You will obviously have wear and tear in your trucks whether you are a fleet owner or a single truck owner. Trucks in India are generally categorized as:
- Mini trucks – Tata Ace, Ashok Leyland Dost etc.
- Midi Trucks – 14 feet, 17 feet, 20 feet and 24 feet
- Large Trucks – Single axel, Multi axel trucks with carrying capacity of over 10 tons
- Over dimensional Cargo (ODC) – Flat bed carriers and Car carriers
You need to equip your drivers with basic training to carry out a few maintenance tasks to prevent expensive repair costs at the truck service centers along the highway or in station. It is always necessary to find ways to reduce your repair expenses and save as much money as you can. We will give you truck repair tips and try to keep your truck out of the workshops.
- Changing differential oil: You should first locate the identification number on the differential and note the codes to show it to the spare parts dealer to provide the right gasket and seal for the differential. Remove the drain plug if your differential comes with it or raise the truck with the help of jack stands to drain the oil. Place a drain container under the differential and remove the bolts. Gently tap it with a rubber hammer and remove the cover to collect the oil. Scrape the old gasket with a knife and apply the sealant to the differential and press the gasket. Now tighten the bolts with a torque wrench and remember not to over tighten it. Read the directions before refilling the new oil.
- Lubricating tailgate: There is a lot of wear and tear of the tailgates. More the loads, more the abuse. When the fragments from the load enter the mechanism, your tailgate will malfunction to either not open or not shut. This is not a tough repair and can be easily done with a socket set and some lubrication grease or oil. Always carry a portable vacuum cleaner and blow off the particles form the lock to begin the process. Then paste generous amounts of grease on the lock mechanism. Shut and open the tailgate a few times with the fresh grease and them apply it again for reinforcement. You will need a screwdriver, multi-wrench, knife, cotton rags and ratchet set for this project.
By doing the minor repairs yourself, you can save thousands of rupees on labor costs. Here is what you should ideally do as a habit to save money:
- Apart from oil and filter change, tires are the second biggest expense in your truck maintenance. You always need to look for a wholesale price to buy the tires or opt for retreading of your tires at least once in the lifetime of the tires.
- Collect all the dispensed oil after you change and sell it to the oil merchant to make some money
- Learn to change the filters yourself. It is not rocket science. You save enough on the labor cost in the long run
- You should always keep the truck highway ready by equipping it with the right tools. Do not always take the mechanic’s word as final and do your own inspection of engine oil, brake oil and differentials. You can do it with a dip stick for an easy measure.
- Look for used spare parts at the flea market. You find markets in most cities in India that specialize in used automobile spare parts.
Do regular preventive maintenance to save substantial money on expensive truck repairs to keep it fit for the highway to deliver goods transport services with high satisfaction levels to your clients. You need to carry some tools that maybe expensive too. Collecting tools will come to you naturally if you are a fleet owner since you will not like to send your truck to the workshop for every incidence of repair.
If you have a breakdown on the highway, put out the warning calls immediately to the nearest service station. Don’t just sit idle at the rear end and divert traffic and wait for a Good Samaritan. Evaluate your situation and work according to it. All skilled professional drivers must share their knowledge with others in the fleet to help save money for more profitability.