Truck Tire Safety Tips – Tech Tip Tuesday

Commercial Tire Safety Tips —————————————————————————

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has advised that exceeding tire speed ratings, increased front axle loads, and increased uptime/equipment utilization have led to increased tire failures on commercial trucks.

Here are some tire safety tips from The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to keep your truck on the road and safe:

Tire Inspection

Examine your tires EVERY DAY for:

Irregular tread wear
Cracking
Bulges
Inadequate tread depth
Cuts
Foreign objects
Other Damage

Inflation Pressure

Improper inflation pressure affects tire wear and fuel efficiency.

GAUGE your tires COLD before each trip
Adjust as necessary

Rims

Mismatched tire and rim components may explode and cause serious injury or death.

ONLY use approved tire/rim combinations of the appropriate width and diameter.

Extreme Loading

Overloading or under inflation causes excessive heat build-up and internal structural damage that can lead to a tire failure.

Speed

DO NOT exceed your tires’ speed rating – Doing so will damage your tires and lead to premature failure.

Contact the nearest service department location nearest to you for ALL of your commercial truck service needs.

Visit our Tech Tips section for more helpful tips.

By |July 11th, 2017|Safety & Compliance, Tech Tips, Truck Service|Comments Off on Truck Tire Safety Tips – Tech Tip Tuesday

Good maintenance practices for steel and aluminum wheels – Tech Tip Tuesday

December 27, 2016
Source: CCJ – Commercial Carrier Journal

Aluminum and steel wheels are practically bullet proof and a daily glimpse for cracks and rust is probably sufficient as long as you take the steps necessary to maintain them.

“If you have good maintenance practices the wheel should last the life of the vehicle, if not longer,” says Brandon Uzarek, product design engineer at Accuride.

If you’re running steel or aluminum wheels, Uzarek says it’s critical to be sure all mounts and surfaces are clean and flat.

Dave Walters, Alcoa field service manager, agrees, adding the most important part of wheel maintenance is making sure the studs, drum and mounting faces are all clean before installation ever takes place.

“Sometimes, excess or foreign material can work its way into the joints and you’ll lose clamping force,” Uzarek says.

Uzarek recommends cleaning the studs when the wheels are mounted and on hub pilot wheels, studs need to be oiled while also oiling the gap between the flange.

To account for any shifting that takes places when the truck finally hits the road, Uzarek advises wheels be re-torqued between five and 100 miles after the initial mount and again every 10,000 miles.

“A lot of fleets do not do re-torques because it’s an inconvenience,” he says.

Walters says fleets can mitigate much of that inconvenience and still reap the benefits of proper torque by taking a 5 to 10 mile test drive after the wheel is initially mounted to settle the joint, then checking the torque.

“If you cleaned them and did everything properly, you shouldn’t have to re-torque them again unless the wheel is removed,” he says, adding this method was included in the Technology Maintenance Council (TMC) Recommended Practice (RP) 237.

Re-torquing practices can vary and Chris Putz, […]

By |December 27th, 2016|Bentley News & Events, Preventative Care, Tech Tips, Truck Service|Comments Off on Good maintenance practices for steel and aluminum wheels – Tech Tip Tuesday

Tips for Air System Maintenance During Winter – Tech Tip Tuesday

December 13, 2016
Source: Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems

Across North America, it’s getting to be that time of year when temperatures regularly begin to dip below freezing—and when commercial vehicle pneumatic systems need a little extra attention. With more vehicle systems incorporating the use of compressed air for non-braking functions—including automated manual transmissions (AMTs), emissions controls and advanced safety technologies—Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC offers the following three keys to air system maintenance during the winter months:
1. Worry about the water
“It’s really not the cold itself that brings the most potential for air system trouble—it’s the moisture that’s brought in with it when the compressor draws in air,” said Richard Nagel, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions, charging group. “If enough moisture makes its way through the air dryer, it creates the potential for condensation within the air tanks—and from there, it can travel downstream, affecting the braking system and other connected technologies.”

