Lyndon has been with TR Group since 2012 and is our Maintenance Operations Manager
Top five maintenance tips to keep your fleet moving this summer!
Summertime is one of the busiest seasons in our industry and we’re here to share some expert knowledge by giving you five tips to keep your fleet moving! These are based on years of experience and our awareness of the reoccurring causes of heavy vehicle downtime and damages during summer.
- PREPARATION IS KEY
You’d want your fleet to be available when it’s most required and planning ahead for busier months goes a long way. Get your COFs sorted early to avoid workshop shutdowns over the Christmas holiday period. Chances are, if your vehicle comes in later in December and it has problems, you won’t get the vehicle back until late January. You’ll end up suffering terrible downtime before your truck gets back on the road again.
- COOLING SYSTEM MAINTENANCE
Keeping a maintenance schedule in place does wonders for heavy vehicle maintenance. Similar to how we change the type of clothes we wear in the summer versus the winter, your trucks also need the same care. At TR we pay close attention to ensuring cooling systems are well maintained, and this pays dividends in the heat of summer. We ensure the coolant fluid is changed when required and we use the OEM approved coolant. Radiators are cleaned out at the appropriate time based on the vehicles application. This all helps prevent unneeded downtime when trucks are working their hardest.
- SORT OUT SERVICING
We often see that because summer is such a busy time for truckies, servicing gets neglected. Servicing is a crucial element to preventative maintenance. It may be tempting to leave it out because you have so much to do but the reality is, doing a service on time and regularly can prevent your vehicle from breaking down when you need it most. Servicing can pinpoint areas in your vehicle that may get faulty when you’re on the road and this prevents downtime.
- BE MINDFUL OF ROAD SURFACING/SEALING
The roading crews re-seal roads during the summer because it’s the best time to do it. Hot temperature and dry air helps the new seal to stick but this causes excess stones on the road. We often see downtime due to windscreen damages from stone chips hitting the glass and because modern trucks have better technology in them, replacing these parts are not as quick and easy as they used to be. Another reoccurring cause of downtime is radiator failure because of the amount of stones that go through the grill. This causes the cooling systems to leak. These are preventable when you slow down around roadworks. Make sure that you maintain a good following distance to avoid unnecessary downtime.
- DAILY CHECKS
Drivers can prevent most of the downtime by simply doing daily checks on their trucks. When you’re the one who operates the vehicle, it’s much easier to see when something’s not right. Doing a simple 5-minute walkaround check goes a long way in making sure that your trucks keep working as they’re supposed to.
A little extra care goes a long way! What we find is when the pressure’s on, simple things such as planning ahead and doing walkarounds get pushed aside because you’re busy and want to get the trucks moving. The reality is, so much can change with heavy commercial vehicles as you keep using them. They always work and are under a lot of stress and pressure in terms of the weight they constantly carry, and the type of roads they drive on. Following these tips will enable you to keep your fleet going this busy season! We hope you have a fantastic and productive time this summer and remember to stay safe on the roads!