Whether you have a fleet of diesel vans and delivery trucks or a fleet of semi-trucks, it is vital to keep an accurate diesel truck maintenance checklist for each vehicle. If you are an owner-operator, while you won’t have a fleet of vehicles to manage, you, too, still need to maintain a maintenance checklist.
Some of the most important items that should be on your maintenance checklist include:
1. Ensure you track your preventative maintenance mileage AND engine hours.
For OTR drivers, tracking mileage is easy just by writing down what is on the dash display. However, you still need to track engine operating hours, especially if you find yourself stuck in stop-and-go traffic, have a PTO (Power Take Off), or are a local operator.
2. Make sure DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) system maintenance is on your checklist.
DPF-related problems are caused by a lack of knowledge and understanding of the system, proper training, and an understanding of how the system works, which is vital to the life of the DPF system. An improperly maintained DPF system can cause issues with the CAC system, intake, injection, turbo, cooling system, and engine compression. It also significantly reduces the life of these components when the DPF system is not maintained.
3. Have units properly greased at every maintenance and service interval.
When greasing is done properly and consistently, you can reduce 99% of your metal replaceable parts from premature failure, including U-joints, Carrier bearings, Kingpins, etc. Keeping these parts greased helps ensure quality out of your truck or your fleet.
4. Change filters frequently and often.
Diesel vehicles have fuel filters, oil filters, and air filters, just like gasoline-powered vehicles. It is equally important to change these when they are due based on mileage or number of engine operating hours. Clean filters help keep the engine running more efficiently for optimal fuel economies.
5. Monitor coolant levels and have them replaced when necessary.
You may need to add some periodically to top it off. However, if you notice you are using an excessive amount of coolant, you could have a bigger problem and should have your vehicle serviced ASAP.
Engine coolant does break down over time. Eventually, the coolant system does need to be drained, flushed, and refilled with new coolant. Regular coolant system maintenance helps avoid problems with corrosion and other cooling system problems.
6. Have your brake system inspected at each maintenance and service interval.
Brake pads, rotors, and other brake system parts and components will wear differently depending on where you drive. OTR drivers tend to not need brake system maintenance as often as local operators or ones that drive in heavy stop-and-go traffic. Regardless of where you drive, have your diesel mechanic inspect the brake system whenever you get other truck maintenance.
7. Don’t wait on maintenance if something is wrong.
If your engine sounds funny, you see a warning light on the dash, or it takes longer to stop on dry pavement, don’t put off taking your truck in for maintenance and diesel engine service. If you don’t, you could end up causing further damages to your truck, resulting in more costly repairs.
For all your diesel truck and diesel fleet maintenance, repairs, and diagnostic services, please stop by East Coast Diesel LLC in Raleigh/Durham, Atlanta, or Charlotte. We also offer onsite DPF system cleaning, maintenance, and training to help our customers understand the dynamics of how these systems work.
You may also call us when you need 24-hour diesel repair and roadside service.