Regular inspections and maintenance routines are critical to ensuring today’s fleet and commercial vehicles remain on the road. Downtime due to neglect can be costly to owners and operators – and also lead to serious safety hazards – so be sure you are following a comprehensive maintenance check list for your commercial vehicle. Here are four core areas that should not be overlooked, according to experts at NORMA.
One of the most essential components on today’s vehicles, brakes tend to be a leading reason commercial vehicles do not pass inspection. Ensuring brakes are thoroughly assessed is important for the driver, road safety and a fleet company’s bottom line. If brakes are not more than 1/8" thick, a replacement is in order. In addition, all hardware and hoses should be closely evaluated.
Especially with 18-wheelers, it’s easy to overlook when tires need to be serviced but ongoing maintenance is important for long-term fleet performance and to avoid costly downtime. Before any long haul, tires should be inspected carefully. Look closely for any cuts, breaks, embedded objects or excessive wear and carefully inspect wheel alignment and tire pressure. Many trucks are typically carrying heavy loads so proper tire maintenance is a vital safety precaution.
Most diesels are required to have a DPF system to help reduce emissions and increase fuel economy. These systems need to be cleaned at least every 100,000 – 200,000 miles. All bungs should be inspected, removed and replaced as needed and the filter should be cleaned, baked and reinstalled. All existing dual-band gaskets should be removed and replaced as well during the process to guarantee the strongest seal. Check out our how-to video for more tips on proper DPF system cleaning.
Under the Hood
Power steering, brake and wiper fluid, along with oil levels should all be checked regularly and refilled as necessary. Hoses and belts need regular inspection and the engine should go through a thorough analysis as part of a proactive preventative maintenance program.
For more on commercial vehicle maintenance, check out our Pro Tips.