The most important rig maintenance element truckers should focus on
Choosing to re-invest your hard earned money back into your heavy truck in the form of ongoing maintenance is smart for many reasons. While financial considerations are definitely one of those reasons (and we are going to dive into deeper into that momentarily) routine maintenance is much bigger than just avoiding unnecessary expenses; it’s also an investment in the safety of the trucker, the other drivers on the road and even pedestrians.
Poorly maintained rigs are a hazard to all. While you need to make sure that your rig receives regular and consistent maintenance in all areas, if there is one area that stands out heads and tails above the rest, it is your brakes. The safety implications of well-maintained brakes cannot be overstated. Any vehicle (much less a heavy truck and the momentum it rolls with) with compromised brakes creates a close and present danger to everyone. Heavy trucks need brakes that are in optimal condition at all times. But beyond the issue of safety (which again, can never be minimized), lets talk about the financial implications.
Consider the following statements…
– If you don’t take care of your rig, it won’t take care of you.
– Neglect your heavy truck at your own financial peril.
– Broken down trucks quickly turn into broken down profits/ revenue.
Are we getting our point across? Your cost effectiveness, ROI (return on investment) and how much money you put into your pocket will often come down to how consistent you are with your rigs maintenance. Regularly inspecting and maintaining brakes can save a trucker a significant amount of money in the long run. The reason for this is because neglected brake issues are notorious for (quickly) escalating into bigger problems that become more expensive to repair than if you’d just dealt with it when the issue began. The number of times our truck technicians have seen situations where truckers clearly ignored worn brake pads only to find themselves with costly rotor or calliper damage is too many to count!
So how often should you have your brakes checked?
Lets start by saying if you wait until you feel your brakes getting soft or hear grinding noises, you’ve left it too long already! Optimal inspection intervals for brake inspections will vary based on the certification class of the vehicle. Aside from daily trip inspections, here at Gerry’s Truck Centre we encourage inspections every 30,000 kilometres or 3 months. On top of this, annual safety inspections with a comprehensive check up should ensure that every aspect of the braking system is thoroughly examined. One of the nice things about those routine inspections is (as mentioned) that they help catch minor issues before they turn into bigger which can not only cost more to fix, but can even sideline your truck. So to not only avoid unnecessary and growing repair costs, but also to keep everyone safer, get those brakes inspected!