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Commercial Truck drivers will log substantially more miles than the average driver does in a year. Today’s modern truck is safer than ever, with improved safety technologies in trucks, allowing shorter stopping distances, stability control equipment, improved ABS. Even with all of these improvements, unfortunately, accidents can still happen, and often it is not the fault of the truck driver. You need to be prepared before you get into an accident, so you know what to do.

The following is 11 steps that will help you get through the immediate aftermath of a crash, and to help you protect your professional reputation and your livelihood as a professional driver.

  1. STOP! When involved in an accident, even if it is minor, do NOT leave the scene until speaking with the other driver, the police, or both. If the incident involves damage to property, not a vehicle, ensure you are able to notify the property owner.
  2. Stay Calm. Try to remain as calm as possible, and do not react in anger.
  3. Is everyone safe? Ensure everyone involved is safe, and contact the authorities immediately to come to the accident. They can dispatch the emergency help needed. The basics in first aid training is, do not move anyone unless there is a danger of fire or future injury if they remain where they are. If anyone in the accident is bleeding, feels lightheaded, or has any physical injury contact emergency medical help.
  4. Safety First. If the accident is minor with no injuries, move the vehicles to the side of the road and out of other traffic. If the vehicle cannot be moved, remain in the vehicle with seat belts fastened until authorities arrive. Walking around in traffic can be dangerous.
  5. Contact the Authorities from the crash site. If you are unable to contact the local authorities, instruct someone to call the local police, or state highway patrol. Do NOT leave the scene until the police officer authorizes you to leave.
  6. Dangerous Cargo? If you are hauling cargo that is dangerous or hazardous, ensure you know the protocols for your cargo to keep everyone on site, and the environment clean.
  7. Prevent another accident. Setup road flares or warning triangles to warn other drivers to prevent another accident. If you have a safety vest or other brightly colored clothing to stand out to other drivers.
  8. Do Not Admit Fault. Do not discuss the details of the accident with anyone by the police. Stay calm, and be polite. Do not admit fault to the other driver or the police. Do not sign any documents or statements, other than what the police require.
  9. Contact Your Employer. Call you dispatcher or fleet manager as per your company’s procedures.
  10. Document the Accident.
  • Photos: When it is safe, take photographs of damage to all of the vehicles, and property involved. Include any photos that also show road conditions, intersections, traffic signs, traffic lights.
  • Report: Write a detailed report of all the details of the accident including time, date, weather and traffic conditions. Keep your driver's logs with this report information.
  • Involved Parties: If possible, ask for the contact details of the other drivers involved in the accident, including their insurance company, and insurance policy numbers, and driver’s license number.
  • Witnesses: Also identify any witnesses or third parties to the accident, and record their contact information for reference.
  • Police Officers: Record their names, badge numbers, and instructions on where and how to obtain the police report, and/or any issuance of citations.
  • Dash Cams: If you have invested in a dash cam, ensure you keep this video footage safe for evidence
  1. Cooperate with authorities. You may be subject to blood and alcohol test that authorities will administer. Remember always stay calm and cooperate with local police and authorities.
Posted By Class8TruckParts.com

SPN, MID, PID, FMI, What do they mean?

Mar 5, 2017 11:05:30 AM

The check engine light illuminates in your dash. Now what do you do?

You see the codes and they are another language. What does the code mean? There are many ECU's on your truck, which one is the problem?

Here is a guide from Volvo to help you interpret those SPN, MID, PID, PSID, SID codes.

Volvo Truck Diagnostic Trouble Code Guide

 

Volvo Truck ECU Diagnostic Codes Guide

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Posted By Class8TruckParts.com

How To Spot A Radiator Leak and More

Feb 28, 2017 11:18:03 AM

What do a damaged head gasket, burst hoses, and a busted thermostat have in common? Each can lead to a costly engine repair, and each can be caused by a failed or malfunctioning radiator.

Radiators are heat exchangers. They take the hot coolant from a truck’s engine and feed it through the radiator core and into a series of tubes. From the tubes, the heat is transmitted to the radiator’s fins, which then release the heat into the outside air. The now-cooled coolant is fed back into the engine to absorb heat again.

If a truck’s radiator isn’t working properly, that exchange of heat is diminished. At minimum, a truck will experience a power drain as high coolant temperatures force the fan to run more often. At worst, multiple engine components can be damaged.

