As an owner of trucks, trailers, vans, or other large transport vehicles, it is your utmost priority to ensure that the cargo makes it from point A to point B in the safest, most efficient manner possible. Of course, in an ideal world, that would mean no traffic jams, no inclement weather, and no roadside breakdowns. However, all three are innate characteristics of the job, and while we can’t control traffic patterns or rough weather, there are some things in our power to help control roadside breakdowns and avoid them altogether. Here are 7 tips and tricks to avoid breakdowns and what you should do when it happens.
1. Get regular maintenance check-ups and inspections. Just as you go to the doctor annually for a wellness check, it’s equally as important to do so for your fleet. Make sure to not miss your 90-day or routine inspection, because catching smaller malfunctions at the onset will save you having to pay for larger malfunctions in the future.
2. Inspect the vehicle yourself. Before, after, and during your trip, make sure you are inspecting the vehicle yourself. Walk around the vehicle, pop the hood, and inspect the various components of the vehicle. Even if you are not a skilled mechanic, there may be some components that, when malfunctioned, are visible therefore giving you a heads up that something needs to be professionally inspected.
3. When you breakdown, pull off on the widest part of the shoulder. There is no such thing as an ideal place to breakdown. There are however better places to pull off should an unexpected breakdown occur. Find the widest part of the shoulder and pull off to the side if you feel your vehicle start to malfunction. If there is no particular wide part of the shoulder, try to get yourself onto an off-ramp and pull off there.
4. Make it obvious you’ve broken down. This tip may be a head-scratcher however it could help you avoid additional problems when you’re dealing with a breakdown. Make sure to pop your hood, put out your flares, and turn your flashers on when pulled over. While this is especially important at night, it is also critical during daylight hours. Drivers are often distracted, and all it takes is one unaware driver to collide with your vehicle. Do everything in your power to ensure that you and your vehicle are seen while you are dealing with the vehicle malfunction.
5. Have supplies on hand. Ensure that you have an extra supply of food and water with you. Breakdowns are never expected and happen during the most inopportune time, such as in cold weather or a remote area. Having a surplus of food and beverages will not only make you more comfortable, but it will also give you the energy needed to keep you going.
6. Do not panic. Don’t break down during a breakdown. Do your best to remain calm, cool, and collected, and know that in one way or another, there is a solution to your breakdown. Irrational and often bad decisions are made when we panic, therefore it is best to remain as level-headed as possible to make clear decisions, to get us back on the road quicker and most efficiently.
7. Run through a breakdown situation before you hit the road. This tip is geared towards those new to the road, however, whether it’s your first drive or thousandth, it’s still beneficial to run through the steps in the case a breakdown happens. Pretend like your vehicle has just stalled out and you are on the side of the road. What do you do? Who do you call? What do you have in your cabin to eat and drink? All of these questions are ones that you should be able to confidently answer by the time you hit the road.
Breakdowns are never ideal, but with our truck and trailer repair services which include 24/7 roadside repair, our team of highly-skilled fleet experts will help identify the problem before it occurs, and be there for you when it does.
Call us today at 330-925-5339 or check-out our repair options!