Maintenance

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.

Articles

Parasitic Loads and Battery Life

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

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

Articles

Training Technicians - Part Two

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

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

Articles

Managing Maintenance With Software, Part One

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

Articles

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

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.

Articles

Outsourcing Your Tire Program

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

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.

Articles

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

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

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

Articles

Charging Batteries in Cold Weather

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

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.

Articles

Are Your Wheel Bearings Adjusted Properly?

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

Articles

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

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

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

Articles

Tire Report: The Art & Science of Alignment

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?

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