Trucks have contributed immensely in transporting goods via roads. A durable truck body is indispensable for the safety of the goods. As a transporter, you should have an in-depth understanding of the anatomy of a truck. This will help you make better decisions regarding which truck to use according to your cargo.
What is a truck made up of?
Trucks may vary in size and are heavy-duty vehicles. All trucks have a basic structure. This may be made of steel or aluminium, depending on what you have to carry in these trucks. Aluminium is lighter and is not suitable for heavy loads. Being lighter, it is more fuel-efficient and can carry more goods but it is also more expensive. A steel truck, being heavy is suitable for heavier goods.
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Main Parts of a Truck:
Chassis: The chassis can be called the structural skeleton of any truck and is the framework on which the truck rests. It includes the engine, axles, cab, batteries, and fuel tank. The chassis governs the size and shape of the truck. If the chassis is bigger than required, it will lead to fuel wastage. It would also have more storage space. On the other hand, if the chassis is smaller than needed, you may be forced to overload it. So, you must be careful about the design of the truck and the distribution of the truckload.
Cab: The enclosed space or the compartment where the driver sits is called the cab. The cab may also have an in-built sleeping place for long distances. It should be comfortable and spacious for the truck driver to feel comfortable while driving. The two popular designs of cabs are:
- Cab-Over-Engine: This design is also known as flat-nose. In this type of cab, the driver sits on top of the engine. It provides improved turning capabilities but is not very safe.
- Conventional Cabs: In a conventional cab, the driver sits behind the engine. This cab can be classified into long-nose cab and aerodynamic cab. Long-nose cabs are square, consume more fuel and have lower visibility. These kinds of cabs do not provide for wind resistance. Aerodynamic cabs are preferred as they have tilted hoods.
Engine: You can opt from a range of truck engines available in the market. You need to decide the horsepower of the engine according to your needs. The selection of torque is also crucial, as it affects the load an engine can bear. A slow-speed engine lasts longer and is more fuel-efficient. You should keep in mind the distances the truck will travel while selecting the engines. If you have to carry large loads regularly for long distances, an engine with greater horsepower is better suited. A less-powered engine suffices for the movement of goods within the city. The condition of roads and the driver’s driving style should also be considered while choosing an engine.
Body: The truck body such be such that it meets your needs. The weight of the load should be kept in mind while making a selection. The height of the body has a significant impact on its performance. An ideal height would reduce drag during transportation. You should select the material carefully too. An aluminium truck can be easily repaired and is lighter, but it can’t carry heavy loads. The fibreglass reinforced plastic body is sturdy but can make the truck very heavy. Curtainsiders are not as heavy as FRP but are not very secure. They can be damaged easily. You can select the body type of the truck according to the weight it has to carry.
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Tyres: Tyres are an integral part of the truck and ensure that the truck functions to its optimum design capacity. You should select tyres that have minimum rolling resistance. Truck drivers should be able to change the tyres easily in case of any malfunction. Low-resistance tyres are best suited for long-distance driving. They are also ideal for driving at high speed on highways. Truck drivers prefer tubeless or nitrogen tyres, as they reduce drag and are safe.
How to Select Truck Parts
With time, you may require to replace some parts of your truck. Do this only after detailed research. These factors will help you while selecting:
- Thorough Knowledge About Truck Parts: You should have a complete understanding of the basics and intricacies of truck parts. Once you have all the details, you can select according to your requirements. You should survey, analyse and compare before making the final decision.
- Durability: Another factor to keep in mind is durability. The parts should last long and meet the safety standards. Truck parts are expensive and hence should be bought carefully.
- Quality Check: It is mandatory to carry out a quality check of all parts. You should always choose quality parts. A little more money is worth it if the quality is not compromised. High-quality truck parts ensure that your vehicle runs smoothly and serves you without breakdown.
- Reasonable Prices: You should also consider the prices of the parts; they should be within your budget. The price should be reasonable, but that does not mean that you should settle for low quality. You should select good quality parts at fair prices.
Good quality parts are essential and proper truck maintenance ensures that the vehicle keeps moving steadily and smoothly. Regular truck maintenance helps with the wear-and-tear of vehicles, enables you to detect problems early and rectify them before the breakdown of the vehicle.
Maintenance Tips for Drivers
- Changing Engine Oil: Truck drivers should change the engine oil regularly. Dust, grime or filth in the engine might adversely affect its functioning. Hence, you should change engine oil and clean the oil filter regularly.
- Clean The Exterior: It is not only important to keep the interior well-maintained. You must also keep the truck’s exterior and undercarriage clean. Not only does it make your truck look tidy, but it also protects the paint.
- No Idling: Idling is a major cause of fuel wastage. You should make it a habit to switch off the engine whenever the truck stops for more than two minutes.
- Monitoring Other Fluids: Apart from engine oil, brake fluid, engine coolant, power steering fluid, etc. should be checked at regular intervals for good maintenance of trucks. You should replace these liquids at regular intervals as it makes travel safe and increases the shelf life of your truck.
- Check Tyre Pressure: If you check the pressure of the truck’s tires, you can derive the maximum benefit from them. It saves fuel costs and enhances the life of the tires as well.
Proper maintenance of trucks ensures that you meet your deliveries on time. You should also keep a check on the driving style of truck drivers. They should not drive at an unnecessarily high speed. Rash driving hampers the condition of the truck, causes deterioration, leads to fuel wastage and affects the engine too.
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