Five Common Vehicle Issues When Trucking Long Distances

If you’re a long-haul truck driver, you know that time on the road equals money. A semi-truck is just like any other vehicle in that it’s prone to breaking down. Sitting on the side of the road waiting for a repair truck isn’t just annoying, it also keeps you from making the most of your time. Keep an eye on these five areas so you can avoid common tractor trailer breakdowns in Lexington, OR.


When you’re considering what commonly breaks down in a tractor trailer, start by looking at the brakes. It’s not just corrosion you have to worry about when it comes to your brakes—they wear down quickly without proper maintenance since they’re exposed to consistent heat, friction and pressure. If you’re driving in colder climates, you also need to be aware of internal water contamination that could cause air line freezing.

Alternator or battery

Common tractor trailer breakdowns on the road can also occur as a result of a bad alternator or battery. Luckily, if there’s a problem with these parts, there are usually some early warning signs. One thing to look out for is if your lights flicker as your vehicle idles. If your battery is having difficulty turning over, this is another sure sign that there’s an issue. Again, truck drivers who work in cooler climates need to take temperature into account. Although most batteries last between three and five years, driving in cold climates reduces your battery life, requiring more frequent replacement.

Fuel system

The easiest way to prevent a fuel system issue with your truck is by monitoring your diesel and diesel exhaust fluid. How can you spot when there’s a problem? If you notice a sharp reduction in your MPG and there aren’t any engine concerns, a fuel system leak is the likely culprit. Fortunately, this is completely preventable as long as you monitor your fluids.


Engine issues are a fact of life when it comes to any truck, especially if you’re driving an older model. Standard maintenance helps to prevent damage to engines that experience overuse. If you’re wondering whether your engine has any performance issues, pay attention to your gas mileage. If you see a big reduction, it could be a sign that your engine is in need of repair.

Electrical system

How do you know if you have an electrical issue? When you’re on the road and you notice flickering, dim or no lights on at all, you know your truck has an electrical issue. Another sign is a clicking noise from the engine block or console, which tells you that you have damaged wiring and bad connections.

If you want to make sure your truck is road-ready whenever you start it up, you need to keep it properly maintained to avoid these common causes of tractor trailer breakdowns. The first step is knowing exactly what repairs you need to make. Not all repairs need a professional touch—replacing seals, topping off fluids and fixing broken headlamps are all jobs you can likely do yourself. For everything else, rely on a professional mechanic in Lexington, OR to keep you rolling. Contact Bailey Heavy Equipment Repair, Inc. today to schedule an appointment.