Semi-trucks are some of the hardest working machinery in the world. The long drives and heavy payloads can take a heavy toll on your rig. However, there may come a time when your rig gets a well deserved break from the long hauls. You have a storage facility willing and able to store it, so park it and forget about it, right? WRONG. Long-term storage can take a toll on your vehicle if you do not prepare for it. Here are some leading tips and tricks from AAA Truck Parking to prepare and preserve your semi-truck for long-term storage.
Your rig has many fluids that help it run, and these fluids need to be there when you get back and want to run it again. Change all the essential fluids you can before storing, so that there is less of a chance that they will corrode over time. This means any oil, fuel, or coolant. Fuel is especially important to refresh and add a stabilizer to avoid corroding your intake and engine.
Nothing is more affected by long-term storage than the battery. It is important to prep it for long-term storage or you’ll be coming back to an expensive replacement cost instead of a ready rig. Even though the truck is powered down, chances are there are lights and systems that are still running. Hook up a good trickle charger to the battery to preserve its charge and ensure the rig is ready to go when you return. (https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/how-to-deal-with-a-car-battery-for-long-term-storage%23:~:text%3DBatteries%2520don%27t%2520work%2520well,for%2520long%2520periods%2520of%2520time.%26text%3DIt%27s%2520fine%2520to%2520store%2520your,inside%252C%2520and%2520use%2520a%2520maintainer&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1614114793948000&usg=AOvVaw2MTPqGHbZkHwcM7UwlZqNL)
Just because they are called air tanks doesn’t mean they hold just air. These tanks can get a surprising amount of water within them. It’s important to fully drain all air tanks before storing to prevent them from rusting and corroding. If you don’t, you may return to a basically inoperable rig with expensive repair costs on your plate. Drain them all fully, and you won’t need to worry. USE CAUTION WHEN DRAINING, ESPECIALLY IF PRESSURIZED. (https://www.google.com/url?q=https://jwmechanical.com/the-importance-of-draining-your-air-tanks-in-heavy-trucks-to-prevent-freezing/&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1614114793950000&usg=AOvVaw0TDe5VBP5ch7iHvdIX6yzb)
Your tires will be exposed to the elements the most, but that’s what they’re made for. You need to worry more about the sheer weight of your rig. Check the tire pressure and make sure it’s as close to the correct amount as you can possibly get it. Not too much and not too little. Too much tire pressure can damage your tires from the inside while the elements wear them down from the outside. Too little pressure can pinch and wear them down faster than anything the wind, snow, or rain could do. Have the correct pressure and you shouldn’t need to worry.
Whatever mess or stain is on or in your rig will be there waiting for you when you get back. That’s not necessarily a good thing. Be sure to give it a good clean inside and out so that those messes don’t go from dirty to caked, and from caked to damaging. Clean it up and save your upholstery and paint from getting chipped and damaged. Also, no one likes to open their cab to be greeted by the smell of death from that molded fast food bag under the seat. Clean your rig. You won’t regret it.