We have a little ritual we perform on every drive day to make sure Molly is in fine form. It involves a walk around the truck checking the following 6 things
- Coolant. Obviously check between the “FULL” and “LOW”.
- Oil. Pull the dipstick and make sure the level is between the low mark and the high mark indicated by the little circle.
- Diesel. From the instrument panel, make sure the the diesel fuel gauge looks right. The instrument panel fuel gauge is highly biased to the full, so trust it when below 50%.
- DEF. Check the external DEF tank to make sure that the DEF level looks right.
- Engine. Look for leaks on the underside of the engine, or on the ground. It is not realistic to tilt the cab to do a proper inspection of the engine or the v-belt
- Rubber. Check the wheels and tires for proper inflation pressure, tread groove depth, foreign objects in grooves, cracks, uneven wear, softening and blistering.
- Security. Check all lockers and the door to the house to make sure they are locked. While walking around Molly, look for anything strange or different.
The above ritual is memorized with the mnemonic CODDERS.
Our mnemonic is a modification of one learned during a 4WD course taken for safe driving in the Australian desert. The original version was, POWER, for Petrol, Oil, Water, Engine and Rubber.
We are certainly are not car mechanics, but our daily routine really works for us.
The FUSO operating manual has a much more comprehensive daily inspection requirement, with a total of 15 checks to be performed. They are
- Coolant level
- Engine oil level
- Fuel, oil, coolant and other fluid leaks
- V-belt tension and damage. This requires us to tilt the cab, and not something we do. It is possible to crawl under the car have a quick look.
- Parking brake lever stroke
- Service brake pedal
- Brake fluid level
- Steering wheel free play
- Lighting system
- Gauge, warning/indicator lamp operation
- Wheels and tires
- Suspension springs
- Battery fluid level
- Steering wheel operation (driving at low speed)
- Brake performance (driving at low speed)
The bad news, we don’t all of these on a daily basis. The good news, we check the above on a monthly basis. While we travelled around the world in Sterlin, we did a variant of these regular checks. We found the smaller list of daily inspections were enough and helped discover issues before they became problems.
In addition to what FUSO recommends, we also check on a monthly basis that the roof rack is secure, the wheel lug nuts are tight and the rear bumper attachments are secure. The plan is to install wheel nut movement indicators and this is on the todo list.
Regular Service Intervals
And then we take Molly to a Service Center for a proper check as indicated in the service manual.