Maintenance

101  -  150  of  257

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Preventing Flat Tires

Once the tread comes off, a blowout won't be far behind. You're down, with a $1,000 repair bill to show for it.

By Jim Park

A driver picks up a trailer from a drop yard. Before departing, the driver does a walk-around inspection, kicks the tires, checks the lights and then sticks it into the wind. He or she has no idea how much air pressure is in those tires, except to be fairly sure none of them is flat — visibly flat, that is. Any one or several of those tires could be underinflated, or even technically flat.

Tags: Goodyear, Continental Tires, Tires

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Going Green With Re-Refined Oil

Universal Lubricants picks up drain oil at automotive dealers, repair shops and truck terminals.

By Tom Berg

What are you doing with the spent oil from your engines? Most fleets are reusing it somehow, perhaps by burning it in special furnaces to heat the shops or selling it to a recycler who'll put it to other uses. Drain oil was once dumped or given away, but since the rise of petroleum prices on world markets, it now brings as much as 95 cents a gallon.

Tags: Valvoline, Universal Lubricants, Re-refined oil, Safety-Kleen, Clean Harbors, API, OIl

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Not Your Father's Air Filter

Aerodynamic truck styling is one factor that has moved the air-intake system and filter under the hood instead of hung alongside it.

By Tom Berg

There was a time when fleet managers and owner-operators specified many components on their new trucks and tractors, but that's been seriously curtailed by vertical integration — the practice of manufacturers controlling the design and spec'ing process using parts they build themselves or get from a few suppliers.

Tags: Air Filter, Maintenance

February 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Tires for multiple applications

By Evan Lockridge

The economic recession had profound effects on trucking, but one of the most surprising is a greater need for tires on trucks that need to be used in more than one application. That's the opposite of another trend, which is more single-application-specific tires.

Tags: Goodyear, Michelin, Continental Tires, Bridgestone, Tires, Retreads

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

5 Must-Have Tools for Your Tire Shop

By Jim Park

Changing truck tires isn't rocket science. Since tire service isn't cheap, it's not uncommon to find smaller fleets and even some bigger ones doing their own tire maintenance. But safety needs to be the priority in any shop.

Tags: Safety, Tires, Shop Tools

March 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Why You Should Consider Wheel Balancing

Tire wear associated with balance problems often appears as cupped channels along the tread face of the tire. (Photo: TMC)

By Jim Park

People will tell you that wheel balancing isn't necessary these days. Going back 10 or 20 years, new tires often needed a small amount of weight to balance out the irregularities in the old production process. With today's more exacting manufacturing standards, irregularities are the exception. But that doesn't mean you can't benefit from wheel balancing.

Tags: Tires, Wheels

February 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

7 Trends in axles and suspensions

When it come to trends in axles and suspensions, it's all about efficiency.

By Deborah Lockridge

When it come to trends in axles and suspensions, it's all about efficiency. Fleets are constantly looking for ways to become more operationally efficient, whether it's fuel economy, increased payload, lower maintenance costs, longer equipment life, or driver productivity.

Tags: Firestone, Reyco Granning, Meritor, Suspensions, Hendrickson, Axles, Dana Spicer

February 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Slow Economy, Government Regs Will Help Drive Aftermarket Brake Business

By Deborah Lockridge

The slow economic recovery and the federal government's new Compliance, Safety, Accountability enforcement program will help drive demand for aftermarket pads and shoes for Class 4-8 trucks, according to a new study by Frost & Sullivan, while increasing demand for disk brakes could prove a challenge to independent service providers.

Tags: Frost & Sullivan, Disc Brakes, Aftermarket, Brakes

February 2013, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

How to Set up a Maintenance Program that Will Keep FMCSA Happy

By Thomas Bray, Editor, J.J. Keller & Associates

Whether you have one truck or 20,000, the FMCSA's maintenance regulations apply to you. The safety and compliance experts at J.J. Keller have tips for owner-operators and small fleets on how to develop a maintenance program that will meet federal standards.

Tags: Maintenance, FMCSA, Owner-Operators

January 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Tires & Wheels: 5 Ways to Stretch Your Tire Budget

By Jim Park

If stretching your tire budget means buying cheaper tires, you may be cheating yourself. You'll get more tires for less money — and that looks good up front — but does that theory hold up after six months or a year?

Tags: Tires, Retreads

January 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Motor Carriers Make Adjustments While CSA is Fine-Tuned

By Bob Rose, Contributor

In December, the FMCSA made good on its commitment to Congress to install refinements to the CSA initiative by implementing 11 changes to the Safety Measurement System. J.J. Keller's Bob Rose has more details.

Tags: FMCSA, Safety, J.J. Keller, Compliance, CSA, Hazmat

January 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Maximizing Filter Performance To Reduce Maintenance Costs

To avoid roadside breakdowns, fleet managers should have thorough preventive maintenance programs in place.

