If you are a new heavy duty truck operator, and you work for your own trucking business, you will soon find out the importance of maintaining your vehicle. By tweaking a few of your driving habits, you'll be able to extend the life of the parts that make up the mechanics of your vehicle. If you drive long distances with your rig, the braking system is one you will need to have working up to par each time you hit the highway. Here are some tips you can use to help you increase the life of your braking system.
Plan Your Route In Advance
Before you head out to make a delivery, take time to plot the route of your trip so it utilizes major highways for the bulk of the ride. Get online to look at highway department websites for the roadways you plan on using. Most sites will supply maps showing areas with construction on these highways. Knowing where you will need to slow down will prepare you to do so in advance of the areas where speed restrictions are in place. This will help you refrain from needing to brake in a hurry as you see signs to reduce your speed. You can slow down your speed gradually by allowing your engine to do the bulk of the work in the miles before the construction, helping your brakes to stay intact for longer.
Get Service Regularly
Rather than wait for your brakes to deteriorate, take your heavy duty truck to a repair shop at regularly scheduled intervals. Let the mechanic know the number of miles you routinely put on your vehicle in a week so they can give you an estimate for when you should come in to have the brake pads replaced. At your appointments, they will check your brake lines and add fluid if necessary.
One way to keep on top of brake usage is by using a brake wear gauge. This is a chart provided by the brake manufacturer alerting consumers when to replace the brake in its entirety according to how much of the brake has disappeared. In most cases, when the brakes wear down to about half of the width of the original size, they should be replaced with new ones.
Keep On Top Of Weather
If you need to drive your rig in inclement weather during colder months, be aware of the harmful de-icing chemicals used to treat roadways. If a highway uses calcium and magnesium chloride to treat roads, your vehicle is at risk of premature brake wear. This is because these agents naturally draw in moisture, hence the reason they are used to help protect roads. When this matter gets kicked up into your brake area, it will draw in moisture from the air, causing corrosion and rusting to occur within the braking components.
After returning from your haul, wash down the underside of your vehicle to remove some of the road treatment debris. You can pull the drums off the sides of the brakes to expose them and use a mild detergent to scrub down the part showing. Rinse well to remove the soap before placing the drums back into place.
For more information on heavy duty truck brakes or other parts, contact a company like King George Truck & Tire Center.