If that happens, low temperatures can definitely have a negative impact, freezing the condensed water and increasing the likelihood of component malfunctions in the valves, controls, and solenoids utilized in advanced safety technologies, emissions controls, and automated manual transmissions.

Manually draining the air tanks is a simple and fail-safe step that can help keep the air system moisture-free in winter. Bendix recommends draining the tanks at least every three months for a typical line haul truck, and as frequently as once a month for vehicles with high air demand.
2. Maintain and properly equip your dryer
To prevent moisture freezing in the system, a properly functioning air dryer becomes even more important in cold weather. Unfortunately, winter brings with it several factors that can have a negative impact on a dryer’s capacity for effectively removing moisture from […]

By |December 13th, 2016|Bentley News & Events, Preventative Care, Tech Tips, Truck Parts, Truck Service|Comments Off on Tips for Air System Maintenance During Winter – Tech Tip Tuesday

3 Ways to Achieve Best-Uptime – Tech Tip Tuesday

December 6, 2016
Source: Ryder

Keeping your fleet on the road is likely one of the biggest concerns in running your business. It’s the only way your customers can get what they need on-time, every time. However, keeping up with maintenance demands is difficult. Breakdowns happen, vehicle technology is more complex, talented technicians are in high demand, and maintenance costs are rising.

Do Preventive Maintenance – Staying ahead of potential problems is the most effective way to keep your fleet on the road. This means making sure you perform regular preventive maintenance at intervals that make sense for your vehicles. Proper preventative maintenance includes changing fluids and filters as prescribed by the engine manufacturer, lubricating the chassis, and the comprehensive inspections of tires, brakes, engines, exhausts and drive trains, as well as electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic systems. Cab and body interiors/exteriors should also be inspected, along with refrigeration and cargo-handling equipment (lift and rail gate, e- and f-track). Technicians should also troubleshoot any issues to prevent breakdowns. Driver comfort and convenience features should also be inspected to ensure proper operation.

As you perform preventive maintenance on your vehicles, make sure they are ready for annual U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) inspections as well to avoid any potential violations or downtime.

Schedule all of your preventive maintenance to work with your vehicle’s delivery schedule, so that you will be able to arrange for another to take its place or receive service when the vehicle is domiciled. Make sure you keep a record of all maintenance performed.

If you keep current with your preventive maintenance schedule, you’ll also find you are putting your drivers’ hours of service to best use.

Use Top Quality Technicians – Be confident in the technicians who perform your maintenance. They should […]

By |December 6th, 2016|Bentley News & Events, Preventative Care, Tech Tips, Truck Parts, Truck Service|Comments Off on 3 Ways to Achieve Best-Uptime – Tech Tip Tuesday

How to winterize your truck – tips for trucking fleets – Tech Tip Tuesday

November 24, 2016
Source: FleetOwner.com

Snow, ice and freezing temperatures not only make the roads hazardous for hauling freight during the winter months but can damage equipment and retard fuel economy, too. Here are some tips on how to minimize such winter weather risks. 

Everyone knows operating tractor-trailers during the winter comes with some big risks. But did you know that, on average 467 fatalities are associated with icy driving conditions annually, or that 23% of all vehicle crashes every year – some 1.3 million – are caused in part by inclement weather, such as rain, sleet, snow, fog, and wind? (Those weather-related findings are courtesy Federal Highway Administration research, by the way).

On top of that, cold weather can cause diesel fuel to thicken into “gel” or get waterlogged, potentially damaging a truck’s fuel system and engine. Colder temperatures also affect fuel economy, too, by increasing tire rolling resistance and reducing aerodynamic efficiency, to name just two impacts.

“As winter approaches, we want to equip fleets and their drivers with the best information available for increasing safety on America’s congested and frequently traveled roads,” noted Dean Croke, VP of analytics at Omnitracs, LLC. “With fewer daylight hours and compromised road conditions, seasonal weather creates many challenges for truck drivers.”

