Fleet vehicles are the heart and soul of your business. Your company is only as good as the service you provide after all, and you get as much as you give. This applies to your trucks as well! We, at Fleetx, know that a lot of you depend on these vehicles for your livelihood. And that’s why we developed our Vehicle management system: to ensure that your fleet operates at its best. We wanted to share a few tips to help you take better care of them so that they can truly go the long haul. While each make and model will have its own special needs (make sure to keep the manual close by!) with these simple maintenance tips, your truck can continue running like it's new for years to come.
- Check the oil regularly
Clean oil lubricates and protects your truck’s engine. Engine oil can easily become contaminated with dust, dirt, and debris from the engine and environment. When this happens, the engine can’t do its job properly. We recommend using Castrol, a tried and tested brand, to keep your engine running smoothly . If you are regularly carrying heavy loads, driving at low speeds or travelling long distances, it is especially important that you keep an eye on it. It is recommended that you change the engine oil every 12000 km or every six months, whichever comes first.
- Rotate your tires
Rotating your tires each time you change your oil helps ensure an even wear—because tires wear unevenly according to the drivetrain of your truck. Tyre rotation is very important, according to Ford’s chief global engineer. Expect your front tyres to wear out faster than your back tyres. By regularly rotating your tyres, you can extend the life of these tyres, ensure a smoother ride and reduce the burden on your truck’s suspension, which can happen as a result of uneven wear. MRF tyres come in a variety of options, allowing you to choose the best for your vehicle. They are designed for Indian roads, and are a homegrown brand!
- Keep the tyres balanced
Everytime you rotate your tires, it is advised to have them balanced. A tire is balanced when the weight of the tire is equally distributed around the axle. With each bump, pothole and off-road excursion, your tires get more and more imbalanced. An unbalanced set of tires can lead to vibrations on the road and cause increased wear on your suspension as well as uneven wear on your tires.
- Ensure that your wheels are aligned
Whenever you head in for an oil change, it is worthwhile to make sure that your wheels are aligned. If you notice your vehicle pulling to one side of the road, then you know it’s time for a re-alignment. Misaligned tyres cause your tyres to wear out faster, gives you worse mileage and puts you in greater danger of road accidents.
- Check your lights
This might not be on the top of your maintenance list, but faulty lights if left unchecked could be a costly mistake. It might just be an electrical problem, but it could also jeopardize your trip and either lead to accidents or fines along the way.
- Monitor various fluid levels
In addition to the engine oil, you should also routinely check the engine coolant, power steering fluid, windshield washer fluid, and brake fluid. Engine coolant keeps engine fluids at a consistent boiling and freezing point. Check out Total’s Cooltech Coolant, with biodegradable organic technology, that keeps your engine cool even under difficult driving conditions. The power steering fluid is responsible for moving the various components of your truck’s steering system. Changing the power steering fluid can help prolong the life of other more expensive power-steering components.
And although it may not seem like a big deal, changing the windshield washer fluid is an important part of routine truck maintenance. Dust and smears can quickly build up on your windshield, making it difficult to see. Routinely changing the windshield washer fluid is not only a safe practice, but it protects your windshield. Over time, brake fluid absorbs moisture from the air, causing it to not work properly. This is why your brake fluid should be replaced with new fluid on a regular basis. Castrol’s brake oil is sure to help you keep the brakes working in good condition.
- Change your engine filter (every once in a while)
Over time, air filters become clogged with dust, debris, and chemical contaminants. Swap in a fresh engine air filter every 24,000 KM or even more often if you're frequently driving on dirt roads. A clean air filter will not only help your engine last longer, it can optimize your engine's efficiency and acceleration.
- Invest in Fleet Management Software, here’s why:
- It can help you prepare for your journey
One of the most important parts of long term care is keeping in mind what kind of wear and tear you're putting on your truck. Whether you're carrying heavy loads, driving off road, or making multiple short trips daily, the way you use your truck will determine the exact type of maintenance you'll need. Fleetx can help you keep a better eye on the roads and the driving conditions in real time, so that you can keep a better watch over your truck. This will limit calls back and forth, as you will have all the data at your fingertips. This data will also be available for you to look back on later to analyse.
- It will help you plan your inspections better
A truck inspection is a little like an annual check-up for your truck. An expert analyzes your truck for any issues. It’s important to catch any mechanical or safety issues early on. Getting your truck inspected is a critical part of maintaining your vehicle. Schedule your inspection using our fleet management tool so that you have all the information in one place!
- Monitor driver behaviour
When your trucks are driven by different members of your crew, due to unsafe or rash driving, your truck’s life can be put at risk. Unmindful driving can lead to excessive fuel consumption, place a heavy load on your truck’s engine and endanger your cargo. Thus, it helps to invest in a fleet management system like Fleetx to keep an eye on your drivers routes and behaviour.
The health of your business, and your trucks is a priority for us. We have been working on developing a host of solutions that address your challenges to make sure that they are only fleeting! Do head over to our homepage to see how we can address your various logistical challenges.