Most of the semi-truck brands are built to withstand heavy cargo, long trips, and all kinds of weather condition.
Fewer, people know how many miles semi-trucks last, how to maintain them to extend their lifespan, or ask for other checks when buying the first semi-truck.
The average lifespan of a semi-truck
The history of semi-trucks knows cases when they hit a 2 million to 4 million miles mark on their odometer.
But that is rare and unique!
A more realistic average lifespan of a semi-truck is somewhere between 700,000 and 1 million miles before you start seeing slightly major mechanical issues.
Now, considering that the semi-trucks lifespan in miles is 700,000, we can calculate how many years this truck is likely to last.
This means that you can expect to get about 15 years of use for your truck.
However, there are cases, even after 10 to 15 years of service, when semi-trucks are another 10 to 20 years on the road hauling loads.
Generally, such longevity of the semi-truck has to do with its regular maintenance from day one of its service.
If you keep a truck lubed and serviced from day one to year 20, you stand a better chance of keeping it on the road for the long haul.
The key components that require regular maintenance
No truck is going to last forever.
However, to make a semi-truck last longer, you can maintain it regularly, use quality parts, change the oil on time, check the brakes, etc. By the way, that formula works for straight trucks as well.
Check the list below:
- Regular servicing.
- Weekly inspections of the truck and its trailer (have any damage or adjustments dealt with asap).
- Daily oil checks.
- Daily water checks.
- Daily tire checks (pressure, wear, and tear), rotate them once a month.
- Check every load to make sure it’s not over.
- Clean and check lights.
- Clean air filters (check owners manual) 20,000 – 25,000 miles.
- Flush the radiator (check the owner's manual).
If you’re not sure about some of these topics it would be advisable to get a professional’s opinion.
See below some key factors that need to be maintained regularly.
Choose diesel over gas engine
One of the biggest reasons for the exceptional durability of the semi-truck is the diesel engine.
Diesel engines have many advantages for professional drivers:
- Diesel fuel is lighter and more efficient, which makes it safer and less volatile for most engines.
- Diesel engines run at a slower rate with lower RPM, which can translate to less wear and tear overall.
Diesel engines are designed to prevent engine failure through gear-based mechanics, multiple thermostats, specialized valve design, and more.
- Diesel engines are also less likely to overheat, which is critical when driving long distances.
While diesel engines are a bit more expensive to maintain, they are more than worth it in semis as longevity is key in long-distance vehicles.
Change oil regularly
Getting your oil changed on a regular basis is one of the number one rules of driving.
Check your oil levels before each trip.
Semi trucks go through huge amounts of oil quickly, so neglecting it can lead to premature wear and possible damage.
Change the brakes of the truck
Inspecting your brakes regularly is another crucial part of semi-truck maintenance.
Anytime you hear any squealing or feel abnormal vibrations, it’s important to get your brakes inspected by a mechanic.
In addition to your regularly scheduled maintenance, inspect your brakes before each long trip.
This will help your trips to go smoothly and your truck to last longer.
Inspect the truck's radiator
Your radiator is what controls the temperature of your truck.
If it is not working properly, the semi-truck may overheat.
Check your radiator before each trip, and top off any fluids.
A well-maintained radiator will help to keep your truck running smoothly for years.
Check for blockages in your fuel vent
A blockage in your fuel vent can affect engine performance and longevity.
It can also cause inaccurate fuel readings.
Regularly check your fuel vent for blockages, especially after your truck sits in one place for a period of time.
Keep the semi-truck's moving parts greased
While this is time-consuming, it is something that you can do without the aid of a mechanic.
There are a number of parts in a semi-truck engine that require greasing.
By regularly greasing all of the moving parts in your engine, it helps it to last longer with less required maintenance.