One main concern in preventing costly big rig wrecks is to ensure that all tractor trailers on the road get the maintenance required to keep them running well. Truck accident attorneys who deal with the aftermath of injurious wrecks know that many crashes could have been prevented had better truck care been provided. While all trucks on the road are subject to daily observation and periodic safety inspections, safe travel also depends on proper function as well.
To keep vehicles in their best running condition, drivers and truck owners should consider the following easy maintenance tips. Doing so will help reduce the chance of breakdowns that can result in dangerous big rig wrecks. Most of these checks can be easily incorporated into a driver’s daily vehicle inspection before heading out for a long day on the road.
Monitor the Tires - Tires are the one item on all big rigs that receive the most abuse and require the most monitoring. Tire pressure should be checked daily and accompanied by a visual inspection. This can take a bit of time since there are 18 tires that need attention. Truck accident attorneys stress that this maintenance is one of the best ways to prevent blowouts and other issues that can cause dangerous big rig wrecks, sending clients to their doorsteps.
- Monitor the Brakes - Besides the tires, the brake system also sees a high amount of use and abuse. Yet without properly functioning brakes, deadly crashes are possible. Drivers must be aware of brake sensitivity and function while driving and take note of any vibrations or lack of response. Drivers should also be well-trained in how to properly adjust their brakes for maximum effectiveness with minimal wear and tear.
- Monitor the Oil - Oil is critical in keeping the engine running smoothly and performing its best. To prevent costly damage to the engine, drivers should check oil levels daily and watch the oil pressure gauge. The oil should always be changed according to the schedule suggested by the truck manufacturer to prevent oil breakdown that could allow additional wear on the engine.
- Monitor the Radiator - Along with having good oil flow and pressure, every large truck also needs a radiator filled with clean coolant. Check the radiator daily to monitor levels and top off the coolant as necessary. Always use the right refrigerant for the specific engine and have the radiator flushed regularly. If a coolant leak is noticed, it should be dealt with immediately since a lack of refrigerant can destroy an engine just as quickly as a lack of oil.
- Check the Fuel Vent - Before hitting the road after an overnight or multiple-day stop, drivers should also check their fuel vent. It is not uncommon for this vent to become clogged or even to play host to wasps who build nests there during the summer. A clogged fuel vent can cause a truck to function like it is running out of fuel or mimic other problems and reduce fuel efficiency.
- Park Big Trucks Level - Vehicles with dual fuel tanks can experience rough starts if they are parked on unlevel ground that allows the higher tank to empty into the lower one. Air sucked into the fuel system can affect engine performance, causing hesitation that could result in a lack of passing or maneuvering power. Truck accident attorneys suggest that anything that prevents a driver from maneuvering the vehicle as necessary could result in an accident and reduce fuel efficiency.
Proper maintenance should be a high priority for all truck owners and drivers. Truck accident attorneys suggest this may help prevent accidents. The above tips can be very easily added to a truck’s daily inspection if not already part of it. Preventing major failures is always a concern for preventing big rig wrecks and the smaller details do matter. Trucks that run their best are more reliable overall and less likely to break down and cause serious accidents!
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 408-2190