Chapter 4

Preventive Maintenance Program
Objectives (1 of 2)
• Explain the characteristics and benefits of a
well-planned preventive maintenance
• List and describe the steps of the pre-trip
inspection procedure.
• Describe the criteria for deadlining or out-of-
service (OOS) tagging a vehicle.
• Implement a policy of preventive
maintenance scheduling that conforms to
federal inspection regulations.
Objectives (2 of 2)
• Describe inspector qualifications and record-
keeping requirements.
• Select lubricants for the various tasks of
preventive maintenance.
• Describe the operation of on-board chassis
systems, both manual and automatic, for
vehicle lubrication.
• Prepare trucks and trailers for cold weather
by winterizing.
Preventive Maintenance
• Advantages
– Lower maintenance cost
– Maximum vehicle
– Better fuel economy
– Reduced road failures
– Better customer relations
– Reduced incidence of
accidents due to defective
– Fewer driver complaints

• Importance of Records
– DOT requirements
– Performance
– Used to develop
maintenance programs
– Useful as proof of
maintenance during
accident investigations
Setting Up a PM Program
• PM inspections
– Schedule ―A‖; a light inspection taking about 2.5 hours
of labor
– Schedule ―B‖; a more detailed inspection taking about
5 hours of labor
– Schedule ―C‖; a more detailed inspection including
service and adjustments requiring about one day’s
– Schedule ―D‖; a comprehensive inspection and
adjustment often including component replacement or
– Schedule ―L‖; a chassis lubrication
Driver Inspection
• Pre-trip and post-trip inspections are spelled
out by DOT regulations.
• The inspection form is usually found on the
back of the hours-of-service log.
Inspection Procedure
• Step 1 Vehicle overview
• Step 2 Engine compartment
• Step 3 Inside of cab
• Step 4 Front of cab
• Step 5 Left side of cab
• Step 6 Left fuel tank area
• Step 7 Left rear tractor
• Step 8 Left side of trailer
• Step 9 Rear of trailer
• Step 10 Right side of trailer
• Step 11 Right rear tractor
• Step 12 Right fuel tank
• Step 13 Right side of cab
• Step 14 Cab
Deadlining a Vehicle
• Anything mechanical that can either cause or
prevent an accident is a safety item (FMCSR
part 393).
• Do not confuse the out-of-service (OOS)
specification with the OEM safe operation
– OOS limit indicates that the system has
become potentially dangerous.
PM Scheduling (1 of 3)
Shop Talk
• Remember that if the technician misses
something or fails to repair a defect before an
inspection, the inspectors may take the
vehicle out of service.
– That can be costly—in both downtime and
– It can also hurt a fleet’s DOT safety rating.
– Worse yet, the defect could cause an
Shop Talk
• It should be noted that off-highway vehicles
rarely have odometers.
– Most use engine service or the vehicle’s hour
meter to measure PM intervals, as opposed to
distance traveled.
– One current trend bases PM timetabling on
the amount of fuel consumed.
PM Scheduling (2 of 3)
• Federal inspection regulations
• The following vehicles must be inspected:
– Any vehicle involved in interstate commerce
with a gross vehicle weight over 10,000
– Any vehicle regardless of weight which is
designed to carry more than 15 passengers
– Any vehicle, regardless of weight, carrying
placarded hazardous materials
PM Scheduling (3 of 3)
• Record-keeping requirements
• PM software
Shop Talk
• When undertaking PM checks and servicing trucks,
it is sometimes necessary to raise the cab.
– With most hydraulic cab-lift systems, there are two
circuits: the push circuit that raises the cab from the
lowered position to the desired tilt position, and the
pull circuit that brings the cab from a fully tilted
position up and over the center.
– Remember that in most systems, whenever raising or
lowering the cab, stop working the hydraulic pump
once the cab goes over center.
– The cab falls at a controlled rate and continued
pumping could lock up the tilt cylinders.
Lubricants (1 of 8)
• Engine oils • Additives
– Oxidation inhibitors
– Antirust agents
– Detergents
– Anticorrosion agents
– TBN additives

