On-time deliveries are key to driving a successful business. Customers and shippers alike are counting on shipments to be moved and delivered on time and intact. But there are factors out of everyone’s control, and that can cause delays in deliveries. Traffic, accidents up ahead, and weather are just a few things that can prevent you from doing your job.
With all of these uncontrollable circumstances, you can take responsibility for the one factor you can control: your truck. The last thing you need is for your truck to be out of service, damaged, or in dire need of repair, so be sure to take it in for some TLC and maintenance. That way, you can keep your hauls moving and secure more loads (hopefully through the Cargomatic app!) The following answers the “why and when” you should get your truck maintained in a nutshell.
Why – as in: Why Does Truck Maintenance Matter?
Short trips are engine killers, (ahem, short-haul) and if you can’t avoid them, be sure to prepare for them. Trucks get maintained for many obvious reasons such as:
- Meeting DOT Regulations
You won’t be able to drive your truck until every noted Out-Of-Service (OOS) Violation is fixed.
- Avoiding Costly Repairs
Having routine systematic maintenance will make your costs predictable and is cheaper than emergency roadside service or emergency repairs which can eat away your profits and impact your bottom line.
- Increasing the Lifespan of the Truck
By maintaining your truck, you increase uptime, lower your operating cost, lower your cost per mile and make your business more profitable.
The most important reason for having a truck maintained is safety. Safety for the drivers, the shipments and the road-sharing traffic.
When – Like, When and How Often Should a Truck be Maintained?
This answer varies but there are a few different things to keep in mind. You can do periodic maintenance checks based on:
- The type of truck you have (different makes and models)
- Oil viscosity
- Age of the vehicle
- Time of year
- Operating environment
Of course, there’s always mileage to consider when deciding when the best time is to bring your truck in to get serviced.
On average, the suggested range to receive basic service is every 10,000 – 20,000 miles. Basic servicing covers a quick inspection of your truck to ensure lights and brakes are working properly as well as getting your oil and lubricants refilled. Refer to the owner’s manual to get your intervals.
For a more thorough inspection (like the preventative maintenance check), the suggested mile usage for that would be every 30,000 miles. The maintenance check would include critical components such as:
- Oil and lube change
- Oil, air and fuel filter change
- Fixing any repairs needed to ensure that the truck is up to DOT standards
- Brake inspection
- Proper tire inflation
- Alignment and steering inspection
- Lighting and electrical inspection
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires at least one Period Maintenance Inspection in a 12-month period*. Don’t do the bare minimum! Safety first, go get your truck serviced. Otherwise, what’s the point? Ensure that your truck is safe, legal and ready for the challenge of driving on the roads.
Planning it out will help you stay prepared and reduce the risk of surprise repairs, and ultimately make the truck last longer! In doing so, that will make you more reliable to your customers and repeat business.
Once you’re done getting the truck serviced, you’re ready to get back on the road. Don’t forget to have that full truckload. Check out Cargomatic’s Marketplace to see what’s on your route and fill that well-maintained truck up! Download our app at the Google Play Store or the App Store and check out our website for more information.
*Disclaimer: For state specifics, please refer to your local DMV, state troopers, highway patrol, regulatory body, etc.