Commercial Trucks: What Components Benefit from Regular Lubrication?

Commercial Trucks

A well-oiled machine is guaranteed to run smoothly for multiple years. It is a sign of regular maintenance that saves a ton of money. To get the most out of your components, here are the top things that should always be lubricated.

Engine

An engine is one of the many components that require constant lubrication for better efficiency. More than enough people have shopped at a big truck parts store after failing to keep an engine maintained. Once your engine begins to degrade, it is a slow downfall until a full replacement is required. That is why keeping your engine lubricated also benefits the bearings, pistons, camshaft and crankshaft. It is an entire factory under the hood, and every piece works better by reducing friction. 

Commercial Trucks

Steering System

The scariest thing to deal with while driving a commercial truck is a tight steering wheel. Lubrication makes sure the steering wheel components operate smoothly throughout the entire drive. This not only increases safety, but is a major factor in the comfort of the driver. Once you get to the point of fighting the steering wheel, a long drive feels like it will take ages. And in the back of your head, there is always a fear that a tight steering wheel may fail at any moment while on the road.

Door Hinges and Latches

That same smooth operation you expect from a steering wheel extends to door hinges and latches. A common thing you will run into is the squeaky, hard to open door. Worse yet are the doors that need to be slammed shut in order to close completely. What starts out as a minor annoyance becomes a weekly Band-Aid fix of applying WD-40 to the affected areas. Unfortunately, this type of temporary lubrication was never meant to be a permanent solution. Your door hinges and latches require the same amount of care as any other component in the truck. And if the latch that is needs to be lubricated happens to be attached to the roll-up or swing doors, then you’re asking for bad karma. Keep hinges and latches in top condition, and run maintenance checks instead of relying on temporary fixes.

Transmission

Transmissions do a lot of work in the grand scheme of any commercial vehicle. Premature wear in this area means that there are plenty of other components that are also failing. Along with the engine, the transmission has a high number of moving parts that rub against one another. This friction causes heat, so it’s the lubrication that keeps things from falling apart. Some of the components to look out for in this area are the shafts, bearings and gears. They work in unison to be efficient, both for the running of the truck and its fuel consumption. So, if your transmission is not lubricated, then thousands of dollars of damage is being lost with both components and energy costs.

Differential

You can reliably track the performance of a commercial truck by the care provided to the differential. When the truck is turning, the differential is the component that allows the wheels to rotate at separate speeds. When it fails to transfer the right amount of power, stability takes a huge nosedive. This is important to mention since the differential is tied to the health of the drive shaft, wheel hubs, axles and more. A lubricated differential is vital to the full operation of a commercial truck of any size.

Wheel Bearings

Commercial Trucks

Like all things related to a vehicle, lubrication is meant to reduce friction. The wheel bearings are particularly important since they support the full weight of the truck. That includes the base weight, and your present load. As the wheels rotate, there is a chance of the entire component overheating. Lubrication prevents the generation of heat to keep the bearings cool while they’re in operation. 

Suspension Components

A good boost to performance can occur when your suspension components are lubricated. This area of the truck includes the ball joints, control arms and bushings. Healthy suspension components lead to improved steering response, and better overall handling performance. It is one of those small things in a truck that can quickly wear out without good lubrication. Once the suspension components start to fail, then prepare for the more noticeable larger parts to follow behind.

Brake Components

Brake components are probably the most obvious part to keep lubricated in a commercial truck, or any vehicle. When you’re going 60 mph down the road, bad braking is an easy way to get into a major accident. Unreliable braking is just as dangerous, and doesn’t account for the changes in a failing part that can occur randomly while driving. The feel of a brake is everything, so if something feels off, check for problems. You don’t want to stop in the middle of a long trip to address brake problems that should have already been fixed.

Universal Joints

U -joints are a vital part that controls the power from the transmission to the wheels. With lubrication, the moving parts don’t have to fight against one another. The main thing here is the transfer of power from one component to another. To understate the importance of this part is to not understand how challenging it is to replace it. The U-joint is definitely a component that should stay lubricated to extend its life or value. When it fails, your truck will be out of commission for a very long time.

Chassis Fittings

To improve the safety of your commercial truck, keep the chassis fittings lubricated. These fittings are also known as the grease fittings or grease points. Corrosion prevention through lubrication keeps your entire truck safe from a common enemy of all vehicles. If you want to help the longevity of a commercial truck, then take a long look at the maintenance of the chassis fittings.

The Important Parts

A keen eye for the small details will do wonders for the longevity of a commercial truck. Protect your parts by keeping them lubricated and ready for work. After multiple years of maintenance, your truck will still operate like it is brand new.