How to Give Your Semi a Longer and Safer Life

You are thinking about buying a semi. Your search for any type of semi trucks for sale reveals that even a used semi could cost up to $100,000. A new tractor cost $110,000-$195,000. If you are going to make such a large expenditure you will want to protect your investment.

Keep Your Semi Clean

Keeping your cab shiny is about more than show. Regular washings are about finding dents, and scratches and guarding against rust. Washing protects your truck’s paint job. Paint is the first line of defense against rust. Any missing paint should be touched up ASAP.

Keep Up on Oil Changes

Like any internal combustion engine, a diesel needs regular oil changes. Whether you do most of your trucking in town or on the highway will determine the frequency of oil changes. To determine if your oil needs changing have the oil analyzed every 10,000 miles. The quality of the oil and oil filter also factor into the frequency of oil changes. Tractors built after 2009 usually require API-CJ4 low ash diesel oil. Consult your trucks owner’s manual to be sure.

Keep Your Fuel Vent Clear

Long sitting vehicles tend to become nesting sites for rodents and insects. Wasps have been known to homestead in fuel vents. Blockages in fuel vents can throw your truck’s fuel gauge out of whack. Neglect the blockage long enough and the engine will stop performing as it should.

Watch Your Coolant Level

Keeping your tractor’s engine cool is essential to prolonging its life. Before starting any run inspect your radiator . Check the coolant level and add coolant if necessary. You will also want to look for signs of leakage and have any leaks fixed immediately.

Check Tire Pressure

In 2016 tires for a semi cost between $300 and $1,200 apiece. No doubt they have gone up in the last three years. The cost notwithstanding your life and livelihood will be riding on your tires. Maintaining the proper psi saves money by improving fuel economy and extending the life of the tires. When checking tire pressure keep in mind that the temperature of the tire will affect your reading.

Check Your Brakes Regularly

We don’t need to elaborate on the importance of brakes working properly. To test your brakes DOT style, chock the front of a front tire and the back of a back tire.

  • Push in the yellow and red knobs on the dash
  • Depress and immediately release the brake
  • Step on the brake and hold it for one minute
  • The front and rear brake pressure gauges should read 60 psi and 120 psi respectively

During the one minute, the brake pedal is depressed no more than 4 psi should be lost. When the test is over, remember to pump the brake pedal twice to adjust the slack adjusters. Have any unusual noises or vibrations in the brakes checked out immediately.

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