First invented in 1898, semi-truck trailers, also known as tractor trailers have come a pretty long way from the days they were mainly used for auto-mobile delivery. Today, they are characterized by a front, powerful engine, eighteen wheels, and the latest in technology, such as machine learning. In a nutshell, tractor-trailers have evolved incredibly since their inception by Alex Winton and are now a crucial part of today’s economy. However, even though they boast better technology than a decade ago, these rigs still experience wear and tear. Therefore, whether you are an owner-operator or a small fleet semi-truck owner, the only way to make the most out of your semi-truck(s) is to ensure that even the tractor-trailer parts that seem unimportant are in tip-top shape.
Important Semi-Truck Parts that are Often Overlooked
If your tractor-trailer is among the 2 million semi-trucks responsible for cargo movement in the U.S., it’s essential you ensure it’s in good shape. This will not only help you maximize its operations but also safeguard your safety or that of your drivers. That said, here are big machine parts that are often overlooked, which you should pay attention to every day for optimal truck performance
1. The Tires
The tires are among the most important tractor trailer parts. Great tires connect the truck and trailer to the road and even improve fuel efficiency. On top of that, great tires can save a life as they enable the driver to navigate icy roads or rough terrains safely.
On that note, make sure you invest in top-quality tires. Why? Well, cheap tires might save you a few bucks but they’ll bite you in the back in the long-run. For instance, bald tires tend to increase braking time; hence, might result in costly accidents that could have been avoided. Other than investing in excellent tires, ensure they are well-maintained as this is the only way to keep these truck-parts in good shape for a long time.
2. The Mirrors
With regular cars, it’s easy to see what’s behind you simply by looking out the back window. But with rigs, that is impossible. This makes big truck mirrors a super important detail in a rig. They enable the driver to maneuver the truck during reverse, be on the look-out for danger while on the road, and seamlessly park whenever necessary.
Despite their utmost importance, big truck side mirrors are often the most overlooked tractor trailer parts by most owner-operators and fleet managers. Always make sure these tractor trailer parts are in great condition before hitting the road. Besides, they are fairly easy to maintain as all you need to do is to ensure they are clean and well-positioned before you start driving.
3. Semi-Truck Lights
Brake lights, turn signals, running lights, and headlights are all critical tractor trailer parts. They often work to increase the visibility of the truck and inform other motorists of the driver’s intention. Headlights for semi-trucks, for instance, light up the way, making it easier for the driver to navigate even in rough terrains and not interfere with the safety of all the other motorists.
Given their essence, you would think that they would be prioritized, but like all other tractor-trailer parts on our list, they also tend to be overlooked. If you’re guilty of that, then you should change your habits from today. Make sure you test each light component of your semi-truck before you hit the road to confirm that it’s working at its full capacity. If any of the earlier mentioned lights isn’t as bright as it should be, check for worn wire insulation, or call your mechanic for maintenance.
Why Invest in Maintenance of the Above Parts
Once they invest in quality tires, mirrors and lights, most semi-truck owners often think that’s the end of it. While it’s true these parts don’t often need as regular maintenance as other semi-truck parts; they are also susceptible to wear and tear.
Ensuring they are checked out every time you take your semi-truck for servicing is the secret to ensure they last even longer and also reduce long-run costs. It’s during such maintenance trips that any imminent problems are identified and prevented before they get out of hand.