Spring Truck Maintenance Tips

Kenworth W900 Hood Truck with Kenworth Bug Emblem

Trucks take a beating during harsh winter weather. To ensure uptime, here are 8 spring safety tips for your truck:

1. Inspect your steering and suspension systems.
Check your steering lash to ensure you are within the allowable lash (or free play) distance. The allowable distance changes with the diameter of the steering wheel. Look for misalignment, cracks, missing or loose parts in your suspension. Signs of misalignment include uneven or rapid tire wear, increased fuel consumption and premature wear on suspension parts.

2. Check for missing, non-functioning, or broken parts on the brake system. 
Slack adjusters are required to be the same length from the center of S-cam to center of clevis pin and air chambers on each axle must be the same size. Required air system air pressure is between 90-100 psi (620-690kPA.) Brake system warning devices, such as ABS malfunction lamps and low air pressure warning devices are also required to be functional so test those indicators are working properly before setting out during the event.

3. Inspect coupling devices and fifth wheel components to ensure they are functioning properly.
Safety devices like chains and wire rope should also be inspected to ensure they are strong enough and in working order.

4. Fuel and exhaust systems should be free of loose mounting, leaks or missing parts.
Check for unsecured mounting, leaks, contact between components and electronic wiring and excessive carbon deposits around seams and clamps.

5. Frames should be free of corrosion fatigue, cracks and loose or missing cross-members.
For vans and open-top trailer bodies, inspect upper rails, roof bows and side posts for buckling, cracks or ineffective fasteners.

6. Inspect all lighting.
Check for improper color, non-functioning parts, incorrect mounting and blocked visibility.

7. Ensure your load is secured.
Check tail board security, end gates and rear doors before setting out. Additionally, make sure you have the proper number and size of cargo securement devices for your load and that tie down anchor points have no deformation or cracking.

8. Tires should have proper inflation and be free of cuts, bulges and excess tread wear.
Signs of excess wear and tear on tires include cracks in wheels and rims, bent rims, unseated locking rings, lubrication leaks and broken or missing lugs, studs or clamps.