What to Do if Your Semi Truck Breaks Down on the Road

You’re a busy professional driver with plenty of training and experience behind an 18-Wheeler. Even with a multitude of expertise navigating different types of truck and trailer malfunctions, it never hurts to go over the basics of what to do when your semi-truck breaks down on the road.

You could be miles from home or just down the street from a familiar place. Wherever you are when mechanical problems arise, one thing remains true: The steps you take to address the problem are the difference between making it to your destination on time and leaving your clients waiting.

In this blog, Tri County Truck and Trailer Repair Inc’s commercial truck repair experts will walk you through some of the common issues big rig drivers face and explore your best options for what to do when you run into trouble out on the road.

Steps to Take Before Calling a Truck Breakdown Service

Breaking down on the road can be a stressful experience, especially when you're driving a large commercial vehicle like a semi-truck.

It's important to stay calm and take the necessary steps to ensure your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road.

Here's what to do when your semi-truck breaks down on the road:

  • Pull Over Safely: As soon as you realize your truck is experiencing an issue, safely pull over to the side of the road. Turn on your emergency flashers to alert other drivers that your vehicle is not moving.
  • Assess the Situation: Once you've pulled over, assess the situation. Is it safe to get out of your truck? Can you determine what the problem is? If you're unsure, it's best to stay inside your vehicle, call for assistance, and remain inside until help arrives.
  • Make Yourself Visible: If it’s safe to do so, you should place reflective triangles at least 200 feet behind your truck. This will help other drivers be aware of your presence, prevent accidents, and keep you safe.

Once you’ve taken these steps, you’ll have a better idea of the problems affecting your truck, and you can go ahead and call for assistance.

We also recommend the following:

  • Stay With Your Vehicle: Unless there's an immediate threat to your safety, stay with your vehicle.
  • Be Patient: Help may take some time to arrive. This is especially true if you're in a remote location. Be patient and wait for assistance.
  • Cooperate with Authorities: If the police or highway patrol stops to check on you, follow their instructions and cooperate.

Breaking down while you’re on the road can be a challenging experience. Following the above steps will help ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road.

Common Reasons to Need Semi Truck Repairs

18-Wheelers and drivers like you are essential for transporting goods over long distances, but like any vehicle, they require regular maintenance and repairs to keep them in good working order.

Here are some common reasons why semi-trucks need repairs:

Brake Problems

Heavy use and high mileage can cause brake components to wear down or fail. Common brake issues in semi-trucks include worn brake pads, broken brake lines, and faulty brake cylinders.

Engine Issues

The engine is the heart of the truck, and problems with it can result in reduced power, decreased fuel efficiency, and even a complete breakdown. Common engine issues include oil leaks, coolant leaks, worn or damaged belts, and fuel system problems.

Transmission Problems

The transmission transfers power from the engine to the wheels, and it can be subject to wear and tear, especially if the driver is frequently shifting gears. Common transmission problems in semi-trucks include slipping gears, difficulty shifting, and fluid leaks.

Faulty Electrical Connections

The electrical system in a semi-truck is complex, and problems can arise from a variety of causes, such as loose or corroded connections, faulty alternators, and dead batteries.

Suspension Problems

The suspension system in a semi-truck is responsible for supporting the weight of the vehicle and cargo and providing a smooth ride. Common suspension problems include worn or damaged shock absorbers, broken springs, and loose or damaged bearings.

Cooling System Malfunctions

The cooling system is essential to prevent the engine from overheating; problems can lead to costly engine damage. Common cooling system issues include coolant leaks, damaged hoses, and a malfunctioning radiator.

Tire Issues

Semis rely on their tires to provide traction and support, and tire problems can cause accidents, breakdowns, and other safety hazards. Common tire issues include worn treads, punctures, and blowouts.

Fuel System Problems

Fuel delivery issues can cause a semi-truck to lose power, stall, or stop altogether. Common fuel system problems include clogged filters, damaged fuel lines, and faulty fuel pumps.

Issues Affecting the Exhaust System

The exhaust system removes harmful emissions from the engine and directs them outside the vehicle. Problems with the exhaust system can cause a decrease in fuel efficiency, engine damage, and other issues. Common exhaust system issues include leaks, damaged pipes, and faulty mufflers.

Damaged or Faulty HVAC Components

A semi-truck's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is responsible for maintaining a comfortable cabin temperature for the driver. Common HVAC problems include faulty thermostats, clogged filters, and damaged components.

Addressing these issues promptly will make it easier to rely on your rig. It’ll also give you confidence in your truck’s ability to safely deliver you and your freight to your intended destination.

Is the Nearest Semi Truck Repair Service Your Best Option?

Are you dealing with one of the commercial truck problems above? You’re probably searching for the nearest semi-truck repair service to your location right now, but is it your best option?

That’s a good question.

Not all 18-wheeler repair companies offer the same comprehensive solutions, and you don’t want to put the safety and longevity of your truck and trailer in the hands of anyone but an experienced diesel mechanic.

While a shop offering repairs might be the nearest to your location, it might not provide the expedited service options you need to get back on the road quickly. We recommend doing a little research on the services a particular company offers before you make your call.

We recommend connecting with a licensed diesel mechanic who offers the following:

  • A rapid response to your service request
  • Transparent estimates with no hidden surprises
  • On-site and in-shop commercial truck repairs
  • 24-hour service appointments
  • Top-tier repair and replacement components
  • Exceptional customer care

Do you need an experienced diesel mechanic with in-shop and on-site repair work available 24-7? Tri County Truck and Trailer Repair Inc is here to help. Call (352) 233-5768 now to learn more about our reliable commercial truck repair services.