Croke breaks down his winter operation advice down into two groups, one focused on drivers and one on equipment. For drivers:

Slow down and be cautious in adverse weather such as rain, sleet, snow, fog and wind.
Always buckle up; safety belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45%, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Keep extra water and non-perishable food in the cab; dehydration and malnourishment can cause weakness, dizziness, confusion, sluggishness, fainting and more, according to […]

By |November 29th, 2016|Bentley News & Events, Commercial Trucking Industry, Tech Tips|Comments Off on How to winterize your truck – tips for trucking fleets – Tech Tip Tuesday

New Jersey Offers Weigh Station Bypass Service – Tech Tip Tuesday

September 22, 2016
Source: FMCSA

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a final rule to amend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to allow the voluntary mounting of certain devices on the interior of the windshields of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), including placement within the area that is swept by the windshield wipers.

Section 5301 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) directs the Agency to amend the FMCSRs to allow devices to be mounted on the windshield that utilize “vehicle safety technology.”

In addition, section 5301 states that all windshield-mounted devices and technologies with a limited two-year exemption in effect on the date of enactment shall be considered to meet the equivalent-or-greater safety standard required for the initial exemption.

The announcement of this final rule is a nondiscretionary, ministerial action that does not require prior notice and public comment under the Administrative Procedure Act.

Click here to read the Federal Register notice.

Updated: Friday, September 23, 2016

Contact the location nearest to you for more information.

Visit our Tech Tips section here.

By |November 22nd, 2016|Bentley News & Events, Commercial Trucking Industry, Tech Tips|Comments Off on New Jersey Offers Weigh Station Bypass Service – Tech Tip Tuesday

Camber and Caster Alignment – Tech Tip Tuesday

Helpful information on Camber and Caster Alignment Information for Technicians

Camber or Caster or a combination of the two seem to be one of the most popular settings for alignment technicians. To be clear, Camber is the inward or outward tilt of the tires relative to vertical and Caster is the forward or rear ward tilt of the king pin relative to the same. Camber is built into the axle and caster is accomplished by elevating the mounts for the front or rear of the leaf springs combined with tapered wedges between the springs and the axle. Since the axle is built with little or no difference in caster from one side to the other (no more than .5 degrees) and is intended to remain that way, use of wedges on one spring stack and not the other, or wedges place in opposition to one another is not a recommended practice. Many alignment techs use Caster and Camber to try and control the tendency of the vehicle to pull in one direction or the other. In fact all manufacturers of axles used in North America that I am aware of: “Expressly prohibits bending of axle beams (hot or cold) to change camber or for any other purpose.” This quote is from the Dana Service Manual and similar statements can be found in all other axle manufacturer’s manuals. This is one of the reasons that I do not spend time on these settings. The other reason is that the steer axle is not the dominate axle under the vehicle.

Consider this: In the US, a standard highway tractor will have one steer axle and two drive axles. The steer axle will carry a normal load of about 12,000 […]

By |November 8th, 2016|Bentley News & Events, Commercial Trucking Industry, Safety & Compliance, Tech Tips|Comments Off on Camber and Caster Alignment – Tech Tip Tuesday

Remembering Pre-Trip Items

Things to remember about trying to remember necessary items for pre-trip inspection

If you’re doing it from memory, you might be missing some important steps

We found this great article from truckinginfo.com about pre-trip inspections.

How good are you at doing a pre-trip Inspection on a trailer? It’s supposed to be done just before the vehicle is pulled away from a parking place and heads for the highway. There are post-trip inspections, too, but let’s concentrate on the pre-tripper.

