Maintenance Facts & Figures – The Numbers Behind Routine Requirements

Fleet maintenance work mostly takes place by highly trained and certified technicians behind the scenes in shops and garages. Since the results of their labor are mostly revealed by reliability and a lack of issues on the road, their hard work can sometimes go unnoticed by those outside the business.

In reality, mechanical work is at the forefront of what makes a transportation company reliable and efficient. To highlight the importance of work, here is a quick look at some facts and figures from our maintenance department:

  • How long does it take to change a tire?
    Tire-changing speed depends on the tire, and where it is changed. In the shop, where technicians have access to all the right tools, a full set of tires (except the front tires of the tractor) can be changed in an hour and a half. If a tire needs to be changed while the truck is on the road, it could take twice that time.
  • How long does it take to complete an oil change?
    An oil change alone normally takes about an hour, but this is a task that is usually completed as part of scheduled preventative maintenance. Scheduled maintenance also involves a full inspection of the truck: checking brakes, transmission, windows, tires tread, and greasing of all necessary parts. The inspection takes about two and a half hours, plus extra time for repairs, if needed.
  • How long does it take to wash a truck and trailer?
    Freight trucks are washed at least every 90 days, and the process takes about 45 minutes for the truck, and slightly longer for the trailer. The total length of time depends on the time of year, and whether there is extra mud, salt or other grime to wash off. Hazardous material and bulk food trucks and trailers get washed much more often. Bulk milk truck tanks, for example, are washed at least once daily. This washing takes an hour and a half or more.
  • How are trailers attached to trucks’ drive unit? Attaching a trailer is surprisingly simple. Every trailer has a fifth wheel with a slot and a set of jaws that latch onto and hold the kingpin (the metal pin that sticks out from underneath the front of the trailer). To attach them, the driver reverses the tractor toward the trailer until the kingpin slides into the slot in the fifth wheel. When he can hear the jaws of the fifth wheel clamp shut around the kingpin, the driver drives forward a bit to ensure that the connection is firm. Everything is double checked for safety before the driver departs.
  • Is that to say that a pin is all that holds the truck tractor and trailer together?
    The connection provided by the kingpin and fifth wheel is amazingly secure! In fact, there have been news stories about other companies’ tractor-trailer rigs that have been pushed over bridges and overpasses by strong winds or severe weather conditions—and the connection between the kingpin and fifth wheel was strong enough to hold a dangling tractor or trailer suspended in the air, allowing emergency services to execute successful rescue efforts. The technology is very strong.

Few of our team members know our trucks as well as our maintenance team does. From anticipating issues to explaining everything we need to know about safe and effective vehicle operation, they are vital to sustaining a company’s reliability.

Thinking of applying for a job with out maintenance team? Visit our employment page to learn more about the Wadhams team.

Dave Bardwell

Dave Bardwell

As the Maintenance Operations Supervisor at Wadhams Enterprises, Dave develops programs for monitoring financial results, training technicians, enforcing safety programs, maintaining standards of service, and developing a parts and material procurement program. He is responsible for multiple company-owned heavy duty vehicle service facilities.