Simply letting a semi-truck run until it breaks down doesn’t make much sense. Regular preventive maintenance, at the appropriate intervals, means you’ll spend more time on the road and less time in the shop.
And once you’ve got an entire fleet of vehicles, a proactive maintenance program lets you coordinate service appointments for just a few trucks at a time
, while the rest are out hauling loads.
Besides maximizing vehicle availability, there are many other benefits of preventive maintenance
over a more reactive approach:
- Extend vehicle life span, which lowers replacement costs
- Limit excessive breakdowns which raise costs and lose revenue
- Fewer unexpected repairs to throw off your schedule and your budget
- Improved safety for drivers and everyone else on the road
- Protect against lawsuits in the event of a traffic accident
Keep reading for tips on managing a successful fleet maintenance program for your semi-trucks.
What Is the Right Semi Truck Fleet Maintenance Schedule?
How often should your vehicles get maintenance?
Your owner’s manual will provide the manufacturer’s recommended service interval for each individual truck. But don’t stop there.
Some vehicles may need more frequent service appointments if they are frequently exposed to “severe” driving conditions, which includes extensive low-speed driving or long periods of idling. This is especially common with vehicles used for short deliveries, those with multiple drivers or those driven in off-road or dusty conditions.
Your maintenance schedule can be based on different thresholds:
- Time since the last appointment
- Mileage driven since the last appointment
- Engine hours between appointments
- Gallons of fuel used since the last appointment
During planned service, and OEM-certified professional will identify signs of wear and tear early, when they’re both easier and cheaper to fix.
What Services Are Included in a Semi-Truck Maintenance Appointment?
Every preventive maintenance appointment should include a thorough inspection to identify trouble spots in need of repair and worn-out parts that need replacing. Other services include lubrication, adjustment, and cleaning.
Your technician should address all of the following items:
- Oil and filter changes
- Tires, wheels, and rims
- Safety features
- Transmission fluid
- Fluid leaks
- Fuel system
- Cooling system
- Belts and hoses
- Braking system
- Engine and transmission mounts
- Driveshafts and CV joints
- Steering and suspension
- Exhaust system
- Undercarriage and frame
- Exterior and interior lights
- Body, glass, and mirrors
- Windshield wipers
- Electrical components
- Auxiliary systems
Fleet Maintenance Is a Team Sport
Seek input from drivers when setting priorities for individual vehicles, and work with your maintenance professional to create a service schedule that works for everyone.
In between service appointments, each driver must perform a daily inspection before driving. Daily inspections should include safety features, body condition, and issues in need of repair.
Some trucking firms will also hire an individual to coordinate preventive maintenance for the entire fleet, in conjunction with drivers and technicians.
Keep Detailed Fleet Maintenance Records
Each individual truck in your fleet should have its own maintenance and repair history included in your records.
Fleet management software
can help you keep up with variables like mileage, prior maintenance and repairs, and maintenance budgeting. You should also be tracking parts, labor, and collisions and performing routine assessments of which vehicles cost the most to maintain.
Is it time to add more vehicles to your growing fleet?
Is it time to add more vehicles to your growing fleet? Contact Pedigree to learn about our wide inventory of quality pre-owned, fleet-maintained semi-trucks and trailers. Our inventory includes trucks from top brands like Freightliner and a variety of different trailer types including reefers, tankers, and flatbeds.