Being sidelined for maintenance issues is a situation you don’t ever want to find yourself in if you are a trucker. But the reality is you depend on a large machine to get the job done, and things can happen. Between routine maintenance and issues that seem to arise from nowhere, you always have to be proactive, vigilant, and prepared. With so many things to consider, there are many myths out there about what you should be and could be doing. To help you out we are going to bust nine common myths about maintenance issues for truckers.
MYTH 1: Every semi-truck needs the oil changed at the same interval.
FALSE – The type of oil, driver patterns, manufacture, engine condition, geographic care, and weather conditions contribute to variations to the necessary intervals between oil changes.
MYTH 2: Semi-trucks need their oil changed every 500 miles.
FALSE – This may have been true in 1950, but today some semi-trucks can go up to 50,000+ miles between oil changes with the average being 25,000 miles.
MYTH 3: You only need to perform maintenance on your truck if there is an issue such as a funny noise, light on or other out of the ordinary indicator.
FALSE – Long-term regular maintenance will put dollars in your pocket by saving you on downtime and expensive repairs in the future.
MYTH 4: The only factor in preventive maintenance is time.
FALSE – Time, distance, amount of fuel used, and engine hours are all factors in when you should perform preventative maintenance on your semi-truck.
MYTH 5: You only need to check your breaks when they are vibrating or squeaking.
FALSE – Your breaks should be checked often. Checking your breaks should be part of each pre-trip inspection before you hit the road, and any other time you sense there may be a problem. On top of regularly checking your breaks, checking them when there is vibrating and squeaking is essential because that is a sure sign that there is a potential issue, and you need to get them looked at right away. Close to 5,000 commercial vehicles were ordered out of service for critical brake safety violations in the U.S. and Canada in 2018, regularly checking your breaks will help ensure you are not one of them.
MYTH 6: All maintenance issues are expensive
FALSE – While the majority of maintenance issues you probably won’t be able to take care of yourself there are a few things you can likely do to help save you money and ensure your truck is in good working order. One item you can possibly manage on your own is oiling or greasing points that need to be regularly greased or oiled. Another is routinely checking the tire pressure.
MYTH 7: Tire pressure only needs to be checked weekly.
FALSE – Tire pressure should be monitored daily and throughout each trip, because weather and driving at high speed can cause it to fluctuate. Tires that are not at the proper pressure can impact many areas of the trip, from affecting your fuel mileage to being more prone to damage from punctures to potholes.
MYTH 8: It is ok to skip preventative maintenance because you don’t have the funds to pay for it.
FALSE – Neglecting regular maintenance on your truck will cost you much more long term, so it is essential to budget routine maintenance and find things you can do yourself to keep expenses down.
MYTH 9: There isn’t financing available that can help you cover routine and emergency maintenance costs.
FALSE – While you will be hard-pressed to find anyone to provide you financing strictly for maintenance costs, freight bill factoring companies will provide you with financing that you can use to cover your maintenance costs. With freight bill factoring, you get paid for the loads you haul within hours of delivering the load instead of waiting for your broker or shipper to pay you. By knowing when you will be paid for the loads you haul, you can ensure you have the funds you need when you need them to cover your maintenance costs.
Maintaining your semi-truck is key to your success in trucking. If you think freight bill factoring can help you have the funds to cover routine and emergency maintenance issues, please give us a call today at (801) 676-0182.