At The Truck Shoppe LLC, we appreciate the important role truck drivers and owner-operators play in sustaining the CA economy. We also know that trucking is a demanding occupation—financially, physically, and emotionally. We want you to be as safe and comfortable on the road as possible. Here are some tips for avoiding accidents and injuries, and ultimately enjoying a successful career.
As a truck driver, you know you have to set aside time for truck maintenance and repair. But every minute you’re off the road you probably feel like you’re losing money. At The Truck Shoppe LLC in Sacramento, CA, we understand your concern. Aside from sticking with a routine maintenance schedule—which is the single most important thing you can do for your truck—the best way to avoid unscheduled repair stops and unnecessary downtime is to take care of your rig.
It really doesn’t take much to make a huge difference in how your truck performs, and often the smartest and safest habits are simply common sense. Here are 10 tips to keep your truck running great between service visits:
You may not realize it, but of all the variable costs for a truck owner-operator—such as maintenance, insurance, permits, licenses, and tolls—fuel is your most controllable expense, but also the easiest to waste. So how do you accomplish good fuel economy? Your truck must overcome three things: air resistance, rolling resistance, and gravity. Here are some driving tips to address these issues and avoid wasting fuel.
The Truck Shoppe LLC is proud to handle maintenance and repairs for fleet companies and truck owner-operators in the Sacramento area. Not only are these companies and individuals resourceful and hardworking, they are an integral part of the CA economy.
We also appreciate that the trucking industry has a small business emphasis. There are thousands of trucking companies located in CA, and most of them are small, locally owned businesses. And these companies are served by a wide range of supporting businesses (like us!).
Many Sacramento businesses depend exclusively on trucks to move their goods, so there are A LOT of semis on our streets and highways. We’d like to give you some tips for driving safely when you’re sharing the road with semi-trucks.
Cautious, attentive drivers make public roads safe for all motorists. You can also help by notifying traffic safety agencies of crashes, unsafe drivers, unsafe roadway conditions, and other situations that can lead to accidents.
This is a very important question. There are several things that could make a vehicle unsafe to drive as well as things that could damage it more if it were driven. The best thing to do if there is any question in your mind is:
Your mechanic will be able to assess the situation enough to let you know if it's safe for you to drive or if it needs to be towed.
If there is any question on the safety of your vehicle, we will help you arrange to get it towed to our shop.
Automotive technicians are often compared to doctors. This comparison undoubtedly makes some techs smile and others grimace. But in the end, the two professions have a lot in common. It may surprise consumers to find that by choosing these professionals wisely, they can get better care at a better price.
When it comes to choosing a repair shop, many experts praise the virtues of the clean facility, a wall covered with ASE certificates or a coffee pot and some tasty snacks. While these items are important, these four vital questions tell most of the story:
Back to the doctor/technician comparison. Some doctor’s are great diagnosticians. They can pin point a problem when their peers are coming up with empty charts. What’s the difference between that doctor and the people wearing white coats? Possibly his/her knowledge and perhaps equipment, but probably it’s listening skills that sets the really great docs apart from the good ones.
When choosing a professional, the variety that looks after your car or the variety that looks after your body, ask them the four-questions. In effect, audition them. See how the doctor takes care of your flu and how the tech deals with an oil change before visiting with something more serious.
Watch how they handle their time and be aware of how much time is allotted to you. Are they tuned into your problems and asking relevant questions? Are they providing an objective opinion based on information they’ve gathered during your discussion? Can they explain the problem and solution to you in laymen’s terms?
The bottom line is this, time is money. The less time these people are willing to spend with you often multiplies the amount of time needed on the back end. In the case of both the doctor and tech, the extra time spent having to fix you or your car a second or third time not only is expensive, it can be detrimental to the car or patient’s condition.
We only hire the best technicians and service advisors with the ability to handle any situation you have with your vehicle. That’s the reason we have built the reputation of being the most knowledgeable shop in the area.
When winter is upon us, there are some tips that can help you prepare for the changes in the weather that can surprise any of us. Taking some basic actions to be prepared will make it easier for you to be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at us.
When using your heating system, there are some tips to help keep you warm and your windows clear. When using your defroster, make sure you are using the fresh air from the outside of the car. Have you ever seen someone driving down the road and all the windows are fogged up? The reason is the car is using the inside air in the car and the system can't get rid of the moisture in the air. And that's why the windows fog up. Also, using the air conditioning in this mode helps too since one of the things the A/C system does is remove the moisture from the air and with the heat on you will keep the inside of the car warm. In fact some of the newer cars automatically turn on the A/C and use fresh air in defrost mode. If you don't know about your vehicle, look in your owner's manual, or just drop by and we will be glad to show you how it works.
Your wipers are also key to keeping your windows clean. Making sure you have the proper washer fluid that is ready for the cold weather will also help you do this. Having a snow brush in the car with an ice scraper will keep you prepared for whatever happens.
Keeping your tires inflated properly and make sure you have good tread will help you with traction and control. A lot of the newer cars have great things like anti-lock brakes and traction control which help with the bad weather. But these systems work much better when you have the most grip you can with good tires.
All of these things mentioned above are checked every time we service your vehicle because we want you to be safe while driving, especially during this time of year. If you would like to stop by we would be glad to check these things for you
Summer can be tough on cars, especially during high temperatures when heat can destroy batteries and stress the cooling system and tires. As a precaution, these vehicle components should be checked periodically during summer to help avoid breakdowns and car problems, according to the Car Care Council.
Excessive heat and overcharging shorten the life of a battery. Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, which then damages the internal structure of the battery. A malfunctioning component in the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, allows too high a charging rate, which will eventually destroy a battery. To get the most life out of a battery, the council recommends having the electrical system checked to make sure it is charging at the correct rate. If your car’s battery is the type that needs to be topped off, check it often, especially in hot weather and add distilled water if necessary. Keep the top of the battery clean. Dirt can become a conductor, which drains battery power. If corrosion accumulates on battery terminals, it becomes an insulator and inhibits the current flow.
The cooling system also works harder during hot temperatures to prevent overheating of the engine. To keep the cooling system working effectively, the coolant and distilled water mixture for a vehicle’s radiator should be 50:50. As a reminder, never open a hot radiator cap when checking the coolant level in the reservoir. As a rule of thumb, the coolant should be changed annually on most vehicles. This will keep the cooling system fresh and clean inside, which helps prevent corrosion and assures that the coolant has the proper boiling point and protection.
A pressure test, thermostat test, a cooling fan test and a visual inspection for leaks and corrosion should also be done annually. Hoses and drive belts should be checked for cracks, bulges or frayed edges. The radiator should be kept clean by periodically using a garden hose and a soft brush to carefully remove bugs, dirt and debris.
Tires also need special care in warmer weather as high temperatures put added stress on them. To maximize tire life and safety, check the tire condition and inflation pressure monthly, and have the tires rotated every 6,000 miles. Summer heat will cause the pressure within a tire to rise, therefore, it’s important to check the pressure when tires are cold. The owner’s manual includes the recommended air pressure for your vehicle’s tires.
“It takes very little time and money to make sure your car runs properly during summer, and although breakdowns happen, they can definitely be minimized by taking a few extra preventive maintenance steps,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.