Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Routines, Routines, And More Routines

Today I walked around my truck and looked at everything. This is a normal routine for a pre-trip inspection. As a driver, you are responsible for maintaining the vehicle so it will pass inspections given at weigh stations along our routes. It's important that you catch anything early enough to do something about it. By anything, I mean just that, anything. You look for bolts sticking out of your tires, fluids leaking on the ground, loose securement devices on your load, loose wires sticking out, broken glass, broken plastic lights, and broken suspension components.

Typically you can see most major problems during a walk around inspection. I have a tire pressure monitoring system on all of my wheels so I don't have to take tire pressure readings everyday manually; the system does it automatically every 5 seconds. There's a long list of items that have to be checked and tested every day. I check under the hood every time I fuel, looking for leaks, broken bolts, low fluid levels, and anything else that looks out of place. Most of the time I catch the problems before they become worse. Vibrations that come from the engine and the road can wreak havoc on everything. From hose clamps, to fan belts, to every nut and bolt, the vibrations affect the trucks in such a way, eventually everything wears out.

Managing these vibrations is the key. The best practice is to keep a new vibration damper on the crankshaft, new engine mounts in between the engine and frame rails, and new vibration absorbing polyurethane bushings on all vibration creating components. Polyurethane bushings last longer then rubber and dramatically reduce vibrations throughout the truck. In addition to the bushings, new shocks need to be installed every couple of years along with any air bags that add to the suspension.

If you keep up with the walk around inspections and with replacing the key components that wear out, you can keep the truck lasting for years and years.


Pat said...

That's great advice even for us four wheelers. I'm bad about ignoring sounds and issues with my SUV.

(3rd try at your word verification)

ELH said...

Good points ED, even when off the road for a quick lunch or bathroom break..just a 5 minute walk around can save mucho headaches down the road later..