The Importance of Regular Semi Truck Maintenance

by Pride Transport | Dec 15, 2023

The trucking industry is one that works with very large, heavy vehicles. These vehicles, such as semi trucks, have to be on the roads with others, sharing a space that can be tight, unpredictable, and busy. To stay safe, it’s essential for anyone driving a semi truck to keep up with its maintenance. 

Vehicle maintenance helps reduce the likelihood of crashes. It can also minimize the risk of accidents when loading or unloading the truck. But what kind of maintenance does your vehicle need, and how often does it need it? There are varying opinions, but by creating a truck maintenance log and sticking to your employer’s preferred maintenance schedule, you can keep yourself safe on the road, keep your vehicle in better shape, and be more efficient with your time.


Staying Safe With Regular Maintenance

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, no employer or employee is allowed to drive a commercial motor vehicle (or permit it to be used) unless it meets the requirements of 49 CFR 393, which lists specific maintenance and safety requirements for all parts of the truck.

Safety and maintenance should be at the top of your mind at all times. No matter what kind of vehicle you drive or the products you’re transporting, regular maintenance means that you can be assured that your brakes, lights, engine, and other parts of your vehicle are working properly. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that there were 415,000
police-reported large-truck collisions in 2020, with the two most common reasons for large truck crashes being speeding and fatigue, but other factors, such as problems with the vehicle or other drivers, can also play a role. 

If you don’t keep up on maintenance tasks, there is a risk of getting into an accident. For example, you could:

  • Rear-end another driver when your brakes fail
  • Cause a crash due to loose items that fall from the vehicle
  • Injure yourself inside or outside your vehicle due to problems with the trailer or its attachments
  • Blow a tire or have a tire come loose that causes dangerous debris and truck instability

These and other problems can quickly put your life at risk on the road. Regular maintenance can ensure your safety as well as the safety of others on the road. 

pride maintenance staff

Compliance With Regulations

Regular maintenance can help keep your truck in compliance with the Department of Transportation’s rules and regulations. For example, all commercial vehicles must have Driver-Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs) to show that they are in compliance with current regulations. 

You will also need to pass an annual DOT inspection, which is a critical inspection during which the Department of Transportation can cite operators for problems with the vehicle. If you have not kept up on maintenance, you can also be cited for
failing to have proof of periodic inspections.

annual DOT inspection is required. During this inspection, a qualified mechanic reviews all components of the rig, both interior and exterior. 

Specific components of your vehicle that will be inspected include:

  • The frame
  • Its suspension
  • Windshield wipers
  • The steering mechanism
  • Coupling devices
  • The brake system
  • The rear impact guard
  • Seating, if you carry any passengers
  • Wheels and rims

This list is not exhaustive. 

After the DOT inspection, you’ll get an annual inspection sticker if all is okay, but if not, you’ll need to take action with a
corrective action plan (CAP).

Efficiency, Productivity, and Good Maintenance

Regular maintenance can improve your efficiency and productivity. With regular maintenance, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of semi truck breakdowns, which have the potential to slow down your day and put you behind. Regular inspections and maintenance:

  1. Prevent many kinds of unexpected breakdowns by keeping the vehicle in good working condition and identifying potential issues in advance
  2. Can help prevent slowdowns and downtime from a lack of available parts
  3. Keep your truck within its warranty requirements, saving money when repairs are needed


Regular maintenance saves on the expenses related to repairs and makes sure you don’t have to tow your truck in unexpectedly when something goes wrong. In the trucking industry, prevention is the key to keeping up with tight schedules without a significant risk of a breakdown—a good maintenance schedule will keep your truck in better condition for longer and help you avoid dangerous situations.

Best Practices for Regular Maintenance

One of the best things you can do to help avoid crashes is to keep truck maintenance checklists and a truck maintenance log to keep track of what you have or have not done for your vehicle lately. Semi truck maintenance is preventative in nature, so keeping track of your mileage as well as the last time your truck was in for maintenance can help you know when it’s time to have your brakes, filters, oil, or other parts of your truck checked, maintained, repaired, or replaced. 

In general, you can stick to a maintenance schedule provided by the manufacturer, just keep in mind that their list may not be exhaustive and that you may have specific requirements based on the time of year, age of the truck, mileage, and how heavy your schedule is. 

Remember that your vehicle may also need seasonal maintenance or maintenance as items pop up. For example, if you hear grinding when you drive, you might want to take a look at your brakes early, even if no warning lights are on and you haven’t reached the normal time on the preventative maintenance schedule.
Pride Transport’s Commitment to Safety

At Pride Transport, we put an emphasis on safety. We put safety at the center of what we do, encouraging our drivers to be safe and to make sure their vehicles are in good working order as well. Our average fleet age is 23 months, and all of our vehicles receive on-site maintenance or road service as needed. 

Interested in working with Pride? Send us your information and
apply now.

pride transport truck

Share this article