A dump truck is an essential machine for managing and transporting goods in mines, building projects, and other large-scale work sites. With a simple dumping mechanism and a sturdy vehicle, you get a vital piece of construction equipment that speeds up the transportation of goods from point A to point B.
Buying specialised dump trucks is a significant investment, and companies that effectively use these vehicles understand the importance of keeping them in tip top condition. Large businesses have professional mechanics on standby to ensure that each machine is working properly, and none of the use cases breach the rules established in the owner’s manual.
If you want to keep your vehicles in an optimal state throughout the whole operation, a dump truck requires a proper maintenance plan. While a truck with a dumping mechanism is not a complex machine, it has many components affected by wear and tear due to heavy loads and harsh working conditions. In this guide, we at Frontu will cover simple tips and scheduling plans to keep your truck and its components in a tip top shape.
With these guidelines, you can follow the steps of successful dump truck owners and fleet managers who manage to extend the equipment life for heavy machines with clever planning.
What is checked when dump trucks are serviced?
Like with most vehicles, the first part that captivates our attention is the contents under the dump truck’s hood. During servicing, professional mechanics inspect the engine, fuel levels, engine oil and oil filter components. With lubrication and fuel intake in check, technicians inspect the engine belts, transmission components, engine battery, and any signs of leakage or physical damage.
Some dump trucks have more than one battery, as one is often dedicated to powering the dumping mechanism. For the dumper body, next comes the inspection of hydraulic systems. The health of the truck’s hydraulic system is detrimental because it controls the mechanism responsible for dumping.
After all the heavy lifting, it should not be surprising that the vehicle tires absorb a heavy load. Here the qualified technicians inspect the air pressure and the state of the tire treads. It is the foundation of the entire vehicle; thus the truck’s operational safety depends. If the tires are damaged or their pressure is low, the whole dump body will feel unstable, especially when carrying a heavy load through rough terrain.
If the tire pressure is sorted, the truck’s traction is optimal, and the hydraulic mechanism works as intended, the next truck parts that need attention are electrical components: wires, lights, and dumping mechanism controls.
As these parts are being serviced, equipment managers document any signs of damage in the maintenance history to prepare a preventive maintenance strategy.
Dump truck longevity
On average, the dump truck can stay operational for about 10 to 20 years. While this is indeed a rough estimate, the longevity heavily depends on the truck’s maintenance history. Third parties that have a designated service department usually catch and fix any issues with the vehicle a lot faster.
A preventive maintenance plan is the key to keeping your dump trucks in good shape for many years. While there is no permanent fix or automatable process to tackle future maintenance problems, regular maintenance checks are the key to long-lasting dump trucks.
Cost-effective dump truck maintenance tips
Personalised solutions offer the best assistance for making your dump truck maintenance simpler. To simplify these processes and minimise the need for additional servicing, follow these dump truck maintenance tips:
Keep your truck clean
Thorough cleaning procedures are an essential step in all heavy equipment maintenance programs. Most dump trucks operate on rough terrain, while the dump body carries lots of abrasive materials. A clean vehicle has a better functioning filtering system, where fresh air intake ensures efficient fuel consumption. Meanwhile, the removal of dirt and other contaminants from the truck’s hydraulic system will stop a domino effect, where one damaged component contributes to the gradual depreciation of all components
Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations
An owner’s manual gives service technicians a fallback point, where recommended values and dump truck maintenance intervals give you a good framework which can later be transformed into a specific truck maintenance checklist for your machine.
Do not overload your vehicle
Another aspect that often shaves off many years of the dump truck’s lifespan is frequent overloading. Again, make sure to study the owner’s manual, and avoid situations where the dumper body carries a bigger load than it can handle
Follow a preventive maintenance program
A preventive maintenance program gives mechanics a deeper insight into the state of dump truck components and their wear and tear. By knowing which key parts are approaching gradual failure, an equipment manager can start looking for cheap replacement components and never risk equipment downtime. A well-serviced dump truck accumulates as many operation hours as possible; therefore the swift replacement of faulty components is essential for efficient use of the machine.
A dump truck maintenance schedule
After studying components that need servicing and their average longevity in the dump truck operator’s manual, you can split servicing tasks into appropriate time intervals.
Daily dump truck maintenance tasks are usually completed by designated drivers to save time and divert the attention of professional mechanics to more urgent problems. Here, the operator checks the tire pressure, dump body controls, as well as fuel and lubrication levels. After the main steps, a quick visual inspection focuses on finding and documenting any signs of physical damage or significant abrasion.
Weekly maintenance checks are performed by skilled technicians, who inspect the state of the engine, transmission, and electrical components. They also check the preventive maintenance logs and replace faulty equipment with new pre-ordered parts
Monthly servicing tasks cover all the steps of previous checks but with greater attention to detail. These procedures also include the replacement of fluids and filtering components to keep the machine in the optimal state. If the dump trucks are not used as frequently, deeper checkups can be conducted every 3 to 6 months.
Heavy equipment maintenance checklist
After establishing specific intervals for servicing tasks, we can encompass all the maintenance checks into separate checklists that display the linear progression of servicing tasks. If the changes are being tracked digitally, for example, via spreadsheets, additional maintenance tasks, warnings, and other processes can be quickly added to the list. This way, none of the truck maintenance tasks are skipped, and all dump trucks receive the best possible treatment.
For big work sites and transportation of heavy materials, there is no tool other than a dump truck. With a good maintenance plan, you can take care of any equipment problems before they spiral out of control while keeping the machine in optimal condition will result in the biggest work output throughout many years of operation.