The Most Common Causes of Truck Breakdowns

According to the TMC (Technology and Maintenance Council), tires cause 53.5 percent of roadside breakdowns. However, tires aren’t the only reason of truck problems. Other components like electrical systems, brakes and refrigeration units can also create disruptions. Let’s learn how each part can cause breakdowns.

Components That Can Cause Truck Problems

Truck breakdowns aren’t always predictable, knowing what typically causes them can help to maintain your truck in a proper way and stay safe on the road. Let’s look at components that commonly lead to truck malfunctions:

  • Tires

Tires are the most important elements of any truck because they contact your truck with the road. But, if they’re not cared for properly they can lead to dangerous situations, accounting for more than 50 percent of all roadside failures. Reason why most tires can fail are: Misaligned axles can accelerate tire wear; Under inflation can lead to excessive heat buildup in the tire sidewall; Low tread depth is more sensitive to road damages such as punctures. Try to make sure that your tires have been inspected thoroughly before you hit the road.

  • Brakes

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that brake-related issues cause 29 percent of truck accidents. Disc and drum brakes wear down without appropriate maintenance because they are exposed to consistent heat, pressure and friction. If you have problems with brakes, they’re likely caused by: External corrosion and wear; Air leaks; Internal water contamination leads to airline freeze ups in the winter months. As part of preventative maintenance, include regular brake inspections and service with original equipment manufacturer (OEM)-level components.

  • Electrical System

The electrical system also can cause truck breakdowns. This system primarily consists of the starter motor, battery and alternator. Your truck can’t operate if any of these crucial parts fail to function. Signs of a malfunctioning electrical system are: corroded battery connections; dim or flickering lights; dead batteries; strong, unusual odors; clicking sounds when starting the engine. Remember, even small electrical malfunctions can lead to big damage.

  • Refrigerated trailers

Refrigerated trailers are critical for hauling temperature-controlled freight such as medicine and food. When this trailer breaks down, repairs are needed quickly to protect the load from damage. This situation could turn into a major financial issue. To avoid it, it’s important to inspect the trailer during transit and pay attention to any in-cab signals that show the trailer is not working properly.

How To Avoid Truck Breakdowns

Here are some tips to reduce the likelihood of breakdowns:

  • Conduct a regular preventive maintenance (PM) program.
  • Provide pre-trip, en-route and post-trip inspections.
  • Analyze maintenance data to understand better what you need to do.

Learn More about Truck Breakdowns with New Sound Truck Driving School!

If driving safely and knowing the ins and outs of a truck appeals to you, learn to be a truck driver at New Sound Truck Driving School. At NSTS, you will learn how to manage your truck. You can earn your CDL in as little as several weeks.

Ready to hit the road? Find New Sound Truck Driving School or contact us today at 253-210-0505!