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Whether you’re interested in becoming a diesel technician or drive a diesel truck yourself, it’s important to understand preventive maintenance and the purpose it serves.
Following a maintenance checklist is essential for maintaining your truck and keeping your equipment in good condition, which in turn protects the safety of both you and others on the road. Additionally, performing routine maintenance keeps repair costs
to a minimum.
If you’re looking to learn more about diesel truck maintenance, you’ve come to the right place. Follow along as we share what preventive maintenance is, its importance and a complete diesel truck inspection checklist.
Preventive maintenance, when performed regularly, can extend the lifespan of diesel trucks and improve fuel economy. It can also play an important role in sustaining a truck’s value in resale, as buyers usually want to see the vehicle’s full
maintenance record before making their purchase. For a commercial trucking application, performing regular maintenance will also avoid fines for Department of Transportation violations.
If you’re familiar with diesel trucks, you know that sudden mechanical breakdowns are expensive--however, they can often be avoided with routine inspections. These maintenance checks can be performed based on mileage or time.
While some might consider routine maintenance to be a waste of time, it saves money in the long run. Investing the time and money to keep diesel equipment in good condition optimizes fuel economy and prolongs usage of each part. Skilled diesel mechanics understand the importance of preventive maintenance and are able to complete the necessary inspections and repairs to keep their equipment running at the highest efficiency.
Diesel truck drivers should follow a preventive maintenance checklist prior to hitting the road for each trip. This involves checking the important elements of the truck, including lights, tires, turn signals, hazard lights and much more. Those completing
the inspection should watch out for unusual sounds and basic warning signs that indicate the need for repair, such as fuel contamination, oil oxidation or a black exhaust problem.
Follow along as we share a complete diesel truck inspection checklist, broken down by in-cab inspection, pneumatic system check, cab and body inspection, tire and wheel inspection, engine inspection, air brake inspection and hydraulic brake inspection.
The in-cab portion of a preventive maintenance check covers everything from the windshield to the foot pedals.
The pneumatic system uses compressed air to transmit and control energy. Checking this system involves everything from analyzing the air system for leaks to inspecting treadle valve operation.
The cab and body inspection covers a wide range of parts, from the air compressor to the bumpers.
Checking a diesel truck’s tires is a critical step in the inspection process. This involves examining every tire to ensure it meets the requirements for tread depth and is properly inflated. This can help to avoid problems with alignment, traction,
framework, braking and steering.
Without a properly functioning engine, a diesel truck can’t run. An engine inspection requires a closer look at everything from the power steering level to the engine cooling system. A full diesel engine inspection checklist includes the following:
An air brake inspection is only performed on trucks equipped with air brakes. Brakes are a critical element to inspect, especially before a long trip. A compressed air brake system is a type of friction brake in which compressed air presses on a diaphragm
and applies pressure to the brake pad that stops the vehicle. The diaphragm in the brake chamber converts air pressure into mechanical force. These types of brakes are typically found in large, heavy vehicles, like diesel trucks.
A hydraulic brake inspection is only performed on trucks equipped with hydraulic brakes. Hydraulic brakes use fluid to charge the brakes. When the brake pedal is pressed, the increase in hydraulic fluid pressure forces the brake pistons to push the brake
pad against the rotor or drum. This causes friction and slows the wheels to stop the vehicle.
At Universal Technical Institute, you can gain the fundamentals you need to service powerful trucks and engines while receiving hands-on training with equipment from leading brands in the industry. To learn more, visit our Diesel Technology Program page and request information today.
Want to become a diesel mechanic? Learn about the Peterbilt Technician Institute training program available at four UTI campuses, including Rancho Cucamonga, CA.
Junior Alvarez graduated from UTI Avondale's Diesel Technology Program. He works as a Caterpillar field service tech by day. And he's an entrepreneur by night.
Why do graduates love their experience at Universal Technical Institute? Here are seven reasons...
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12) Based on data compiled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections (2016-2026), www.bls.gov, viewed October 24, 2017. The projected number of annual job openings, by job classification is: Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, 75,900; Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists, 28,300; Automotive Body and Related Repairers, 17,200. Job openings include openings due to growth and net replacements.
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