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

All You Need To Know About USDOT Numbers – Tech Tip Tuesday

Some may find themselves asking the question, “What is a USDOT number and do I need one?”
To answer the first part of the question, we can break down what a USDOT number is and what it is used for. The USDOT number is required for companies who operate commercial vehicles that are either transferring cargo, hazardous materials or a certain amount of passengers. The USDOT number acts as an identifier between vehicles on the road. This number is very useful when monitoring  and checking a company’s safety information, which would include compliance reviews, crash investigations and inspections that have been performed on the vehicle.

Now you may be wondering if your vehicle needs a USDOT number. The requirements for a USDOT number are mandatory if…

Your vehicle is used to transport hazardous materials that require a safety permit in intrastate commerce
Your vehicle has a gross weight rating of 10,001 pounds or over
Your vehicle is used to transport more than 8 passengers for compensation or more than 15 passengers with no compensation

Also, if your vehicle is involved with Interstate commerce, a USDOT is mandatory. This would include:

Vehicles traveling between a location within a state and outside of the state
Vehicles traveling between two locations in a state through another state
Vehicles traveling between two locations in a state as part of a trade, traffic or transportation starting and ending outside the state

Aside from federal regulations, some states do require their intrastate commercial motor vehicles to acquire a USDOT number which does include Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

If you have learned that you do in fact need a USDOT number there are two ways to apply for one: either apply online (www.fmcsa.dot.gov) or fill out a […]

By |October 4th, 2016|Bentley News & Events, Commercial Trucking Industry, Safety & Compliance, Tech Tips|Comments Off on All You Need To Know About USDOT Numbers – Tech Tip Tuesday

Truck Maintenance Tips – Tech Tip Tuesday

Daily

Check tires, lights and turn signal/hazard flashers for your tractor and trailer at the start of every trip.

Routine Maintenance

Regular preventive maintenance inspections may be based on time or mileage. Check the vehicle’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance. Pay special attention to items such as:

Brakes
Steering
Tires
Mirrors and any features allowing the driver to see clearly (such as CCTV cameras)
Windshield washers and wipers
Steps, walkboards or ladders
Pneumatic or hydraulic hoses, outriggers,liftgates, hoists or other material handling features
Headboard racks and load attachment points (hooks and winches)

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

Visit our Tech Tips section here.

By |September 27th, 2016|Bentley News & Events, Commercial Trucking Industry, Preventative Care, Safety & Compliance, Tech Tips, Truck Parts, Truck Service|Comments Off on Truck Maintenance Tips – Tech Tip Tuesday

Winter Weather Equipment Solutions

With the winter weather right around the corner, there are some precautions that you should keep in mind.

For instance, maintaining an electrical system that works to the best of its ability should be a main priority. With a well working electrical system, lighting for vehicles should face no difficulties, but just in case you do find yourself running into some problems with your electrical system, we are here to give you some helpful tips.

For starters, it is known that corrosion is the culprit of problems directly related to electrical/lighting issues. All electrical interfaces are exposed to both moisture and chemicals during the winter months and these interfaces will need protection to eliminate the stages of corrosion. As soon as corrosion has taken over the harness system, the entire harness is open to problems occurring immediate or in the near future.

Some tips that can potentially eliminate the start of corrosion include:
· Checking wiring for any cut or nick that could allow for moisture to enter

· Using only glue-filled, heat-shrink connectors when repairing wiring

· Ensuring connection of wires regularly

· Inspecting connectors regularly and replenishing grease when needed

It was found that the most susceptible to corrosion includes the J560 plug and socket because they are frequently exposed to elements that can attract moisture. When using the J560 plug, remember to keep it greased, but do not use dielectric grease on any plug that contains silicone. The dielectric grease will not allow proper sealing.

It is also very important to keep in mind that […]

By |September 21st, 2016|Bentley News & Events, Tech Tips|Comments Off on Winter Weather Equipment Solutions

Better MPG Through Maintenance – Tech Tip Tuesday

Better MPG Through Maintenance
Preventive maintenance can help improve fuel economy. Here are 8 steps to improve your MPG:

