12 Truck Maintenance Tips For Delivery Businesses
Delivery services are a fundamental part of trade and commerce. They generally involve transporting products from sellers to consumers or other businesses.
There has always been a high demand for delivery services in this busy world, requiring delivery providers to be remarkably efficient. And with the increase of people buying goods online, there’s an upsurge in the need for timely delivery services.
Delivery services cover a broad scope of industries ranging from food, medicine, to grocery, to mention a few. They involve same-day, on-demand, and overnight shipping parcel delivery to local or global recipients.
How To Run A Successful Delivery Business
To run a successful delivery business, you have to strive to provide tailored services that are speedy, efficient, and with real-time tracking. The operational efficiency of delivery businesses largely relies upon its drivers and delivery trucks, among other things.
Your drivers need to be highly trained in delivery skills and have a presentable appearance that adequately represents your brand. They must know how to handle different materials while maintaining safety and compliance properly. Furthermore, your team must be customer-focused because they’ll always interact with your customers.
On the other side of the coin are your delivery trucks. Investing in delivery trucks for your business will make it more efficient. They’re meant to provide durable long-term use; therefore, you must maintain them well since they’re on the road more than regular vehicles.
When you have a reliable fleet of delivery trucks, you’ll be able to meet your customer’s and business partners’ expectations by making consistent and timely deliveries.
Why The Need To Conduct Regular Truck Maintenance
Trucks are a non-negotiable part of every delivery company’s business and operations model. Keeping them in top condition is then imperative.
Performing regular maintenance checkups on your trucks has various benefits, such as:
- Reduced Downtime
Preventative maintenance of your trucks significantly reduces vehicle downtime. You’ll be able to catch issues early before they become a major problem, thus keeping your trucks on the road. Downtime leads to disruptions in production and inefficiency which can be costly to your operations.
- Better Performance
Regular use of your delivery trucks wears down the vehicle’s parts and components, leading to a decline in overall performance. By scheduling regular inspections and maintenance services, you’ll keep various systems and parts of your trucks working at their peak performance.
- Improved Fuel Efficiency
Scheduling regular maintenance services for your trucks positively affects your fuel mileage. The services help to detect issues that cause fuel loss, such as improperly inflated tires, dirty fuel filters, dirty air filters, clogged radiators, and improperly adjusted brakes. You’ll get time to grease movable joints and pivots, too, and save up on fuel consumption.
- Increased Vehicular Life Expectancy
Maintaining your trucks will keep them in top shape – effectively extending their lifespan beyond expectation. When you maintain a regular maintenance schedule for your trucks, it’ll slow down their overall deterioration. Preventive upgrades and repairs can be performed, allowing your trucks to run longer.
- Enhanced Safety
Ensuring the overall safety of your truck, crew, cargo, and other people is crucial in the delivery business. A poorly maintained truck can cause an accident due to equipment failure and result in severe injuries or even death, as well as damage to property.
- Guaranteed Customer Satisfaction
When your trucks are running efficiently, they’ll be able to make consistent and timely deliveries to your customers. By being consistent in your delivery services, you’ll prove your reliability, creating a strong brand image and enhancing customer satisfaction.
- Save On Costs
Performing preventative maintenance saves you money as you can catch minor issues before they become breakdowns that need costly repairs. Major breakdowns might require you to compensate specialized technicians to perform repair work too. At the same time, you’ll lose productivity and revenue when your truck is inoperable.
Top Truck Maintenance Tips For Delivery Businesses
You can quickly and efficiently carry out a routine maintenance check on your vehicles if you have the necessary knowledge. Here are some simple truck maintenance tips for your delivery business tailored to your trucks.
- Log In Trip Details
You should have a log where your drivers note down the mileage and duration of a trip. Keeping a record of your vehicle’s trip details will help you to know when it’s due for maintenance service. You’ll efficiently be able to keep tabs on how each vehicle in your fleet operates.
- Create A Truck Maintenance Checklist
Each vehicle in your fleet should have its maintenance checklist. Your drivers or maintenance technicians must go through the checklist on a scheduled time that could be daily, weekly, or monthly.
When creating the checklist, you should consider usage data, mileage, and the environment in which your fleet operates. Once the checklist is filled out, drivers should submit it to the appropriate department on time.
- Perform Regular Truck Inspections
One of the effective ways to prevent issues with your delivery vehicles is to perform pre-trip and post-trip inspections.
Performing routine inspections will help you to detect signs of an impending malfunction in your vehicle. They allow you to catch any safety or mechanical issues early before they become full-blown problems. Drivers should complete a detailed checklist for each vehicle before and after a delivery run.
- Check Your Internal Systems
Modern trucks depend greatly on internal systems and other components like the original equipment manufacturer or OEM Volvo sensor that keep their engines running efficiently. Parts like alternators, motors, and batteries are essential in starting the engine and providing power to run the vehicle. Don’t forget to examine these parts on each individual vehicle belonging to your delivery truck fleet.
