Performing regular belt replacements as part of truck fleet maintenance in Duncan, OK can be essential to smooth commerce. Two of these essential belts include the air conditioning drive belt and the battery or alternator belt. Getting these replaced before fall is part of any prudent maintenance routine if you wish to preserve the functionality of your fleet. Here is a description of each of these belts and why regular replacements are necessary.
Air conditioning drive belt
The air conditioning drive belt is made of rubber and often reinforced with cord. Its job is to rotate the air conditioning compressor, which pumps in refrigerant to send to the condenser. This makes it possible to send cold air into the cab of the semi truck.
If the belt gives out, the air conditioning system will not work. It is still possible to drive without the belt—however, your drivers will be very uncomfortable, and some may even abandon your operation for other jobs. This risk is not worth it in an economy with many opportunities for drives, so it is best to keep this belt fresh and the air conditioning working so your workers remain happy.
It may also seem like this is a maintenance task to reserve for summer, but that is not really the case. Some areas where long haul truckers travel remain warm even through winter, which means air conditioning remains vital all year long. Also, the debris and corrosion currently on the belt will harden as cold temperatures set in. That increases the likelihood of a belt failure next summer under circumstances that are much more annoying and jarring to your operations. Replacing the belt now means a higher likelihood of better functioning later and no bad surprises on the road.
The battery or alternator belt runs the alternator, which charges the battery. If it breaks, the engine will run until the battery runs out of power. The engine will not necessarily die during transport. Drivers will normally discover the failed belt when they stop, and then find the engine unwilling to turn over when it is time to travel again.
Cracks in this belt make replacement a high priority. The belt stretches out over time, which also reduces its effectiveness. Like serpentine and other essential belts, this one is a good candidate for regular replacement, even if it does not appear to show any wear and tear. Having trucks stranded at stops is not a great support of productivity. Taking this precaution every summer right before fall helps prevent these mishaps.
One strategy adopted by fleet managers is to have all belts replaced at the same time on a set schedule. While replacing all belts each year may seem excessive, remember that semi trucks accumulate higher mileage and face harsher conditions than your average commuter vehicle. This goes beyond convenience and affects your bottom line.
Heavy Truck & Trailer Parts can include belt replacement as part of your scheduled truck fleet maintenance in Duncan, OK. To set a maintenance schedule or arrange for repairs, call us today for an appointment.