The winter season has come to a close, and hopefully, the spring season will be free of any surprise snowfall. Over the winter, heavy-duty trucks take quite a beating. Snow, ice, salt, and extreme temperature fluctuations can take their toll on your truck. Whether it’s a heavy-duty work truck you’re driving or the entire fleet of heavy duty trucks and semis that you’re in charge of, spring tune-ups are a necessary part of your maintenance schedule. After a busy and tough winter season, your truck is in need of a good spring cleaning.
As we transition to the warmer spring and summer seasons, the birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and the dirt on your truck is very visible. Spring maintenance includes taking care of many different tasks including washing down your truck. Completing this task makes it much easier to spot cracks, leaks, and other wear and tear. This will help you during the upcoming driving and transportation season and ensure you don’t experience unnecessary truck downtime.
Here are a few other ways in which you can prepare your heavy duty truck:
Top 6 Spring Tuneup Tasks For Your Heavy-Duty Truck
All truck drivers and fleet managers will have their own opinions about what is the most important task to complete during a spring tuneup. However, this list of heavy-duty truck maintenance tips contains a few of the important items needing to be completed in order to keep your truck on the road this spring.
1. Wash Your Truck
This is a big undertaking, there is no doubt about it. While it may seem rudimentary, washing off the dirt and salt buildup from winter work and hauling is crucial to identifying potential issues that may cause downtime. Paying special attention to cleaning out the radiator, charge air cooler, and condenser fins.
2. Inspect Heating and Cooling Systems
During the winter months, these systems are in overdrive trying to keep both your cab, engine and equipment at optimal temperatures. Coming into springtime, constant temperature fluctuations can further strain your system. It is important to check all valves and tubing for signs of cracks, rust, or other damage.
3. Check Your Tires
Winter driving can wreak havoc on your tires, so the beginning of the spring season is the perfect opportunity to see how your tires have fared over the winter. Identify any cracks in the rubber, leaks, or foreign object punctures. The warmer weather can also cause your tire pressure to fluctuate. Make sure your tires are at optimal pressure to maintain safety and prevent any future downtime. Check tread depths and rotate as necessary to prevent premature tire replacement.
4. Inspect Brake Systems
The air brake system takes a beating over the winter. The below-freezing temperatures, combined with heat from the engine mean this system is in a constant freeze-thaw cycle. Just like how cracks in the road form, the brake system components can begin to deteriorate and can form small puncture holes. Take the time to manually inspect these pieces and pay particular attention to braking performance.
5. Top Off Fluids and Inspect Lights
This is one of those small and easy tasks that if forgotten can lead to big problems. Make sure to check, test and top off coolant, window washer, hydraulic, transmission, differential, and brake fluid levels. You can easily avoid a problem down the road by taking time now to address these areas.
The same goes for lighting systems. Check your brake lights, headlights, trailer lights and other signal lights, making sure to replace any necessary bulbs. It’s better to get this out of the way now than scrambling to find a solution when you’re in the middle of transportation.
6. Clean and Organize Your Cab
You spend a lot of time in your cab, so it’s nice to give it some TLC. To do this, clean the interior of the cab with a mild degreaser, take time to reorganize your cabinets, drawers, as well as the glove boxes. If you happen to have a mini-fridge, make sure to wipe out the shelves as well. If you’re wanting to make the cleaning process easier when next spring rolls around, it’s smart to have a small handheld vacuum to clean up any crumbs, dirt, and dust that accumulate throughout the year. A clean space helps you have a clean mind and that means you can better focus on the task at hand.
Trusted Heavy Duty Truck Maintenance Services
It can be a lot of work to maintain a single heavy-duty truck, let alone a fleet, but you don’t have to do it by yourself. The team at Blaine Brothers has over 40 years of experience serving customers across the Midwest. If you have any questions about spring fleet maintenance or want to talk to our experts about any of your heavy-duty truck needs, contact us today! We are here to help keep you on the road this spring.