Providing proper, regular maintenance to any vacuum truck for sale is essential to ensure longevity and that lasting to a full life expectancy. This need is easily forgotten or at best, given a low priority even thought it is especially important to follow through when working during the winter, when colder temperatures and bad weather conditions can push a truck to its limits. Besides the normal maintenance to take care of regular wear and tear that vacuum trucks usually face, here are a few other pointers to help keep the entire fleet performing well without encountering annoying and costly breakdowns and/or repairs throughout the winter season.
Prepare for the Worst
Winter preparation can be different in every region depending on the severity of the season and typical weather conditions. Trucks in Florida require a lot less extra seasonal preparation than those in North Dakota. Underestimating local weather because the news or the Weather Channel predicts a favorable season is just asking to be caught unprepared. When planning routine and extra seasonal maintenance for vacuum trucks, it is best to assume the worst weather conditions for the working area will occur and prepare for it. It may end up being overkill not be needed if the season is uncharacteristically warm; however, it could be the worst winter ever and the trucks will be prepared. Any region where there is a possibility of below freezing temperatures and frozen precipitation at any time should be sure all vacuum trucks are fully prepared for winter.
Special attention should be paid to certain elements on the vehicle that are more sensitive to harsh winter conditions, including the following:
Valves - In extremely cold and wet weather conditions, certain parts of any vacuum truck for sale are going to work harder than others, even more than the tank and pumps. A main concern related to the how well the vehicle functions is the ball and knife valves that can freeze and become unable to move, creating a great potential for pumping accidents. Installing heated valves is a good way to avoid such potential problems. Do any installations or inspections to ensure the heated valves are in working condition well in advance of starting a job in harsh winter weather.
Anti-freeze - Regarding more routine items, starting the winter season with a radiator flush and refill as well as being certain of no leaks in the radiator is one of the most important maintenance job. It is critical to be sure that the antifreeze being used in the vehicle is appropriate for the area’s expected low temperatures. In real extremes, it is not uncommon to run concentrated antifreeze; however, using the wrong mixture could lead to engine failure if its fluids freeze.
Tires - Using the right type of tires for ice and snow is essential, as well as having tire chains available and in good condition. It is important to know how to install tire chains since they serve no purpose if they cannot be put on the tires when needed. It is also important to regularly check tire pressure when it gets colder, even though recommended pressure is slightly lower in the winter than in the heat of summer. The lower pressure increases the tire surface on potentially slippery roads; if the pressure is too low, it can actually make driving conditions much harder on already bad roads.
In addition to the above, be sure the cab heater is working well to keep the cab’s interior warm and comfortable. Keep windshield washer fluid reservoirs full and wiper blades in good condition as well as using the appropriate winter weight oil for smooth starts and cool running. By taking the necessary precautions to avoid extra weather-related stress on a vacuum truck for sale, making it through the winter will be easier and more cost-effective in the long run!