Managing a fleet is a big responsibility, not just regarding the vehicles but also for the drivers. Semi-truck steering issues can lead to serious driving risks and potential accidents. Steering wheels that won’t turn, lock up, oversteers or feels shaky are all signs of steering trouble. Knowing what can cause these issues will help prevent the problem from occurring and keep your divers safe.
Here are some things that lead to semi-truck steering issues:
Uneven Tire Wear or Improper Inflation
One of the most common causes of steering issues stems from trouble with the tires. When tire wear is uneven, leading to the wheel dragging more to one side, it also causes trouble steering. The uneven wear makes it harder to take a turn, slow down, or can cause wandering on the road. Poor inflation causes similar problems, whether over or under-inflated. It can also cause the vehicle to drag left or right and make it much harder to turn a corner properly.
The Vehicle is Overloaded
Overloading is another typical problem and one that leads to more than just load shift troubles. When a semi-truck is overloaded, it causes excess strain on the vehicle. That strain creates excess heat in the steering gearbox, which can cause damage to the steering system. While driving, your drivers may also feel it is harder to turn the steering wheel one way or another. If left alone or overloaded frequently, it eventually risks causing damage and requiring semi-truck steering repairs.
Too Tight King Pins
King pins sit on the front axle and are part of the fifth wheel connection. These help the pivot point and affect the turning radius of a semi-truck. When the king pins are too tight, it prevents the wheels from properly returning to a straight position after making a turn. This can cause the wheels to either sit crooked after a turn or, in serious cases, not recover after a turn, causing an accident.
The Steering Gear is the Problem
In other cases, the steering gear itself is the cause of the problem behind semi-truck steering issues. When the seals on the gear are faulty, broken, or damaged, it leads to a leak of the power steering fluid. This can typically be spotted visually by noticing the leaking fluid, which must be stopped immediately. Another problem with the steering gear could be in the system itself. Loose bolts, improper gear adjustment, and kinked hoses are all issues that cause steering trouble. Excess heat can also create internal damage and steering problems, which often occur when the steering gear is not properly maintained.
We at Motorplex have the experienced, team, and equipment to help handle any job. If your fleet is experiencing semi-truck steering troubles or is in need of a professional semi-truck steering repair, call us! With shops in Spokane and Auburn, WA, we are always ready and nearby to help.
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• Spokane: 509-571-9002
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