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7 Tips To Avoid Sudden Heavy-Duty Truck Breakdowns

Discover 7 essential tips from AM PM Diesel Services to avoid sudden heavy-duty truck breakdowns, ensuring fleet efficiency, minimizing costs, and empowering drivers. Implement preventive maintenance, educate drivers, utilize telematics, prioritize aftertreatment service, and more for a proactive fleet management approach.
January 30, 2024
reading time
5 min
7 Tips To Avoid Sudden Heavy-Duty Truck Breakdowns

It’s every fleet manager and driver’s worst nightmare: you are driving through a remote area when your truck suddenly loses power and comes to a halt. As a fleet manager, what do you do now?

Unexpected truck breakdown is more than just a minor inconvenience — it's a significant disruption that can lead to missed deadlines, increased costs, and angry drivers. At AM PM Diesel Services, we believe in being proactive rather than reactive. By implementing these seven critical tips, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of sudden breakdowns and keep your fleet running like clockwork.

Tip #1: Embrace Preventive Maintenance

The cornerstone of avoiding truck breakdowns is preventive maintenance. It's all about addressing potential problems before they escalate into major issues. Regularly scheduled PM service ensures that every component of your truck is in good condition, and those that are showing wear and tear and switched out for new parts.

According to Fleetnet America, many common causes of breakdowns, such as engine issues, can be prevented with routine checks and servicing. This practice not only extends the life of your vehicle but also maintains its efficiency and safety on the road.

Tip #2: Educate and Empower Your Drivers

Drivers are the front-line defenders against truck breakdowns, just like with any other part of your fleet management strategy. Educating your drivers about basic truck maintenance, driving habits, and the early signs of trouble can make a world of difference. Encouraging them to report any unusual noises, vibrations, or performance issues immediately can help catch problems before they lead to a breakdown.

At AM PM Diesel Services, we emphasize the importance of driver awareness in fleet management — in the end, it’s a team effort where every driver’s vigilance counts.

Tip #3: Utilize Telematics for Preventive Insight

Modern fleet maintenance strategies include the use of telematics solutions, especially for optimizing the use of your assets. These systems provide real-time data on vehicle performance, allowing you to make informed maintenance decisions. For instance, telematics can alert you to irregularities in engine performance or fuel consumption, which are often precursors to more significant issues. By monitoring these indicators, you can schedule maintenance and repairs proactively, reducing the risk of unexpected truck breakdowns.

Tip #4: Don’t Skimp on Truck Diagnostics

Regular truck diagnostics are a vital part of preventive maintenance. These checks go beyond surface inspections to delve into the inner workings of your truck, identifying issues that aren’t immediately apparent. Diagnostic tools can detect irregularities in engine components, electrical systems, and more, allowing for timely interventions. Remember, catching a small problem early is far more cost-effective than dealing with a major repair or a truck roadside assistance call later on.

Tip #5: Prioritize Aftertreatment Service and DPF Cleaning

The aftertreatment system, including the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), plays a crucial role in reducing emissions and maintaining engine efficiency. Neglecting this system can lead to reduced performance and, ultimately, breakdowns. Regular aftertreatment service and DPF cleaning are essential to keep these systems functioning correctly and prevent issues that could lead to unexpected downtime.

Tip #6: Tire Maintenance is Non-Negotiable

Tires are the foundation upon which your truck operates. Proper tire maintenance is critical to prevent breakdowns and ensure safety. This includes regular tire pressure checks, alignments, and inspections for wear and tear. Well-maintained tires not only reduce the risk of on-the-road issues but also contribute to better fuel efficiency and handling.

Tip #7: Implement a Comprehensive Fleet Maintenance Plan

Finally, integrating all these practices into a comprehensive fleet maintenance plan is key. This plan should cover every aspect of your truck’s health — engine, electrical systems, aftertreatment systems, and more. Such a plan ensures that nothing is overlooked and every truck in your fleet receives the attention it deserves.


Preventing sudden truck breakdowns is all about being proactive. With the right mix of preventive maintenance, driver education, technological tools like telematics, regular diagnostics, aftertreatment service, tire maintenance, and a solid fleet maintenance plan, you can keep your trucks running efficiently and avoid the costly and inconvenient surprises of unexpected breakdowns.

Contact AM PM Diesel Services today to get started on a preventive maintenance plan tailored to your fleet's needs. Our team of experts is equipped to handle everything from routine maintenance to advanced diagnostics and DPF cleaning. Let us help you keep your trucks on the road and running smoothly. Call now and take the first step towards a more reliable and efficient fleet!


Hayden Mathews

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