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Maintenance Tips That Can Save

In the past, truckers used to be able to manage a wrench just as good as they could steer an 18-wheeler.  Today, however, many truckers feel that technology has made self-maintenance a thing of the past.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Modern heavy-duty trucks, with all the new and improved quality, performance, and reliability they offer, also avails truck drivers the opportunity to learn the ways of the toolbox.  While technology has lessened the labor-intensive of the past, it brings a wide spectrum of semi-truck repair knowledge never before seen in the history of heavy-duty trucks.  

Relying on the mechanic can be expensive and time-consuming, to say the least.  If you are a freelancer or even a fleet trucker, you know how important it is to maintain a schedule.  Being able to read the signs of potential breakdowns could be the difference between arriving on time or spending a day at the “garage”.  

The following three maintenance tips can help any semi-truck driver learn how to use the technological advancements of today to their benefit, as well as give them insight on how to avoid a potential problem before they occur.


Onboard Diagnostics & the Internet

OBD-II, the latest onboard diagnostic protocol system, makes it easy for truckers to extract data.  Instead of lifting the hood to check and see what is wrong, the truck’s computer system can easily give a definitive measurement of the ailment without the trucker having to get his or her hands dirty.  

What good does this do for the “DIY” trucker, though?

The Internet makes it easy to plug in a fault code taken from the diagnostic platform into a Google search, or better yet, YouTube.  There are so many semi-maintenance instructionals online nowadays that one can almost get an entire education on how to build a semi-truck, let alone find a solution to a specific mechanical problem.   


Fuel Quality

Truckers must monitor their fuel on a daily basis.  Failure to do so may lead to severe damage, which will empty the wallet and waste precious road time.


Daily Fuel Inspection:

Frame Rail Mount Fuel/Water Separator

Water Fuel Indicator (engine mounted platform)


Checking these two items every day can signal alarms that fault codes can not.  The new injection systems in semi-trucks cause higher levels of pressure that lead to fuel atomization and efficiency.  While this produces greater fuel power, it can also lead to blown injectors if not monitored regularly.  The best way to check the fuel injection health is to check the frame rail mount fuel and water separators, as well as the water fuel indicator every day.  


Braking System

Needless to say, the brakes on a semi-truck are one of the most important features of the vehicle.  It really can mean the difference between life and death.  To avoid catastrophic accidents, be sure to monitor the brakes and wheels of your semi-freight on a regular basis.  


Here is a list of things you can do, at least once a week, to secure the integrity of your braking system.  The best thing is you don’t even have to remove the wheels to perform this inspection.  


  1. Check air disc brake rotors and tappet boots for tears and cracks.  Pay special attention to possible moisture that may have entered through the cracks.
  2. Take a look at the drum brakes and make sure there is no crack or lining wear.  This may be especially prevalent in drum brakes that do not have dust shields.  
  3. Inspect rotors and drums for overheated linings, groovings, and dark spots.  
  4. If your brakes begin to over stroke, do not automatically adjust the slack adjusters.  There are many reasons why a brake overstrikes and a manual adjustment will not help the situation at all.    
  5. Examine the drum brakes for uneven friction.  If any uneven friction is found, it means that there is some sort of deformation in the drum shoe.


About Sam’s Truck  Sales


Sam’s Truck Sales, Inc. is an independent used truck dealership located in Fontana, California.  



Sam’s Truck Sales offers used trucks that have gone through a rigorous inspection process before they are ever put up for sale.  Some of the company’s salient features are its dedication to customer service, quality, and affordable prices.



Besides selling high-quality and affordable used trucks, Sam’s Truck Sales also offers financing features for your next truck.  Their financing options leave you better prepared for unforeseen circumstances, as well as help you build a better credit rating.  


For more information about Sam’s Truck Sales’ used trucks or financing options, please contact us.