Q:

What are some tips for maintaining an 18-wheeler truck?

A:

Quick Answer

Perform preventative maintenance on 18-wheeler truck tractors every 13,000 to 15,000 miles and trailers annually. Maintenance includes checking fluid levels, filters, tires, the entire engine and struts, in addition to hoses, brakes, fuel tanks and belts.

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Full Answer

Improper fluid levels and dirty filters can cause early wear and tear on the engine as well as reducing engine efficiency. Worn tires are a risk for blowouts and can be indicative of other issues with the truck. They can indicate bad suspension, consistent load imbalance, misalignment, non-concentric mounting or poor tire pressure management. Wheels themselves need to be checked for cracks, wear or corrosion. Torque pressure on wheels needs to be checked as well. Too little torque can result in wobbling, while too much torque lessens the life of the wheel as it puts stress on the mounting studs.

The entire engine needs to be examined for wear and mechanical issues. The driver should also be consulted to address any issues he has had on the road. Hoses and belts regularly wear out and need to be checked for wear or cracking and replaced as needed. All brakes should also be tested and replaced as necessary as they are designed to wear out during use. Finally, fuel tanks should be thoroughly examined for cracks, punctures, wear or rust and repaired or replaced if problems are found.

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