The Role of Oil Changes in Refrigerated Truck Maintenance

Refrigerated trucks are working hard on our roads, and it's our responsibility to ensure they have everything they need to perform.

Angela Clemente, MyLittleSalesman

There's a reason why the truck-repair industry was worth $6.4 bn in 2023 — people are obviously avoiding preventative maintenance for their vehicles! A malfunctioning transport refrigeration unit is a big problem, and it always will happen right when you need it the least. A breakdown can mean more than just a delay — it can mean spoiled cargo and a dent in your profits.

Refrigerated truck maintenance is vital, and the oil change process is a big part of it. This simple but important task could end up saving you the headache of unexpected breakdowns and cargo catastrophes.

The Inner Workings of Your Transport Refrigeration System

The cooling coil (or the evaporator) is the frontline soldier against rising temperatures. It ensures that hot air in the chilled environment meets its match, shedding thermal energy and keeping things frosty.

The compressor circulates and compresses the internal cooling agent before it hits the next stop on the refrigeration rollercoaster — the condenser — where the cool-down happens. Here, the heated-up refrigerant gets the cold shoulder until it transforms from a sizzling vapor to a chilled-out liquid. Finally, the expansion device takes the chilled-out liquid from the condenser, throws in a pressure drop, and makes it ready to hit the cooling coil again for another round of temperature-taming action.

All four players need some care to keep this refrigeration process going. Regular maintenance ensures your transport refrigeration unit stays in great condition, especially when you hit the road hard.

Maintaining Optimal Performance for Your Refrigeration Unit's Compressor

Another type of oil needs to be considered before we get to the engine's oil. Oil analysis across the board for your vehicle means better predictive maintenance. Compressor oil is crucial for the longevity and efficiency of your cooling powerhouse.

Think of compressor oil as the lifeblood of your refrigeration system. As your trusty refrigeration unit hits the road and tackles temperature challenges, the integrated compressor works tirelessly to keep things cool. However, this hardworking compressor oil can start feeling wear and tear over time.

Bad oil is the enemy within. It's the culprit behind excessive friction among the compressor's moving parts. This can lead to a premature compressor breakdown. You need a regular oil change in your compressor to combat this looming threat.

The Lifeblood of Your Refrigerated Truck's Engine

Engine oil: It's not just a liquid but the very essence that keeps your refrigerated truck running smoothly for miles while hauling heavy loads. This golden elixir deserves a spotlight in your truck's maintenance routine.

Imagine your engine as the beating heart of your truck and engine oil as its lifeblood. Engine oil works to reduce friction between the moving parts, preventing the kind of wear and tear that could lead to an early retirement for your engine.

Engine oil isn't just about reducing friction, however. As your engine works hard burning through fuel and generating heat, engine oil provides the ultimate cool-down. Acting as a coolant, it dissipates the excess heat and prevents your engine from turning into a meltdown disaster.

Finally, engine oil is a proactive force that sweeps away dirt, debris, and contaminants within the engine. It ensures that your engine stays squeaky clean, free from impurities that could spell trouble.

Why Your Refrigerated Truck Needs a Wellness Routine

Due to oil deterioration, regular oil changes and express lube services should be non-negotiable components of your truck maintenance routine. Engine oil has its limits. Over time, it breaks down, losing its lubrication, cooling, and cleaning powers.

Regular oil changes act like your truck's rejuvenation spa day, thus ensuring a constant supply of fresh, high-performing oil, and keeping your engine in peak condition.

Contaminant buildup is another issue to be aware of. As engine oil circulates through your engine's intricate maze, it collects dirt, metal particles, and other contaminants like a magnet. Ignoring this buildup leads to serious potential damage. Regular oil changes play the role of the cleanup crew, eliminating these contaminants and preserving your engine's health for the long haul.

Speaking of the long haul, let's touch on engine longevity. Your truck is not just a mode of transportation; it's an investment. You want it to age like fine wine, not prematurely. Regular oil changes contribute to your engine's fountain of youth, reducing wear and tear and protecting against costly engine repairs and replacements.

Lastly, let's talk about performance. Fresh oil means better engine performance, literally. It ensures your truck operates at its peak, delivering the power and torque needed for those heavy loads and long hauls of refrigerated freight.

The Process of Routine Truck Oil-Change Services

The routine task of a truck oil change keeps your engine humming along at its optimum level. Here's what goes down during these essential services (a process that you can even take care of yourself if you feel confident enough):

  1. Draining the old oil: Consider it a fresh start for your truck's engine. The old oil, which has dutifully carried out its duties of lubrication and cooling, now makes way for a clean slate. It's crucial to ensure that your engine gets the rejuvenating boost it deserves.
  2. Replacing the oil filter: The oil filter traps contaminants and prevents them from wreaking havoc. It receives a well-deserved replacement during a truck oil change service to ensure long-lasting protection against unwanted particles and impurities.
  3. Refilling with the appropriate oil grade and quantity: Not all oils are created equal, and your truck's engine deserves the best. During the service, ensure that the engine is replenished with the right grade and quantity of oil, designed to meet the specific needs of your heavy-duty road beast.
  4. A comprehensive check and top-up of other fluids: Your truck isn't just about oil — it's a complex system of various fluids working in harmony. During the service, go the extra mile, inspect and top-up other essential fluids to ensure your truck is ready and equipped to handle the long haul.

Improve Your Machine Reliability with More Best Practices

Machine Lubrication exists to help with lubrication and oil analysis. We work hard to change how organizations manage and monitor lubricants to ensure optimum reliability and safety. Let us be your trusted advisor, and bookmark our site for easy access to an invaluable resource to protect your vehicle or fleet.

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About the Author

Angela Clemente, a seasoned content marketer at MyLittleSalesman.com, combines her digital marketing expertise with a passion for the ...