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Basic Maintenance for Your Semi

by Daniel Pauly

You’ll be able to get a lot more miles out of your semi if you make basic maintenance part of your driving routine. Take the time to baby your rig a little and you’ll see the rewards in longer engine life and fewer major repairs.

Check Your Tires

Tires are typically the biggest operating expense after fuel. It’s a good idea to protect your investment. Do this by maintaining proper inflation. Use a load/inflation table to calculate the proper psi per axle. Be sure to check your tires’ psi weekly, before each trip, and every day when you’re on a long haul.

You should also be rotating your tires regularly. Inspect your tires for wear and when you notice that they are about 50% worn, rotate them to help even out the wear patterns. Irregular wear will lower your fuel economy and cause ride disturbances.

Inspect Your Fuel Delivery System

Make sure you are changing your fuel filter regularly. While you’re under the hood you can also inspect your fuel lines and injectors. Consider installing a fuel air separation system. This will remove air and vapor from your fuel supply, which will improve your mileage, power output, and injector life.

Keep Everything Clean

Truck radiators seem to attract bugs. Check your radiator often to make sure it’s clean. When it fills up with bugs, clean it out as a clogged radiator will make your engine overheat.

Inspect air filters regularly, too. You should do this every few days. Make sure the air to air connections are strong, with no leaks. Does the filter show signs of compacting? If so, replace it.

Ask For Help

If you have any questions about what you see under the hood or around the trailer, always get professional help. Doing your own maintenance is a learning curve.