Lubricants (2 of 8)
• SAE grade of engine oil
– See Table 4-3 on page 98 of textbook.
Shop Talk
• Both the SAE viscosity grade and API
(American Petroleum Institute) classification
are clearly displayed on the label of any oil
Lubricants (3 of 8)
• Diesel engine oil classifications
– The first character describes the type of engine for
which the oil is designed.
• C: compression ignition; for diesel engines
• S: spark ignition; for gasoline engines
• G: appropriate for gasoline engines
– The second character further describes the oil’s
characteristics. Future classifications are added in
alphabetical order.
• CH-4 GF-2
• CI-4 GF-3
• PC-10 GF-4
Shop Talk
• Using the incorrect grade or type of oil in an engine
can cause a variety of problems.
– For example, the wrong viscosity oil can cause either
an oil consumption or low oil pressure problem,
depending on the weather and driving conditions.
– Using an oil with the incorrect service rating can result
in inadequate protection for engine bearings and
other moving engine parts.
– Consult the engine manufacturer’s recommendations
to ensure that the engine is using the correct grade
and type of oil.
Lubricants (4 of 8)
• Used oil
• Gear lubricants
– See Table 4-4 on page 100 of the textbook.
Lubricants (5 of 8)
• Chassis lubricants
– See Table 4-5 on page 101 of the textbook.
Lubricants (6 of 8)
• On-board chassis lubricating system
– Manual systems
– Automatic chassis lube systems (ACLS)
Lubricants (7 of 8)
• Properties of greases
– See Table 4-6 on page 102 of the textbook.
Lubricants (8 of 8)
• Trailer lubrication
– See Table 4-7 on page 105 of the textbook.
Winterizing (1 of 4)
• Engine coolant
– Inspection
– Clean the cooling system
– Antifreeze
• EG
• PG
Winterizing (2 of 4)
• Checking coolant condition
– Hydrometers
– Refractometers
– Litmus/chemical tests
– Lab sample analysis
– Supplemental coolant additive
• Disposal of antifreeze
Winterizing (3 of 4)
• Air system
• Starting aids
– Electric block heaters
– Fuel-fired heaters
– Oil pan heaters
– Glow plug systems
– Grid heaters
– Ether starting systems
• Cab comforts
• Batteries and electrical system

Winterizing (4 of 4)
• Diesel fuel
• Fuel-water separators
• General winterizing tips
• Avoid using ether with glow plug-equipped
• On engines with an air pre-heater, consult
the engine owner’s manual.

Performing a Lube Job
• Greasing the chassis
• Checking fluids

• When preparing to perform a lube job, place
a few zerk fittings in your pocket before
– Zerk (spring-loaded ball) seals may seize and
prevent grease from entering; replace a failed
zerk fitting with a new one.
Caution (1 of 2)
• Some spring hangers are manufactured from
cast aluminum alloy: Never apply heat
anywhere near cast aluminum suspension
Caution (2 of 2)
• Remember that grease is both difficult to
remove and may permanently stain surfaces.
– There is probably nothing that will enrage a
driver more quickly than grease on any part of
a truck chassis other than where it is
supposed to be.
– Work clean! Use floor mats and change
coveralls before driving a vehicle after a lube
• Remember that a hand-actuated grease gun
actually develops higher pressure than an air
grease gun and may open a zerk nipple that
a pneumatic gun failed to open.
Summary (1 of 3)
• A preventive maintenance program involves the
inspection and servicing of the vehicle as a whole.
– The program’s success depends on careful planning.
• The maintenance program that is most effective is
tailored around the needs and experiences of each
individual operation.
• The driver identifies many repairs when performing
pre-trip and a post-trip inspections.
Summary (2 of 3)
• A vehicle considered likely to cause an
accident or breakdown because of
mechanical conditions or improper loading
should be taken out of service.
• It is the fleet’s responsibility to ensure that all
personnel performing annual inspections are
• Maintenance managers and truck technicians
are expected to be computer literate because
service tracking is computerized.
Summary (3 of 3)
• Proper lubrication is important in reducing
wear and preventing premature failure of
truck components.
• Winterizing a heavy-duty truck is an
important part of any PM program.
• Performing a lube job properly is a
requirement of an entry level truck technician
from day one on the job.