Spring is here and at Status Truck & Trailer Repair we know that a great deal of your owner operator truck driver job, is to make sure to keep your truck in tip-top shape. Your semi truck is your most valuable investment and there are all sorts of semi truck maintenance tips you can follow to extend the useful life of your rig.
During the Winter season, U.S. road crews disperse over 22 million tons of road salt to help de-ice roads. One of the worst hazards of road salt is metal corrosion, and if not taken care of properly, it can take a toll on your semi truck and cause extensive damage.
These are a few semi truck maintenance tips to prevent corrosion after the Winter season:
Start at the back great at the very back and work your way to the front checking everything you can find. Many semi truck wash services have undercarriage washing systems that will do a great job at removing all the dirt and salt residues. It is recommended to do this after every Winter in order to prevent rust from spreading on your truck.
Open up the doors take a wet vac and vacuum all that dirt and sand and water that are probably accumulated in the seams along the doors. If you get that stuff out of there it will prevent your floor in your cab rusting out in the future. Do a good interior cleaning and cleaning along the doorstep soles on either side, a lot of that dirt will contain salt which is corrosive. Unless you are a regional driver in Wisconsin, then you will find some cheese brine, which is something they started to use back in 2008-2009 for de-icing roads.
As the Spring season sets in, it is always a good idea to do a thorough inspection checking for signs of rust or parts that could have been damaged by road salt during the Winter season. Corrosion is pretty easy to spot when you know what to look for. Search for green residues or rust which is an indication of iron oxidation due to prolonged water exposure. Rust usually spreads corrosion at a faster rate, that is why is so important to remove it and treat it as soon as possible.
If you take your time to do a thorough job you will find all sorts of issues along the way that look like problems waiting to happen which you can fix now to avoid a bigger expense in the shop later on. Start at the back underneath working your way forward looking for rust so you can scrape it off and coat it with a good rust inhibitor.
Another place to look for corrosion is your bottom radiator pipe. De-icing companies have been experimenting with new techniques that can be very harmful to vehicles so check your cooler lines underneath the hood look for anything that looks older or worn through the wintertime.
Check air lines, wiring and electrical cord for signs of corrosion. Another semi truck maintenance tip is to clean up the paint really well. Use up a cleaner wax and then put another coat of wax on top of that just to help protect the paint even better. Painting a truck is very expensive and the longer you can keep it looking good the better off you’ll be.
Battery cables and connections are especially prone to forming corrosion but nothing that a mix of baking soda and hot water can’t fix in order to remove corrosion buildup. Check all your wiring harnesses and pull the connectors apart looking for any signs of green corrosion. It is better to take care if simple issues like these at home and not when you are out on the road and having to pay for mobile truck service.
At the back end of the semi truck have a look at the shocks, shock mounts, and the dust shields just to make sure that rust and corrosion haven’t bothered them too badly. Dust shields particularly seem to be subject to rust and one of the first things the DOT will jump on you for. If you have dust shields is when they get underneath there, and if one is rusted and falling off you’ll get a ticket for that, so have a look at them this spring and if they need replacing do that (Smart Trucking, 2014).
Trucks are a big investment, you want your semi truck to last as long as you possibly can make it go, so by taking the time and doing the little things now and cleaning it up now, you’ll add years to the life of your rig. For this and other useful information on semi truck repair tips you can subscribe to the Status Truck & Trailer Repair blog via Email. If you are looking for great semi truck maintenance and repair service in the Peach State, please visit our shop at 4851-101 GA Hwy 85 Forest Park, GA 30297.
Smart Trucking (2014, April 1). Big Rig Maintenance: Preparing Your Truck For the Spring Season [Video file]. Retrieved from Smart Trucking website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvc8_7Ekfd0