Maintaining a truck in Australia
Australia is a beautiful country with amazing landscapes but also has some very harsh conditions, and it is particularly harsh for Trucks.
Over 90% of the population of Australia lives in and around Australia’s coastal cities, located mostly in the east and south which means the trucking routes throughout central Australia can be isolated and lonely places, particularly if you break down.
With outback summer temperatures reaching 50 °C, it can make truck driving a challenging career and also some places to live or work there are equally as challenging.
Therefore maintenance is a key component to owning a truck and carrying popular spare parts is crucial also when out on the isolated roads of this great nation.
Here are a few tips from truckies all over Australia which we have compiled for your convenience.
1. When the engine heats up, the oil expands so it is best to check the oil before you leave on your trip. I.e when it is cold.
2. Keep an eye out for any leaks around the engine bay as these can be difficult to spot. If they do occur, it may not always be possible to repair them yourself so obtaining a list of spare parts from the manufacturer’s handbook is critical to keep with you just in case!
3. Don’t forget to check all of the lights in the cab before heading off into the wilds – this will ensure that everything works properly should something go wrong.
4. Make sure that you carry plenty of water because many places don’t supply drinking water or there may not be any places in the more isolated regions of Australia.
5. Always keep track of how much fuel you use and try to avoid using more than half of what’s left in the tank – remember that diesel stations often charge extra for topping up tanks after hours.
6. Never leave children unattended inside trucks even during short journeys; they could get seriously hurt by falling objects.
7. When travelling over long distances, take breaks every few hours to stretch your legs and rest your eyes from staring at the road ahead.
8. Be careful about wearing sunglasses in the evening while driving: they might interfere with your vision which could lead to accidents.
9. Avoid eating very hot food whilst driving as you risk dropping some of the food or drink into your private area and causing an accident. (Ouch!)
10. Take care when crossing busy intersections since drivers tend to drive faster here than anywhere else.
11. Watch out for other vehicles when turning right onto side streets; most people turn their heads slightly towards the direction they want to travel but others look straight ahead without checking behind them.
12. Try to avoid honking your airhorns unnecessarily; it makes traffic flow slower and causes unnecessary stress amongst fellow motorists.
13. Remember to wear seatbelts whenever you’re riding in a vehicle. It doesn’t matter whether you’re sitting in the front or back seats, everyone needs one.
14. Ensure that your tyres are inflated correctly and that they aren’t worn too thin. This means taking regular checks along the way.
15. Look carefully for potholes and cracks on roadsides and bridges. These can cause damage suspension and also put your wheels out of alignment and you’ll need to pay close attention to avoid putting the wheels into these potholes, especially when you are driving on dirt roads or through bushland areas where there is no chance to stop at service stations to get oil or tyres repaired.
16. Never drink alcohol whilst driving as it affects your judgement and ability to concentrate.
17. In order to reduce noise pollution, consider installing soundproofing panels in your truck.
18. Before starting your journey, make sure that all passengers are buckled up securely.
19. Use common sense when parking your truck. For example, if you park your truck next to trees then there could be debris falling from the trees particularly in high winds.
20. Consider buying a GPS device such as TomTom or Garmin. They help you find your destination quickly and accurately.
21. Keep your truck clean and free of clutter. Cleanliness helps prevent dust from getting everywhere including under the hood.
22. Do not overload your truck. Too much weight can affect its performance and stability.
Vacuum trucks, in particular, need to be very careful around overloading