Maintenance

101  -  150  of  227

July 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

6 Steps to Cleaner Fuel

By Deborah Lockridge, Editor in Chief

If you take the plunger out of one of today's fuel injectors and hold it in your hand, the warmth of your hand will make the metal expand so you can't get the plunger back inside the barrel.

Tags: Under The Hood

July 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Carrier Improves CSA Score With Trailer Readiness Program

Trained technicians are sent to inspect and record any issues with tire pressures, tread depth, trailer lights, wheel seals, air valves, air lines on the trailer's suspension and braking system, and even reflective tape and mudflaps.

With just two full-time facilities to handle maintenance on a fleet of more than 2,700 trailers scattered across the lower 48 states and Mexico, conducting regular trailer inspections can be a daunting task for Murray, Ky.-based Paschall Truck Lines.

Tags: Trailers

July 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Nine New Task Forces to Meet at TMC Meeting

The American Trucking Associations' Technology & Maintenance Council has created nine new task forces that will meet for the first time at TMC's 2012 Fall Meeting, Sept. 10-13 in Pittsburgh, covering topics such as tires, corrosion, CSA and visibility

Tags: More Maintenance

July 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Top 5 Vehicle Maintenance Violations

By Jim Park, Contributing Editor

Vehicle maintenance violations are a huge threat to a carrier's safety record. There are close to 200 separate violations on FMCSA's list of point-carrying infractions, and many carry ratings of 5 points or higher

Tags: Trailers

May 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Keeping An Eye on 
Axles and Suspensions

Shocks are a small components with big 
performance implications. Look for oil residue on the shock tube, and check for bushing wear.

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

Although the maintenance-free tractor-trailer is still a few years off, there are really only two big maintenance items left when it comes to axles and suspensions: the shock absorbers and the air springs. Some historically large maintenance items today are designed to almost outlive the trucks

Tags: Chassis & Brakes

April 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

How Automated Pre-Tripping of Trailers Could Help Fleets with CSA

Instead of a traditional look-and-touch routine, a driver’s pre-trip inspection would be faster and better if key components had sensors wired to transponders that would broadcast their status.

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

There always have been a lot of reasons for drivers to do effective pre- and post-trip inspections on trailers and power units. Starting in 2010, we've had another: Compliance, Safety, Accountability better known as CSA

Tags: Trailers

April 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

How to Prevent Wheel-offs

Drivers must check for obvious signs of wheel and fastener damage, but many faults will be hidden, especially over-torquing which will eventually lead to failure.

By Rolf Lockwood, Contributing Editor

There's no shortage of information on wheel integrity: posters, pamphlets, simple one-page instruction sheets and a bunch of YouTube videos, not to mention mandatory day-long wheel-installation courses. We're inundated with education on how to make sure wheels stay attached to the truck

Tags: Tires

April 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

How Oil Filters Can Help Fleets Extend Drain Intervals

Extended drain intervals don't mean you can ignore the truck in between oil changes. Here, technician Bill Reeb of W.W. Williams in Birmingham, Ala., checks the oil level during a routine preventive maintenance check. (Photo courtesy of WheelTime Network)

By Deborah Lockridge, Editor in Chief

High diesel and crude oil prices may make headlines, but the cost of engine oil has risen, as well, making an extended-oil-drain strategy more appealing

Tags: Under The Hood

March 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Managing Maintenance With Software, Part Two

Skagit Transportation Maintenance Manager Bob Dorsey looks after a fleet of 90 tractors and 200-plus trailers, and he does it with the help of the long-established TruckMate software.

By Rolf Lockwood, Contributing Editor

Many fleet operations are too small to benefit from a sophisticated maintenance-management software system. They may be right, but probably not because there isn't a software product that would suit them

Tags: Managing The Shop

March 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Regular Tire Pressure Checks are Worthwhile

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

Weekly tire pressure checks might seem unrealistically ambitious, but given what's at stake in terms of tread wear and tire life, it's a worthwhile goal. Regular tire inspections should, obviously, include pressure checks

Tags: Tires

March 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Protecting Your Investment With Proper Tire Inspections

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

There's more to a proper tire inspection than kicking it with a cold boot

Tags: Tires

March 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Parasitic Loads and Battery Life

Testing for parasitic loads: A multi-meter is connected to a battery and to the vehicle wiring. There is an inline fuse along the negative cable that is used to prevent current from the electrical system from blowing the multi-meter fuse.

