vacuum-truckThe secret to extending the service life of a vacuum truck is by performing preventive maintenance. Two important terms are put together to imply one course of action: preventive means to protect against possible failure while maintenance usually means repairs that uphold the equipment’s value. These two terms when combined suggest a scheduled maintenance plan of action directed towards the prevention of major damage. By sticking to a strong maintenance program, it is possible to attain an increased productivity rate, enhanced performance. and a service life that goes beyond expected.

The Value of Preventive Maintenance

There are many myths about preventive maintenance that are simply not true. Some people say a maintenance program is costly. Based on that assumption, it is more expensive to have a scheduled repair and maintenance program compared to having repair done when something breaks.

This assumption is not logical. When considering preventative maintenance, one should not only consider about the current cost but also the long-term advantages and benefits. Long-term advantages are: improved reliability; prevention of extended downtime; and costly parts replacement. Subsequently, preventive maintenance is an effective way to avoid age-associated failures of the vehicle.

Scheduled Preventive Maintenance

The frequency of preventive maintenance activity should be done daily, weekly, semi-annually and annually for a long life and better performance:

Daily Preventive Maintenance:

  • Properly shut down the machine after use.
  • Empty the vacuum truck water system by opening the control valves to promote air circulation.
  • If the truck will be idle for more than a day, the tailgate should be slightly opened, blocked and partially raised.
  • If the temperature will drop below 37 degrees Fahrenheit, it is vital to remove the water from the water system and debris from the body.
  • Do not forget to check the fluids and lubricate the truck.

Weekly Preventive Maintenance:

  • Inspect the fluid levels, air and water separator cyclone, body hoist, intake hose and hydraulic system.
  • Clean the debris from the body using the vacuum truck pressure washer.
  • Ensure that the air and water separator cyclone is free from debris.
  • Check the body hoist for damage and tightness.
  • Be sure that the hydraulic system is free from contamination.

Semi-Annual Preventive Maintenance:

  • Change the hydraulic filters.
  • Apply hydraulic oil.
  • Conduct a general inspection to check all vital parts of the vacuum truck.

Annual Preventive Maintenance:

  • Empty and refill the hydraulic tank with new oil.
  • Ensure that all hydraulic pumps are working and functional.
  • Consider replacing the hydraulic tank breather if worn out.

To extend the life of a vacuum truck, it is necessary to keep the equipment as functional as possible. Regardless of whether a company owns a brand new or used vacuum truck, it is essential that a maintenance program be designed to prolong the service life of the vehicle. The extension of the life of vacuum trucks can be achieved by preventing future damage and unnecessary breakdowns that only contribute to decreased performance. The right way to extend the life span of a vacuum truck includes inspecting, cleaning, and replacing some of its parts to maintain the vehicle at its optimum functional level for as long as possible!