Vehicle maintenance and replacement is a tough subject. While maintenance typically follows a rigid path — it will eventually lead to replacement.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of gray area in between. That’s why it’s important that you have a strategy that you stick to when it comes to maintenance and replacement. This will not only help you gauge and solve any current issues but also keep you ahead of any future roadblocks.
There are a handful of little details you should always be mindful of when it comes to your fleet. We’re going to go over these details from daily routines and helpful operating tips — to replacing parts every couple of years.
These maintenance routines are exactly what they sound like…routines. They’re something that should be habitual and a part of your daily regimen. While skipping a day or two may not seem like it matters, down the road it can cost you far more than a few minutes of your time.
Pre-Trip (Before Each Service Trip)
- Be sure to fill up with fresh fuel and check the pump system oil
- Take a quick minute to check on the air filter and your tire pressure
- Check your transmission oil and all of your hoses, suction, and discharge valves
- Finish up by checking the pressure gauge
On Your Routine (During Operation)
- Be mindful of the vacuum gauge, relief valve, and secondary trap
- Keep an eye on the main valves and hoses
- Check that oil is flowing to the vacuum during operation
After Your Routine
- Drain the oil catch muffler
- Drain the secondary trap/scrubber
Extended Trips (After Every 5 Hours of Operation)
- Check and wash the air filter in diesel fuel and inlet pre-filter
- Clean the oil tank
- Grease the jackshaft spleen along with other joints
- Flush and grease the vacuum pump and pump driveline
- Finish up by checking the fittings and bolts around the truck
Note: Don’t ever let a truck sit idle for more than a month
- Grease or lubricate all moving parts on cab
- Grease or lubricate all moving parts on the tank
Note: Every month, you should make sure to check the tank bolts and make sure they are properly torqued to the right ft. lbs.
- Thoroughly clean pump and container — refill with the recommended oil
- Depending on the age of your pump and your climate, pumps need to be drained so that there isn’t condensation buildup
- Replace air filter
Note: Every 5 years, the vacuum pump should be overhauled, including the replacement of vanes to assure maximum pump efficiency.
Stick to these steps and you’re fleet will last. Our trucks are only as good as we keep them, so if you want to save money in the long run — it’s important that you maintain your trucks properly.
Truck Replacement Plan
Regardless of how well you stick to the checklists above, eventually your truck will need to be replaced. It’s a sad truth but we all have to face the music eventually. With proper upkeep, you can have at truck running for 10+ years. But you don’t want to run the risk of a truck breaking down on the job and disappointing a client. That’s why it’s important to replace before a break.
Once the maintenance of a truck becomes more expensive than the payment on a new vehicle, you know the time has come.
New Vs. Used
We might be biased, but we always recommend going new. But why? Well, it’s the best way to get the exact equipment specification you need.
If you want efficiency and performance gains with bigger pumps and tanks, this is how you’ll do it. These equate to less maintenance and more profitability.
Buying Vs. Leasing
The truth is, leasing a truck isn’t the most unreasonable way to get the job done. If you do decide to lease, make a plan. That means deciding if you’re going to buy-out at the end of your lease or just leasing for the long haul.
Buying gives you a lot of freedom, especially with the specifications we mentioned earlier. You’re able to build the truck you want and need to get the job done. Spec’ing out a truck for an exact task has a lot of benefits that can lead to less spending over time.
If you want to get the most out of your fleet, sticking to this maintenance checklist will treat you well. Trucks are meant to be used and use leads to wear and tear. With so many moving parts it can be difficult to keep track of them all.
But doing your due diligence to keep up with daily, weekly, monthly and even annual maintenance will keep your trucks on the road longer.
Eventually, you will have to replace. But you can do a lot to mitigate the chances of that happening sooner than later.