If you operate a fleet that includes semi trucks, you have a vested interest in keeping your trucks good to go and on the road. You don’t want to be spending time and money getting them repaired more often than they should.
For this reason, preventive maintenance is an absolute must. When working with semi trucks, you need to make sure they’re well maintained in order to minimize risk of catastrophe and increase their overall lifespan.
In this article, we’re going to be discussing important elements for your preventive maintenance checklist for semi trucks.
Why Use a Preventive Maintenance Checklist?
Preventive maintenance checklists are used by all serious fleet operators. They have them for their different vehicles, and they’re used to make sure that all necessary maintenance is done on-time and at the required intervals.
Not all maintenance needs to be done at the same time. For this reason, checklists also include the date and time they were done. This also helps produce an audit trail in case anything did go wrong. Keeping a preventive maintenance checklist can help in the case of an insurance claim.
How Should We Use A Preventive Maintenance Checklist?
The answer: it depends! Not all logistics and trucking companies do the same kind of work. Long distance freight and city freight are not the same and shouldn’t be treated as such.
For example, companies that service small areas and spend a great deal of time idling in city traffic aren’t going to be traveling very many miles. Because of this, the fleet operator may prefer scheduling preventive maintenance tasks based on engine hours instead of scheduling tasks based on mileage or time.
Not only that, but not all checklists should be the same. Trucking in cold climates has very different sets of risks and issues than trucks that operate in hot climates. For that reason, they may want to keep track of things differently. Companies that operate in cold climates may want to schedule winter maintenance, which may include changing the tires or making sure they have enough tire chains.
How To Make A Preventive Maintenance Checklist for Semi Trucks
First, take stock of your fleet. Record each vehicle, their VIN, their brand, model year, when you acquired it, and current mileage. Each semi truck will be needing the same preventive maintenance checklist, but not all of them will be in the same condition.
There are several categories that you should keep in mind when creating a preventive maintenance checklist for semi trucks. Maintenance items should deal with:
● The power train
● Air brakes
● Steering axle
● Auxiliary equipment
● Body and chassis
● Coupling devices
Make sure you separate items by frequency. Some tasks need to be done weekly, whereas others need to be done once every six months or so. One way to do it is to have different checklists for different frequencies: daily, weekly, monthly, semi-annually, and annually.
Remember: it’s better to check something too often than not often enough!
Your preventive maintenance checklist should be specific to you and your fleet. Learn more about successful preventive maintenance programs here!