Top 10 Tips on Maintaining your Truck
As a HGV driver, it's essential that you carry out checks on your truck from time to time to make sure it's in good working order, as well as being safe and roadworthy. Here are 10 tips for maintaining your truck.
1. Check the lights
The external lights of your truck should be regularly checked to make sure they're functioning effectively. This is especially important if you drive during the hours of darkness. As well as checking the outside lights on the vehicle, it's a good idea to check the inside lights of the cab, so that you can easily find what you need if you have to stop somewhere in the dark.
2. Check the tyres
Tyres that aren't properly inflated are a hazard and could result in tread damage or even cause the tyres to burst. Additionally, underinflated tyres can make your truck less fuel-efficient, making your vehicle more expensive to run. For these reasons, it's important to regularly check that tyres are inflated to the correct pressure level for your particular truck.
3. Change the oil
Your truck will need an oil change every 5,000-7,000 miles or so, or more frequently if the truck is heavily used. Changing the oil regularly can help to keep the engine in good working order, so it's an important task that every HGV driver should get into the habit of conducting.
4. Inspect for any damage
It's a good idea to inspect the outside of your truck, especially after a long journey, for any signs of damage or wear and tear. These should be remedied as soon as possible as if they're left any longer the problem might get worse, or become a safety issue. Moreover, a truck that shows signs of damage won't exude a professional image - not good news for your brand's reputation.
5. Look for paint chips
Keep an eye out for any chips in the paintwork of your truck. Even the smallest of chips may encourage rust to form, so get them fixed straight away.
6. Wash the truck
Giving your truck a thorough wash every 10 days or so can help to remove potential contaminants that could cause damage to the paintwork of the vehicle. It's also recommended to clean the truck if it's exposed to snow or sleet, as this combined with road salt can cause the chassis to corrode.
7. Lubricate door locks
Cold weather can make door locks stick, so it's wise to spray them regularly with some lubrication, such as WD-40, to keep them functioning well.
8. Check the coolant
Engine coolant helps to stop the truck from overheating, so regularly check that levels are topped up to prevent any damage to the engine.
9. Replace the air filter
The engine air filter can get clogged up with dirt over time, making the engine less efficient. The filter will need changing every 15,000-30,000 miles, or more frequently if you drive on roads that are dirty.
10. Check the belts
Worn engine belts are bad news for a truck, resulting in engine damage and a possible breakdown if you're on the road. Check the belts frequently for any signs of cracks in the rubber, and get them replaced immediately. As a rough guideline, belts will need replacing after every 50,000 miles.