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Essential Semi Truck Maintenance Tips to Keep Used Semi Trucks Running

Maintenance being performed for a heavy duty truck.

Semi-trucks are the lifeblood of the transportation industry, carrying goods across vast distances and connecting businesses with consumers. With the demands placed upon these heavy-duty vehicles, proper maintenance is not only a matter of safety but also a key factor in maintaining efficiency and avoiding costly breakdowns. In this article, we will delve into a comprehensive list of semi truck maintenance tips that will help semi truck owner operators keep their wheels turning smoothly and their businesses thriving.

Regular Inspection Routine

Establishing a routine semi truck inspection schedule is required per FMSCA safety standards and paramount to identifying potential issues before they escalate. A semi truck inspection should evaluate crucial components such as brakes, tires, lights, steering, and suspension on a pre- and post- trip basis. Addressing minor concerns promptly can prevent them from evolving into major problems on the road.

Fluid Checks and Changes

Prolong the lifespan of used semi trucks by regularly monitoring and changing the vehicle’s fluids. Including engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, and hydraulic fluids. These essential fluids keep the engine running smoothly and maintain optimal temperatures.

Tire Care

Ensuring proper tire pressure not only optimizes fuel efficiency but guarantees stability and control for owner operator truck drivers. Additionally, a thorough inspection of tread wear patterns, side walls and overall condition (i.e., chunks missing, bulging, cords showing, etc.) is equally crucial. Uneven wear patterns can indicate alignment or suspension issues that need to be addressed promptly. If left unchecked, they could evolve into costly and hazardous issues.

Brake Maintenance

Brakes are arguably the most crucial safety feature on a semi truck. Semi truck owner operators should regularly inspect brake components, including shoes, drums, and brake chambers to ensure they are functioning correctly.

Electrical System

A defect in electrical components can spell trouble on the road. Semi truck drivers must ensure that all lights, signals, and sensors are in good working order. Faulty electrical components can lead to accidents and costly downtime. It’s essential to regularly inspect and replace worn-out bulbs or damaged wiring.

Damaged wiring can lead to short circuits, malfunctioning sensors, and even fire hazards. Upholding the integrity of a used semi truck’s electrical system not only protects drivers from potential accidents and financial losses but also fortifies the reputation as a responsible and dependable semi truck owner operator.

Cooling System

The engine is the powerhouse of a used semi truck and it operates at high temperatures. Overheating can cause extensive damage to the engine. To keep cooling systems functioning optimally, owner operator truck drivers should make it a habit to check the coolant level regularly.

Additionally, regularly cleaning the radiator and cooling fins prevents debris buildup that could obstruct airflow. By dedicating a portion of the semi truck maintenance routine to the cooling system, truck drivers not only prolong their truck’s life, but secure their journey with a safety net that ensures reliability, efficiency, and peace of mind.

Preventative Maintenance

Semi truck owner operators who invest in preventative maintenance expand the lifespan of their truck. Recommended services vary based on the used semi truck manufacturer. These services often include thorough inspections, fluid changes, and component replacements.

Professional Assistance

While basic maintenance tasks can be performed by the truck owner, it’s important to establish a relationship with a reputable mechanic or service center. Regular professional semi truck inspections and services can identify potential problems that may not be immediately apparent.

Keep Records

Owner operator drivers should maintain detailed records of all maintenance activities, including dates, services performed, and any repairs undertaken. These records not only help drivers stay organized but also provide a valuable history of their used semi truck’s maintenance for potential buyers or future owners.

Expert Semi Truck Body Shop Services

In addition to routine maintenance, semi truck owners should consider partnering with a reputable semi truck body shop. These specialized service providers offer expertise in addressing cosmetic and structural issues. From minor dents to major collision repairs, a skilled body shop can keep used semi trucks looking professional and functioning at their best. Their services can also enhance the resale value of a semi truck.

Explore Our Used Semi Trucks Inventory

The care and maintenance of a used semi truck go hand in hand with its safe and operational success. By adhering to a comprehensive semi truck maintenance routine and addressing issues as they arise, owner operators can ensure the safety of themselves and other road users, minimize downtime, and reduce repair costs. A well-maintained semi truck not only performs optimally but also contributes to the overall efficiency and reliability of the transportation industry as a whole.

Ohio Truck Sales and OTS Truck Center’s diverse inventory of quality used semi trucks offers a range of options to fit your needs. We’re here to help you choose a well-maintained, fully inspected model that can kickstart your journey as a semi truck owner operator. Browse our inventory or talk to a sales representative to find the perfect match for your business.


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