Luckily, there are several easy-to-spot signs that can indicate a radiator problem. Here are some of the things to look for:

  • Dirt, debris, or paper in the grille. Open the truck’s hood and check for obstructions on the grille or the radiator’s front surface. If either is blocked, airflow cannot circulate properly through the radiator and transfer heat from the coolant. Higher coolant temperatures will force the radiator fan to turn on more often, which can drain 30 horsepower or more from your drivetrain.
  • Cracked radiator housing. One of the top-reported causes of OEM radiator failure is using the longer side-tank bolt in the top tank position. This can cause visible cracks in the plastic on the sides of the radiator.
  • Cracked radiator cap. A cracked radiator cap can throw off coolant pressure, increasing its boiling point and affecting cooling system performance overall. A cracked radiator cap can allow too much pressure to build up, which can lead to a burst hose, radiator tank leak or radiator seam leak.  Click here to check out our selection of Volvo Truck Radiator Caps
  • Dirty of damaged fins. Fins that are clogged with dirt or debris, or excessively damaged, will make the heat-transfer process much less efficient.
  • Low coolant levels. You can visually check coolant levels to see if a truck is low. But don’t just add water. To achieve the correct temperatures, a radiator must maintain the correct balance of coolant and water.
  • Leaking coolant. Don’t ignore drips or streaks of coolant. And don’t delay identifying the source of the leak. Even a slow leak can raise coolant temperatures, creating an air pocket that can cause an engine to overheat.
  • Collapsed radiator hose. A collapsed or spongy hose can prevent coolant from moving through the cooling system as designed and cause an engine to overheat. Collapsed or spongy hoses should be replaced. Click here to check out our selection of Volvo Truck Radiator Hoses.
Posted By Class8TruckParts.com

Driver Information Display

Feb 22, 2017 2:08:59 PM

What does this little light mean?

Notice a strange or unfamiliar light appearing on the instrument panel of your Volvo Truck? It could be a normal indicator light or it could mean a potential issue with your truck. Find the specific light you’re looking for within the icons provided below. Then, learn what the indicator or warning light means and how we can help diagnose the cause. Remember, don’t wait for a light to come on that signals a simple service. Stick to your Maintenance Booklet, or ask us when service is due. You can view more information about the Volvo Truck Driver Information Display Manual here
Posted By Class8TruckParts.com

FAQ's Truck Lighting

Feb 14, 2017 2:22:15 PM

FAQ's Truck Lighting


What are combination marker/clearance lamps, and how do I mount them?
It is one light doing the work of two. It must be at a 45-degree angle (on corners) to be legal. It needs to be marked "PC" in the lens code. If there is a question, contact the Truck-Lite laboratory.

How hard should I tighten down (torque) plastic lights or devices?
I know over torquing will generally cause cracking or distortion. Use the torque spec provided by the manufacturer. A marker lamp will generally be in the neighborhood of 8 to 20-inch lbs. The "rule of thumb" is to use the minimum torque necessary to hold the device.

Are heavy-duty harnesses worth the extra cost?
Heavy duty harnesses provide an independent (secure) ground, less voltage drop and are completely sealed to avoid corrosion.

What is the "12 Square Inch rule?
On December 1, 1991, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) made effective the final ruling regarding the "12 Square Inch Rule." This ruling requires that the total luminous lens area for a stop and turn lamp must not be less than 75 centimeters squared (11.625 square inches) when used on vehicles over 80" wide. It must be noted that the reflex reflector ring cannot be counted as square inch lens area. When the reflex ring is subtracted from the total 12-inch lens, it leaves less than the 12 square inches required.

My light doesn't work. Is it the light or the wiring?
Use a tester or multimeter to check for open or broken filaments in the lights, --or for voltage from the vehicle. Another method is to substitute a known good light. Lack of vehicle voltage means there is a problem with the vehicle wiring or ground.

Why are my lights cracking?
Most lights are made from polycarbonate which is the toughest, highest melting plastic generally available. However, it can be attacked (cracked) by some chemicals or cleaners? The answer is to avoid the incompatible material and/or use Diamond Shell protected products.

What are the best ways to make lights last longer?
Use sealed chock-resistant lights employing a long-life LED or filament. Do not forget to grease the plug connection, if recommended.

Can you tell me approximately how long a bulb burned and what caused it to go out?
Yes, by looking at the filament under a microscope and by examining other telltale signs about the bulb.

Some of the electrical pin connectors in my plugs have completely corroded away. What can I do about this?
We use the most corrosion resistant metal available in the plugs, but if water or "conductive" dirt gets in the plug, it can provide a "short cut" for the voltage which "corrodes" the metal in the plug. The answer is to use new plugs and plenty of grease. If possible, move the lights to a more protected area and/or add a module box for protection.

Why are the lenses on the back of my truck melting?
It is probably due to extended contact of the lights with the insulating material provided by loading dock air seals. Turn the lights off when at loading docks or move them to a more protected location or use a bracket protector or switch to LED's which generate less heat.

