As an owner operator, preventative semi truck maintenance is extremely important to not only your truck’s longevity, but your financial health as well. Preventative maintenance can be the difference between paying a couple hundred bucks and a couple thousand for a repair.
As a company driver, you may be thinking that preventative maintenance isn’t your problem, so it’s something you’re not going to worry about. While It’s true that you won’t be on the hook financially if something goes wrong with a truck, it could end up costing you something even more valuable than money; your time.
If you notice something is wrong with your truck while doing your pre-trip inspection, let your carrier know immediately. While it might not be an issue for this run or the next one, it’ll become a problem eventually; A problem that could leave you stranded on the shoulder of the highway waiting for a maintenance truck to come.
Here are the most important things you should be looking at on your truck in terms of preventative semi truck maintenance.
Semi Truck Maintenance Checklist
Brakes – In terms of road safety, brakes are undoubtedly the most important part of your truck. They can also be one of the most expensive parts to replace. Here’s a helpful video on how to check your brake lining during your pre-trip inspection.
Tires – if your brakes are the most important thing to do preventative maintenance on, then your tires are a close second. During your pre-trip inspections, look at all your tires to make sure there’s nothing unusual about them, like bulges or cuts. Also, make sure you’re practicing proper tire safety in the winter if you’re going to be driving in the snow. Check out our guide on how to properly chain up your semi-truck tires for more information.
Electrical System – Your truck’s electrical system should be checked as well during your pre-trip inspection. Do a quick walk around your truck to ensure that all your lights on both your cab and trailer are functional and that there are no cracks in the lenses that house the lights. Also, do a quick check under the hood to make sure all cables and wires are correctly tightened and that there’s no corrosion or strange smell coming from your battery.
Fluids – Checking your fluid levels and scanning for any leaks before you start a run is another way to practice routine semi truck maintenance. Always keep spare fluids like oil, coolant, and windshield wiper fluid in your cab so that you can make those quick changes when you need to. This is especially important during the winter months.
Performing preventative semi truck maintenance on your truck may seem like a lot of work, but once you get into the routine of doing it, it’s just another part of your run. The most important rule is if something seems off with your truck, investigate it. The extra 5-10 minutes you take to do it will be well worth it if it turns out to be a problem that could cost you thousands of dollars if gone unchecked.
Looking for a new CDL Job?
Drive My Way matches you with a job based on your preferences like pay, home time, touch level, and more.