October 2, 2014
The heat of summer will be upon us before we know it and if basic procedures are left unchecked it could be disastrous to the equipment and the operator. A keen eye is needed to find trouble spots.
- All fluids need to be checked DAILY.
- Engines need to be shut off at least 5 minutes and on level ground to be able to get an accurate dip stick reading and to prevent over filling. Report any noticeable usage of fluids to the maintenance department so we may determine if it’s the beginning of something severe. Remember fuel expands in the heat, so be careful not to overfill fuel tanks and only park on level ground. Fuel caps don’t always keep it in.
- When pre-tripping any vehicle, look well beyond the obvious. Pay close attention to all belts, hoses, fittings, harnesses and their connections. Try to spot areas that are rubbing, chaffing or corroded. Carry a flashlight.
- Align properly when coupling trailers so not over stress the landing legs and support brackets. Pay close attention to ALL tires when pulling out to insure that none are dragging. We see many dragged trailer tires.
- Keep 5th wheels greased. A dry or un-greased 5th wheel will increase friction between tractor and trailer and cause poor handling conditions and problems for the driver. Uneven tire wear will also result because the driver will need to over steer to keep tractor and trailer straight and in the lane.
- Excessive over speeds >70 mph are being recorded on average of 30% of tractors when engines are down loaded during PM’s. Some as high as 80 MPH and over! This is a highly dangerous habit with the heavy loads we haul. Please watch your speeds and don’t let the load push the truck.
- While problems with batteries are common during winter months. Summer heat really weakens batteries and the additional demand in the winter finishes them off for good. Look closely at batteries during your inspections. Look for leaks, loose connections and corrosion buildup.
- Check you’re A/C now before the days become longer and hotter.
- Please keep engine idling to a minimum. Seek shelter in driver’s rooms whenever possible. Break old habits. Excessive idling wastes fuel, wears engine components and clogs the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) which cause the engine to go into regeneration more often.
- Please use the trash receptacles and vacuum located at the Franklin yard often. Trucks are increasingly left dirty with trash by drivers. These trucks should be treated with respect, they pay your wages.
- Keep close contact with your dispatcher and the maintenance department through inspection report messages with your Qualcomm about equipment issues. Qualcomm messages are e-mailed directly to the maintenance department from dispatch daily. If your cell phones take photos, use photos to show the damage or the problem. Photos can be sent via text message or email to the maintenance shop directly. Remember a picture is worth a thousand words. We appreciate the extra effort made by drivers that openly communicate issues and troubles that need to be corrected.
Thanks from all of us in the maintenance department for continuing to work together, and have a great, safe summer!