5 Most Common Semi Truck Breakdowns

semi-truck broke down in highway in vancouver

If you drive a semi-truck, you know how important it is to always be prepared for a breakdown while you’re on the road. While sometimes breakdowns are inevitable, it can help to be aware of the most common type of semi-truck breakdowns so that you can be alert and informed. In this article, we will go over the most common types of semi-truck breakdowns so that you know when you should contact a semi-truck breakdown service or truck breakdown assistance.

Five Common Causes of Semi Truck Breakdowns

1. Age

This one may be obvious, but it’s still worth mentioning. Even if a truck has a solid build, years of wear and tear on the road is likely to have a significant effect on its ability to perform. If you’re driving an old truck, there is a good chance that it may just break down one day out of nowhere — even if it seemed to be running smoothly just the day before!


In order to make this as unlikely as possible, it’s important that you keep on top of all of the standard maintenance that needs to be performed on your truck. The more upkeep you do, the less likely that you are able to encounter the prospect of catastrophic repairs in the future.

2. Alternator or Battery

Your truck’s alternator or battery can also be vulnerable to breakdowns. However, there are usually warning signs that will be presented to you if this is the case. For one, your lights may flicker while your truck is idling, or your battery may have difficulty turning over.


Semi-truck drivers who operate in cold climates may notice that their vehicles are even more prone to battery failure. Although most batteries can boast a lifespan of between three and five years, this lifespan can be shortened quite a bit if the battery is often forced to work in cold climates.

3. Tires

Believe it or not, but tire issues may just be the number one problem that semi-truck drivers have to deal with. This is especially true if the maintenance on the tires of your truck has been lacking. Even just regular wear and tear can do a lot of damage to the average set of tires.


On a regular automobile, a flat tire is not that big of a deal and can often even be fixed by the car owner on the side of a highway. However, on a semi-truck, it is a completely different citation. Even one flat tire on a semi-truck can postpone a truck driver and keep them off-schedule for hours. They are the number one cause of road failures for truck drivers.


The best way to prevent a tire mishap from happening is by performing regular inspections on your tires. If you are not comfortable doing this yourself, your local truck repair service can assist you in making sure that your tires are properly aligned and adequately inflated before every trip.

4. Engine

Diesel engines, particularly older models, are particularly prone to engine issues. This is because engines can easily become overused and fail if they are not given the proper standard maintenance. If you are running a newer semi-truck, you should be less prone to engine failure.  Signs of a failing engine include getting less gas mileage than normal and also being incapable of reaching the same speeds that you used to be in your truck.

5. Brakes

Brakes are, of course, one of the most important components of any motor vehicle. For trucks, this is especially true, given their overall size and weight. When the brakes of a semi-truck fail, it is a big problem and can cause devastating accidents that put both yourself and the other cars on the road in danger.


A truck’s brakes are susceptible to damage because they are exposed to a lot of friction, which means heat and pressure that can easily wear the brakes down. Semi-trucks are also vulnerable to air leaks, which can affect the brakes’ ability to perform. If you need semi-trucks breakdown or maintenance services in Vancouver, please contact Dieseltech.