Know Your Truck
Regardless of the advancements in technology, improved electrical systems and progression in turn-off automation, it’s still a common reason for trucks breaking down; but, why?
Battery performance and longevity is largely dependent on battery maintenance. Whether you’re a tradie who’s just invested in their first truck, or someone who’s just started out in road transport, here’s a couple of quick tips to save your business from losing time and money by being stuck on the side of the road - especially during the colder months:
Have your battery load tested, have the electrolyte checked regularly (if applicable) and ensure your battery terminals are clean; don’t just rely on scheduled servicing.
Extended service schedules mean trucks visit workshops less regularly. You may only have your truck seen-to annually, but your battery needs a little more love than that. Your battery might be optimal in Summer, but, come Winter, the change in temperature can cause it to fail.
According to the experts at Marshall Batteries, colder months are notorious for battery failure. If you’re new to owning a truck, you may not realise that Winter conditions impact greatly on battery life. In extreme cold temperatures, a truck battery can use up to double the amount of power to start the engine as the oil thickens and makes the engine more difficult to crank.
Your battery doesn’t go to sleep just because your engine is switched off. Remember, there are a number of functions that drain your battery – from the fridge to the phone charger. Keep this in mind especially if the nature of your work includes long-haul trips and long rest breaks. Turn off functions that aren’t needed to keep from consuming your battery.
While no single preventative measure can guarantee the life of your battery, combining several of them can mean the difference between a costly, unexpected breakdown – and the mechanical well-being of your vehicle.
Truck Assist | Know Your Truck
Tyres are the only link between your vehicle and the ground. The humble tyre does a lot for a hollow piece of rubber: it transfers forces from the vehicle to the road, provides grip at considerable speed and benefits of handling, while maintaining safety and stability.
At the most basic level there are two factors affecting your tyre life – the unavoidable and the avoidable.
Unavoidable factors are typically uncontrollable environmental and task related factors- some of which you may not even consider, such as:
Climatic conditions and air temperature
For every decrease of 1 degree Celsius, tyre pressure drops by approximately 0.19 PSI. Cold weather means less tyre pressure than hot weather. Lower pressure increases the amount of tyre surface in contact with the road, and makes the sidewalls of the tyres more flexible - compromises grip and handling. It also means that the tyre deforms more due to the weight of the vehicle and this causes heat build-up in the rubber, reducing its life.
Nature of work and road surface
The kinds of roads frequented, as well as the types of surfaces covered are significant determinants of tyre life. Vehicles used across on/off road haulage, quarries, country roads or mountainous routes will have a different shelf life to a vehicle used for urban delivery work or long stretches of smooth highways.
The reprieve from these factors are those that are avoidable or at the very least, manageable. Take a look at some of these factors below, and see if you’re doing everything you can to get the most out of your tyres:
The purpose of balancing tyres is to reduce wheel vibrations to an acceptable level. There are two types of unbalance:
· Static Unbalance – found by the gravity system without spinning the wheel. Effects include vertical jerking, bouncing and centre wear.
· Dynamic Unbalance – found by spinning the wheel. Effects include wobbling and irregular tyre wear.
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