Most of your lights seem to last a long time, but I have this one that's always failing. Why is that?
There is something different in the way it is being used; otherwise, there would be a problem with all your lights. Look for a loose mounting bracket or excessive vibration in the vehicle body at that location. If you find it, try to find a way to stop it. Look for impacts from loading docks, tailgates, doors, or cargo and try to reduce them if they exist or find an improved shock-mounted light, or an LED.

Would it be alright to mount a light at an angle that isn't "square" on the vehicle?
"Maybe." You need to contact the Lab for a test in that position; otherwise, it can be questioned by NHTSA or enforcement people.

Can I ever use the Model 40 with Reflex reflector ring legally?
Yes, as follows: On any vehicle under 80" wide. As an "extra" light on over 80" (reflex is legal). On vehicles made in 1991 or earlier, when installed by the vehicles owner, although most states enforce the Federal requirement.

Is "SAE" or "DOT" lettering required on lights?
No lettering is required by NHTSA (108) except for headlights and conspicuity tape. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety manual mentions that some lights should be marked "SAE" but this is not enforced. Truck-Lite marks all their lights with "SAE" and/or "DOT" markings.

Are there any special lighting requirements for vehicles hauling flammable or explosive materials?
There are no "special" Federal requirements as "108" covers all over-the-road vehicles. Some states or municipalities have regulations, but these cannot "supersede" 108, they can only add to it. Truck-Lite’s sealed lights and wiring systems have been tested to all known standards and certification. Reports are available from the Truck-Lite lab.

"108" says that some lights must be mounted as high as "practical." What is "practical?"
NHTSA has stated that the vehicle manufacturer has the responsibility to choose the best mounting location "in light of the particular design/configuration of the vehicle involved" and they will not contest it unless it is "clearly erroneous." Recently, Canada has started to strictly enforce the word practical as meaning "capable of being done." In the case of side markers, not more than six inches from the edge of the vehicle.

My customer wants to use a light for a "side turn" that isn't listed for that function. Is this OK, seeing as how side turns aren't required anyway?
Be careful that it doesn’t violate some state laws regarding color or location. If it is also used as a side marker, that function must be listed on the lens code.

My customer wants to add some auxiliary lights (ie. illuminated signs, deceleration lights, decorative lamps). Are these legal?
Yes, provided they do not: Render inoperative any device in compliance with "108". Negatively affect the performance of required equipment.Create confusion or misunderstanding of lighting signals. Always contact the lab if you have any questions.

Information Provided by Truck-Lite

Posted By Class8TruckParts.com

CR SKF Speedi Sleeve Installation Instructions

Installing a SPEEDI-SLEEVE® - New life to worn crankshafts

Sometimes when replacing a crankshaft seal, technicians will find shaft wear so severe that oil leaks are almost certain to occur even after the new replacement seal is installed.
In the old days, the remedy was either to replace the crankshaft or remachine its surface. Either choice was costly.
Not so with today’s better alternative: the SKF SPEEDI-SLEEVE®. These thin-walled stainless steel shaft repair sleeves can come to immediate rescue when a crankshaft needs a new sealing surface.
Low in cost, a SPEEDI-SLEEVE is slipped over the worn area quickly and easily, and provides a surface that is actually harder than that of a new shaft. The same size seal (as the one being replaced) fits snugly onto the new surface. And each SPEEDI-SLEEVE comes as a kit with a disposable installation tool.
Here’s how to install an SKF SPEEDI-SLEEVE:

  1. Clean the seal counter surface on the shaft. File down any burrs or rough spots.
  2. Measure the diameter where the sleeve will be positioned on an unworn portion of the shaft (see fig. 1). Measure in three positions Speedi Sleeve Install Instrctions Fig1and average the readings (to make sure the shaft is within recommended specifications). If the mean diameter is within the range for a given sleeve size, there is sufficient press fit built into the sleeve to prevent Figure 1 it from sliding or spinning without using an adhesive.
  3. Determine where the sleeve must be positioned to cover the seal wear track. Measure to the exact point, or mark directly on the surface. The sleeve must be placed over the worn area, not just bottomed or left flush with the end of the shaft.
  4. Shallow wear grooves do not require filling. Optionally, a light layer of a non-hardening sealant, e.g. Loctite 209, can be applied to the inside diameter surface of the sleeve. Clean away sealant that migrates to the shaft or sleeve outside diameter surface.
  5. If the shaft is deeply scored (see note above) fill the groove with a powdered metal epoxy type filler*. Install the sleeve before the filler hardens, allowing the sleeve to wipe off any excess filler. Clean away any remaining filler from the sleeve outside diameter surface.

