Recent data shows that there are about 2.8 million tractor-trailers in the US, with their drivers transporting around 80% of all goods in the country. Many of these huge vehicles are owner-operated, and when you spend so much time behind the wheel, that driving cabin becomes your home-and-office on wheels.
No matter how or where you work, keeping your workplace clean is important. It improves your mental state and adds an element of pride to your work, boosting productivity and efficiency. And for truck drivers, it brings increased comfort and safety which is essential when you drive all day.
The first rule you want to observe is – don’t use cheap products. These can damage the vehicle’s finish. Look for quality cleaning products that are industry approved and sold in automotive stores. With a microfiber cloth, start working your way from the roof down and switch to a soft brush for persistent dirt or stains.
Semi-truck fenders are an essential accessory that protects your vehicle from a lot of dirt and grime – and they make your cleaning job a lot easier. You don’t need to be as meticulous when washing these. Still, make sure you use a fender well brush to reach the corners and angles where dirt can accumulate.
Cleaning a large tractor can take time, and the water can dry in areas you’ve finished washing. Make sure to dry as you go, with a fresh microfiber towel. Otherwise, water can pool, catch dirt, and leave spots.
After drying as you go, most of the moisture has been removed from the vehicle, but some remains. Don’t dry wipe with a rough cloth as it can damage the paint coat. Instead, allow the tractor to air dry. Make sure you park in the garage or under full cover so that the truck doesn’t get too hot.
Detailing and waxing
How often your washing routine should continue into detailing and waxing varies with the vehicle’s condition and paint coat. It could be something you do every three months or more frequently if the wax is wearing off.
Once again, use a high grade detailing product, or hire a professional to do the job. Clean and shine the tires as well, one at a time, using non-acidic tire cleaner. Allow the wax to set for the time specified on the product container.
Clean the interior
Your truck’s exterior is now sleek and shiny, but you actually spend most of your time inside, so get down to cleaning the interior too. Remove the floor mats, and vacuum thoroughly. You can apply upholstery cleaner to any stains or persistent spots of dirt.
If there are any leather areas inside, be sure to use the appropriate specialty cleaner. Also, clean your windows from the inside while you’re at it.
Clean and unclog your air conditioning filter, or have a mechanic do it. At least once a year, apply a deodorizing spray to your HVAC evaporator. These steps will ensure that your ride is free of unpleasant odors.
For further precaution, be sure to keep a spot-cleaning kit on the go. You can eliminate a lot of the hassle of cleaning if you can immediately wipe off any ugly spots that come up in your travels. Whenever possible, park in the garage or a covered ramp to protect your truck from the elements and angry birds.
As the place where you work and spend most of your day, your truck’s cleanliness reflects upon your hygiene and the work you do. Keep it spotless and you’ll really have a great ride all day.