.
From the discussion, maintaining your commercial trucks to ensure they’re road-worthy doesn’t require much. All you need to do is understand their needs and get an expert to meet them. The discussion above details more on what to do; implement the guide for an easy time with your commercial trucks’ maintenance.