When it comes to commercial vehicles, semi-trucks can be the most expensive to purchase and repair. If you're an owner-operator of a semi-truck, it is important to pay attention to how your truck is running and make repairs promptly. One part that plays an important role in the operation of a semi-truck is the drive shaft-- it is responsible for transmitting the engine's torque through the transmission and out to the truck's axles.
Catching problems with the drive shaft early will allow you to have it replaced and help prevent your semi- truck from experiencing damage that can result in costly repair bills. Signs that it is time to replace the drive shaft in your rig include:
One common sign of a failing drive shaft is vibrations while the semi-truck is in motion. Depending on the condition of the drive shaft, the whole truck may vibrate, or you may feel it just in certain areas. In most cases, if the drive shaft needs to be replaced the vibrations will become stronger as you increase your driving speed.
Odd sounds can be a big sign that you need to have the drive shaft in your semi-truck looked at and possibly replaced. In many cases, a bad drive shaft will emit a squeaking sound while the truck is moving. The sound may become much louder and more noticeable as you begin to drive faster.
Wheel Problems During Turns
If a drive shaft is in poor condition and not properly transmitting energy through the axles of your semi-truck, you may begin to experience problems when trying to make turns. These problems may come in the form of resistance or hesitation from the tires and wheels during a normal turn. Since you most likely drive many miles in your semi-truck as an owner-operator, it is important to have your rig checked out as soon as possible if your notice problems making turns.
Universal Joint Problems
Universal joints are found at each end of the drive shaft, and if they are damaged or in bad condition it can be a sign that your drive shaft needs replacement or repair. Rust is a particularly bad sign, so if you notice the above mentioned issues with your semi-truck and also see rust when taking a look at the universal joints surrounding your truck's drive shaft, it is in your best interest to have an experienced semi-truck mechanic like those at Florida TRUCK & Trailer CO take a look at it before you experience a complete drive shaft failure.