5 Summer Maintenance Tips For Owner-Operators
Summer is in full swing and we are already seeing record breaking temperatures across the country. Just about every fleet and professional driver has a winter protocol to deal with adverse driving conditions, but summer maintenance is critical to keep your truck running efficiently and safely.
Your summer preventative maintenance checklist might look a little different depending on where you operate, but the following maintenance items are a great starting point for any fleet owner or owner-operator.
It should go without saying that you should check your tires regularly. It becomes increasingly important in the summer months as the mercury starts to rise. Even though the air temperature might only be 85ºF, the road temperature can reach as high as 140ºF.
At higher temperatures, tread belt separation can occur. Not only can a separated tread spell disaster for your rig, but it can be a major roadside hazard to other motorists.
Coming out of the winter months, your brakes have likely taken a beating. For fleets that operate in the midwest or northeast, it is a given that you have put them through the ringer driving in snow and ice. While salt may make the roads safer it can wreak havoc on your brake system.
Even if everything looks good on the surface, make sure that you check fluids, brake lines, and hoses to ensure that all parts of the brake system are working properly.
Your suspension should fall under the category of things you visually inspect regularly. Hot weather adds to the stress of your suspension, potentially causing atypical wear such as heat cracks in your airbags.
Examining your truck’s OEM ride height is a great way to catch potential issues that might pop up this time of the year. Should any ride height get too low, the airbags might ride on top of the suspension, causing an uncomfortable ride and additional wear and tear on the vehicle.
Summer heat puts added stress on every part of your truck, but the cooling system is put to the test during the hottest hours of the day. Start with checking all of your hoses for cracks and schedule a cooling system flush. As you inspect the engine, make sure that the engine fan is cycling properly.
Make sure to check coolant levels during pre-trip inspections and top off before hitting the road if necessary.
Air conditioning in your vehicle might not be a DOT regulated requirement, but it is essential to keeping you and your drivers cool and well rested throughout the summer. Excessive heat can pose a host of health-related problems, such as heat stroke, dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and more.
Safety should always be the first priority and if that means getting your AC recharged so that you can operate more efficiently during the day and get the rest you need at night, it is well worth the time and effort.
Summer Maintenance With ES Advantage
Having a solid maintenance plan for each season is critical to the success of your business. As we approach the dog days of summer, your truck will be under added stress, so now is the time to act to keep your rig running efficiently.
We understand that tires and shop costs can add up, which is why the ES Advantage team is dedicated to bringing you best-in-class discounts at facilities across the country.
If you are already an ES Advantage member, make sure your truck is in top shape by taking advantage of all the shop and tire discounts available to you through the Community tab on your ES Advantage mobile app. If you’re not currently an ES Advantage member, get more information on our shop and tire discount programs and partners by connecting with our team.
With ES Advantage, you will NEVER STAND ALONE.