Use data to identify possible problems.“If we suspect a truck is having mpg problems, we will schedule it in for what we call a fuel economy check,” says Bill Bliem, senior VP, fleet services, for New Jersey-based NFI. “This includes valve and overhead adjustment, air filter minder check, alignment, fuel flow, etc.”
Take care of your tires.Maintaining correct air pressure in tires equates to fuel savings. For every 10 psi of under-inflation, a 10% reduction in fuel economy can result, according to NACFE. Improper wheel alignment can rob fuel efficiency by creating rolling resistance and also cause premature tire wear.“The biggest thing we do maintenance wise and our biggest fuel economy pick up is tire pressure and alignment,” Bliem says.
Change your oil.Too little or too much engine oil can create more friction and rob power. Clean oil lubricates better than dirty oil, so pay attention to oil change intervals. Explore the use of lower-viscosity oils to improve fuel economy. Gerry Mead, senior VP of maintenance for Chattanooga-based U.S. Xpress, recommends oil intervals based on your fleet’s operations. “OEMs set a limit, but is that limit good for your operation and type of oil?” he notes. “Oils break down and that takes away from its properties to cut down on wear. As oils break down they are less fuel-efficient. We have a zero overdue mentality.”
Let the engine breathe. A restricted air intake system (air filter, air cooler, and tubing) or exhaust system will decrease engine power output. Check components at regular PMs and fix any leaks. These leaks can be particularly hard to find, as leaking air is not as […]

By |June 28th, 2016|Preventative Care, Tech Tips, Truck Parts, Truck Service|Comments Off on Better MPG Through Maintenance – Tech Tip Tuesday

Reduce Fatigue Related Accidents – Safety Tips

Safety Matters – Great Info from the NationaLease Newsletter

Practicing good safety can save lives and ultimately can save you money, and NationaLease wants to help keep safety at the forefront with some helpful safety tips. Today’s tip discusses preventing fatigue-related accidents. Research shows that driver fatigue may contribute to up to 20% of accidents on the road, here are some ways to help combat fatigue:

• Make sure you are fit to drive. Do not begin a journey if you are tired. Get a good
night’s sleep before embarking on a long journey.
• Avoid undertaking long journeys between midnight and 6am, when natural
alertness is at a minimum
• Plan your journey to take sufficient breaks. A minimum break of at least 15 minutes
after every two hours of driving is recommended
• If you feel sleepy, stop in a safe place. Do not stop on the hard
shoulder of a motorway
• The most effective ways to counter sleepiness are to drink, for example,
two cups of caffeinated coffee and to take a short nap (up to 15 minutes).
• For more information on preventing fatigue-related accidents, see this article from ntsb.gov

Safety Tips Fact Sheet

By |January 29th, 2016|Bentley News & Events, Safety & Compliance, Tech Tips|Comments Off on Reduce Fatigue Related Accidents – Safety Tips

Apply For DOT Number / Check DOT Status

Apply For DOT Number or Check Status of Current DOT Number
The FMCSA monitors and ensures compliance with motor carrier safety (all carriers) and commercial (for-hire, non-exempt carriers) regulations. Companies may find they are subject to registration requirements for both safety (safety registration) and commercial regulation (operating authority registration). Companies subject to the safety requirements are also required to obtain a USDOT Number…. Read More
Source: FMCSA website
APPLY FOR DOT NUMBER / CHECK STATUS HERE
Visit our Tech Tips section here.

By |January 7th, 2016|Commercial Trucking Industry, Tech Tips|Comments Off on Apply For DOT Number / Check DOT Status

Maintaining Shock Absorbers and Air Springs

Suspension performance suffers if they’re not in working order.
Air suspensions cushion the ride for drivers, vehicles and loads. Among their components are the springs themselves and shock absorbers, which help control the movement of the bags and the rest of the suspension. These parts are subject to wear and aging, and must be regularly inspected and repaired or replaced when necessary.

The American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council recently revised its Recommended Practice 643A, Air Ride Suspension Maintenance Guidelines.

“Generally speaking, air springs are very durable components,” says John Healy with Stemco, which offers Goodyear brand air springs.

Because they’re made of rubber, air bags usually “age out” before they wear out, notes Dave Vanette, new business development manager at Firestone Industrial Products. “This aging out process has a lot to do with the heat history of the part and exposure to ozone,” he explains. If an air spring is run predominately where the average temperature is high, it accelerates this process.

Read the full truckinginfo.com article here.

Visit our Tech Tips section here.

Contact us to share your preventative maintenance tips and tricks.

By |December 29th, 2015|Commercial Trucking Industry, Preventative Care, Tech Tips, Truck Parts, Truck Service|Comments Off on Maintaining Shock Absorbers and Air Springs