    6. The flange end of the sleeve goes on the shaft first. Then place the installation tool over the sleeve (see fig. 2).Speedi Sleeve Install Instrctions Fig 2, 3, 4

  6. Gently tap the center of the installation tool until the sleeve covers the seal worn surface (see fig. 3). If the installation tool is too short, a length of pipe or tubing with a squared-off, burr-free end can be used. Be sure that the inside diameter of the pipe is the same as that of the installation tool. Use care not to scratch the precision ground sleeve outside diameter.
  7. Leave the flange intact unless clearance is required. If the flange is to be removed, cut the flange perpendicular to the tear-off groove with a metal shear. Cut only into the tear-off groove, not onto the finished sleeve surface. After positioning the sleeve, use standard pliers to bend
    the flange back and forth around its circumference and along the shaft axis (see fig. 4). The flange will break loose along the tear-off groove. Alternately, grasp the flange away from the seal surface and twist it into a coil being careful not to lift the end of the sleeve off the shaft or it will leave a jagged edge. Flange removal must be done with care to avoid damage to the sleeve outside diameter.
  8. After the sleeve is installed, check again for burrs, which could damage the seal.
  9. Lubricate the sleeve with the system medium before installing the seal.
  10. Proceed with the seal installation.

    Removing a SPEEDI-SLEEVE

    A SPEEDI-SLEEVE can be removed by applying heat to the sleeve with an electric heat blower, which will expand it enough to let it slide off the shaft without causing damage. Alternatively, the sleeve can be removed in any of the following ways, always using care not to damage the shaft surface
    - by relieving the press fit tension using a small hammer to peen across the full width of the sleeve
    - by using a cold chisel to cut through the sleeve
    - by using a pair of wire cutters starting at or near the flange and applying a twisting motion.

    Please note that a SPEEDI-SLEEVE cannot be reused.

    * Loctite “Quickmetal” (#66010) or similar works well for filling a deep groove and can be used as an adhesive or sealant if desired. Use of an adhesive can, however, make the removal of the sleeve slightly more difficult.

     

    Information provided by SKF

Posted By Class8TruckParts.com

General Tips To Prolong Equipment Lighting

NEVER USE A TEST PROBE TO PIERCE WIRE INSULATION

  • When troubleshooting lighting complaints never pierce the wire insulation
  • Wicking action takes place which causes moisture to travel along the wire strands and corrode critical connections along the complete connection - "salt creep".
  • If probing a harness or wire is unavoidable, make sure the puncture is properly sealed - understand that the Ultra-Blue-Seal™ system is a modularly sealed system that must not be cut into - especially for warranty purposes. Testing should take place at each termination point along the main, rear sill, jumpers, pigtails and lamp itself. Replacement then does not need to be the whole system, but simply the damaged extension area.

TO CORRECT VOLTAGE PROBLEMS DISCOVER THE REAL CAUSE

  • Under-voltage often is caused by poor electrical connections. To correct under-voltage or illumination problems, don’t just turn up the voltage, find out what caused the under-voltage problem.
  • Over-voltage is causes major damage to lamps and batteries.

MANY DISCARDED LAMPS ARE STILL IN GOOD CONDITION

  • Do not simply "assume" when solving lamp problems - explore all avenues to make sure you are identifying the true source of a problem. Make sure you are not simply fixing a symptom of a greater problem.
  • First, test with either a meter, power supply, or battery. Our male and female tester are perfect for this (87810 and 87820).
  • Then if you desire, open the lens on a discarded lamp and examine the bulb. It will help tell you what failed. For example:
  • A bulb with stretched or broken filaments was subjected to heavy vibration.
  • A yellowish, whitish of bluish glaze on the bulb indicates a rupture in the bulb glass envelope and a possible leak.
  • A dark, metallic finish indicates old age.
  • A black, sooty bulb indicates a poor seal in the bulb.
  • Test all lamps one time before you discard them. General findings show that up to 40% of all lamps sent back are still in good operating condition. The ones that aren’t working can be turned over to your lamp supplier.

ALL LAMPS WILL LAST LONGER IF THEY RUN COOL

  • Dirt on lenses increases the heat, so keep them as clean as possible. Other people can see your rig, and that is one of the purposes of the lighting system (besides safety) - to be seen.
  • Heat is one of the most damaging conditions to a standard incandescent bulb, right up to a cluster of LEDs, which can also be damaged by heat. For this reason the Grote 4" LED offers significant heat benefits against the competitors plastic housing as the anodized aluminum dissipates the heat into the trailer body.
  • All lighting must breathe to eliminate the damage from heat build-up and thus shortening of bulb/lamp life.

