Heavy trucks are the kings of the road in the USA. A common sight on the freeways is a convoy taking essential goods to and from all corners of the US, and without these massive vehicles – which transport some 70% of freight in America – we’d find it difficult to live our daily lives.
A heavy-duty truck, otherwise known as a semi, is the type where the cab can be detached from the trailer. These vehicles cover millions of miles collectively in a year, and endure the most variable and difficult conditions of any road vehicle.
It follows that maintaining and repairing large trucks is a specialist business. Truck maintenance companies across the land offer their expertise and experience to both fleet and individual owners, ensuring that heavy trucks are safe and fit for driving on the roads of the USA.
Maintenance of a heavy truck differs greatly to that of a family car, for example, so let’s have a look at what needs regular attention on a heavy truck.
What Truck Parts Need Replacing Most Often?
The components on a heavy truck are more durable and heavy-duty in design and manufacture than those for a car. Here are some of the most often replaced parts on a heavy-duty truck:
- Brakes are one of the hardest-wearing items on a truck. When you consider the sheer weight of a heavy-duty truck can be anything from 26,000lbs upwards, that’s a lot of bulk that needs to be stopped in the shortest possible distance. The brakes take massive wear and tear over tens of thousands of miles in a given year for the average truck, hence they are among the most commonly replaced systems on trucks.
- The clutch is another part that takes a beating. The power and torque put through a truck clutch can be quite colossal, leading to the clutch system having a limited lifespan. The frequency with which a heavy-duty clutch will need to be replaced depends on the mileage and type of work the truck is doing, but it is likely to be among the most often replaced systems on a truck.
- Tires are the part that keeps the truck in contact with the road and truck tires are designed to last many thousands of miles. Give the massive mileage an average truck racks up in a year it is little surprise that a heavy truck can go through a set of tires in a short period of time, so tires are checked regularly.
These are the three main areas that need regular inspection, and the hydraulic systems and electrical parts should also be checked often. Even the most reliable truck in the USA will plough through its consumable parts quickly, so needs to be inspected often.
Why Trucks Need Professional Maintenance
We Americans are a nation of truck lovers. It’s only in countries where great mileage needs to be covered that you find a lot of heavy trucks. Australia, with its vast outback, is the most comparable to the USA in terms of using this sort of freight carrier. Trucks need professional maintenance because safety is of paramount importance. A truck driver needs to be certain their vehicle is safe on the roads and will remain reliable, so regular servicing at a professional truck maintenance center is not just advised, it is essential.
Yes, trucks are cool – in fact, here’s a great list of the 50 coolest trucks of all time – and keeping them on the roads is a full-time occupation, so let’s salute those whose job it is to service and maintain heavy trucks in the USA.