If you do it from memory, you’re probably missing something. See if you’d cover all these points as offered by East Manufacturing:

1. Inspect for any apparent damage. Look for oil, water and fuel and other fluid leaks.

2. Check to see that all lights function, and that all reflectors are in place and not obscured.

3. Is the kingpin engaged and locked within the fifth wheel?

4. Examine the landing gear for proper road clearance, and make sure the crank handle is securely stowed.

5. Check that the rear stairway door, if ther trailer has one, is securely latched before moving.

6. Check that all air springs are inflated, if it has an air suspension.

7. Make sure the spare tire is secure in the carrier, and that the carrier is securely bolted to the chassis.

8. Check tire air pressures. Tires should be inflated to tire manufacturer’s specifications.

9. Check wheel lug nuts for proper torque on disc wheels.

10. On wheels with see-through hubcaps, check the oil level in the wheel hubs. Add oil as needed, or get a shop guy to do it.

11. On wheels with solid hubcaps, pull plug and check oil level in wheel hubs, adding oil as needed (likewise about the shop).

12. Visually check the brake shoe lining and brake drums for wear […]

By |November 1st, 2016|Bentley News & Events, Tech Tips|Comments Off on Remembering Pre-Trip Items

FMCSA Issues Final Rule on Windshield-Mounted Technologies – Tech Tip Tuesday

September 22, 2016
Source: FMCSA

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a final rule to amend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to allow the voluntary mounting of certain devices on the interior of the windshields of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), including placement within the area that is swept by the windshield wipers.

Section 5301 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) directs the Agency to amend the FMCSRs to allow devices to be mounted on the windshield that utilize “vehicle safety technology.”

In addition, section 5301 states that all windshield-mounted devices and technologies with a limited two-year exemption in effect on the date of enactment shall be considered to meet the equivalent-or-greater safety standard required for the initial exemption.

The announcement of this final rule is a nondiscretionary, ministerial action that does not require prior notice and public comment under the Administrative Procedure Act.

Click here to read the Federal Register notice.

Updated: Friday, September 23, 2016

Contact the location nearest to you for more information.

Visit our Tech Tips section here.

By |October 18th, 2016|Bentley News & Events, Commercial Trucking Industry, Tech Tips, Truck Parts, Truck Service|Comments Off on FMCSA Issues Final Rule on Windshield-Mounted Technologies – Tech Tip Tuesday

Maintenance Tips for Fuel Efficiency – Tech Tip Tuesday

Truck fuel efficiency is no simple matter with many factors to consider. Some of them are out of our control – such as weather, traffic or required routes but many factors can be controlled like powertrain specifications, vehicle aerodynamics and driver training. Proper maintenance can also positively impact fuel economy.

Industry research shows that proper maintenance of your truck and engine can contribute significantly to improved fuel economy. Maintenance requirements vary for each vehicle and engine manufacturer; so, it is critical to have the proper maintenance information available.

Below are some factors that affect fuel economy and examples of service information that can help you keep your vehicles operating at peak efficiency.

Climate control: Air conditioning compressor usage accounts for approximately half of total engine cooling fan engagement time. Air conditioning operation increases fuel consumption because engine power is required to operate both the air conditioning compressor and the engine cooling fan.

Tire inflation: Fuel mileage is adversely affected by underinflated tires. In addition to fuel savings, properly inflated tires are safer and result in extended tire life.

Lubricants: Engine, transmission and axle oils with the proper viscosity also contribute to fuel economy. Using oils with too-high viscosity can increase the energy required to pump the oil through the lubricating system and result in internal viscous friction loss.

Wheel alignment: Properly aligned axles reduce fuel consumption and extend tire life by reducing wear.

Charge air cooler: Charge air cooler leaks result in loss of turbocharger boost, reducing engine operating efficiency, which results in increased fuel consumption.

Engine maintenance: Engine valves in proper adjustment and properly operating engine control systems contribute to good fuel economy. This includes performing overhead adjustments at proper intervals, as well as troubleshooting and repairing […]

By |October 11th, 2016|Bentley News & Events, Commercial Trucking Industry, Tech Tips, Truck Parts, Truck Service|Comments Off on Maintenance Tips for Fuel Efficiency – Tech Tip Tuesday