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Trucks and commercial vehicles—if well-maintained—are built to last. They could stay productive season after season if they are properly taken care of. Fall provides fleet managers with the perfect opportunity for truck maintenance. The milder weather during this season allows mechanics, drivers, and fleet operators to do thorough truck inspections and gear their rig up before the snow starts to fall.
Here are five easy ways to make your fleet overcome any harsh obstacles throughout the fall season and ensure the safety of your truck drivers and other pedestrians:
Inspect your tires.
Like your truck's oil and other necessary fluids, its tires are also negatively affected by the weather. The colder the environment gets, the more the tire pressure drops, causing truck handling issues. Also, during the rainy days of fall or on icy roads, tires can have poor traction, leading to risky driving situations. So how can you ensure that your truck's tires are ready to navigate on slippery pavements? Check the tires' pressure, and make sure they are properly inflated.
Also, check your tire's tread depth by conducting the penny test. This is done by inserting a penny into your tire's tread groove, with Lincoln's head in an upside-down position and facing you. If you can see Lincoln's hair, it is now time to have the worn tire replaced. This method is also used to determine cupping and uneven tire wear.
If your fleet or delivery business operates within the snow belt, where winter usually brings adverse weather extremes, consider purchasing a set of dedicated snow tires and high-quality snow chains for your fleet. The best time to do that is during fall, so you are ready the moment you need them.
Keep your battery healthy.
The scorching summer heat and extreme winter frost can have detrimental effects on the internal structure of your truck's battery. In fact, the most common winter problems truck drivers have to deal with are cold starts as the battery generates less current as the temperature drops. Since fall is in between the summer and winter seasons, this is the ideal time to thoroughly check your battery's health.
The best way to determine a weak battery is by using professional test equipment, so it's best if you schedule a fall maintenance check for your trucks and delivery vehicles. Alternatively, truck drivers check their rig's battery on their own. With proper eye protection and rubber gloves, the DIYers can clear corrosion from posts and cable connections using a cleaning tool or a wire brush. Avoid contact with acid and corrosion and remove any dirt buildup or oil deposits. Batteries with removable caps can be checked for fluid level and refilled with distilled water regularly.
Conduct scheduled oil changes.
Even if the tires and battery are in proper working order, they will be rendered useless if your big rig holds sluggish oil. Constant temperature changes can harm the oil filter in big rigs. Under low temperatures, oil thickens, placing significant pressure on the oil filter. When this filter becomes clogged or damaged, it will not be capable of sustaining pressure and will be prone to failure.
A bad oil filter could lead to the weakening of your big rig's core functions. If you don't want this to happen, have your oil and oil filter changes based on the recommendations of your truck's manufacturer. More routine oil changes are needed if your truck is frequently used in heavy hauling. This is necessary for maintaining the cleanliness and overall health of your engine. An oil change during fall is also a preparation for the winter months.
Check your truck's lights and visibility.
Fall is the perfect time to enjoy classic movies in drive-in movie theaters. And how could you forget Halloween and Thanksgiving? However, fall is also the season when nights start to get longer, which is not ideal for safe driving. Nighttime darkness can be challenging for truck drivers, especially if it detracts from their ability to clearly see what is in front while driving. Heavy downpours, ice, and snow on the windshield can cause several visibility issues.
Navigating on pitch-black roads can be easier if your big rig's lights are properly working. As fall approaches, start inspecting your truck's lights and swap out burned-out bulbs with new ones. Clean the lenses with a moistened towel to get rid of insects and road grime. Avoid using a dry rag as it can scratch and leave marks on the lens surface.
The condensation on windows and windshield also affects the truck driver's visibility, so it's wise to ensure that the defroster and heater are in tiptop shape. Check your truck's windshield wipers, and replace old, worn blades. You may consider getting winter blades to get rid of snow and ice buildup. You may also consider stocking up on windshield washer solvent and always keeping an ice-scraper and snow brush on the truck.
Make sure your brakes are responsive.
One part of fleet upkeep you shouldn't skimp on during fall is brake maintenance. Your company can lose thousands of dollars if you ignore your scheduled brake maintenance every three months, especially before winter sets in. Faulty brakes can put your driver's and other people's lives in danger. These will also cause truck downtime, which will surely affect your bottom line. To safely navigate the roads even under falls' early morning drizzle or heavy downpour, make sure your big rig's brakes are working efficiently.
Fleet maintenance during fall is necessary for growing your bottom line and ensuring your drivers' and employees' safety. FinditParts is ready to help you carry out proper fleet maintenance by providing top-quality replacement parts, accessories, and add-ons for your light-, medium, and heavy-duty trucks and commercial vehicles. Finding your needed components from our millions of parts in inventory is hassle-free with our quick look-up feature. Browse our catalog now and discover that with FinditParts, fall maintenance for your fleet is cost-effective and easier than easy.