Australia is a vast country with goods continually being moved from one place to another. It’s not surprising that the trucking industry is estimated to have an annual revenue of over $100 billion per year.
In many ways it is the lifeblood of the country and the economy, ensuring everything is where it needs to be. That’s why it’s essential that your semi truck stays on the road and plays its part. As an automotive electrician, we appreciate the importance of you being on the road and are here to help.
Of course, regular servicing will help, to keep your truck out of the repair shop, or at least ensure you know when it needs work doing and can schedule it. The simple fact is that your semi truck covers thousands of miles and you’re going to need a variety of repairs along the way.
If you are driving a company truck then you will have no responsibility for the repairs. However, if it’s your own truck you can attempt some of the repairs yourself if you wish.
But, regardless of whether you own the truck or not, you need to have hazard warning triangles that will tell other road users you are there. It’s also advisable to have the contact number of your breakdown service handy. High visibility jackets and supplies to keep you going while you wait are also essential.
Tires are your point of contact with the road. They handle the stresses of your load, transmitting the forces to the road while keeping you rolling. They run in hot and cold conditions and you’ll find the tread wears down quickly. Alongside this, they are often scrubbed as you pull in and out of tight loading bays.
Of course, the weight of the truck and the tires can make it difficult to replace these by yourself on the road side.
Just as your truck is the lifeblood of the economy, the oil in your truck engine is essential to its smooth running. It needs to be changed regularly in order to keep your engine running smoothly. This isn’t strictly a repair but should be part of your regular servicing.
Of course, servicing is essential if you want to avoid a breakdown and roadside repairs.
The brakes on your truck are under intense pressure, you are carrying a lot of weight daily! Brake failure causes accidents, especially when you are driving a heavy truck that is fully loaded. The better you are at braking gently the longer the brakes will last. But, regardless of your braking habits, you should have the brakes checked at least twice a year.
It’s the best way to prevent issues that can take your truck off the road or cause an accident.
Air Conditioning Unit
If you have your semi serviced regularly then you shouldn’t have too many major issues. One of the most likely problems you’ll face will be when the air conditioner on the truck breaks. This is a common issue as it is under a lot of stress for thousands of miles.
Impressively, if a semi-truck is well maintained there should be few issues with it over the course of its lifetime. Corrosion will be one of the biggest issues. But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a possibility of engine failure.
Something as simple as a blown water pipe or a rock from the road can cause a significant amount of damage to your engine, potentially killing it. That’s when your truck will need to be towed to the garage to have a repair done.
These are probably the most common types of repair for a semi truck. Again, this is due to the vast distances they cover and the likelihood of paint getting scraped as you pull in and out of tight loading docks.
Dealing With Repairs
It is not always possible to ship your truck across the country to have it repaired at your preferred center. However, you can make sure that the same business looks after your truck regularly and this reduces the risk of engine failure.
Cosmetic repairs can generally wait until you get back to base and your technician can sort them. Of course, you can’t leave these types of repairs for too long as damaged paint leaves the metal exposed. This can then rust, giving you more issues.
It is worth noting that there are a few simple repairs you can do yourself. Simple tasks such as mud flap replacement, light bulbs, or even replacing a light assembly can be done quickly at the roadside or anywhere else.
It’s a good idea to carry spares of the most basic items with you. It can make a real difference when trying to stay on the road.
Truck parts are not generally cheap and there are even times when they can be difficult to get hold of. However, you don’t always need to use genuine brand-new parts from the manufacturer. There is an array of parts available from alternative suppliers. These are made to the same standard as the original and are generally considered a good investment
You can also use second-hand parts. This can be useful if that is all that’s available or if you are keeping your truck on the road with a tight budget.
Don’t forget that storing your truck properly and washing it thoroughly before parking it up can help to eliminate road dirt, chemicals, and even salt. All of these things will increase the rate at which your truck corrodes, potentially giving you a huge issue.
The Bottom Line
It’s your truck and you know it best. But, it’s always worth letting a professional give it a once over periodically. They will spot things that you have missed and help you to keep your semi-truck on the road, where it belongs, and you earning the money you need to enjoy life.