Whether you have dozens of semi trailers in your fleet or just a few, it’s important to set a regular routine of semi trailer preventative maintenance. This type of maintenance can reveal minor issues allowing you to avoid costly trailer repair work in the future. Discover five techniques that can help you keep your semi trailers in good working condition.
1. Check the Tires Every Week
Just like the tires on your personal vehicle, the tires on a semi trailer should always be properly inflated. You can check tire pressure with a reliable handheld gauge. Also, look for cracks in the sidewalls and excessive treadwear. It’s worth your time to check the tightness of the lug nuts so you don’t lose any while you’re out on the road. Be on the lookout for missing lug nuts, as well. Making sure your tires are in good condition helps with fuel mileage and increases safety.
2. Check the Brake Lights
Get the help of another person to run through a brake light inspection. Not only can you be pulled over by authorities if you have malfunctioning brake lights on your trailer, it’s a safety hazard to drive without your brake lights in excellent working condition.
3. Inspect Security Gear
Chances are, your semi trailer has chains, straps, winches and other gear to help secure your load. An important element of your tractor trailer maintenance routine should be to check your straps, chains, hooks and winches for rust, tears and other damage.
4. Check the Suspension
Look at the various parts of your tractor trailer’s suspension. Do you see any obvious signs of damage or wear and tear? Be on the lookout for cracked spring hangers as well as any missing bolts. Remove any debris caught in the trailer’s suspension and take some time to check for the proper pressure on the air springs. In addition, dedicate some time to evaluating the shock absorber to see if it’s mounted properly.
5. Lubricate the Undercarriage
Making sure the gears and fittings are lubricated helps to cut down on the wear and tear endured by your tractor trailer. It can also help you avoid a costly trailer repair. Examples of parts that need lubrication include the trailer’s U-joints, tie-rods, the plate of the fifth wheel and its support bushings. Putting grease on these and other parts of the undercarriage decreases friction. The grease also protects these critical parts from rust, dirt and corrosion. This item of tractor trailer maintenance requires grease designed for tractor trailers. These heavy-duty pieces of equipment need a particular grade of grease in order for lubrication to be effective. Putting a new coat of grease on should get rid of any old grease that is still there.
Lastly, these five examples of semi trailer preventative maintenance can keep your fleet in excellent condition and help you avoid any costly delays in your hauling schedule.