Why Having A Commercial Truck Maintenance Checklist Is Important?

Running a trucking, transportation, or logistics company? If yes, we are certain you are already aware of the importance of having a commercial truck maintenance checklist for your fleet of vehicles.

Vehicle downtime caused by a malfunction or any other reason can cost your business lots of money. However, introducing a simple and effective preventative maintenance program can help you reduce your downtime by 20 percent.

In fact, having a commercial truck maintenance checklist can reduce your fleet downtime and maintenance costs while increasing the lifespan of your vehicle. On the other hand, adopting a transportation management system (tms) can be a cherry on top for you.

Besides helping you reduce fleet downtime and maintenance costs, a robust preventative commercial truck maintenance checklist can help prevent your drivers from most road accidents while ensuring they remain safe on the road.

So, how do you do it? It’s simple—create a commercial truck maintenance checklist and start scheduling it. Read the blog to know what a commercial vehicle maintenance list is, why having one is important, and what items you need to put on your preventative maintenance list.

What is a Commercial Truck Maintenance Checklist?

A commercial truck maintenance checklist is a paper-based or electronic form that comprises items that truck drivers, mechanics, and other related parties must inspect to ensure a commercial vehicle is functioning properly.

It is noteworthy that commercial vehicle maintenance checklists vary depending on the type of vehicle and its usage.

With the help of these checklists, truckers and fleet managers can schedule repairs and maintenance before the vehicle goes to the road. Not only that, these checklists help avoid vehicle breakdowns, ensure trucking companies run their operations smoothly, and save time, money, and effort.

Why is Commercial Truck Maintenance Checklist Important?

What makes a commercial truck maintenance checklist so critical? Why is it so important for trucking companies to consider having one set in place? Well, this checklist is critical for just about every reason you could possibly think of.

When you proactively take care of your commercial trucks, their lifespan will increase, and they will be safer to operate. Both these reasons combined can help contribute to your business’s bottom line.

Below, we have broken down a few important reasons you should implement a robust preventative commercial truck maintenance checklist for your vehicles.

Keeps Your Drivers Safe

One of the main reasons for implementing a commercial truck maintenance checklist is that it helps keep your drivers safe while driving. When a driver is driving a vehicle that weighs more than 33,000 pounds, the last thing they want is getting into a road accident.

Trucks receiving timely maintenance are less likely to get into serious issues such as engine problems or brake failure. As a result, well maintained vehicles are less likely to get into accidents. This will ensure not just better driver safety, but will also increase driver and fleet productivity.

Makes Fleet More Productive

The strength of your reputation will either make or break you, especially when you are in the trucking industry. You can miss out on important deliveries when your vehicles are put on the back burner due to mechanical problems. This can contribute to losing major clients and losing potential business.

No trucking company would want to go down that road, especially when they are working with new customers. Having a preventative maintenance checklist can help ensure your fleet is ready to roll so your productivity and profitability never suffer.  

Helps Stay in Compliance

Fleet safety management is imperative for fleets. Another reason why a preventative maintenance checklist is important is that it helps you stay compliant with safety regulations. All commercial vehicles undergo repeated inspections on both the state and federal levels. 

Even if one part of the vehicle is out of place or not functioning properly, it can lead the trucking company to heavy fines and time spent off the road to resolve the problem.

When trucking companies create and use a commercial truck maintenance checklist, they can be better prepared for every inspection that comes their way and will be less likely to experience any setbacks. 

Helps Save Money

“You have to spend money to make money.” This is an old saying, but it is still very much relevant. It rings true in the trucking industry. A preventative maintenance program will cost you some money initially but will be far more affordable than dealing with frequent emergency repairs.

Other than the cost of repairs and maintenance, vehicles that are not maintained regularly do not run efficiently. Such vehicles tend to be more expensive to operate, reducing your profits over a period.

Using a Routine Truck Maintenance Checklist 

Devising and implementing a robust routine truck maintenance checklist is the best way to ensure that each commercial truck in your fleet is in excellent working condition and ready to hit the road safely.

Your routine truck maintenance checklist should include all the items that need to be regularly monitored and a schedule for when these items would be checked so nothing is missed.  

First things first, you need to start evaluating all your vehicles comprehensively. Just by gathering owner’s manuals, service records and real-time stats such as tire pressure, odometer readings, and mileage, you can get a fair idea of the vehicle’s health and all the other things you need to do to keep it running properly for many years to come.

We have outlined some general items you must include in your routine truck maintenance checklist.

  • Oil changes
  • Replace air filters
  • Test heating and air conditioning systems
  • Check all fluid levels and change them as required (this includes engine oil, brake oil, antifreeze, wiper fluids, power steering fluids, transmission fluids, and differential fluids)
  • Inspect brake systems
  • Inspect wheels, rims, and tires
  • Test seat belts
  • Check tire quality and air pressure
  • Components tightening
  • Monitor steering and suspension systems
  • Check for leaks
  • Inspect the undercarriage
  • Inspect the exhaust system
  • Perform general tuning
  • Tuning of the engine
  • Look for body damage to the interior and exterior of the vehicle
  • Look for any damage to mirrors
  • Tire rotation
  • Lubrication
  • Radiator maintenance
  • Test the horn and see if it’s loud enough
  • Monitor electrical system connections and lighting
  • Check driveshafts, belts, hoses, and CV joints, repair and replace as needed
  • Inspect taillights and brake lights
  • Inspect wheel alignment
  • Inspect the wiper system and look for the driver, passenger side mirrors, and inside mirrors

You can also download the PDF file for the checklist here:

How to Maintain a Semi Truck – Essential Tips

While you have gone through the general items in your routine commercial truck maintenance checklist, you should also know how to maintain a semi truck. For this purpose, we have highlighted some essential tips to help you understand how to maintain a semi truck, such as:

  • Regularly examine your truck for damage or wear and tear
  • Frequently change the oil and filters as per the instructions from the manufacturer 
  • Regularly check the tire pressure and adjust as necessary
  • Always keep a spare tire, jack, and lug wrench in good condition as a backup 
  • Make sure all brakes, lights, and other safety features are in proper working condition

Commercial Truck Maintenance Program 

Develop and start using a comprehensive commercial truck maintenance program to protect your fleet of vehicles and your drivers. The sooner you start using the preventative commercial truck maintenance program combined with the cloud-based TMS software, the more efficiently your vehicles will run on the road, and the more your chances to increase your bottom line.


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Sara Naveed is a creative and digital content writer who uses her creative skills to develop and edit professional web content. Being a writer has always been her dream. She earnestly hopes people appreciate her writing—an asset she deeply covets. Using her 8+ years of working experience, she writes for trucking industry experts who are always looking for better technological solutions to their problems.

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