June 21, 2023

Preparing Your Truck For Summer Driving

semi truck on open highway

Here at STEMCO, we’re always thinking proactively to help make sure our customers get the most out of their fleets and that each truck is in the best condition possible year round. Summertime is here which means so are clear skies, sunshine, and long days of driving on simmering hot, “fry an egg on it” pavement. Taking care of your equipment now will set you up for safe, reliable transport, ensuring your entire fleet is running at peak performance.

During the winter season, it’s easy to keep your head down, stay out of the cold, and save pesky maintenance tasks for spring or summer. But during the summer, it’s crucial for drivers to be conscious of the needs of their truck while paying close attention to weather. Set yourself up for success this summer by making sure your fleet is in prime condition while drivers stay in tune with conditions ahead of them.

Circle back on our Spring Cleaning Checklist

Let’s be honest, sometimes spring is sprung on us and spring cleaning begrudgingly turns into early summer cleaning. And that’s okay! As long as you’re staying in touch with the needs of your fleet while setting aside time once in a while to plan proactively for long stretches of driving.
Making sure your oil levels are healthy is the first step toward protecting the health of your fleet over the summertime. High temperatures lead to hot engines and making sure your engine has enough oil to stay lubricated will be your first line of defense during long summer drives. Make sure to take tabs on your wipers, fluids, and tires too. It’s important to make sure your trucks’ wipers and wiper fluids are ready for action this summer, because there’s nothing worse than an obstructed view in the midst of heavy dust or rain storms. Checking the air pressure and tread on your tires is also wise during the summertime (make sure to check on the spare tire too). The tire pressure is the #1 controllable expense for tire wear and fuel mileage. Your tires will lose or gain about 2-3 psi for every 10 degrees of temperature change. Keeping the correct tire pressure will improve your fuel mileage and increase the life of the tires.

Light up the road

Checking the conditions of all of your vehicles’ lights can help keep everyone safe in the dark. Cleaning the dirt and grime off of the plastic covers on front lights can help illuminate the road and its surroundings. This is especially important during the summer when deer, skunks and racoons are more frequently crossing the road. Making sure to check brake lights, turning signals and other orange/red lights along the sides of the semi too.

Semi soak and suds

Under the shining sun, there’s nothing better than seeing the chrome, reflectors and side panels of your fleet shining right back at you. After you’ve put in all the work to make sure your rigs are operating smoothly, make sure to show your fleet some love by giving each truck a fresh wash with water and soap. This summer, drive and arrive with confidence, safety and style. After all, that clean first impression never hurts.

Tune in to heavy traffic

Nice weather means lots more people occupying the roads on vacations, road trips, and on their way to events. Make sure to be extra conscious of roads that are typically busy and be extra cautious. Being aware of weather conditions for the week can also help drivers forecast potential traffic levels. With more people out and about during the summer, it’s also important to remind your fleet drivers to check their security systems to ensure your trucks are secure when drivers step away to fill up gas or grab food.

Heavy traffic is also another reason to rely on quality components. When you choose superior products like STEMCO hub assemblies, axle fasteners, king pins and more, you’re committing to roadway safety, with longer runtime and fewer roadside delays. As long as your vehicle has high quality components and is running smoothly out on the road, you’re Making the Roadways Safer.

Never underestimate the sun

Staying hydrated is one of the most important things to remember during the summer driving season. In extreme summer temperatures, it becomes all too easy to face exhaustion and dehydration. Be sure to stock plenty of water for your drivers to keep them awake and sharp.

While the sun can bring on dehydration, it can also be harsh on skin. It’s sometimes hard for drivers to escape the sun, so making sure your drivers have a long-sleeved shirt and a bottle of sunscreen in their truck at all times will make sure they’re staying protected. Remind your drivers to check the 7-day weather forecast ahead of long trips to help ensure they’re prepared.

For more fleet maintenance tips check out our other articles on the Wheelhouse Blog.

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