Commercial truck breakdowns are a major struggle for truck drivers because they are a major safety hazard as well as an obstacle to a completed job. If a commercial truck has a tire blowout while driving down the freeway, it puts the truck driver, as well as all other nearby drivers, at risk. In addition, electrical system failures can bring a truck to a dead stop while on the job, preventing the driver from arriving on time and ensuring a smooth delivery. Sometimes problems arise no matter what we do, but taking steps to mitigate risks is critical to a safer and better time on the road.
According to Fleet Net America, tire problems cause more than 50% of commercial truck breakdowns. This probably isn’t surprising to anyone—if you’ve driven on the highway, you’ve likely seen shredded tire treads on the side of the road. It’s way more common than it should be, especially when it’s often easily avoidable, and there are simple ways to mitigate the risk of tire failure. Some common issues found in commercial truck tires include:
- Improper inflation (underinflated/overinflated)
- Worn treads
- Misaligned axels
Things every driver should be doing to keep tire problems at bay include:
- Daily inspection
- Check PSI (adjust if necessary)
- Check treads
- Have tires checked and rotated regularly
- Replace tires every 3-6 years
Brakes are the second most common cause of commercial truck breakdowns. A trucker’s brakes are being worn down a lot more quickly than those in an average vehicle, making it all the more crucial for regular maintenance. A general rule of thumb is that commercial trucks should have their brake pads replaced every 30,000 miles. Every time you take your truck in to be serviced, you should have your brakes checked to ensure they’re still in proper working condition.
A commercial truck’s electrical system is what keeps it running. If this system is faulty, it could lead to serious problems on the road. The main components of a vehicle’s electrical system are the starter motor, alternator, and battery—if any of these components aren’t working properly, the vehicle won’t even start. Diagnostics should be done on the vehicle regularly to ensure that these components are all in good working condition. Generally, commercial truck batteries last 3-4 years, but they should be checked whenever the vehicle is serviced to make sure they aren’t corroding faster than expected.
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