Why Following Maintenance Guidelines/Requirements Is Important?
When your entire business is riding on the safety and performance of your heavy-duty truck, medium-duty truck, or commercial equipment, protecting your investment is job #1. That's why performing regular maintenance is a critical first step for avoiding unplanned downtime and extending the life of your truck or fleet. Regular maintenance of your commercial asset is critical to extending the longevity of the engine, aftertreatment, and transmission.
Performing regular maintenance will aid in extending the lifecycle of your heavy-duty truck, medium-duty truck, or commercial equipment. Preventive maintenance is required to keep your truck/equipment operating at peak performance. Downtime means a loss of income making it important that your truck/equipment is reliable. Preventive maintenance will help reduce or prevent costly repairs of your transmission, drive train, and other components, thus extending the lifecycle of your truck/equipment. A proactive maintenance plan for your engine, transmission and aftertreatment are vital to your truck/equipment’s uptime.
“The biggest problem I see is there’s just not enough attention paid to the preventive side of aftertreatment maintenance,” says transportation fleet maintenance consultant Bruce Stockton. “Fleets tend to wait until a light comes on or the system throws a code. By the time the light comes on, the problem could be such that the truck could be down for two or three days at a remote location. If fleets stayed ahead of the problems, maintenance on the system could be done, along with the regular PM work, in a day.”
If preventive measures are put into place downtime and expensive repairs could be prevented. Preventive maintenance (PM) can be expensive, however, when you think long-term, breakdowns, repairs, and downtime, the cost-benefit is on the side of PM.
Heavy duty truck or medium duty truck maintenance checklist
A maintenance checklist will help you make sure nothing gets skipped or forgotten during routine servicing. The checklist for each vehicle will depend on the information you’ve already collected to meet FMCSA requirements. However, your checklist should also include considerations for adverse conditions that will more rapidly decrease vehicle reliability such as extreme weather and heavy mileage. Here are a few different types:
- Seasonal maintenance- Keeping a log of routes and anticipated weather conditions.
- Maintenance by the mile- Tracking the truck’s average mileage and setting alerts to schedule additional maintenance when a truck is approaching a mileage milestone is a good way to correct any discrepancy between a pre-planned maintenance schedule and a distance-based maintenance one.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), created a commercial truck maintenance checklist, it suggests that you should inspect your truck before each trip and then semi-annual/annual tasks. Here are a few tips:
- Check your fluids (ensure proper oil, coolant, antifreeze levels) for leakage and proper amounts before each trip
- Ensure your electrical system is working properly and that no wires are worn or loose
- Check malfunction indicator lights for proper operation
- Check brakes to ensure there are no leaks in the air pressure system and that your warning alarm is working properly
- Maintain service records
- Semi-Annually change oil and filter. Do NOT overfill the oil or “top it off” as this can cause serious engine problems
- Annually replace transmission and differential fluids
- Establish a routine air filter maintenance program (prevents loss of aftertreatment system performance)
- Ensure you and/or your driver understands each warning light and what action is necessary to take
- Semi-Annual or every 200,000 miles Aftertreatment system inspections to avoid complications
- Remove and clean your DPF annually to remove accumulated noncombustible ash from the filter
Improper care of your truck/equipment can lead to a host of issues including:
- Increased downtime
- Expensive repairs and replacement parts
- Voided OEM/Aftermarket warranty
- Engine malfunction or breakdown
- Aftertreatment performance slow down
- Loss of horsepower
- Transmission and aftertreatment breakdowns
Your maintenance program must be proactive, it is important to stay organized. Categorize jobs/inspections as daily, weekly, monthly and annual. Create a system that will work best for you, this will allow you to stay up to date on all maintenance – which is key as you already have a host of things to remember and complete while completing a load.
TrüNorth Global's Preventive Maintenance Requirements:
- Customers must have services completed by an OEM dealership or a licensed service facility.
- Retain copies of receipts: These must be able to be verified by the service facility and MUST include correct VIN, the Miles/KM/Hours at time of service, and date of service.
- Oil changes as per warranty paperwork.
- Transmission & Differential fluids replaced within twelve months from the Warranty Agreement Date.
“Performing regular maintenance is so important in extending the life cycle of your commercial asset,” says Rick VanHove, TrüNorth Global's Director of Service Center Development. “Follow the guidelines in your warranty paperwork and upload directly into the mobile app. If preventive maintenance is put into place, downtime and expensive repairs could be prevented. Keeping those records up to date with TrüNorth Global is vital as it will decrease the processing time of a claim. My hope is that this reminder will assist the customer in a smooth claims process.”
Whether you purchase or own a new or used truck or equipment, a comprehensive aftermarket warranty can make good business sense by reducing your out of pocket-costs for expensive repairs, extending the life cycle of your equipment, and enabling you to invest business capital where you need it most as you grow your business.
To learn more about TrüNorth Global™ warranty programs and services, or for help determining the right warranty program for your business needs, visit us at TrüNorth Warranty or call us at 1-800-903-7489. We look forward to exceeding your expectations.
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