How to Maintain Your Dump Truck’s Perfect Condition

yellow dump truck transports sand in a gravel pit

When you have a dump truck, you need to maintain it properly so that it keeps running smoothly, no matter how often you use it. On the whole, it isn’t just about the truck looking clean and rust-free; it also means ensuring all the parts are in good working condition. 

You might be thinking of the tires, suspension system, brakes, engine, and lights, to name a few. But what, exactly, should you keep an eye on when it comes to dump truck maintenance, and what do you need to remember? 

Here are the top tips to keep in mind, whether you have a Freightliner, Volvo dump truck or one from another manufacturer.

Invest in a power washer

Since it’s more than likely that your dump truck will be on some kind of worksite most of the time, it’s also likely that dirt and grime will build up on the exterior. You can’t wash it by hand or with a hose like you would a car or SUV, and unfortunately, a car wash wouldn’t be able to get rid of all the grime that’s piled up. 

That’s where a power washer comes in. The pressure from it will help eliminate the dust and dirt on the outside of your dump truck, and the water will shine things up. Power washers are expensive, but they’re less pricey than a professional truck cleaning service. Shop around and see if you can work out a deal with a supplier, or find a way to rent one.

It’s worth investing in a power washer because, besides making your truck look aesthetically pleasing, it helps ensure the truck runs smoothly. Dump trucks invariably operate at their best when there’s no grime, dust, and grease on any of its parts. 

When using the power washer, just remember not to aim it at the side mirrors because it can break those. The same goes for any lights on the roof. 

Understand your worksite conditions

Let’s say you’ve had no trouble finding work as a dump truck owner and driver. That’s all well and good, but don’t forget to take into account how your working conditions can affect your truck. When you understand the effects of the weather, the worksite, and materials present, you’ll be able to take the appropriate countermeasures, especially when it comes to protecting or maintaining your truck’s undercarriage. 

For example, if you’re working at a wet site and there’s sand – which is abrasive – then you’ll want to check your tracks before and after you start work. That way, if there’s any noticeable wear and tear, you’ll be able to remedy the problem before it becomes unmanageable and calls for a more expensive repair job.

Adjust and clean tracks

A power washer should help you keep your tracks clean, because allowing dirt, mud, and dust to build up or become packed on the tracks will only lead to increased wear and tear. This will make daily operation hard for you, which we’re sure you’d rather avoid. 

As to adjusting the tracks, make sure you follow the guidelines in your dump truck’s manual. It should be your go-to when it comes to keeping your truck in good shape, so consult it regularly. If still in doubt, ask a mechanic. You can read our article on How to Find a Reliable Mechanic and Repair Shop.

You can help maintain your tracks further by trying to minimize running the dump truck in reverse, to also lessen any additional damage.

Don’t overload your truck

It may be tempting to overload the truck so you can finish jobs on time, but in fact, it’s an inefficient way of working. Also, constant overloading can lead to further damage to your truck – and that’s what you’re trying to avoid. When you overload your truck, it’s the tires that suffer the most, to the point that they can be thrown off balance. 

Make sure you check the manual to find out your dump truck’s load limit, and ensure that any loads you carry don’t exceed that. Otherwise, not only will you be stuck with a damaged truck, but you could miss out on a warranty, too. Don’t forget to distribute the load evenly so that no one side or area bears the brunt, especially if it’s rocks or stones that you’re hauling. These need to be laid out in a way that the back of the truck stays level, not to mention won’t cause the wheels to shift out of alignment. 

Go under the hood

A dump truck’s engine calls for practically the same care and maintenance as any other vehicle’s engine, even if it is bulkier and more hulking than that of your typical family car. Unless you have experience in fixing cars, it’s best that you call on a professional mechanic to take care of any problems. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check under the hood yourself once in a while. 

Once you’re familiar with the truck’s engine, you should have no problems checking for potential concerns. For instance, it won’t take long to make sure the engine oil, brake fluid, and transmission fluid is topped up, that the engine block isn’t cracked anywhere, and that any hoses and cables are connected properly. 

These may seem like a lot to do, but they’re well worth the time and effort. After all, you’re relying on your dump truck to help you do a job. Your dump truck is relying on you to make sure it’s in tip-top shape so it can help you with that job for as long as possible.

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