It used to be when you turned the vehicle off, all electrical loads went away. Now that today's trucks use electronics full time, including the extra hotel loads for driver comfort, these electrical loads (parasitic loads) increase the demands on the vehicle electrical system

Tags: More Maintenance

February 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Training Technicians - Part Two

Younger people don't much want to read training manuals, and they're adept at computer use. Tailor your training accordingly.

By Rolf Lockwood, Contributing Editor

In part one, we talked about how important it is to train technicians, and how classroom training that affords hands-on experience is the best. However, it's not always feasible to send your techs off for training or even to allot hands-on time at your own location

Tags: Managing The Shop

February 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Managing Maintenance With Software, Part One

O&S Trucking in Springfield, Mo., uses software to track each individual piece of equipment from cradle to grave and understand all the costs.

By Rolf Lockwood, Contributing Editor

The need for first-rate maintenance of our trucks and trailers is obvious, so let's not start this article blathering about the necessity of cost control and the ever-increasing challenge of safety compliance. All that's a given

Tags: Managing The Shop

January 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Bendix Announces Schedule for 2012 Brake Training School

The schedule for Bendix's 2012 Brake Training School, a three-day course designed for both new and experienced technicians, includes 20 cities in the U.S. and Canada

Tags: Chassis & Brakes

January 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Outsourcing Your Tire Program

Many fleets keep a technician trained on wheel and tire procedures to look after the day-to-day work, but farm out the mounting and dismounting, retreading, etc. to a vendor. Photo by Jim Park.

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

The service truck arrives at 8:30 Sunday morning, as usual. The two tire techs unload 16 freshly mounted and balanced, retreaded drive tires, eight new steer tires on reconditioned wheels, and a take-off drive tir

Tags: Tires

January 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Dispense With the Grief of Managing Tires: Let a Service Partner Do It for You

Wheel reconditioning can't be done in house because of the painting or powder coating and bead-blasting. Vendors can set up and get economies of volume and get good ROI on that equipment. Photo by Jim Park.

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

The service truck arrives at 8:30 Sunday morning, as usual. The two tire techs unload 16 freshly mounted and balanced, retreaded drive tires, eight new steer tires on reconditioned wheels, and a take-off drive tir

Tags: Managing The Shop

January 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Charging Batteries in Cold Weather

Charging vehicle batteries in cold weather is totally different in the winter. (Photo by Jim Park)

One of the biggest misconceptions is that batteries charge the same throughout the year. They simply don't! In warm weather (above 40 degrees), batteries are very easy to recharge

Tags: Under The Hood

December 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Are Your Wheel Bearings Adjusted Properly?

With tolerances no more than the width of human hairs, there's little room for guess work when torqueing wheel bearings. Photo courtesy of Consolidated Metco.

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

Good and bad in the wheel-bearing world is divided by a very fine line - about the width of two human hairs, in fact. That's not much of a margin considering the potential consequences of improper adjustment

Tags: Tires

December 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Tire Report: Factory Settings vs. 'As-Driven'

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

If something is set to factory specs it must be just right, right? In the alignment world, "factory specs" really means it's close enough. Close enough, however, might not be good enough when your tires are being chewed right off the wheels

Tags: Tires

December 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Tire Report: The Art & Science of Alignment

Too many tires are pulled from service prematurely due to extensive irregular wear. In most cases, alignment would solve those problems.

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

Vehicle alignment is a great example of why they teach geometry in high school. How many times did you wonder when you would ever use Euclidean geometry or the Pythagorean theorem?

Tags: Tires

November 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Long-Life Trailer Specs

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

Everything has a life span, but some of the things we make die sooner than they used to. For trailers, shortened lives usually can be blamed on corrosio

Tags: Trailers

November 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Training Technicians - Part One

Understanding the knowledge shortfalls in your shop is the first step to designing a training program.

