If you happen to be an owner-operator of a semi-truck, you know how important it is to keep your equipment in excellent condition. After all, if your truck or trailer are not mechanically sound, you can’t get out on the road, meaning you will lose a substantial amount of money. Rather than face this situation, there are always numerous things you can do to keep your semi-truck trailer running longer and better, such as these tips you should keep in mind prior to each trip.
Inspect the Braking System
Just as you need excellent brakes on your truck, your trailer’s braking system also needs to be in good working order. Therefore, inspect the braking system by checking brake shoes, springs, and drums for wear and tear, and also check your trailer’s air system pressure before hitting the road.
Check the Wiring
Should your trailer’s lights not be working properly, the result could be a very serious accident during one of your trips. Once you start checking the trailer’s wiring, you may find trailer repair is needed to replace electrical connections and wires that may have been damaged by de-icing chemicals used on roads, which happens frequently with semi-truck trailers.
Watch Tire Tread and Pressure
If there is one thing that factors into many accidents involving tractor-trailers, it is tire blowouts caused by low tire pressure and worn-out tread. Instead of becoming a statistic, always make tire inspection a top priority for your semi-truck trailer. To begin with, do a visual inspection to find any visible signs of tires that are damaged or worn on your trailer. Next, inspect the tire tread depth to determine if your trailer’s tires meet Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations. Finally, always check tire pressure and adjust accordingly.
Look for Signs of Corrosion
While the chemicals used to de-ice roads in winter can damage your trailer’s electrical system, they can also lead to rust and corrosion on many areas of your trailer. Once you start looking at the underside of your trailer, you may notice green residue, which indicates iron oxidation and the early stages of rust. Should you spot rust, try scraping it off and then treat the area with a rust inhibitor.
Since you invested thousands of dollars in your truck and trailer, performing regular maintenance will not only help keep you on the road earning money, but also prevent large trailer repair bills in the future that could eat into your profits.