A commercial or semi-truck must meet federal safety regulations to operate on U.S. highways, but that does not guarantee that these vehicles are in the best operating condition. Sometimes a fleet manager, company or driver will put off repairs and maintenance to save money. That’s taking on a terrible risk.
Commercial trucks pile on the miles
Commercial trucks and vehicles can travel several hundred thousand miles per year. A semi-truck typically hauls 20,000 lbs. to more than 100,000 lbs. of cargo, and with that amount of weight, the cargo places a great load on the drivetrain, engine, chassis and other components. Thorough and routine maintenance is vital to keep all vital safety systems and components in the best working order. If a failure leads to loss of control, the truck essentially becomes a missile on the road.
A comprehensive safety inspection and routine maintenance are essential for driving a safe truck. According to Journal of the Transportation Research Board, the study found 55 percent of post-crash inspections discovered at least one mechanical violation.
Common equipment failures
Drivers, companies and maintenance crews must keep these vehicles in top operating condition.
- Brake system failures
- Steering rod, power steering pump or equipment failure
- Trailer frame cracked or bent
- Worn or punctured tires
- Worn axles
- Burned out headlights
- Inoperable taillights and brake lights
All of these factors and others can lead to a catastrophic crash that results in injury or death. A safe truck is one that is well-maintained truck. All systems must function as designed, and the trailer load must be properly placed and secured.
Safety is the top priority
Companies, drivers, fleet managers and mechanics need to take all necessary to ensure trucks are road worthy. When truck company personnel keep semi-trucks properly maintained, these trucks are more responsive and easier to drive. Therefore, drivers can safely navigate roadways and deliver goods on time and on schedule.