The maintenance required for a breakdown truck varies dramatically from the maintenance needed for commuter cars. Breakdown trucks often pull heavy loads, such as large vehicles and boats. Owners of breakdown trucks should start with basic maintenance, but then consult with their owner's manuals to find additional maintenance tips.
Use Synthetic Engine Oil
Conventional engine oil causes carbon to accumulate on the pistons within the combustion chamber and near the back of the throttle blade. Carbon accumulation not only produces loud, irregular engine noises, it also impedes the performance of the breakdown truck by vastly reducing power and causing sputtering up steep inclines. Heavy-duty synthetic oil from a brand name producer provides breakdown truck owners with better performance, especially for hauling very heavy loads. Breakdown trucks that operate exclusively on synthetic oil can exceed 10,000 kilometres between oil changes.
Monitor Other Fluids
Because of stronger molecular structures, synthetic transmission fluids are the best way to lubricate the transmission. Breakdown trucks constantly switch gears during the vehicle removal process, which places a strain on the gearbox system. The molecular structure of synthetic transmission fluids prevents shearing, a common problem in both transmissions and axles due to rampant gear-to-gear contact. Breakdown truck transmissions experience increases in temperatures, and the properties inherent in synthetic transmission fluids sharply reduces gear wear. For lubricants utilised to enhance axle performance, many breakdown truck experts advocate for mineral oils, since the oils remove heat caused by axle friction.
The stop and go nature of driving a breakdown truck requires owners to check the braking system regularly. When brake shoes wear too thin, the space between the drum and the shoe grows. The increased space creates more pedal distance before the shoe makes contact with the drum. Owners of breakdown trucks that experience worn drum brakes can expect delayed braking responses, as well as a loss of feel for the brakes. Contemporary breakdown drum brakes feature a self-adjusting mechanism, but breakdown truck owners still need to check on the drum brakes to ensure smooth, safe braking performance.
Other Maintenance Tips
Breakdown truck owners should check the hitch ball once per month to ensure the ball attaches tightly to the draw bar. A loose hitch ball can cause loads such as boats to sway in traffic and potentially hit another vehicle. Owners should also examine the bolts that connect the receiver to the frame rails. Bolts can degrade because of corrosion and age. To prevent corrosion to the hitch and ball, inject silicone into the wiring connector and hitch coupler. Tyre rotation should occur every 5,000 kilometres and full tyre replacement should happen once per year.