If you manage a mining operation, you know that the condition of your fleet is a crucial element in your success. You have invested a lot of time and money in your mining fleet with the idea that they will work hard for you for a very long time. That won’t happen unless you have a solid mining truck maintenance plan. Good mining truck life starts with buying reliable trucks with quality parts, but to really get the most out of each truck, you need to design and stick to a comprehensive haul truck maintenance schedule.
Important Mining Truck Maintenance Tips
Good mining truck maintenance doesn’t just increase mining truck life. It can also make your truck more efficient so you can save money on fuel, it can reduce the risk of a costly and time-consuming vehicle breakdown, and it can even get you a better price should you ever decide to sell the vehicle.
You should schedule a maintenance inspection for each of your trucks once a month. These inspections shouldn’t need to take too much time and can help you identify easily fixable problems before they turn into expensive repair bills.
Your checklist should include:
- Air filters: Replace when dirty.
- Alternator: Test to see if it is working properly.
- Battery: Check for corrosion and test the battery’s charge.
- Brakes: Check brake fluid, check for leaks.
- Cab of vehicle and windshield: Make sure the vehicle is clean throughout. Replace wiper blades every six months.
- Carburetor and distributor: Make sure they are undamaged and in good working order.
- Exhaust system: Check for broken or loose exhaust supports or clamps. Make sure the muffler and pipes are undamaged. Replace any damaged or corroded parts of the exhaust system.
- Fan and belt: Replace any worn-out belts or brittle hoses. Hoses should not be too hard or too soft. Tighten all clamps.
- Fuel line and fuel pump: Make sure there is no damage and no leaks.
- HT leads: Make sure HT leads are in good order.
- Ignition coil: Verify that the ignition coil is undamaged.
- Lights: Make sure all lights are working and adjusted properly. Replace any burned-out bulbs.
- Oil: Check the oil level and add oil if necessary. Change oil every three months. Be sure to use the right oil for this vehicle. Using the wrong oil can reduce fuel economy and put a strain on your engine. Change oil filter if necessary.
- Radiator: Verify that the radiator is not corroded, leaking, or otherwise damaged
- Seat belts: Make sure they are clean and free of debris and that they work properly.
- Shock absorbers: Test and replace if necessary.
- Spark plugs: Replace if necessary. Make sure leads are whole and secure on both ends.
Your tires may be the most important part of your truck because they’re the means of hauling your load – and it is very important to maintain them properly. Good tire maintenance can reduce the risk of blowouts, improve fuel economy, reduce stress on your drivers, and generally help your trucks last longer. Tire maintenance steps should include:
- Rotate your tires every three months.
- Make sure your tires are inflated to the correct air pressure.
- Tighten loose wheel nuts.
- Balance wheel assemblies.
- Make sure you have proper wheel alignment.
- Install a tire and wheel conditioner to protect your tires against pitting and corrosion.
Professional Mining Truck Maintenance
The above list breaks down many great ways to make sure your trucks stay in top condition, but it is not necessarily a comprehensive list for your particular truck. Other maintenance issues may arise that you need to address. It’s a good idea to bring someone in for professional haul truck maintenance at least once a year to catch and resolve any lingering or complex issues you might have missed with your monthly maintenance activities.
This is also a good opportunity to review your monthly maintenance schedule with a professional to make sure you are covering everything you need to address with your own truck maintenance.
Using Sound for Truck Maintenance
While monthly self-maintenance and annual or semi-annual professional maintenance for your mining truck can help you ward off a lot of potential truck problems, it’s possible for some issues to arise without your noticing. One way you can be vigilant in preventing mining truck issues is by listening to your truck. Oftentimes, your truck will tell you if something is wrong. Some ways that your truck may talk to you when it needs help include:
- Fan belt squeaking: Replace fan belt.
- Clicking when doing a front wheel turn: Fix the front shaft ASAP.
- Rhythmic wheel clicking: Check wheel bearings and replace if necessary.
- Change in engine tone: The engine is overheating. Give it a chance to cool down.
- Engine knocking: Switch to a lower gear. If you continue to hear engine knocking, change the oil. If you still hear it, service the engine.
- Truck backfiring: Bring the truck in for service as soon as possible.
More Truck Tire Maintenance Tips
When it comes to mining truck tire maintenance, IMI has the solutions to help you right now. TOTAL Tire and Wheel Conditioner is extremely reliable protection for your wheel-end to protect against wheel corrosion, scale and pitting, and to reduce air loss through preserving the tire inner liner and bead area. Remember — the better you take care of your mining truck tires, the better they will take care of your trucks, so give them as much attention as you can.
For more information about our tire, wheel, and fuel-preserving solutions or other truck tire maintenance tips, call IMI at 1-800-233-7086 or contact us online now.