Some thoughts on maintenance…..

In this section you’ll find write ups on some maintenance actions I have performed…..

Let me start by saying that in the interest of safety and reliability one should perform all maintenance as prescribed by the manufacturer, in our case Freightliner Custom Chassis, and or the manufacturers of various components. (Cummins, Allison etc. etc.) If any information I provide differs from the official sources I have mentioned above, THEY shall prevail.

In no way shape or form am I advocating to deviate from this. All I’m doing is reporting on how I do it.

Right….. have you READ the maintenance checklists? Let’s take a step back. These chassis are made for RV’s, school buses, commercial buses and delivery vans. I am sure that there are chassis just like them in the FL commercial truck lineup and, I would not be surprised if one were to recognize chassis under some military equipment, although I can not confirm that at this time.

Vehicles that all have a VERY different mission, with VERY different demands placed on them. If you’ve ever spent time behind a school bus you know that it starts, accelerates and stops 12 times a mile. Rarely gets above 25 mph. Unless it goes on a field trip. Not quite the same as a pair of old farts in a Berkshire going up and down the interstate system at 67mph for hours on end. Or, for that matter, a Berkshire that rolls once a year to and from a campground and sits for six months.

My point is that some use requires a lot more thorough maintenance than other. Yes, I can see lubricating the brake pedal in a delivery van on a regular basis. Drivers with dirty shoes in all kinds of weather jump in and out all day long. Me, I’m in my socks and vacuum the area every day even though it doesn’t need it.

What I am slowly getting at is that some of the stuff on the checklist is stuff I don’t think needs to happen that often. In fact, if you had ALL of it done every time it’s called for you would spend a LOT of dough at the FL dealership. A LOT. Maybe, just maybe some of that is by design. I’ve heard of that happening.

Now, all that said……. There are certain things you do NOT want to skimp on. A diesel engine needs clean fuel. Period. Dirt left over from the combustion process is flushed away by the oil system. Lubricity is reduced over time. Changing oil is one of the BEST things you can do for your engine. Do it often. And, it needs clean air and lots of it. Spend the money on those air cleaners. Running hot is bad too. Keep the cooling system healthy. Check the coolant, clean the radiator. Keeping metal on metal moving parts in the drivetrain moving smoothly is good, work that grease gun baby. No one is going to argue about keeping the brakes healthy.

Wherever possible (and it’s quite a bit) I do my own. One I like to, two I HATE dealing with dealerships, three it saves me a few, quite a few, pennies and last but not least I get to know how my coach is put together. I may be able to fix things when they break, or at least talk business over the phone with whomever I need to help me out.

The maintenance manual is on line if it didn’t come with your coach…..

Use it, it’s pretty good. In addition as the owner of a Freightliner chassis you have access to the shop manuals at DTNA (Daimler Trucks of North America) connect. Make sure your VIN is registered. Your dealer was supposed to to do it… (Mine didn’t, I did it myself). The Freighliner Chassis Owners Club can be a good resource too.

Sooooo, What you will find on these pages is the maintenance that I have done for the use we put on this thing which, btw consists of somewhat regular use (4-5 trips a year, 1 to 4 weeks), mostly highway, to the tune of about 12000 miles per year. Most of it is pretty close to “book”…..