FAQs—GMC C7500 Topkick
Our GMC C7500 Topkick is eating through tires like crazy. The steer tires are wearing faster than we get paid from hauling cargo. My brother drives the truck himself and swears he tries to be careful in applying the brakes so as to not put too much damage on the tires. Seems not to be working. Any advice?
Remove your steer tires and get a proper look at the damage they have incurred. Tire damage ranges from shoulder wear to localized wear, which may depend on the braking, distribution of weight, or underlying alignment or suspension problem. So carefully examining the wear and damage of your tires could tell you what the issue really is, giving you a chance to fix the problem itself and not just its symptoms.
Since your brother attested that he's not fond of sudden braking, that's one thing you can already scratch off the list of possible causes. If the steer tires have shoulder wear—inner shoulder wear on one tire and an outer shoulder wear on the other—then your drive axle could be misaligned. If the tires have stressed tread area with cuts, spinning on stony ground may have caused that and can even be worsened by moisture and over inflation. Either way, in order to get on top of your tire situation you have got to consider your routes—the type of roads you go through, the use of brakes, the distribution of weight, and the condition of your suspension, as well as your wheel alignment. These are the major factors that affect the lifespan of your tires and the overall safety and performance of your truck.
One of our trucks has been commissioned to go south and distribute woodworking equipment for an entire year. In my understanding, temperature there can get really high. Any tips on how we can prepare the Topkick for the weather so that it gets back to us okay?
Since heat is going to be the primary source of problem for you then you got to watch out for the rubber components of your truck. That includes hoses, reservoirs, and most especially, the tires. Make sure that all are still in good condition and can withstand extreme heat. Your tires should still have good treads as hot pavement can do a number on them and can even cause a blow-out if you're not careful.
Watch your fluids as they're going to dry out faster. Keep an eye on your electricals because heat also triggers corrosion and your battery and alternator can become corroded if not properly maintained. It's not really that difficult to keep a truck in good condition even in temperate areas. You're just going to have to check up on the components more frequently and pay more attention to fluid levels.
I recently acquired a GMC C7500 Topkick dump truck and would like to use it as tow truck instead. Do I really need to modify its rear? Can I not just leave it alone and do the towing?
If you're not going to alter your C7500 according to your intended job for it then you might not get the outcome that you want. If you're going to use it as a tow truck, then you're going to need all the power it has to haul vehicles without causing damage to your truck or to the car you're towing. Do the modification and you'll get the results you've been hoping for.