It’s time to start thinking of heavy truck maintenance. Winter is often the season when people appreciate you and your heavy truck the most. You’re delivering all their holiday shopping as well as the other items they’re buying online so they don’t have to brave the weather to take a trip to the store. As much as customers need you during the cold season, winter driving takes a toll on your rig.
That’s why early spring is the perfect time to give your semi-truck a fresh start. It’s the ideal opportunity to take care of your truck and trailer repair needs or replace semi truck parts that have reached the end of the road. To keep yourself safe all year round, use these spring maintenance tips for your truck.
1. Get a Thorough Washing, Top to Bottom
Cleaning your heavy truck is the first thing to do in your spring maintenance because it makes everything else on your to-do list easier. Salt, snow, ice, and dirt build-up throughout your truck, especially in the undercarriage. Clearing it away will help you spot any other problems.
Plus, dirt alone will wear away at your truck. Winter dirt contains road salt, unlike dirt during other seasons. The sooner you get the corrosive salt away from your heavy truck parts, the better.
2. Tire Inspection Heavy Truck Maintenance
Tire traction is always a key concern, especially during snowy winters and rainy springs. Once you clear away the packed snow and dirt from your heavy duty truck tires, you can take a closer look to see if they are up to the task as part of your heavy truck maintenance routine.
Check for the amount of wear and the wear patterns. Pay special attention to any uneven wear you see and get an alignment if necessary. As you look for tire wear, check for other damage too like nails, slow leaks, and bubbles.
3. Conduct a Full Inspection of Your Semi Truck Parts
With a newly clean truck that makes every part as visible as possible, now is the time for a serious inspection as part of your spring heavy truck maintenance. Take your time and go from front to back, checking every part, wire, and hose you can find.
Look for any signs of wear or damage so you can get repairs before you wind up stranded on the road. Check all your essential fluids during the inspection too, from oil and brake fluid to windshield washer fluid. All of our locations can help with finding the parts you need to replace and essential fluids.
4. Heavy Truck Maintenance Rust Removal
Rust is a major enemy to any trucker, and it tends to happen more in the winter due to salt and moisture. As you inspect your heavy truck, make note of any areas where you find rust and remove the rust promptly.
Pay special attention to the areas that rust most often on your semi truck. This usually includes your dust shields and the underside of your heavy truck radiator. Over time, you’ll get to know the specific problem areas on your semi truck so you can keep a closer eye on them. Learn more about engine maintenance and cooling on our blog here.
5. Truck Maintenance and Paint
Salt and snow have a way of damaging your paint in the winter, and every trip on the road comes with a risk of chipping and fading. Make spring a time of year to give your paint job some extra protection.
After thoroughly cleaning your truck, apply at least one coat of wax to the paint. This will maintain the paint’s color and integrity longer, saving you from a pricey paint job down the road.
6. Check Your Brake System
“Spring showers” is a common phrase for a reason; you need to make sure your brake system is ready for the slippery roads before the spring rains hit. Brakes are also more likely to need repairs at the end of winter because slippery winter roads take a toll.
Inspect every aspect of your brake system: pads, rotors, lines, you name it. Take care of any repairs now before you find yourself on a mountain road in a rainstorm.
7. Clean Out Your Door Seams
As you clean your rig in the spring, take special care to clean along the seams and seals of your doors. This might seem like a cosmetic or picky step in your spring truck maintenance, but it makes a larger difference than you think.
Dirt, salt, and other debris tend to accumulate in these areas. Keeping the seals clean will help you keep spring rain outside the cab so it doesn’t cause water damage. It also helps you maintain a comfortable temperature within your truck cab during your time on the road.
8. Repair Any Windshield Chips
During your long hours on the road, a few chips and cracks in your windshield are inevitable. They’re especially common in winter thanks to ice and gravel, as well as the added truck traffic during the holiday season.
Take time to give your windshield a thorough inspection for chips and cracks. Take the windshield outside on a sunny day and look for any areas where the sun hits the windshield in a different way than you’d expect.
If you find any damage, get it fixed before it gets worse. A simple chip repair could save you hundreds down the line by avoiding a full replacement.
9. Create an Established Maintenance Plan
Keeping your heavy truck on the road is all about ongoing maintenance. No one wants to simply cross their fingers and wait until they break down at the most inconvenient time.
As you prepare your truck for spring, carve out time to create a full maintenance to-do list for various parts of the year. For instance, there are certain tasks you should do at the beginning of each season and tasks like filter changes and oil changes that need to happen at regular intervals.
Create a continuous plan and put each task on your calendar. This way, it will remind you when you have an upcoming task so you don’t forget and don’t need to keep checking your list.
Tackling Truck and Trailer Repair for Spring
You’ve made it through the winter and all the damage that comes with it. Now is the time to give your semi truck a fresh start. The tips above can help you keep your truck moving throughout the springtime and into the year. They’ll help you identify any truck and trailer repair needs you have so you can fix them before they put you at risk.
For help with your truck repairs or are looking for replacement truck parts, call our experts today! 877-557-8782