By Contributed Pete Haskell, Director of Heavy Duty Sales with Luber-finer

In the heavy-duty trucking business, fleet managers must be ready to expect the unexpected as seemingly minor unexpected maintenance can ultimately lead to a major system failure

Tags: Under The Hood, Maintenance, Filters, Luber-finer, Oils

January 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Next Generation of Oils: New API oil category will help meet fuel economy/GHG regs

By Deborah Lockridge

Three years from now, you'll see a new API diesel engine oil-service category, designed to help meet federal greenhouse gas/fuel economy standards, which have a final phase-in date set for model year 2018 trucks.

Tags: Under The Hood, API, Oils, Chevron, Shell

January 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Troubleshooting Trailer Lights

One of the most common reasons for an officer to pull a driver over is for a faulty light. Below are some basic guidelines on how to troubleshoot some of the problems that may arise with a trailer lighting system

Tags: Trailers, CSA, Lighting, Safety, Compliance

December 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The Business Case for Synthetic Lubes

By Jim Park

For years, some fleets have turned to synthetic engine oils for easier starts in cold-weather climates and to help them extend oil drain intervals. But if that's the only selling point you're using for synthetic lubes, it may be time for some consumer education

Tags: In the Shop, Engine Oil, Maintenance, Aftermarket, API, Lubricants

December 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

The business case for synthetic lubes goes beyond extended drain intervals

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

For years, some fleets have turned to synthetic engine oils for easier starts in cold-weather climates and to help them extend oil drain intervals

Tags: Under The Hood, Maintenance, Engine Oil, synthetic oil

December 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

8 Ways to Make Sure Your Diesel Fuel and More are Ready for Winter

By Glen Sokolis, Contributor

Weather forecasters are predicting not only one of the coldest, but the snowiest winters in the last five years. Here are a few simple tips to help maintain your equipment and fuel tanks

Tags: More Maintenance, Diesel, Winter

November 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Getting Your Work Truck Ready for Winter

Winter weather and the harsh driving conditions that come with it can be hard on trucks, but Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America suggests that downtime can be minimized with proper maintenance procedures.

Tags: More Maintenance, Winter

November 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story

Maintaining Diesels

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor & Tom Berg, Senior Editor

You don't have to go far to find a fleet having trouble with engines. Mostly they report emissions systems problems, not surprising given the short time the engine makers had to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's tight timelines. To be fair, owners of diesels meeting EPA 2010 standards are reporting fewer problems than they had with the first few generations of EPA 2007-compliant engines

Tags: Under The Hood

October 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Keep Tires Running Straight and True

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

In tire and wheel mounting, the line between right and wrong is a thin one. A few thousandths of an inch on either side of correct can throw tires and wheels into a mean wobble or cause them to bounce up and down like pistons

Tags: Tires, Wheels, concentric mounting

October 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Are your batteries up to the challenge?

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

Uptime and utilization are everything, so you don't want a truck sitting on the shop floor during basic battery maintenance. Most fleets pull the batteries at the first sign of trouble and replace them with fresh batteries to get the truck moving again, planning to deal with the bad batteries later. But what killed the batteries in the first place

Tags: Under The Hood, Batteries, Maintenance

October 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Winterize Wiring Against Rocks, Ice and Corrosion

By Bob Phillips, Contributor

Today's wire harnesses are pretty darn good compared to systems of the past. Fleets have options they have never had before, from sealed male 7-way connectors to sealed cable systems to sealed nose boxes

Tags: More Maintenance

October 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

New Oil Category Will Help Meet Fuel Economy/GHG Emissions Regs

By Deborah Lockridge, Editor in Chief

By January of 2016, you'll see a new API diesel engine oil classification, designed to help meet federal greenhouse gas/fuel economy standards. In fact, you may, for the first time, see two separate categories

Tags: Under The Hood

September 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Tips on Using and Caring for Your Torque Wrench

A torque wrench is a precision instrument designed to apply a specific amount of force to a fastener

Tags: More Maintenance

September 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Alignment Matters: Taking vehicle alignment for granted could cost you

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

When it comes to the alignment on your truck, "close enough" can cost you a lot of money

Tags: Tires

September 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Coolant Basics: New TMC Recommendations Help Fleets Avoid Expensive Repairs

By Deborah Lockridge, Editor in Chief

Engine failure due to cylinder liner cavitation corrosion is disturbingly common in the industry, yet it typically can be prevented through proper cooling system maintenance

Tags: Under The Hood

September 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Building a Successful Battery Re-charging Program

When a truck has battery issues, fleets normally replace all the batteries so that truck can get back on the road

Tags: Managing the Shop

September 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Diligent Drivers Can Help Improve Tire Maintenance

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

Compared to, say, slopping out a hog barn, checking tire pressure is a hoot. No wonder drivers take so readily to the task

Tags: Tires

July 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Webb Wheel Releases Training and Tech Certification Videos

Webb Wheel has added a new training video along with an associated tech certification test to the Training Toolbox section of its website

Tags: Chassis & Brakes

July 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

Tire Casing Cost Recovery

Tire mileage turned to dust: Tread scrubbing machines remove all traces of old tread to sculpt the casing for the new tread.

By Jim Park, Equipment Editor

Think of a tire casing as a foundation. It's the foundation of the whole tire, but also the foundation of a successful tire-cost management program

Tags: Tires

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

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