The Importance of Regular Truck Maintenance

by Pride Transport | Jul 21, 2023

As a truck driver, you need to understand the importance of good semi truck maintenance. You probably realize that your safety relies on your truck being in good condition, but there are other reasons to keep up on maintenance, too. For example, did you know that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and other agencies have regulations regarding maintenance? 


On top of federal and state requirements, it’s necessary to maintain your truck’s good condition to help avoid breakdowns and serious collisions. Just a few minutes a day and regular maintenance throughout the year could help save lives (including your own). 

Truck Maintenance: Making Safety a Priority

Maintaining your truck is not only necessary for your safety — it’s a matter of staying in compliance with federal regulations. Transportation agencies such as the FMCSA require that trucking companies regularly inspect, repair, and maintain their vehicles. This has to be done for any vehicle that is under a company’s control for 30 days or longer


The trucking company has to maintain all parts and accessories. It also has to have maintenance records available to the FMCSA upon demand. Essentially, your vehicle is required to be in good working order. 


Now, what about if your vehicle isn’t maintained properly? That’s when you run into problems. Without regular maintenance, it’s much more likely that you could end up breaking down on the side of the road. Your vehicle’s life could also be shortened. 


There is also a real risk of getting into a crash. And crashes do happen — many of which could have potentially been avoided. Weak breaks could lead to a greater risk of rear-end collisions when you can’t stop in time for slowed traffic, or damaged tires could rupture or come loose, putting your life, and the lives of others around you, at risk. 


On top of all that, without proper maintenance, you could find it is much harder to complete your routes on time. With breakdowns and problems with your vehicle, you could end up waiting for repairs or being delayed as you work out solutions. These issues disrupt your schedule and can end up costing you money.


Finally, remember that maintenance records are required. Those who don’t stay in compliance could find themselves at odds with the FMCSA or other regulatory bodies.

pride transport shop employee looking under truck

Semi-Truck Maintenance for Longevity

The key to running a truck for thousands of miles is keeping up on regular maintenance tasks. Regular maintenance can help prevent breakdowns that cause wear and tear on different parts of your truck. It can also help extend the life of the vehicle, so you can drive it longer and even cut down on the amount of emergency maintenance needed. 


What kind of maintenance schedule should you invest in? Here are the top priorities for Pride: 

Pride Transport’s Maintenance Schedule

At Pride Transport, we take maintenance issues seriously. We perform preventative maintenance as well as responsive maintenance when a problem occurs. 

Our preventative semi-truck maintenance program includes regular inspections of all parts of a semi. We regularly check and inspect these and other aspects of a truck:

  • Horn
  • Auxiliary systems
  • Undercarriages and truck exteriors
  • Belts and hoses
  • Windshields
  • Side mirrors
  • Air filters
  • Wheels
  • Rims
  • Engine and transmission mounts


On top of regular preventative maintenance, we also believe that seasonal maintenance is vital to our drivers’ safety. Twice a year, in winter and summer, we look at the trucks’ heating and cooling systems. We also look at parts that could be affected by the weather, whether it’s warming up outside or turning from fall to winter. For example, air conditioning coils are checked for debris or build up that could hurt the truck’s ability to produce cool air, and the anti-lock braking system (ABS) is checked to be sure it will work throughout the year (especially as winter rolls in). 


We also require our drivers to complete pre-trip checklists, including checking the truck’s brakes, tires, fluids, and electrical systems. With all of these checks and balances, we can be sure that our trucks are in their best condition each time they go out.

Common Signs That Your Truck Requires Maintenance

Short of breaking down on the road, it’s not always simple to tell that it’s time to perform maintenance on your vehicle. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of completing preventative maintenance on a schedule and doing a walkaround and visual inspection each time you plan to get behind the wheel. You could even prepare a truck maintenance checklist to keep your maintenance on track!


There are several signs that your truck needs maintenance right away. These include:

  • Braking issues, such as trouble slowing down as quickly as you should be able to
  • Poor performance (gas guzzling, shaking, and other unusual actions)
  • Noises coming from the engine, like clicking or clacking.
  • Colored exhaust smoke that looks blue or black.
  • Warning lights that are blinking, flashing, or staying lit on the dashboard.

Each of these signs points to a different issue, but you need to take them seriously. For example, if you hear noises coming from the engine, you could have a problem with an oil pump or improper combustion. Flashing warning lights could indicate brake failure or a problem with oil levels. Colored exhaust smoke, another sign that maintenance is overdue, could indicate a problem with burning oil or an oil leak. 


No matter which of these signs you see, your first step is to turn on your hazard lights and to pull over to the side of the road to ensure that you are safe. Next, you can reach out to your dispatcher or your manager to decide what the next steps should be. 


You may need a tow truck to come take your truck to the next available repair shop, or you may be able to drive a short distance there yourself. It all depends on the problem and the symptoms your truck is showing.

Drive Safely With Pride

We put an emphasis on truck maintenance at Pride Transport, because we want all of our drivers to stay safe. If you’re interested in working with us, check out our list of driver jobs and openings, so you can join the Pride family.

pride transport shop employee working on a truck

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