Maximizing the Lifespan of Your Vacuum Truck: 6 Long-Term Care Strategies

A mechanic performing a checklist while looking at tires

At FlowMark Vacuum Trucks, we pride ourselves on crafting the highest quality vacuum trucks for sale in the industry. With a sprawling 150,000 square feet of manufacturing space and a team rich in experience, we understand the importance of maintaining your vacuum truck fleet for longevity. Our vacuum trucks are designed for a variety of essential services, and keeping them in top condition is key to maximizing their lifespan. 

Here are six long-term care strategies to ensure your vacuum trucks remain reliable and efficient:


1. Regular Tank Maintenance

Proper tank maintenance is crucial for the longevity of your vacuum truck. Here is a quick breakdown of a few tips you can use to maintain your tank:

a. Material Pumping: 

Only pump materials that are within the appropriate pH level range. This prevents chemical damage to the tank.

b. Daily Emptying:

 Ensure the tank is emptied daily. Residual material can settle and separate, forming corrosive layers and emitting harmful gasses.

c. Quarterly Cleaning and Inspection:

Primary Cleaning: Open and clean the primary every quarter to remove any buildup or blockages.

Tank Flushing: Flush the inside of the tank quarterly to prevent sediment accumulation.

Visual Inspection: Conduct a thorough visual inspection of the tank’s interior every quarter to check for signs of wear, corrosion, or damage.

d. Tank Tie Down Inspections: 

Perform quarterly inspections of tank tie downs to ensure they are secure and in good condition.

This routine ensures your vacuum truck’s tank remains in optimal condition, reducing the risk of damage and prolonging its lifespan.


2. Inspect and Maintain Body Components

Ensuring the integrity and functionality of your vacuum truck’s body components is critical. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of what to do:

a. Initial One-Month Check-Up:

PTO (Power Take-Off) Bolts: Inspect and tighten PTO bolts. Loose bolts can lead to power transmission inefficiencies.

Hydraulic Lines: Check for leaks or wear. Hydraulic fluid leaks can cause operational failures and environmental hazards.

Tank Tie Downs: Ensure they are tightly secured and not worn out. This prevents tank movement and potential damage during transit.

Vac/Pressure Relief Valve Settings: Verify correct settings for optimal performance and safety.

b. Daily Maintenance Routine:

Component Visual Inspection: Examine all components, including hoses, valves, and seals, for any signs of wear, cracks, or leaks.

Secondary Drainage: Drain the secondary trap to prevent buildup and blockages.

Muffler Drainage: Regularly drain the muffler to prevent moisture accumulation, which can lead to rust and reduced efficiency.

Oil Reservoir: Check and fill the oil reservoir to ensure proper lubrication and cooling of the vacuum pump.

c. Weekly Maintenance Checks:

Flush the Vacuum Pump: This removes debris and buildup, maintaining pump efficiency.

Final and Water Filter Inspection: Clean or replace filters to ensure unobstructed airflow and operational efficiency.

Pump Coupler Check: Inspect the pump coupler for wear or damage, as it’s essential for transmitting power to the vacuum pump.

d. Quarterly Body Maintenance:

Grease Application: Apply grease to moving parts, including hinges and valves, to reduce friction and wear.

Rust Inspection: Check for any signs of rust or corrosion, particularly in areas exposed to moisture or chemicals.

Paint and Surface Inspection: Look for chipping or cracking in the paint, which can be an entry point for rust and corrosion.

Following these detailed steps ensures the body of your vacuum truck remains in top condition, reducing the likelihood of breakdowns and prolonging its service life.


3. Lubrication is Key

Regular greasing of all grease points, including drive shaft u joints, manways, and deck pivot points, is essential. This not only ensures smooth operation but also prolongs the life of these components.


4. Safety First

Safety is a top priority when operating and maintaining vacuum trucks. Here are detailed tips and precautions to ensure safe operation:

a. Regular Safety Checks:

Vacuum and Pressure Relief Valves: Regularly check and adjust these valves. Properly functioning valves are crucial to prevent over-pressurization, which can lead to equipment failure or accidents.

Intake Deflector Inspection: Regularly inspect the intake deflector for any signs of wear or damage. A compromised intake deflector can lead to inefficient operation and safety hazards.

b. Operator Training:

Ensure all operators are fully trained in the safe operation of vacuum trucks. This includes understanding how to operate all controls, emergency procedures, and the significance of various gauge readings. Conduct refresher training sessions periodically to keep operators updated on new safety protocols and operational techniques.

c. Emergency Preparedness:

Always have an emergency response plan in place. This should include steps to take in case of spills, equipment failure, or accidents. Equip your vacuum trucks with emergency response kits, including spill containment materials, fire extinguishers, and first-aid supplies.

A first aid kit that is meant to be mobile and stored in vacuum trucks

d. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

Operators should always wear appropriate PPE, including gloves, safety goggles, and protective clothing, especially when handling hazardous materials. Ensure PPE is regularly inspected and replaced as necessary.

e. Safe Operating Practices:

Adhere to speed limits and be mindful of the vacuum truck’s center of gravity, as abrupt maneuvers can cause tipping or loss of control. Also, avoid operating the vacuum truck in unsafe weather conditions, like high winds or heavy rain, which can impact stability and visibility.


5. Trust Expert Engineers

Remember, each FlowMark vacuum truck is engineered from scratch, giving us control over every detail for optimal quality and serviceability. Trust in the design and recommendations provided by our expert engineers for the best care of your truck.


6. Choose Quality for Your Fleet

When considering vacuum trucks for sale, remember that FlowMark builds trucks designed to live a long and hard working life. Our dedication to quality is backed by industry-leading warranties. We’ve built thousands of vacuum trucks operating worldwide.


Vacuum Trucks for Sale From FlowMark

Maintaining your fleet of vacuum trucks is vital for ensuring their long-term performance and reliability. At FlowMark Vacuum Trucks, we stand by the quality and durability of our products. If you’re in the market for a vacuum truck, or simply want more information on maintaining your fleet, contact us today to request a quote or learn more. Go with the quality truck. Go with FlowMark.