Overdrive Magazine

May 2019

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40 | Overdrive | May 2019 L eft untended, the chemicals that eat away at snow and ice on the road can do the same thing to truck chassis, metal compo- nents and wiring. One of the best corrosion inhibi- tors is simply keeping the truck clean, says Scott Colvin, PPG Commercial Transit brand manager. However, a typical exterior truck wash won't remove corrosive chemicals and road salts stuck in the frame, junction boxes, couplers and other hard-to- reach areas. Even when focused on those spots, a thorough removal of road salts isn't as simple as just hosing off the rig with cool water. "A combination of detergents and hot water is really what is needed," says Jack Lennon, vice president of operations for Blue Beacon Truck Wash. Hot water does a better job of dissolving contaminants and surface salts. Once the truck and trailer have been washed with detergent or neu- tralizer, it's equally important that they are rinsed thoroughly. "Salt's not the corrosive agent," says Gerry Mead, executive director of innovation for Phillips. "When you add water and it breaks down, chlorine comes out of there, and that's your corrosive agent of the salt." Oklahoma City-based Gemini Motor Transport washes its equip- ment at least on a weekly basis, says Jim Dillon, truck assets manager. "If they're running through areas where these chemicals have been heavily applied on the highways, we're going to wash them more often than that," he says. Optimal truck and trailer wash cycles vary, but Lennon advises paying attention to when salts and chemicals are no longer being applied to the road and having the unit cleaned thor- oughly soon thereafter. A high-pressure low-volume wash helps keep salt from clinging to metal parts, says Dave Latimer, a Pilot Flying J vice president. "The faster you can get any of the de-icing agents off the undercarriage of the truck or anywhere else there are metal parts, the better off you're going to be in the long term," Colvin adds. Routine visual inspection for corro- sion is an important preventive main- tenance practice. Parts of the truck closest to the road are most suscep- tible to corrosion, making an inspec- tion of the lower third of the unit vital. Damage should be addressed quickly, even something as seemingly mun- dane as a chip on a painted bumper. "It doesn't take much for a stone chip to crack through the paint down to the bare metal," Colvin says. "Once the rust starts, it will creep under- neath, blister the paint up and start deteriorating the steel surface." In cases where component replacement Take extra steps to remove winter's road salt BY JASON CANNON Using hot water and reaching tight spots on the truck are critical to thoroughly removing road salts that may have set in from winter driving.

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