TREAT THE ELECTRICAL SYSTEM AS YOU WOULD THE CHASSIS

  • Lubricate sockets, pigtails, battery terminals and connections with Ultra-Seal  Sealant (99170)  "nonconductive" anti-corrosion compound. Use the offered Grote small tube of grease for lubricant.
  • The purpose of the sealant is to totally encapsulate and protect against corrosion and water.
  • Do not use sodium-based greases. Sodium will emulsify if it ever comes in contact with water.

INSPECT FOR IMPROPER GROUND CONNECTIONS

  • This is a major cause of lamp failure, especially when the trailer is used for a ground.
  • When lamps are grounded through the lamp housing, make sure there is a clean connection (ie. metal to metal).
  • Also, a fifth wheel ground strap may be used for added protection on the chassis ground system.

LOOK FOR LOOSE, BARE OR UNSUPPORTED WIRE AND FIXTURES

  • Harnesses an wiring should be on the underside of top frame members rather than on the bottom where dirt and road splash collect.

ALWAYS REPLACE WIRING TRAILER LIGHT CABLES AND HARNESSES WITH AN EQUAL OR HEAVIER GAUGE OF WIRE (from original specifications)

  • If you don’t, you may cause unnecessary problems. See our catalogue for additional wire gauge information on specification. This product and process mentality provides for proper gauging.

ON OLDER TRUCKS, YOU SHOULD NEVER CRANK THE TRUCK WHEN ANY LIGHTS OR ACCESSORIES ARE ON

  • Also, never leave markers/clearance and hazard lights on when parked against a dock. Melted lenses are a sure sign that the vehicle has been parked against the dock while the lights were on.
  • Always remember that the trend is towards reduction of power consumption, and voltage surges are extremely damaging to wiring or lighting.

INSPECT THE GROMMETS THAT HOUSE THE LAMPS

  • As the grommets age, they eventually will deteriorate from sunlight, ozone and harmful chemicals.
  • New grommets restore shock protection, security and improves appearance.
Article Courtesy of Grote Industries
Posted By Class8TruckParts.com

Winter Weather Tech Tips

Feb 11, 2017 7:47:39 AM

8 Tech Tips for Winter Weather

Volvo VHD Winter Snow

Cold winter weather can be tough on trucks.  Cold temperatures, ice, deicing chemicals all can make keeping your truck on the road difficult during winter.  Here are 8 tips to help you keep your truck running at peak performance during the cold.

 

  1. Air Dryer - The air dryer prevents water from forming in the air brake lines.  During cold weather this water could freeze, and prevent you from keeping your brake released.  We suggest replacing your air dryer cartridge yearly.  
  2. Fuel Water Separator - Your daily inspection should include the fuel water separator.  Inspect, and drain water when necessary.  We suggest during the winter to carry a spare fuel water separator filter with you.  
  3. Engine Block Heater - If your truck will be parked for more than a couple of hours, we recommend ensuring you plug in the engine block heater.  The block heater will heat the engine coolant and help keep your engine from getting too cold.  This will help you start the engine.
  4. Batteries - Extreme temperatures can drain a battery quickly.  We recommend having your batteries tested to ensure they will make it through the winter.  Be sure to check for any loose wiring or corrosion on the connections.  All connections should be cleaned.  
  5. HVAC System - Make sure your heating and cooling system is running well.  A faulty blower motor can not only make your cab cold, but can prevent you from defrosting your windows to see.  Keep your cabin air filter clean, and check your coolant's freeze point.
  6. Fuel Additives - Diesel fuel can start to gel at 32 degrees.  The paraffin present in diesel starts to solidify and crystallize at 32 degrees, and at 10-15 degrees it can gel and clog the tank and fuel filters.  Make sure you're purchasing a winter blended fuel with a high cetane rating.  You also may need to add anti-gel additives during fill-up.
  7. Tire Pressure - Temperature changes from warm to cold can cause a loss of tire pressure (Tires lose up to 2 PSI for every 10 deg F of change in temperature).  This can risk tire failure.  Trucks traveling cross-country from warmer to colder weather should be extra careful to check tire inflation pressure regularly.  
  8. Keep it Clean - Deicing chemicals used to treat the roads are highly corrosive and can eat away at metal, and wiring.  Wash your truck down periodically to help prevent these chemicals from destroying your truck.  Making sure to inspect the wheels, and your brakes.  Electrical connections (tractor and trailer pigtails) you should apply dialectic grease to prevent moisture and corrosion from starting. 
Posted By class8truckparts
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PO Box 6808
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