You do a great job of making sure your trucks are maintained, but can you say the same about your trailers and other equipment?

Avoid these common maintenance mistakes in order to keep your equipment operating at peak efficiency.

  1. Don’t worry about the specs: Avoiding equipment maintenance mistakes actually starts during the specification process. Make sure you select heavy-duty versions of components when you have a choice. Accurately share duty cycle and operating conditions with the salesperson helping you spec the equipment. Obviously you do not want to spec more than you need, but under spec’ing will lead to problems later on and can even shorten asset life.
  2. Haphazard recordkeeping: Do you recall the last time your trailer, truck-mounted equipment or piece of off-road equipment was in your shop for maintenance? If you aren’t sure if or when your equipment has been maintained it could be because you are doing a poor job of recordkeeping. Out of sight, out of mind is often the case with equipment that is on a job site for days on end. Set up a maintenance program for each asset and then design a system that tracks needed maintenance for all your equipment, not just your trucks. The system should alert you to upcoming preventive maintenance service and allow you to indicate when that service has been completed.
  3. Failure to use telematics data: Telematics devices provide so much more than just asset location. Once you have set up a maintenance program for each asset, use information from your telematics device — like engine hours, miles and fuel use — to alert you about when maintenance is due.
  4. Ignore manufacturer’s advice: Equipment manufacturers provide information on proper operation of their products as well as recommended maintenance and service intervals. Ignore those at your own risk. Those guidelines are designed to maximize your equipment’s useful life. While it’s okay to shorten the intervals between equipment maintenance, never lengthen them without first analyzing the consequences. If you change equipment maintenance intervals, make sure you conduct fluid analysis on a regular basis to ensure you have not extended maintenance intervals too far.
  5. Use a one-size fits approach to maintenance: If you have only one set maintenance schedule, regardless of the type of equipment, chances are something is not getting the attention it deserves. Not only do maintenance schedules need to be set based on the type of equipment — tractor, trailer, truck-mounted equipment, off-road equipment, construction equipment — the age and duty cycle of the equipment should also factor into the decision of when and how often an asset is brought in for maintenance. Of course, you’ll want to try to coordinate maintenance intervals on trucks and truck-mounted equipment so the truck is not taken out of service more than necessary.
    By avoiding these common maintenance mistakes you can keep all your equipment operating as it should and avoid on-the-job breakdowns.