Preventative Measures For Avoiding Heavy-Duty Truck Breakdowns On The Road

If you manage a fleet of trucks, your worst nightmare is breakdowns. Unluckily, heavy-duty truck breakdowns are inevitable and happen when you have a critical shipment to deliver. When leaving the godown, your truck could be the fittest but develop mechanical failures mid-journey. The breakdown is a disappointment to you and your customer.

Failure to deliver on time sometimes causes hefty losses, especially if the goods are perishable. A few preventative measures for avoiding heavy-duty breakdowns on the road can help trim down the losses.

1. Perform Regular Truck Inspections

Your vehicle inspections are a must before every trip. It is also vital at the end of the trip, but you should not wait until then. Having scheduled stops in between can help save you from breakdowns and accidents. For instance, if your driver stops and notices an almost flat tire, he can fix that before hell breaks loose.

An inspection of the following features before a trip can help highlight issues and save you from breakdowns on the road:

  • Brakes: Brakes are crucial as a breakdown can cause horror on the road. The pads degrade and cause issues in the braking system. Many heavy-duty truck accidents happen due to brake failure. When they fail, it is not easy to control the vehicle. That is already a danger to the driver and other road users. Never set your mind on the road with faulty brakes. Get a mechanic to assess and repair it.  
  • Tires: Weary and old tires majorly cause heavy-duty truck breakdowns. To safeguard your fleet, inspect tires regularly and keep spares. Every truck should have a spare tire and the right tools for fixing in case of emergencies.
  • Electrical Systems: The electrical wiring of your truck is crucial. It keeps the battery connected and other components. Before embarking on a trip, ensure the wiring is in order.  
  • Air Filters: The air filters keep your engine clean. It traps all the debris and keeps the system clean. When the filtration system gets clogged, you have to change it. Do not wait until the air quality in your engine declines. When the engine fails on the road, you suffer significant losses as your truck cannot move. You have to organize towing services. Besides, you do not want to do expensive repairs such as ducts and HVAC unit replacements.  
  • Oil And Engine Coolant: An engine oil and coolant change is crucial after a recommended mileage. The oil viscosity changes and cannot keep the engine in action. If you do not change the levels, the engine may stall and give your truck a breakdown. Also, the coolant levels must be enough to prevent the engine from overheating.
  • Battery: An old battery that requires jump-starting every time you make a stopover isn't ideal. Service your trucks with powerful batteries to avoid breakdowns on the road.
  • Fuel: Embarking on a trip with insufficient fuel is courting breakdowns. A full tank does not hurt. Also, if your fuel gauge signals you, refuel at the next gas station. Do not take risks.

2. Train Your Truckers  

Your truckers are experts, but they need occasional training. One of them is defensive driving. The training involves tactics to deal with potential hazards and road conditions. With these tips, your drivers will reduce breakdowns on the road and the risk of accidents. Defensive driving techniques include;  

Taking Note Of Blind Spots

Blind spots in driving are areas around a vehicle that a driver cannot see. The spots account for over 840,000 accidents annually. That is according to NHTSA - the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Most of these accidents and breakdowns can be minimal with defensive driving techniques. The drivers learn to change lanes by looking out the windows, among other tactics.

Three-Second Rule

This technique helps the driver to prevent forward and rear collisions. It teaches the truckers to allow three full seconds to elapse between when a vehicle ahead of them reaches a certain point on the road and when it takes the driver to reach that same spot.

In adverse weather conditions, this time increases to five and ten seconds. Drivers who follow this rule can prevent accidents and breakdowns on the road.

Emergency Preparation

Conditions on the road may change from bad to breakdowns. How is your truck driver prepared? In the cabin, there should be a first aid kit, mobile phones, tow ropes, torches, water, and emergency telephone numbers to contact in emergencies.


Temperance is part of safe driving. It keeps your truckers safe even when other drivers harass or exhibit rage behaviors. Retaliation and anger waste time and, sometimes, breakdowns and accidents on the road.  

Always Signal On Highways

When driving on long stretches, signal when changing lanes and exiting highways. That minimizes the chances of collisions.

Slow Down To Road Changes

Slowing down doesn't signify weakness on the road. Your drivers should exercise a slowdown in bad weather, animal crossing, and towns when in transit.  

3. Replace Old Trucks

The cost of maintaining a fleet includes replacement. Though a new fleet is expensive, it saves you from breakdown losses. You can allocate the old truck to short-distance deliveries that take a few minutes. Even then, if a truck spends more on maintenance and repairs, it is time to part ways. Get a new fleet with the latest technologies that make transit more reliable and cheap.  

4. Regular Vehicle Servicing

For whatever reason, never skip your vehicle maintenance schedule. The process is a preventive measure for avoiding truck breakdowns. While at the maintenance center, your mechanic can highlight a potential issue that was bound to happen.

The rectification may not be as expensive as replacing a damaged vehicle. During the servicing session, the tech will change the oil and coolant and check the wheel axle and other components. In case of any severe damage to parts, the service guys will let you know.

That way, before you begin your trip, you have no doubts that your truck will reach its destination. Once the servicing is complete, the tech will schedule the next date. The intervals go with the manufacturer's recommendation. They will create a reminder for the next service date to avoid forgetting.

5. Ensure Your Vehicle

Though regular vehicle servicing is preventive, insurance coverage is a must. The insurance covers many risks, including towing, cargo loss, accidents, etc. But insurance doesn't endorse careless driving. You must equip your truck drivers with essential tips, including defensive driving. Get your fleet reliable commercial insurance coverage for any uncertainties that may happen on the road.

A Final Word

There are many preventative measures for avoiding heavy-duty truck breakdowns on the road. Performing a regular truck inspection before embarking on a trip is essential. Check the tire pressure, brakes, battery,  electrical system, oil, coolant, and fuel levels.

Replace old and broken trucks and ensure your vehicles. Above all, you must train your driver on defensive driving. Let them master blind spots, prepare adequately for emergencies, signal on highways, and slow down slippery roads. Teach them the three-second law and temperance on roads. Good luck!

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