Garbage Truck Maintenance

There are three types of standard residential garbage trucks: front-loading, rear-loading, and side-loading. Each has roughly the same functions. These include basic transit, receiving and storing garbage, compacting it, and dropping it off at the dump.

Some garbage trucks have mechanisms to lift trash receptacles and empty them. Others need sanitation workers for this purpose. But whatever the type of truck and its functions, routine garbage truck maintenance is essential.

In this brief article, we’ll share some helpful tips on garbage truck maintenance and ways to service your vehicle. Be sure to read them carefully, so your truck stays in top condition.

1. Preventive Garbage Truck Maintenance

As with any vehicles, garbage trucks need preventive maintenance so they won’t let you down in the middle of a workday. Preventative maintenance is essential not only for the truck itself but also for worker safety.

After about 150 hours of service, a garbage truck should have its chassis greased, as well as a general inspection. At recommended intervals beyond that, other services are necessary. You can usually find these in the operating manual or company handbook.

2. Daily Inspection and Reporting for Drivers

Using a designated checklist, garbage truck drivers should monitor standard vehicle operation and safety features every workday:

  • Check motor oil, coolant, fuel, and other fluid levels
  • Test safety features, such as lights, wipers, brakes, horn, and steering
  • Observe operating behavior and note any idiosyncrasies

If anything needs repair or replacement, the driver should report it before starting the route. A similar routine would benefit any drivers, not just those who drive garbage trucks.

3. Repairs as Needed

Sanitation service owners and supervisors must be attentive to reports of failing parts and unreliable systems and make sure there are alternatives, should truck repair be needed. Even a service delay for repairs is better than a break-down on the route.

If your company or jurisdiction decides to purchase a new or used garbage truck, though, be sure to avoid these mistakes when making the selection. Otherwise, you might end up investing in a less-than-reliable vehicle.

4. Don’t Forget the Parts Specific to Waste Removal

Garbage trucks and other waste management vehicles take a beating every day they’re on the job. So you need to give at least as much maintenance attention to the refuse collecting and processing equipment as to the standard truck parts.

Garbage-specific equipment can include:

  • A trash-collection hopper
  • Packer blades and the hydraulic systems that power them
  • Rear, front, or side lifting devices

We should point out that each garbage truck model differs in its configuration.

5. Keep the Truck’s Exterior in Mind

You don’t want residents and workers to have to put up with the “garbage truck smell” or an unclean appearance. And you want to avoid corrosion. So it’s essential to keep both the garbage collection parts and theĀ exterior clean with frequent power-washing (no brushes).

A Well-Maintained Garbage Truck Is a Beautiful Thing

Don’t ever neglect garbage truck maintenance. If you do so, it’s at your peril, since these vehicles need top maintenance levels to continue performing safely and with the necessary power to do their job.

Municipalities and waste management companies: service your vehicles frequently and thoroughly. And readers, be sure to keep our website in mind for all things vehicle-related.