How to Prepare Your Truck for a Long Road Trip Journey

How to Prepare Your Truck for a Long Road Trip Journey

How to Prepare Your Truck for a Long Road Trip Journey

Long-haul truck rides are often the only way to deliver one item from one place to another. In Canada, about 90% of shipments are hauled by trucks. Having a faulty truck can be troublesome and can be a big blow to business. The shipment is ready. Your schedule is set. But how prepared is your vehicle for the demanding road trip? 

What Maintenance Should I Do on My Truck?

Whether it is a short trip across town or a long one to the other side of the country, driving safely is a must. Considering how tough trucks are on the road and how much wear and tear they sustain, driving one requires constant maintenance. By setting regular preventative maintenance inspections and giving the necessary attention, you should encounter little to no problems when driving. 

Here is a truck maintenance checklist to get your automobile ready to ensure that you stay safe on your road trip:

  • Maintain Tires

The most important part of your vehicle might be the tires, which need to be in fantastic shape if you plan to drive for long distances. Tragic collisions can occur when driving on worn-out tires. Before getting on the road, spend a few minutes looking for bulges, bumps, tears, and other signs of wear and tear on your tires.

Drivers should regularly check their tire pressure, regardless of whether they are on a road trip. The center of a tire will wear out first if it is overinflated, and the sides and edges will wear out first if it is underinflated. Remember that driving on underinflated tires may result in blowouts, which in turn can lead to collisions.

  • Check Fluids

Another important step in making sure a summer road trip goes off without a hitch is fluid maintenance for a truck. Modern vehicles need a range of specialized fluids that are essential to their operation and durability. What fluids do you need to check before a road trip? These include:

    • Transmission fluid
    • Power steering fluid
    • Brake fluid
    • Engine oil
    • Coolant
    • Windshield wiper fluid
  • Charge Battery

The last thing you need is for your battery to die in the middle of a journey. Before you start your trip, check the battery terminals. Make sure that your battery has a good charge, clear terminals, and a secure cable-to-terminal connection. Normally, a battery lasts 5 to 7 years. Have it checked out if it’s older than 5 years, and replace it if necessary. Slow starting, fading headlights at idle, and corrosion around the battery connections are all symptoms of a poor battery.

  • Inspect Brakes

One part of your truck that you should never take for granted is the brakes. A faulty brake is a disaster in the making. One of the most frequent causes of automobile accidents is brake-related problems. Avoid waiting until the brake pads begin to screech before inspecting them.

Numerous things, such as worn brake pads, fluid leaks, and other issues, can lead to brake failure. If you don’t drive every day, check your brakes to prevent a collision. Rust and reduced braking performance are possible consequences of letting your vehicle sit out for an extended period of time.

  • Fix Lights 

While the headlights are a clear source of light, the interior also contains several other bulbs that may occasionally require inspection and replacement. It’s inconvenient when you try to use an inside light after dark only to discover that it has burned out. These are typically easy to replace as most vehicle parts shops provide a wide choice of replacements, making a trip to the dealer unnecessary. 

  • Assess Steering

Even experienced drivers lose control of a faulty steering wheel

Although the steering system might be rather sophisticated, the steering wheel is made to be easy for drivers to use. Serious accidents can happen when a driver loses control of the steering wheel. Even seasoned drivers may struggle to predict how the automobile would respond to steering wheel adjustments if they lose power steering, experience poor steering wheel response, or encounter unexpected vibrations. When travelling at a high speed, steering problems make it more difficult for drivers to navigate turns safely and avoid collisions.

  • Inspect Wipers

Windshield wipers are probably not the first that comes to mind when considering the factors that lead to automobile accidents. However, windshield wipers are a crucial part of every vehicle’s safety system. Any flaw increases the likelihood of an accident.

When it malfunctions, you can have less vision when the weather’s bad outside. As a result, especially in severe weather, you’re more likely to be involved in a traffic accident. So, it is essential to regularly check the fluid levels in the front and rear wipers, and replace any wipers that squeal or smear.

  • Fill-up Tank

Long-distance trucking requires having a full tank. One of the simpler tasks for you as a long-haul truck driver is to get fuel, preferably a night before the trip. It won’t be much fun for everyone in the truck to wait while you foolishly fill up at the beginning of the journey since the fuel light is blazing.

  • Prepare Emergency Kit

Important to carry toolbox for emergency repairs

Having the necessary equipment to survive is vital on a long ride. It is always best to have a toolkit, first aid kit and a fire extinguisher on hand. Lighting is also needed to see what you are doing and what is ahead of you. Additionally, when travelling, accessories like gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer come in handy because you never know who has touched the objects you’ll come across in public areas.

  • Clean Vehicle

Before you vacuum and wash the exterior of your truck, remove all of your belongings to get rid of any extra weight. It will free up space in the vehicle for luggage and other necessities. Riding a clean truck isn’t only good for your health, it also allows you to maximize your fuel efficiency by getting rid of excessive weight.

Driving a truck isn’t for the faint of heart.  When planning a long trip, having the required knowledge, tools, and equipment is just the start. You must also get yourself ready for unforeseen circumstances when preparing your vehicle for a long road trip. So, it is best practice to have a truck maintenance checklist to help you prepare for the long ride. 

For a top-rated truck service repair in Detroit visit Turbo Express or call (289) 981-7002. We are a team of highly experienced and trained staff offering first-rate comprehensive inspections and precise diagnoses.  

Turbo Express

Samuel Kurda

Samuel Kunda is the showrunner of Turbo Express, a company that provides full-service diesel truck repair for truckers, logistic companies, and personal drivers in Ontario and the US. With over 30 years of experience in the business, Sam is an expert in all things truck-related and has a solid track record of providing repair services for various clients. He is also passionate about sharing his knowledge and expertise on his company's blog to help people with their truck and diesel problems.

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September 2023