It may still be over 100 degrees outside, but cooler temperatures are on the way, and fall and winter will be here before we know it. Now is the perfect time to start making sure your truck is winter-ready and will be in the best shape to help you do your job for the rest of the year.
We’ve compiled all the most important steps into a simple guide for you below. Here are the things every trucker using load boards should be doing to prepare for driving in colder weather.
Get Your Truck Ready for Winter
Have you heard the quote, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”? When it comes to doing your due diligence as a responsible driver, preparation is key. Here are five ways to ensure your truck is ready for winter.
- Take Inventory of Your Supplies: It’s always a good idea to make sure you have the right size and quantity of various items, like chaining equipment, bungees and a reflective vest. We also recommend keeping weather-proof gloves, a flashlight and proper boots in your cab as well. Closer to winter it may be a good idea to put some extra winter clothes and bedding in your cab, too.
- Check Your Tires: Consult a professional and consider outfitting your fleet with winter tires to ensure better grip. You should also monitor your tires’ air pressure. Underinflation and overinflation need to be monitored, especially in more extreme temperatures.
- Perform an Inspection: If you haven’t been keeping up with your regular inspections, now is a great time to get back on track. Cold temps can take a toll on a truck’s belts and hoses. Look for signs of fraying or cracking, leaks, loose clamps, etc. It’s a lot easier to fix those issues now before they become issues, and you end up on the side of the road in colder temperatures.
- Don’t Forget Your Lights: The most seasoned truckers will tell you that all of this prep is worthless if you can’t properly see the road ahead of you. In the winter, you have to be prepared for darker days, earlier nights, and poor weather that may impede your vision. Check your lights before every trip.
- Perform Battery Maintenance: Winter breakdowns most commonly occur thanks to a weak or dead battery. Cold temperatures can drain batteries quickly, and diesel engines need a durable battery. On average, a battery should last 48 to 72 months, but depending on your regional climate, your truck may have seen more stress than others. Perform regular maintenance like cleaning and securing connections and mounting brackets.
There are certainly far more tips to follow to ensure your truck is ready for the next season, but these five steps are a great place to start. If you feel that your truck is ready to take on the cold, here are a few tips to help you get ready.
- Never stop on the shoulder of the road. This is always dangerous, but especially during winter with lower visibility and poor weather conditions.
- Keep fuel tanks topped up.
- Be more diligent about monitoring the weather.
- Give yourself extra time to make deliveries and pickups.
- Trust your gut. The best drivers always have good judgment, if you feel the conditions are too dangerous, then stay off the road.