Tractor-trailer drivers must stay in tune with the mechanics of their rig. The reason for this is simple: If something malfunctions while on the road, it can cause a catastrophic accident. A semi requires more maintenance and care than a car, and as such, neglecting routine checks of major systems may allow preventable issues to go unfixed. Explore some of the common mechanical failures in tractor-trailers that lead to crashes.
The size and weight of a truck require a powerful braking system to stop it. Brakes in tractor-trailers differ from those in cars, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires drivers to know how to operate them properly before receiving their CDL license. Not only that, but truckers must learn how to recognize the signs that brakes are failing to avoid finding themselves in hazardous situations. A truck traversing a hill may pose a threat to vehicles around, especially if the braking system fails. Truckers who cannot stop down an incline may careen uncontrolled down into cars below.
Tires on semis pose unique problems. When even one of the tires on a trailer is malfunctioning, it can cause the driver to lose control. Some of the most critical issues drivers deal with when it comes to tires are:
- Low or high tire pressure
- Tire tread thinning
- Manufacturer defects
Drivers must remain diligent with tire maintenance. Frequent pressure and tread checks can help stave off tire failure.
With tractor-trailers an integral part of the supply chain, keeping them running properly not only helps products move from one place to another but improves the safety of the roads for all drivers.