By Rolf Lockwood, Editor at Large

Training has probably never been more valuable or important than it is in 2011. That's true no matter what the trucking job, but it's especially true in the shop

Tags: Managing The Shop

November 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Tire Storage & Inventory Management

Storing tires and maintaining a current inventory is the task that never ends. There are easier ways to manage tire inventories. (Photo: Jim Park)

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

Even when your tires aren't out on the road getting used and abused, they're still costing you money. Stacked in a warehouse or in a storage trailer on the back forty, they're taking up valuable floor spac

Tags: Tires

October 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Tips for Packing a Tapered Roller Bearing

Improper lubrication causes over half of all the bearing damage that we see in the aftermarket. Timken offers these helpful procedures for packing a bearing with grease

Tags: More Maintenance

October 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

More Than a Temporary Corrosion Covering: Chemically Bonded Phosphate Ceramics

By Del Williams, Contributor

Fighting corrosion in trucks, ships, tanks, planes and equipment costs the Pentagon $22.9 billion a year

Tags: More Maintenance

October 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Too Much Fine Print? Warranties Can Be Hard to Understand, But Effort Is Necessary

Rolf Lockwood, Editor at Large

By Commentary Rolf Lockwood, Editor at Large

Big fleets often write their own terms when it comes to claims on a manufacturer's warranty

Tags: Managing The Shop

October 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

12 Things You Should Know About Oil & Coolant Analysis

Where a coolant's neutralization number is related to the quantity of acid- or base-forming materials in a solution, pH indicates their intensity - and can indicate things going wrong in the cooling system.

By Deborah Lockridge, Editor in Chief

Oil and coolant are like your blood and your sweat, respectively, and they have to work together to keep you aliv

Tags: Under The Hood

October 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Tire Report: Automatic Tire Inflation Systems Guard Against Premature Failure

In many cases, the cost of two or three service calls will pay for an automatic tire inflation system.

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

Next to the click-click-click sound of your starter on a cold winter morning, a trucker's most dreaded sound has to be the hiss of a slowly deflating tire

Tags: Tires

October 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Advances in Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems Make it Easier than Ever to Get the Most Out of Your Tires

Trucks with flat tires don't go anywhere. TPMS can prevent flats or run-flat conditions that stop trucks and ruin tires. (Photo: Jim Park)

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

Pneumatic or "balloon" tires go back to 1845, when Robert W. Thomson filled a leather-covered rubber tube with air and wrapped it around a wheel

Tags: Tires

September 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Arsenault Survey Shows How Fleets Operate Preventive Maintenance Programs

According to an ongoing survey by Arsenault Associates, 56% of fleets that employ maintenance software use it first and foremost to automate preventive maintenance scheduling

Tags: Managing The Shop

September 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Old Dominion's Green Shop

By Tom Nunlist, Associate Editor

Old Dominion Freight Line has implemented environmentally conscious programs at all 31 of its shops in the lower 48 states

Tags: Managing The Shop

September 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Better Stopping Performance Now Built Into Highway Tractors as New Rules Take Effect

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

Emerging from truck factories in the U.S. right now are road tractors that can stop in substantially shorter distances than those built last week. That's because new government stopping-distance requirements took effect August 1st

Tags: Chassis & Brakes

August 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Art and Science of Truck and Engine Diagnostics

By Rolf Lockwood, Editor at Large

Diagnostics took a while to become a high art, though for for a long time it was a human one.

Tags: Under The Hood

August 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Extend Tire Life: Learn How to Tell When Your Trucks are Killing Your Tires

Irregular wear on trailer tires could be a combination of  pre-existing wear and poor  maintenance of the trailer. (Photo by Jim Park)

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

Thousands of tires are cast prematurely onto scrap piles every month. That's hundreds of thousands of miles of operation fleets give up because their tires die untimely, unnatural and often unnecessary deaths. And the tires themselves are rarely to blame

Tags: Tires

August 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Uneven Wear on Wide-Base Single Tires

Shoulder wear on wide-base singles is a common problem.

