Cenex Highway trucks

What does more mileage really mean for vehicle life?

July 23, 2018
Theoretically, a vehicle that has covered more miles has more wear and tear, but a truck that’s been driven less can easily be in worse shape than one that’s been driven more.

When it comes to getting more life from your rigs, the number on the odometer is usually the first thing fleet owners check. There is a common perception that a vehicle’s mileage is the best measure of reliability. But there’s more to the story.

A truck’s life isn’t determined by miles driven.

Mileage is just one indicator of a vehicle’s condition. Theoretically, a vehicle that has covered more miles has more wear and tear, but a truck that’s been driven less can easily be in worse shape than one that’s been driven more. Trucks like to be driven. Parts that don’t get regular use can become brittle and break more easily. And a low-mileage truck that hasn’t had regular maintenance can see more problems down the line. Overall, a high-mileage vehicle that is driven frequently and has been well-maintained will be a more reliable bet.

Modern technology means a longer truck life-span.

Today, mileages once considered a long life for a truck are considered mid-life for many rigs. Updated technology means trucks run more reliably and, when properly maintained, can go longer without requiring major repairs or replacements. Since today’s trucks last longer, mileage is a less reliable factor of remaining life.

Maintenance is king.

Regular maintenance is key to keeping a vehicle running well. Check the owner’s manual for a suggested maintenance schedule and stick to it. Proper upkeep isn’t just regular oil changes, but also paying attention to brake fluid, transmission fluid and tire rotation. Maintaining these details goes a long way toward keeping your truck in great shape. 

Consider product quality, too. A full synthetic oil, like MAXTRON® ENVIRO-EDGE®, will often last longer and do a better job keeping parts moving smoothly. A premium diesel, such as CENEX ROADMASTER XL®, can keep deposits from building and clogging your engine.

This is the bottom line: Mileage is one component of a vehicle’s health. Maintaining a strict maintenance schedule will help keep your truck on the road for thousands of miles—and many years to come.

About the Author

Ron Jessen | Director of Product Management and Business Development

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