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7 Fall And Winter HeavyTruck Maintenance Tips to Keep You Safe


Fall is here and winter is close on its heels. Driving a semi-truck is a tough job that requires keen attention to the road and other drivers, and different seasons bring different hazards. In addition to practicing safe driving habits, it's also important to keep your semi-truck in good shape by performing the necessary maintenance tasks. Check out our list of semi-truck maintenance tips that will help keep your rig in great shape this fall and winter:

1. Check your oil. Before departing on long hauls, take a few minutes to check our oil level. Semi-truck engines require a lot of oil, and nothing can damage your engine faster than low oil levels. Be sure to have routine oil changes and also change filters. 

2. Check your radiator. In addition to checking the oil, you should get used to checking your radiator before long trips. Top off the fluid and look for any small leaks so they can be dealt with immediately before they become a big problem that will cause overheating. 

3. Keep an eye on your tires. Cold winter air is notorious for causing a drop in tire pressure--pair improperly inflated tires with slippery roads and you have a recipe for disaster. Check your tires often and be sure to add air whenever necessary. Avoid overinflating, as this can cause tires to puncture easily.  

4. Plug in the engine block heater. Winter brings some very chilly nights, and it's important to remember to plug in your engine block heater--even if it doesn't feel that cold to you. 

5. Have the brakes checked. Brakes should be checked often, as they are such a crucial component of your rig. Any signs of grinding or squealing should be checked out as soon as possible so you can have them fixed quickly and save yourself a real headache. Brake pads, springs, pins, and bushings need to be replaced on a regular schedule. When shoes need replacing, it is also a good idea to replace the drums, as they can crack. Other regular maintenance for your brakes includes greasing the slack adjustors and S cams, checking lines and hoses, and checking the air compression pressure gauge. 

6. Use correct fuel. In the cold weather, it is imperative that you fuel your rig properly to prevent fuel filter waxing. Be sure to choose a blended fuel with a cloud point additive. 

7. Don't let it sit too long. A semi-truck that sits for days on end without being driven will end up in a "cold soak". The temperature of the engine fluids and the steel of the engine block will drop too low and cause issues with starting and charging. 

Following a regular NTE maintenance schedule is crucial for your semi-truck. In addition to regular maintenance, make it a habit to check various parts of your rig (oil levels, tires, radiator, etc.) before setting out on long hauls. Keeping your rig properly maintained will ensure your safety and the safety of other drivers.