Truck breakdowns happen anytime and anywhere. No matter how carefully you work to prevent this type of occurrence, it does happen. You just don’t know when or where it will happen to you! This in turn creates a burden to get back on the road as quickly as possible. You have to make a rapid decision between calling a towing service to take you to a facility to have the repairs completed or fixing it by yourself. If you are planning to do it on your own, you must have sufficient technical and mechanical knowledge as well as proper training in order to diagnose and fix the problem.
Using a commercial vehicle mechanic is undoubtedly expensive. It could cost you approximately $80 to $150 an hour for these specific services. If you are going to call a towing service and ask them to repair your vehicle, you could spend nearly $1,000. This is a costly decision you need to make.
Common truck problems encountered while out on the road can easily be handled another way. These common difficulties can be prevented by setting effective preventive maintenance controls in place. You need to act ahead of time before trouble happens!
Common Truck Problems and Their Preventive Measures
There are several truck troubles that can be readily identified and repaired by the driver before a costly breakdown. Below are common items to look at and the precautionary measures to be taken to avoid costly breakdowns:
1. Battery(dead or weak) – The most common breakdown difficulty is a dead or weak battery. Common causes of this type of problem are the battery clamps, lack of charge, or insufficient battery fluid. Batteries should be checked on a regular basis, certainly before heading out on the road. Make sure that the batteries are fully charged before heading for an extended trip. You can check, clean and inspect the battery terminals and connections as well as their polarity. Bring battery jumper cables to have on hand in the vehicle and make sure that they are well insulated. Make sure that the terminals are kept clean. Check the amount of battery fluid and take it to a battery expert for more fluid to avoid battery overheating and explosion.
2. Tires (flat or blowouts) – The next common problem to cause truck breakdowns while on the road are flat or blown-out tires. Check your tire pressure immediately before you travel. It is important that they have the correct pressure appropriate to the different speeds and the load capacity of your vehicle. You can check the manufacturer’s manual for the tire pressure necessary for your vehicle. It is just about impossible for the driver of an 18-wheeler to change a flat tire and it is usually expressly forbidden by a trucking company due to the many hazards involved. Avoiding a flat or blow-out is the only feasible solution.
3. Fuel (empty) – This truck breakdown problem is so very predictable that it is the proverbial ‘no-brainer!’ Make sure that your vehicle has enough fuel before you leave. Monitor your fuel status as you are driving paying particular attention to the roadway signs that tell you it is 125 miles or so to the next gas station! Of course, make sure that you have the right kind of fuel for your vehicle and that it is available at the station where you stop. Not every gas station on the highway has diesel fuel available.
4. Motor Oil – Oil should always be maintained at a recommended level. Check your oil level frequently and certainly before heading out on the road to ensure that you are complying with the level advised by the manufacturer.
5. Alternators – A properly functioning alternator is essential in the performance of your truck’s engine. Make sure that you check your alternator for any potential problems. Be aware of what your vehicle is trying to tell you; batteries that are continually run-down and require jumping may be a signal of a faulty alternator. Complete stalling is also another sign of an alternator going bad. The alternator can be changed out in the shop before getting out on the road much more easily than in the middle of a deserted highway!
The wise thing to do to prevent breakdowns is to get your truck on a regular preventive maintenance schedule. Potential concerns can be detected while they can still be easily handled. The alternative is going to be much more costly both in terms of repairs on the road and lost productivity. Make an intelligent choice and stop problems before they happen!
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