The Ultimate Vehicle Maintenance Checklist

Proper maintenance of your vehicle not only helps to get the most mileage out of it, but it is also one of the most effective ways to avoid a dreaded breakdown on the side of the road. While the maintenance requirements for your specific vehicle may vary, you should be aware of the most common tasks that are required for the majority of cars and trucks on the roads. Read through this list and make sure to take your car in for a tune-up if you notice that it is in need of professional maintenance.

Check the Oil and Coolant Levels

The fluids in your car play an essential role in temperature regulation and help to lubricate moving parts. Begin by checking the oil and coolant levels regularly to make sure that the proper amount of fluids is in the engine to keep everything running smoothly. While you can expect some fluid loss over time, you should be concerned if you notice a drastically low level, since this could indicate a leak in your system. Make sure to mention this when you take your car in for its regular oil change and tune up.

Get the Brakes Inspected

The brakes on your car are subjected to tremendous pressure every time you tap the pedal. While high-quality brake pads and rotors can last for many miles, you must schedule regular brake inspections to make sure that they are in top condition. Between servicing, keep an eye out for warning signs of wear such as squeals when you brake or a pedal that has more give than it normally would.

Assess the Safety Features

At some point, almost every driver has noticed someone driving with a taillight out, and failing lights put you at risk for an accident. Face your car toward a solid wall such as the garage door, and turn on the headlights to see if you can detect them working. You can also recruit a partner to watch as you tap the brake lights and use the turn signals to make sure that they are working properly.

Give the Tires a Lookover

The tires on your car help to maintain traction on slippery surfaces, and they must be properly inflated to keep your car steering properly. Check the tire pressure every time that you stop for gas, and inspect the entire set at least once a month. Keep in mind that your spare tire should be included in this inspection so that it is always ready in case of an emergency.

Find Out About Long-Term Maintenance Needs

While oil changes and tire inflations occur often enough that you should not forget them, there are other maintenance needs that happen after a certain number of months or miles pass by. When you take your car into the auto service center, ask about what maintenance tasks are coming up so that you can plan accordingly. For example, four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicles have a transfer case that requires the fluid to be filled and replaced periodically.

Although car maintenance might not be your favorite thing to do, it is critical to stay on top of the tasks that keep your vehicle running and protect your safety on the road. When you are strapped on time, just bring your vehicle in for a professional check up so that you never have to worry about an essential task going undone.

Heavy Duty Towing: How to Stay Safe on the Road

Whether you drive a big rig or a garbage collection truck, you know that there is tremendous responsibility when you get behind the wheel of a heavy duty vehicle. Naturally, proper training goes a long way toward helping you stay safe on the road, but you must also implement other strategies to keep you and the other drivers on the road safe once you become a professional truck driver. While our crew has heavy recovery equipment that can pull your truck out of any situation, we prefer for you to avoid needing a tow by using these tips to increase your safety on the road.

Do a Pre-Drive Safety Checklist

Safety checks are tedious and time-consuming, but they are also one of the most effective ways to increase safety. Always start your trips by checking to make sure that the fluids are at the appropriate levels and that there are not any torn hoses or frayed wires that could leave you stranded. Your pre-trip safety inspection should also include a check of the tires and brakes to make sure that your truck is in top condition for preventing accidents.

Stay Alert

As you know, it only takes a split second of being distracted to cause a serious accident. Establish a regular sleep schedule, and avoid driving when you are fatigued. Try to avoid relying on caffeine and sugar to keep you awake since these tend to cause your energy levels to quickly fade after the initial burst of energy. Once you are on the road, always try to look ahead for signs of potential problems so you have time to avoid them. Giving yourself enough time to stop long before you have to swerve to miss an obstacle helps you avoid roll-over accidents.

Adjust to Changing Road Conditions

Construction worksites, foul weather, and severe traffic can all occur seemingly out of nowhere, and each of these events places you at greater risk for needing heavy duty towing and recovery services. Make sure to adjust your speed as you hit these types of road hazards, and always leave generous amounts of space between your truck and the other vehicles. If necessary, pull over to the side of the road and assess the situation if proceeding onward seems dangerous.

Use Technology

Truck drivers are fortunate to have new technology available that reduces the risk of accidents. Check out new gadgets such as GPS systems for truckers that alert you of changes ahead such as impending traffic. Many of these devices even provide you with alternate routes that allow you to make good time without speeding, and you can also use these to plan your route since many devices even tell you what lane to get into for an upcoming turn.

With these tips in mind, you will hopefully avoid most roadside emergencies. However, you should always know how to handle the unexpected events such as a blown out tire by finding a safe place to stop while you wait for our heavy towing services. By making safety a priority, you can look forward to spending many years enjoying your career as a heavy duty truck driver.