A Guide to a Preventative Maintenance Program For Semi Trucks

Breakdowns or maintenance related issues are something every truck driver will experience at some point in their trucking career. Heavy duty breakdowns are inevitable. The repair costs are expensive and truckers are losing money while their truck gets repaired. A preventive maintenance program is important for every trucker to have. Having your truck regularly maintenanced can save a lot of time and money in the long run.


What Is a Preventative Maintenance Program?

A preventative maintenance program is scheduled maintenance on your truck to prevent breakdowns, minimize repairs and assure everything is working smoothly on your truck. A truck driver’s preventative maintenance program should include a checklist of everything that should be serviced and how frequently that service should be performed. The driver should also keep all documents regarding the maintenance details of the truck.


Why Is a Maintenance Program Important?

Commercial trucks are not cheap purchases. For many truckers, their truck is the only way to bring in money. If their truck is frequently breaking down, truckers cannot complete their jobs. Therefore, they do not get paid.
Failing to stay up to date on your truck’s maintenance means you’re less likely to spot a problem before it occurs. This can end up costing a truck driver a lot of money and time off from work. Not only do drivers save money and time by having a preventative maintenance program, they also are more likely to pass a roadside inspection.

In addition, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates all drivers to have a preventative maintenance schedule. The FMCSA put this in place to ensure all vehicles are safe and operating in good condition.


How To Set Up a Maintenance Schedule?

Every semi truck is different, so drivers will have to develop a unique preventive maintenance program for each truck. Keeping track of engine hours, fuel levels and mileage is a great way to predict when your truck needs to be serviced again. Start establishing cut off points for when major components wear out. Document when brakes and fuel filters get replaced and establish a time to get them replaced again. It’s also a good idea to develop a maintenance program based on how the semi truck is used.

Another important factor when developing a preventative maintenance schedule is keeping track of maintenance records. Having maintenance records will give you an idea of when things need to be replaced. Also, maintenance records are an important part of an audit.

Seasonal maintenance is something every trucker should consider. Having your truck checked between seasons helps make sure that nothing gets skipped during routine servicing. Failing to service your truck between seasons can result in serious and expensive damages.

Areas to focus on during the warmer months:

  • Air Conditioning
  • Coolant
  • Tire Pressure
  • Electrical System

Areas to focus on during the cooler months:

  • Fluids
  • Tire Tread
  • Brakes
  • Windshield

Not only is it required to maintain your truck, it also saves a truck driver time and money. Share with us your preventative maintenance program in the comments or on our social media pages.

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About the Author

Hannah Guanipa

Hannah Guanipa

Marketing Coordinator for The Trucker's Network

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