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UT Tips: Daily Checks And Maintenance Of Trucks

05 September 2016

Before starting the activity with the truck, the truck driver should run some checks. There are two stages in the checking, one prior to starting the engine and the other after the engine is started.

Checks prior to starting the engine
Components that need checking among other are the engine oil, clutch oil, brake oil, engine water coolant, lights, wheel bolts, tire air pressure, battery, and water separator.

– Engine oil
It is mandatory for the drive to check the engine oil prior to the operation of the truck to make sure that the oil in the engine is adequate as lack of it can damage the engine Before adding the oil, the truck must not roll.
To know the oil volume in the engine, the drive can check it with an oil-depth stick Take out the stick and clean it with a clean hand towel and dip it back into the engine and check if the oil level is between the minimum and the maximum levels. If the current oil level is between the two levels, then it is still adequate. The oil must be added if below the minimum level.

– Clutch oil
Clutch oil is the hydraulics used simultaneously with pneumatic system in servo clutch to help the driver shift gear by using the clutch pedal. Check the clutch oil in the tube. If it is below the minimum, there might have been a leak. Next, check the clutch system and immediately refill the tube until it at least reaches the minimum level.

– Brake oil
Brake oil is one of the hydraulics used in slowing down and stopping the wheel rotation. Check the brake oil level. If it is less than what it should be, immediately add the oil and find out the cause. A leak in the brake system might have been responsible for such a condition.
A truck already equipped with the pneumatic system no longer uses brake oil and it is replaced with air system. The driver, before driving off the truck, needs to fill in the tube and uses the pressure gauge to check that the air pressure is between 8 and 12 bars.

– Engine coolant
Check the engine coolant in the expansion tube to make sure that the coolant is adequate and must be between the minimum and the maximum levels.
Inadequate coolant in the expansion tube may cause overheating, marked with water boiling and vapor rising with the temperature indicating needle hitting above 100 degree Celsius. If this happens, pull over and find out the source of the problem.

– Lights
For road safety, check these lights: headlight, dim light, cornering light, brake light, parking light, and other lights.

– Wheel bolts
Ensure that the loosened bolts are fastened before the truck rolls. Loosened bolts will damage the rims and bolt holes.

– Tire air pressure
Examination of tire pressure must be done when the tire is cold and the truck is not loaded. Tires become hot quickly and wear out soon due to uneven tire shapes. Be sure that the pressure agrees with the information on the tire wall.

– Battery
Checks on the battery are necessary to ensure that the electrical system is functional. Check the electrolyte fluid and be sure that the fluid level is between the minimum and maximum levels. If the battery fluid is not adequate, immediately add it and remove any stain or corrosion if it is found at the end of the battery.

– Water separator
In injection system, it is essential to keep the fuel clean to maintain the engine’s performance in any situation and condition. To check if there is stain or fluid due to condensation, the driver can check it through the glass placed adjacent the gasoline tank. Remove the water or stain in the water separator by washing it with water.

After examination of the cabin’s exterior, the driver can turn on the ignition key and wait until the indicator light is off before he starts the engine.

Checks after the engine is started
After the engine is started and before the truck rolls, check the indicator light, wheels, steering, brakes, clutch, transmission, hand-brake and safety belt.

Indicator light
To check the indicator light, the driver can do so by turning on the ignition key. If one is dead, immediately replace it with a new one. A non-functional indicator light may prevent from knowing which component is not functional.

Steering wheel
Move the steering wheel right and left and ensure that it functions properly. If the steering wheel feels heavy and makes a sound, it is an indication that the power steering oil is inadequate.

Checking the brake is needed to find out how well the brake functions in braking at a short distance. To check the brake, get into the first gear and step on the brake pedal and at the same time lift your foot off the clutch pedal. If the truck does not move and the engine stops, it means the brake functions well. If the truck continues moving, stop and report to the mechanic for immediate repair.

Clutch can be checked by the following:

1. Step on the clutch pedal
2. Shift into first or second gear and Reverse
3. Be sure that shifting can be done easily.
4. Wait for a moment.
5. Check if it makes sound

If the gear can shift smoothly and without sound, it means that the clutch is functional.

Gear check should be done while the engine is running. If the gear shifting can be done easily, it means that the gear lever has enough air. If not, the gear or the lack of air system in the tank is indicating a problem.

Hand brake
The hand brake is vital in motor vehicle and it is used to prevent a truck from moving while being parked. To check if it functions normally, the driver can do so by deactivating it and shifts into the first gear before releasing the clutch pedal slowly. If the truck is not moving, it is an indication that the hand brake functions well.

Safety belt
The safety belt is a safety feature for the driver. Check the belt by abruptly pulling it. If it stops extending after being pulled, it means it functions well.

That is all the daily checks and maintenance for the truck. Hopefully, truck owners find these tips and tricks useful.

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