Top 5 Ways To Reduce Down Time on The Road

Time spent stuck on the road instead of delivering goods means less profit. When you’re already running behind schedule, downtime puts clients in a bad mood. Here are five ways to minimize unexpected downtime and increase your efficiency and productivity.

1. Make Preventive Maintenance (PM) a Priority
The best way to cut down on repair costs and expensive road accidents is to avoid them in the first place. Worn parts usually damage other vehicle systems, so putting off making repairs gets very expensive quickly.

Following these tips saves you major headaches:

• Insist on regular preventive maintenance checks
• Don’t rely of OEM requirements as the only indicator of maintenance needs
• If parts are close to breaking, replace them
• Keep track of past parts replaced to establish a reliable inspection schedule
• Invest in radiator protection (bug screen grille covers & winterfronts & rock guards)

Tires are a great example; instead of risking traction and fuel efficiency by running treads bare, replace them at the nearest PM session.

2. Protect Your Truck on the Road
Road surfaces are a nightmare for truck health. Salts and corrosive chemicals constantly attack electrical systems, and rocks are a huge hazard for wraparound windshields – which can take days to replace.

Investing in aftermarket trucking accessories such as hood protectors is a very smart financial move. In addition to protecting your truck’s custom paint job from scratches, rock guards and hood protectors prevent debris from damaging the windshield and radiator. They also increase your visibility by getting rid of insect issues.

There are many necessary repairs that you can handle on your own while on the road, like replacing faulty hoses or switching out batteries. Always drive prepared with portable toolboxes for all your maintenance needs.

3. Give Your Health Proper Importance
As a driver, you might feel that “real road warriors” focus on the job ahead of all else and put themselves second. The truth is that getting enough sleep at night and taking care of your health are important both for your family, your happiness, your sanity and your bank account.

After all, sleepiness is one of the biggest causes of road accidents, and accidents always mean major downtime. When you’re healthy, you have the energy needed to face the long haul year after year.

Here are some tips to sleeping better when you’re on the road:

• Turn off electronic devices an hour or two before bedtime
• Eat as healthy as possible – invest in a portable refrigerator to stock up
• Reduce stress by facing every day as it comes
• Exercise - jogging or stretching works – for 10-15 minutes when you stop

Try to see your body the same way you look at your truck: as a valuable investment that pays big dividends over time.

4. Follow Winter Protocols
Winter brings even more dangers for drivers and their trucks due to poor visibility, icy road conditions and other drivers. Here are some general guidelines for keeping vehicle systems in peak condition during cold weather:

• Always run with full fuel tanks
• Make sure wheels are turning properly
• Give the engine, radiator and transmission time to heat up
• Equip your truck with winter fronts to prevent ice buildup on the radiator

5. Opt for State-of-the-Art Tech
Staying up with modern tech can give you a huge edge. For drivers, GPS devices keep track of road conditions days in advance, shaving tons of time off your planned route. Fleet managers use weather tracking systems that let drivers avoid downtime from storms, interstate congestion and dangerous black ice. Company systems can even take care of logging, letting drivers focus 100 percent on the road instead of filling out paperwork.

Avoiding Downtime Makes Great Financial Sense
Prevention may take some time, but downtime is even more expensive in the long run. Investing in maintenance is totally worth it, keeping trucks on the road and getting drivers to their destination. For other helpful tips and protective trucking equipment, contact our pros.

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