YOUR WORK TRUCK: A TOOL THAT NEEDS OCCASIONAL SHARPENING
A commercial work truck can take quite a beating and still be ready for more. Designed to be more durable and rugged than a consumer pickup, both the chassis cab and the truck body don’t really need much loving care to remain a functional part of your business for decades to come. However, to maximize the lifespan of both the engine and the truck body, periodic servicing is necessary. And don’t forget that your work truck is the most visible signal to your customers of the degree of your professionalism and your attention to detail. The work truck professional is fully aware of the engine maintenance requirements of his work truck, but often the truck body itself is overlooked.
Truck Body Maintenance – Scelzi Truck Bodies
Scelzi Truck Bodies are in the premium tier of work truck bodies in the USA. As the “gold standard” of work truck quality, no expense is spared in building a body they expect to outlive and outlast the chassis cab. But even though Scelzi bodies are made with great craftsmanship — using the highest grades of steel, wood, and aluminum Scelzi can find — their life span can only be maximized by following a regular maintenance schedule. This is even more true for truck body upfitters of lesser quality, whose bodies do not typically begin their working lives with the same reinforced welding and robust construction techniques.
Tighten All Mounting Hardware
Welding seams don’t jiggle themselves loose over time, but the same is not true for bolts and nuts and other fastening mechanisms. This is especially true for work trucks driven in less-than-ideal road conditions, like canal banks and construction sites and high vibration non-pavement surfaces. The bolts connecting ladder racks, the body mount itself, water holders, hitches, and any other accessories bolted on the main truck body should be checked and tightened every 3 months.
Door Hinges and Locks
Extreme weather and dirty conditions will cause wear and tear to heavy usage items like doors and locks and anything with a hinge. This is especially true of work trucks, due to their work environment. These areas should be serviced following a strict regimen, with increased regularity in harsh conditions. Grease handles and latches with lithium grease and all locking mechanisms with graphite.
Hoists should be lubricated every 3 months using the chassis grease specified for your hoist model and size. This usually requires application at several locations on the hoist. At least once each year the oil in the hoist reservoir should be changed for maximum working life.
Wooden Floors and Racks
Harsh summer heat and freezing winters can cause long term damage to wooden floors and side racks. Scelzi wood floors and decks are manufactured using their proprietary wood products. In order to prevent surface checking, cupping, or discoloration, Scelzi recommends this wood (flooring and side racks) be maintained with a fresh coat of shingle oil several times a year, and once each month during harsh heat weather conditions – particularly during the first season or two after the truck has been purchased.
Additional Accessories and 3rd Party Equipment
Cranes – Cranes are complex pieces of machinery with many moving parts. They can become dangerous to operate if not properly maintained. Visual inspection of all parts should be made each time the crane is operated, primarily looking for cracks, leakage, and corrosion. In addition, each week all mounting bolts should be checked and key bearings lubricated. Each crane manufacturer will recommend a different set of maintenance procedures for their work truck cranes, and these may vary by size and style. All replacement parts and repairs should be made through an authorized distributor for your crane. Refer to the owner’s manual supplied by your crane manufacturer.
Compressors – Air filters, compressor oil, and oil filters all require occasional maintenance according to usage. This typically ranges from 6 months or 200 hours of normal usage, to as often as every 100 hours of usage in extreme conditions. Refer to the owner’s manual supplied by your compressor manufacturer.
Lift Gates -These require maintenance as well, primarily by tightening bolts and keeping the oil reservoir at the proper operating level. Gates should be serviced every 4 months or sooner if used frequently. Refer to the owner’s manual for details.
Power Take-Off (PTO) – All PTO systems must be checked at least monthly for hydraulic leaks, loose fittings, and other mechanical wear. Given the frequent torsional vibration that PTO systems experience, regular maintenance and component review is essential.
Maintaining A Professional Work Truck
Periodic maintenance at set intervals is important to extend the life of your work truck, and improves the safety of the professionals on your work crew. The appearance and quality of your work truck is also – like the people you employ – a reflection of your company and the quality of the work and service you provide. Don’t take it for granted.