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Monday, October 31, 2011

Proper Septic Truck Care!

While septic trucks are mostly used for dirty suctioning jobs, they still require the same level of care and maintenance as any other vehicle, if not more. Since the vehicle is continuously exposed to liquid waste, its components are more prone to corrosion and disintegration. By giving it the proper care and maintenance, the condition of the vacuum truck can remain relatively close to when it was first purchased and its serviceable life can be considerably extended.

Care of this equipment involves the regular maintenance of all of its components. Like most equipment with truck frames, their maintenance can be categorized into two major parts: the base frame and the vacuum unit components.

Base Frame Maintenance

The main body of the truck is a standard frame which can be used and configured for various applications. Since the frame is generic, it also shares the same elements as other equipment made by the same manufacturer. For example, a certain base frame model can be configured to be used as the base for a cherry picker or a septic truck.

Due to these similarities, the care and maintenance required for each particular part will be quite similar. The most important thing to consider in the maintenance of the base frame is that it should meet the frequency and interval guidelines set forth by the manufacturer. The following are some of the standard maintenance routines for the base frame.

Oil Change - One of the most important aspects of maintenance is changing the oil of the engine and transmission. Oil is the life-blood of any piece of mechanical equipment, as it keeps the metal parts from producing too much heat and friction. The lubricating properties of the oil will eventually diminish due to heat and contaminant build-up such as metal shavings, which is why it is important that it be regularly changed. The timing for the oil change depends upon the mileage intervals set by the manufacturer; for example, some manufacturers recommend an oil change every 10,000 miles.
Tune-Up - Tune-ups involve the checking of certain components of the vehicle, particularly the engine and its ECU, for efficiency and performance. Tuning the engine may also involve adjusting the valve clearance, timing belt, ECU settings, and the replacement of the air filter. Regular tune-ups are important because as the engine works, subtle changes can occur which could reduce its performance. When tuning the engine, mechanics are able to make the necessary adjustments to keep it at peak performance.
Brake and Tire Replacement - Two components that easily wear out on a truck are the brakes and the tires. These two components take the biggest beating every time the equipment is on the road and require critical monitoring, as failure of either one of these components could cause a serious accident.

Vacuum Unit Maintenance

While the base frame requires scheduled maintenance, the vacuum unit requires daily maintenance. This is because it is the part of the vehicle that is exposed to the waste liquid and is more prone to corrosion. Even though a vacuum truck has stainless steel components, it still requires daily cleaning to lengthen the life of the equipment.

Daily Emptying and Washout - Waste liquids are highly corrosive and easily damage metal components. To prevent rust from forming on the components of the vacuum unit, it is advisable to empty the tank's contents daily, followed by flushing the tank to get rid of any remaining debris. The entire unit should also be washed and dried at the end of the day to prevent rust.
Filter Replacement - Some vacuum units are equipped with a filter to separate the liquid and air from the solid debris. This filter will wear out over time and could develop large holes where debris can enter, wearing down the vanes of the vacuum much faster. To prevent this from happening, always replace the vacuum filter as recommended by the manufacturer.
Regular Oil Replacement - Oil replacement is also particularly important to the vacuum pump. Because the pump is designed to draw in liquids, it can also draw in moisture that will contaminate its oil. To prevent early deterioration of the machine, always replace the oil regularly to get rid of any contaminants that could damage the internal components.

When purchasing a vacuum truck, always keep in mind that proper septic truck care is important in order to prevent premature deterioration and to ensure a long service life. Regular maintenance should be performed on all major components of the equipment, including the base frame and the vacuum unit. Proper care and maintenance will ensure this important vehicle will always be ready for whatever dirty job it is given!

Christopher M. Hunter is an expert in commercial specialty trucks. To find out more about Vac Trucks for Sale, go to the main website at:

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