While septic trucks are mostly used for dirty suctioning jobs, they still require the same level of care and maintenance as any other vehicle, if not more. Since the vehicle is continuously exposed to liquid waste, its components are more prone to corrosion and disintegration. By giving it the proper care and maintenance, the condition of the vacuum truck can remain relatively close to when it was first purchased and its serviceable life can be considerably extended. Oil Change One of the most important aspects of maintenance is changing the oil of the engine and transmission. Oil is the life-blood of any piece of mechanical equipment, as it keeps the metal parts from producing too much heat and friction. The lubricating properties of the oil will eventually diminish due to heat and contaminant build-up such as metal shavings, which is why it is important that it be regularly changed. The timing for the oil change depends upon the mileage intervals set by the manufacturer; for example, some manufacturers recommend an oil change every 10,000 miles.
Care of this equipment involves the regular maintenance of all of its components. Like most equipment with truck frames, their maintenance can be categorized into two major parts: the base frame and the vacuum unit components.
Base Frame Maintenance
The main body of the truck is a standard frame which can be used and configured for various applications. Since the frame is generic, it also shares the same elements as other equipment made by the same manufacturer. For example, a certain base frame model can be configured to be used as the base for a cherry picker or a septic truck.
Due to these similarities, the care and maintenance required for each particular part will be quite similar. The most important thing to consider in the maintenance of the base frame is that it should meet the frequency and interval guidelines set forth by the manufacturer. The following are some of the standard maintenance routines for the base frame.
Tune-Up Tune-ups involve the checking of certain components of the vehicle, particularly the engine and its ECU, for efficiency and performance. Tuning the engine may also involve adjusting the valve clearance, timing belt, ECU settings, and the replacement of the air filter. Regular tune-ups are important because as the engine works, subtle changes can occur which could reduce its performance. When tuning the engine, mechanics are able to make the necessary adjustments to keep it at peak performance.
Brake and Tire Replacement Two components that easily wear out on a truck are the brakes and the tires. These two components take the biggest beating every time the equipment is on the road and require critical monitoring, as failure of either one of these components could cause a serious accident.
Vacuum Unit Maintenance
While the base frame requires scheduled maintenance, the vacuum unit requires daily maintenance. This is because it is the part of the vehicle that is exposed to the waste liquid and is more prone to corrosion. Even though a vacuum truck has stainless steel components, it still requires daily cleaning to lengthen the life of the equipment.
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