Roadside breakdowns are unwanted inconveniences that can lead to hours of delay depending on the issue. Worse, breaking down can cause an accident. While tires are often the cause, this isn’t the only reason for unexpected breakdowns and necessary semi-truck repairs. Other factors like the brakes, electrical system, and trailers with refrigerated units are all parts that can cause problems.
The best way to prevent this is to do preventative maintenance to limit the need for semi-truck repairs. On top of that, doing a detailed pre-trip and post-trip inspection will catch any issues early before they worsen on the road. Here are some common reasons why semi-trucks break down:
Tires are especially at risk of damage as they both carry the vehicle’s weight and have the most surface contact. Neglecting tires or not inspecting them before trips is a fast way to end on the roadside for heavy truck repairs. The most common causes are low pressure, damage to the treads, or axle alignment issues. All of these will quickly speed up a tire’s deterioration. With proper tire inspections, you can find issues and repair them before a breakdown happens.
Check the tire treads and depth for any signs of wear, damage, or uneven tread depth on one side, which indicates tire misalignment. Look at the tires’ inside and outside edges for any bulging, which is a sign of interior tire damage. Overinflated tires can also cause tire blowouts, so always check the tire pressure before and after a trip.
The Brakes Need Maintenance
Because brakes are regularly exposed to heat, pressure, and friction, they will eventually be at risk of wearing down. Neglecting to inspect and service brakes regularly can speed up that process. Common brake issues include air leaks, wear, corrosion from the outside, and water contamination. To protect your brakes, do a visual inspection for any signs of corrosion or visible wear. If there is, immediately address the problem to prevent emergency semi-truck repairs while on the road.
The Electrical System Fails
Electrical problems are another critical area on trucks that can lead to breakdowns. The system itself includes things like the battery, lights, and starter motor. Without any one part working, your vehicle can’t run properly or safely. A corroded battery can quickly lead to multiple electrical failures. If there are any signs like flickering lights, strange smells when the engine starts, or noticeable clicking sounds, don’t start a trip until addressing it. Problems with the battery can also cause vehicle fires, respond to warning signs, and take your vehicle in for heavy truck repair on the electrical system as soon as possible.
Refrigerated units require extra care and attention as they transport temperature-controlled loads. If the unit fails or malfunctions, refrigeration and heavy truck repair are needed quickly to protect the cargo from damage. Completing a pre-trip inspection will help catch immediate issues, but continue to keep an eye out while on the road. If any signals indicate something is wrong, pull over to check right away.
At Motorplex, we can help keep your vehicle safe so you can reduce or eliminate roadside emergencies. With fleet maintenance in Spokane, WA and Auburn, WA, we are always ready to help. Contact us now to book an appointment!