How to Keep Your Truck out of the Shop

If you’re applying for a job in the trucking industry, you’re excited about your cross-country routes and curious about what it will actually be like out on the road. Once you’re accepted, your most important piece of equipment is your truck. Take these steps to make sure that it stays in the best condition possible.

Look Out for Warning Signs

Before you get sick, your body gives you warning signs such as headaches, fatigue, and backaches. Similarly, your truck gives you signals before it breaks down. These include the warning lights that flash on your dashboard. Yellow lights indicate that there is a problem that should be addressed as soon as possible; red ones indicate that your truck should not be driven before it receives maintenance. You should also use your senses to detect potential issues. For example, if you hear something rattling below your seat, the frame cross member may be loose.

Use the Proper Fuel

Each vehicle is designed to work with a certain kind of fuel, such as gasoline, diesel, or ethanol. It is essential that you use the proper fuel for your truck. While it doesn’t matter much which octane level of gasoline you use, make sure you don’t mix fuel types. For example, if you put ethanol in a diesel-powered truck, it will not work properly. During your first fuel stops, doublecheck which pump you should use, particularly if it differs from the one you purchase for your personal car.

Drive Gently

You probably don’t think about driving your truck gently because it’s so large, but you should. Slow down before you turn, since you have a larger cab and therefore a greater risk of flipping over as you go around curves. Use the brakes and gas pedal gently, taking more time to stop and accelerate, so that the machinery that powers these systems lasts longer. Don’t hesitate to slam on the brakes if it’s necessary to avoid an accident, but if possible, start braking early enough that you don’t have to.

In the days before your first trucking job, you’re full of ideas about how your drive will go and how you want to use your first paycheck. As you go about your first jobs, keep these tips for maintaining your vehicle in mind. After all, it’s hard to deliver your loads and keep up with your bills if your truck is in the shop every week.