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bad commercial driving habits

5 Bad Driving Habits That Make Fleet Vehicles Break Down Faster

Driving long hours through streets that are crowded with construction equipment, reckless drivers, and litter– it can get tiring. Navigating and driving are hard enough without the added distractions and dangers. After a while, it’s easy to pick up some bad driving habits out of convenience or exhaustion. Unfortunately, these pesky little habits can lead to fleet vehicle damage and costly repairs. Today, J&A Fleet Channahon is going to share some common mistakes drivers make that lead to more problems and downtime. 

Hitting Potholes

Once construction starts, it never seems to end. All the while, there are a ton of potholes for you to hit. If you’re focused on other drivers and yourself, you might miss them. That can be bad for your vehicle’s health. 

When scanning the road, you also need to ensure there are no sudden holes that could damage your commercial truck. If you hit deep potholes head on it can mess up your steering, alignment, and suspension. You should always drive around them if it’s safe to do so. Otherwise, you should slow down to pass over it. 

Not Using the Parking Brake

A lot of people don’t know this, but you should actually use your parking brake every time you park. It makes a lot of sense when you really think about the name. The parking brake is especially important when you’re parked on a hill. If you don’t use your parking brake, there’s more strain on the transmission which can lead to failure. 

However, it’s important to remember to release the parking brake before you drive off. Driving with the parking brake on for even a few miles can warp a drum or disc. It could even cause other key braking components to fail and put you at risk while you’re on the road. 

Ignoring the engine lights

Those little lights that pop up on your dashboard, aren’t just a mere suggestion. They mean something is wrong. If you continue to drive without checking in, the problem could get a lot worse. Sometimes, a check engine light could just mean that your tire is a little deflated. If you inflate it, you’ll be good to go and the engine light could disappear. Unfortunately, if you keep driving on it, the tire could actually blow. Then, you’ll be stuck on the side of the road waiting for a replacement which is a waste of time and an unnecessary expense. 

Of course, a check engine light could mean a lot of things so it’s best not to let the problem linger in case it’s something serious.  

Stopping too hard

Slamming on your brakes frequently is a bad idea for many reasons. There are of course the obvious consequences like causing an accident or wasting gas. But slamming on your brakes can also make the brake system overheat and wear down brake pads, brake hoses, and the drive shaft. 

Do your best to slow down gradually to avoid any serious brake problems. 

Driving on empty

Most of us want to avoid frequent fuel stops so we try to get the most out of our gas. Others are just busy and keep putting off a trip to the gas station. Unfortunately, as the fuel gauge continues to creep closer and closer to empty, your car starts to use up the fuel at the very bottom of your gas tank.

Let’s talk about why that’s bad. The sediment in your fuel settles to the bottom of the tank. When your car uses that dirty gas, it clogs up your fuel filter or sends debris into the engine. Once that debris hits the engine is when the real problems start. 

To avoid any problems, try keeping ¼-½ a tank of gas at all times. 

JA Fleet– Commercial Vehicle Maintenance

Our team of fleet mechanics keeps commercial vehicles on the road longer and we can repair many of the issues created by poor driving habits. If you’re a fleet manager looking for affordable maintenance services in the Channahon and Joliet area, give JA Fleet a call. We offer a two-truck maintenance agreement that increases company productivity at a fair price!

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