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One major heavy-duty truck problem is rising diesel fuel prices. This image shows a gas pump with a graphic overlay depicting arrows and a graph rising.

How to Prevent and Repair 3 Common Heavy-Duty Truck Problems

If you’re the owner of a heavy-duty truck (or maybe the manager of an entire fleet), you know that these are not simple machines. There are a lot of things that can go wrong, and if you’re not prepared, it can cost you a lot of money. In this article, we will discuss five common heavy-duty truck problems and how to prevent them from happening in the first place.

We’ll also give you insider tips about how to troubleshoot and fix these issues when they do come up. Finally, we’ll tell you more about the signs to look out for so you know when it’s time to bring your truck into a local fleet repair shop like J&A Fleet.

Common Heavy-Duty Truck Problems

According to a 2021 survey of commercial truck fleet operators, the three most common heavy-duty truck problems are tire issues, brake issues, and broken turn signals. These account for more than 125,000 out-of-service violations annually. Although these are the most common problems reported by commercial truck drivers, it is worth noting that other issues, such as engine problems and transmission problems, are also prevalent.

Commercial Heavy-Duty Truck Maintenance Tips

So,  what can you do to prevent these problems from happening in the first place?

Here are some tips:

  • Inspect tires regularly and replace them when they start to show signs of wear.
  • Check brakes frequently and have them serviced by a professional fleet mechanic if necessary.
  • Make sure all of your turn signals are working properly before you hit the road.
  • Inspect your engine and transmission regularly and have them serviced in-house or take them to an off-site service provider like J&A Fleet.

Remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Nothing’s worse than getting stuck trying to fix these issues in the middle of a load.

Prepare For Issues On The Road– Research Commercial Road Services

Even if you take all of the necessary precautions, there’s always a chance that something could go wrong with the company truck. So, what should you do if one of these common problems arises?

Here are some tips:

  • If you have a tire blowout, pull over to the side of the road as soon as possible and change the tire.
  • If your brakes fail, pump the pedal rapidly and pull over to the side of the road when it is safe to do so.
  • If your turn signals stop working, use hand signals to indicate your intentions to other drivers.
  • If your engine or transmission fails, call a tow truck and have your truck taken to a service facility for repair.

To this last point, make sure you make arrangements with your fleet manager in advance. Towing on heavy-duty trucks can be very expensive so it’s important to have a nailed down plan of action before you hit the road. 

Heavy-Duty Truck Maintenance and Operational Costs 

Heavy-duty trucks are a vital part of many businesses, but they can also be a significant expense. In addition to the initial purchase price, heavy-duty trucks require regular maintenance and repairs. It’s difficult for us to quantify what your specific fleet will cost per truck without talking with you individually.

However, we can give you some idea based on national averages of $1.38 per mile. (That comes out to around $180,000 per year if you’re running and gunning.)

Clearly, this amount is higher than the cost of maintaining a passenger vehicle. But your passenger vehicle doesn’t really make you money either. Heavy-duty trucks are basically traveling businesses.

That said, the most common expenses you will run into on a heavy-duty truck are oil changes, tire rotations, and engine tune-ups. Diesel fuel is also typically more expensive than gas, so heavy-duty trucks can have a significant fuel cost as well.

And you’ve probably seen some of the recent memes of truckers showing how much they had to spend on one tank of gas. More than $1,000 per fill-up is not unusual with the current state of gas prices.

When budgeting for a heavy-duty truck, it is important to factor in the cost of routine maintenance, repairs, and operating expenses. By doing so, you can ensure that your truck will run smoothly and efficiently for years to come.

Stay Ahead of Heavy-Duty Truck Problems With J&A Fleet

We hope you found this article helpful and that you now have some idea of the common troubleshooting causes and tips. Staying on top of this data will save you money and frustration.

Fleet management and navigating heavy-duty truck problems is challenging, but by focusing on the areas listed above, you can improve overall performance and make your drivers’ “workplaces” safer to operate. If you need help from a firm that understands the specifics of fleet performance, look no further than the team at J&A Fleet. We service the Morris, Wilmington, Joliet, Shorewood, and Gardner areas, as well as nearby cities in Illinois. We’re also proud to serve Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, and many other locations in the state of Florida. Contact us today! We are always happy to help.

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