A breakdown in the middle of a long haul can quickly throw off your entire schedule — especially if you get stranded in a remote area. Fortunately, if you know the common causes behind breakdowns in commercial trucks, you can prevent one of your own. To help you plan, the staff at Regional International Truck and Trailer in New York have outlined a few of the most frequent potential issues to plan for.
Why Commercial Trucks Break Down
1. Faulty Brakes
Brakes on semi-trucks are under a lot of pressure, and they must be in top condition to properly stop all that weight. One common cause of trouble is corrosion by the weather and other external factors, such as salt and dirt. Keep up with a regular brake maintenance schedule by getting an inspection performed every 5,000 to 10,000 miles to catch these problems.
2. Bad Tires
More than half of truck breakdowns are a result of bad tires. Taking care of them is particularly important in extreme weather conditions, changes in elevation, and long trips. Check that they are properly inflated, especially when you’re traveling into cooler weather as this causes the air inside the tires to condense. Replace them immediately when the tread depth is low, since this reduces traction and makes the tire more susceptible to punctures. To test your tires, place a penny headfirst into the tread groove. If you can still see Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace the tires.
3. Electrical Failure
The electrical system includes the alternator, battery, and starter motor. Some common signs of malfunction include dim or flickering lights, strange smells, difficulty starting the engine while hearing clicking noises, and corroded battery connections. Carry jumper cables with you so you can jump your dead batter in an emergency.
Being aware of these issues and keeping up with a regular preventive maintenance plan will help keep you safe on the road while avoiding breakdowns. In addition to selling commercial trucks and trailers, the team at Regional International Truck and Trailer offers convenient tuneups and repairs that will fit in your schedule. Many of their services can be finished within a couple hours. Call (800) 836-0409 or visit them online to schedule an appointment.