It’s the moment no truck driver wants: something goes wrong and you’re stranded on the side of the road. While you may have prepared for this, sometimes even the most seasoned truck driver may be stuck on the highway from an issue with a semi-truck. While some truck breakdowns are caused by mechanical errors that would have been impossible to notice, many of the common reasons for breakdowns can be caught early and prevented entirely. Let’s go over what may be causing breakdowns in your fleet and how you can stop them from happening in the future.
What causes truck breakdowns?There are countless reasons why a truck could be broken down, from electrical issues to user error. Some reasons that stand out include:
- Dead batteries. Batteries have a lifespan of around 3-5 years in the best conditions, but be aware that extreme heat or cold may make the battery work harder and shorten its longevity.
- Tires. A 2010 report from the American Trucking Association found that tires caused over half of the roadside breakdowns, due primarily to lack of proper inflation. A tire being underinflated by even 20% can reduce its life by 30%.
- Fuel. When you’re working hard to get to the next stop, you may not notice your fuel gauge hitting empty before it’s too late. Running out of fuel without reserves can cause you to be stuck until fuel arrives.
- Brakes. Breakdowns may happen as a result of a wreck as well, a problem commonly caused by brake issues. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration noted in a study that 29% of crashes caused by a semi-truck were due to issues with brakes.