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

The wear demons don't discriminate between standard and wide-base single tires. With a few exceptions, the kinds of irregular wear that standard tires exhibit will appear on wide-base singles, too

Tags: Tires

August 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Maintaining and Servicing Diesel Particulate Filters

By Tom Berg, Senior Editor

Diesel particulate filters trap soot from the exhaust and ash from motor oil. Most soot is burned off in the course of a truck's operations, but ash stays in the filter's honeycomb substrate and is removed through periodic servicing.

Tags: More Maintenance

August 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

What You Need to Know About Tire Valves

By Al Cohn, Director New Market Development & Engineering Support, Pressure Systems International

Most fleets consider tire valve stems and valve hardware as an afterthought, but there are many issues associated with valve stem hardware that fleets need to be aware of

Tags: Tires

July 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

CSA and the Maintenance BASIC

By Truckinginfo Staff

Seventy to 75 percent of all CSA points can be traced back to maintenance or unsafe driving violations, says Drew Anderson, director of sales for Vigillo, which provides CSA compliance services

Tags: More Maintenance

July 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Embracing the Age of the Air Disc Brake

By Commentary Rolf Lockwood, Editor at Large

A while ago I was sitting on a bench in downtown St. Louis with a grande bold coffee in my paw and a reflective mood infusing me with big thoughts. Or maybe just regular-sized thoughts, but definitely about big things

Tags: Chassis & Brakes

July 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

HVAC: Environmentally Friendly Refrigerants of the Future

By Deborah Lockridge, Editor in Chief

There may be a new refrigerant in your future. This year, the first stage of a European Union ban goes into effect on mobile refrigerants with a global warming potential greater than 150 in new car and light-truck platforms

Tags: Under The Hood

July 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Wheel Balance From the Inside Out

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

The next time you're driving alongside a truck at highway speed, have a look at the wheels. They should be running straight and true without any wobble or vibration

Tags: Tires

July 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

2010 Engine Scorecard: Updated

By Rolf Lockwood, Editor at Large

There are several themes that run through almost any conversation about 2010 engines these days. Mostly they represent good news, we found as we talked to a variety of fleets in a follow-up to last October's "EPA 2010 Engine Scorecard.

Tags: Under The Hood

July 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Pushing Out Trade Cycles Can Save Money, But It Isn't for the Ill Informed

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

Many fleets have discovered in recent months that you can't put 10 pounds of rocks into a 5-pound bag. Pushing trade cycles for highway trucks to squeeze a few more months or a year out of an asset may seem feasible, but the unplanned costs can eat you alive

Tags: More Maintenance

May 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Schneider Tackles Summer Tire Problems

Excessive heat, road construction, impending safety regulations and other factors created a tire shortage within the trucking industry last summer, sidelining a record number of tractors and trailers

Tags: Tires

May 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Risks of Hydrocarbon Refrigerant Blends

When the temperatures warm up, it's a good time to remind technicians and drivers about the dangers associated with hydrocarbon refrigerants being sold as cheap substitutes for R-134a and R-12

Tags: Under The Hood

May 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Fewer than Half of Fleets Use Fleet-Specific Software for Maintenance

Fewer than 44 percent of fleets maintain their vehicles using software designed for that specific purpose, and one in three still uses paper and pencil or nothing at all, according to a survey by a maintenance software supplier

Tags: Managing The Shop

May 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

TMC reefer task force: Timely trailer repairs important

It's not enough to write the correct specs for trailer insulation values when you order. Proper maintenance and repairs are vital. The Technology & Maintenance Council of ATA has a task force on preserving reefer insulation values

Tags: Trailers

May 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Ready for Reman

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

The average age of a truck in the U.S. fleet is now about 6.7 years. That's about 11 months older than the historical average and the oldest it has ever been, according to ACT data going back to 1979

Tags: Managing The Shop

May 2011, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Charged Up: Battery Advances

By Jim Beach, Contributing Editor

Lead acid batteries - the most common type of battery found in trucking and automotive applications - were developed in the mid-1800s. After more than 160 years, the technology still delivers, because lead acid batteries are relatively inexpensive when compared with other types of batteries

Tags: Under The Hood

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