For many commercial or owner operator truck drivers, taking good care of your vehicle is about keeping up with maintenance. However, there is another side to truck care that gets less attention: your driving habits. In fact, driving habits have a big effect on maintenance costs and the life of a truck.
This makes sense given the amount of damage abusive driving can cause. However, even some kinds of driving habits not considered abusive will also accelerate wear and tear. As providers of commercial or owner operator truck insurance in Tennessee, we wish to share these six maintenance-saving driving tips:
Avoid Poorly Maintained Roads
Roads in bad shape subject your rig to potholes, cracks, and uneven pavement. Even a single pass over severely damaged pavement can damage your truck. If you’re using these roads as short cuts, you might want to reconsider. Their effects on your maintenance costs probably aren’t worth the time or distance saved.
Avoid Stop-And-Go Traffic
In addition to the lost time and accident potential, increased wear and tear is yet another reason for avoiding stop-and-go traffic. Constant braking and acceleration increases wear on the brakes and places extra stress on the engine.
Idling increases fuel consumption and places extra wear on your engine. In fact, idling causes greater wear on engine parts than normal driving. Use an auxiliary power unit for your air conditioning, heating, and other power needs when parked.
Avoid Needless Braking
Avoid riding the brakes. This needlessly wears your braking system. When driving at highway speeds, looking further ahead will allow you to start slowing down sooner. With plenty of advanced warning, you can use wind and rolling resistance for the initial slowdown.
Don’t Use the Transmission as a Parking Brake
When parked on a hill, use the parking brake. Engage the brake so that it bears the truck’s entire weight. This is important, because using the brake after the weight shifts to the transmission serves no purpose other than acting as a backup.
Warm up Your Truck, but Not Excessively
Driving away on a cold engine is hard on its components because fluids such as the oil haven’t thoroughly penetrated the engine. On the other hand, too much idling wastes fuel and causes the wear discussed previously. Allow 40 seconds of idling during warm weather and longer for cold weather. Drive easy until your engine gets up to its normal temperature.
In addition to protecting your truck against excessive wear and tear, protect yourself against the financial hardship of an accident or theft by getting enough Tennessee commercial or owner operator truck insurance. Contact us today for more information.