What can you do to keep your diesel truck or yard spotter running well this summer? With some regular maintenance to optimize reliability – and keep your drivers safe.
As the summer heat continues to rise, so can your cost of maintenance. A few minor checks can prevent costly downtime and keep your drivers focused on giving you their best. Here are five simple preventative maintenance tips for hot weather that can help cool down your summer spending:
1. COOLANT SYSTEM – Ensure your truck has the proper level of coolant and the proper protection level. Pay attention to the color. Cloudy, dirty coolant can be a sign of bigger problems. Don’t forget to check all of the coolant hoses for dry rot or leaks.
2. TIRE CHECKS – As the summer sun shines, you may notice more and more tire fragments on the road. Heat and under-inflation cause tires to breakdown quickly. Just as we check the tires on our over-the-road trucks, it is equally as important to routinely inspect the tires on our yard trucks. Maintain proper air pressure. When doing this, make sure you check the tires a few hours after parking the vehicle. As we drive, our tires get warmer causing the air in them to expand. Checking the tires while hot can give you an incorrect reading causing under-inflated tires and leading to premature wear. Remember, your spotter isn’t driving in a straight line down the road. The constant turning along with ever-changing loads and surface-types can cause increased tire wear. It is important to make sure you check your spotter tires regularly to keep your yard spotter rolling down the road.
3. BRAKES – In yard trucks, you are constantly starting and stopping. Make sure to check your brakes as part of your daily pre-check. Winter salt and other harsh chemicals can cause corrosion causing leaks and lack of function. Excessive heat can also cause brake fading and early wear.
4. FILTERS – Check your trucks’ engine air filter. A dirty engine filter can cause lack of cooler air into the engine causing a reduction in power, more oil and fuel consumption, and other engine issues. Make sure the filter is clean and free of debris. Replace if necessary. Don’t forget to check your cabin air filter if equipped. A clogged cabin air filter can cause a reduction in air conditioner performance.
5. DRIVER CHECKS – Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Without your drivers, your trucks can’t operate. It is important to ensure your yard jockey drivers are drinking plenty of water or sports drinks to maintain proper hydration and electrolyte levels. Along with making sure the A/C works properly, make sure the drivers are taking periodic breaks according to heat conditions. Driver fatigue causes accidents; Accidents cost the company and the driver; In the end, no one wins. One idea is to keep a cooler of water in the cab to make sure drivers have plenty to drink. I have seen many companies that provide this and the drivers are extremely appreciative. Want to go the extra mile? Ice cream bars on a hot day can go a long way toward driver moral, energy, and overall performance.
Call Josh at 615-499-1518 if you have yard spotter needs!