- Check The Tires
Inspecting your vehicle tires regularly is essential as they’re crucial components of a vehicle.
Check the tire pressure and ensure it’s inflated correctly – while following the manufacturer’s recommendation. Maintaining the correct tire pressure prevents damage from uneven wear, provides optimum traction, increases the lifespan of the tires, ensures safety, improves load-carrying ability, enhances braking, and improves fuel efficiency.
Check your tire condition and tread depth for even wear and tear to ensure that your wheels are correctly aligned and that the suspension is in good condition. Rotate your tires to ensure even treadwear on all four tires of your truck. Rotating tires eases the strain on your suspension and extends your tire’s lifespan.
Tires need to be changed when they wear down and the tread becomes too thin, which happens at about 100,000-150,000 miles.
- Monitor Your Fluid Levels
It’d be best if you address your vehicle’s fluids as they ensure that it runs efficiently. It only takes a few minutes to check your engine oil, power steering fluid, engine coolant, anti-freeze, fuel levels, brake fluid, wiper fluid, and transmission fluid to prevent significant problems.
You should maintain the fluids at the recommended levels and change them on time as per the owner’s manual. If you notice a drop in the fluid levels during your checks, it might indicate an overconsumption or leak problem that you must fix before it escalates.
- Replace Your Air Filters
Cleaning air filters is said to enhance fuel efficiency, extend your engine’s lifespan, optimize engine efficiency, and sustain adequate acceleration. Clogged air filters limit the air intake into your engine, reducing its power and lowering fuel efficiency.
You must change air filters regularly and more often if you drive on dusty or dirty roads to keep your vehicles running efficiently for longer. Replacing air filters is a type of repair you can do on your own. You only need the proper tool kit to do this and you’re good to go.
- Change Your Engine Oil Regularly
Clean engine oil is essential for your vehicle’s smooth running as it lubricates and protects the engine. Vehicle engines contain many moving parts that create friction, leading to heating.
Besides maintaining lubrication, engine oil helps to cool down the engine components. Engine oil helps prevent premature engine wear, transfer heat, prevent corrosion, and remove contaminants such as sludge and engine wear particles, keeping your engine at optimum condition.
Nonetheless, the efficiency of engine oil diminishes over time, and as it does, friction in the engine increases. Increased friction in your engine poses a severe high-risk engine failure. Your truck will not be functional if it has an overheating engine unless it is repaired or replaced.
Fresh oil prevents engines from wearing out prematurely; thus, it’s essential to change your engine oil every 5,000 to 7,000 miles or more frequently if your trucks are heavily used.
- Check Your Breaks
Brake failure can lead to severe road accidents. Thus, you should conduct routine checkups of your vehicle’s brakes. Brake pads wear off every time a vehicle brakes; eventually, they require replacement upon reaching a minimum wear state.
Sometimes the braking system can be unbalanced, leading to uneven wear from side to side and front to back. When this occurs, your brakes need to be repaired or adjusted to ensure proper braking performance.
- Check Your Exterior Lighting
Exterior lighting is vital as it ensures the proper functioning of a vehicle. The headlights, signals, brake lights, hazard lights, tail lights, and reverse lights on your vehicle are essential for safety.
A quick walk-around can verify if there are any burnt bulbs that you should replace before embarking on your next trip. Checking to ensure that your exterior lights are working correctly will help you to avoid wasting time and attracting fines after being pulled over.
- Maintain The Exterior Of Your Trucks
Cleaning the exterior of your vehicle not only makes it shine yet protects it from corrosion as well. It helps to protect your paint and get rid of salt and other harmful chemicals that cause rust.
It’s imperative to clean your trucks during winter, as snow mixed with sand and road soil quickly causes corrosion. Plus, it’s best to clean your vehicle after it rains to protect against corrosion and eliminate pollutants from acid rain that could damage your paint.
Cleaning your vehicle should be done every ten days, which will help prevent contaminants from damaging your clear coat, primer, paint, and metal. It’d be best if you considered investing in a well-sealed paint coating to avoid paint chips that can cause rust on your vehicle’s body.
- Understand Your Trip Condition
Understanding your trip condition will help you to know how exactly to maintain your vehicle based on your usage. Knowing your driving conditions will enable you to take long-term measures for your vehicle’s care.
You’ll see the kind of maintenance your vehicle needs depending on whether you are making multiple trips, long trips, or hauling heavy loads. The type of roads your vehicles travel on will also determine the nature of maintenance they require.
Maintaining your trucks regularly will make them run more efficiently. If you follow the tips mentioned above, you’ll have a highly reliable fleet that’ll meet your customer’s expectations. Keeping up with maintenance and repairs might be challenging, yet adopting sound policies will ensure better performance. Taking good care of your delivery vehicles ensures optimum performance and a higher ROI.