Whether you are an independent owner-operators who drives his own truck or you own a fleet of 20 trucks, you know how much damage major vehicle repairs can do to your financial plans. You also know what a big bite today’s projected increases in fuel costs could take out of your budget. However, you can save on both repairs and fuel with pro-active preventative truck maintenance.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Keep your tires inflated at the factory-recommended tire pressure. This alone would save about $100 a year per truck and improve your mileage by more than 3%.
- Keep your engine tuned to factory specifications. A properly tuned engine could operate up to 4% more efficiently, which again, improves miles per gallon.
- Use the correct oil type for your engine. Different motor oils have different characteristics; your engine will work 1% to 2% more efficiently with the correct oil type.
- Change out your air filter regularly. A clogged, dirty air filter can reduce your mileage by up to 10%. Without air to aid in fuel combustion, your engine will not work efficiently.
- Maintain the air conditioning system and cooling fan. Inefficient air conditioning systems will take more power to work properly.
You can handle some preventative maintenance tasks, but many jobs need a certified mechanic. Checking brake springs, for instance, needs special training and tools. Brakes are always a target on safety inspections and problems later can be remedied when all worn brake parts are replaced during a brake job, not just the brake linings. With many types of preventative truck maintenance, you can not only improve your bottom line, but you can also increase the safety of your vehicle.
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