Preparing your truck for winter is vital, especially if you are driving through the northern states where frigid temperatures, snow, sleet, and ice are common conditions. Though it may seem unlikely that you will break down, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Especially during the winter season.
These 6 tips will help you prepare your truck for the winter⏤ensuring you are being as safe as possible on the road!
Bring the Essentials
In the case of a breakdown, be sure that you have packed the essentials to keep yourself comfortable until help arrives. When packing the basics be sure to include extra blankets, a set of warm clothes to bundle in, extra food and drink. Including a Gatorade or Powerade is always a good plan as it takes lower temperatures to freeze these than it does plain water.
Pack Supplies for the Truck
Having the right supplies for your truck could be what makes the difference between you being stuck on the side of the road and being able to get back on your route again. Some things to consider when collecting your supplies will be the basic set of tools such as a drill, wrench, screwdriver, pliers, etc. It would also be helpful to include a couple of flashlights with extra batteries, jumper cables, and a good pair of work gloves.
Get Your Truck Tuned Up
Tuning up your truck is a small thing you can do now that will make a huge difference down the road. Getting a tune-up can include a lot of different routine maintenance such as having the oil changed, changing your battery, and ensuring you have a spare tire. Giving your truck a general look-over can help ensure you’re ready for the frigid weather ahead.
Maintain Antifreeze Levels
Ensuring that you have enough antifreeze in your vehicle is vital to keeping your radiator and engine humming along smoothly. If you don’t have enough antifreeze in your radiator, your engine will not maintain proper temperatures. A frozen engine can lead to trouble and possibly a breakdown out on the road. Check your antifreeze levels before each trip and be sure to have extra antifreeze in your cabin to top if it off when it gets low.
Check Your Tires Tread
Driving becomes especially dangerous for truckers when the roads get icy. Check the tread of your tires to make sure that you will have adequate grips on the road this winter. If they do not pass inspection have them changed before hitting the road. Otherwise, you might find yourself in a dangerous situation sliding around or being unable to move at all.
Consider Using Snow Chains
Depending on the area you plan to be driving in, you may want to talk to your company to see if snow chains are an option. It will also depend on the type of precipitation in the area and the tires on your truck. Snow chains have helped many truckers get out of slippery situations but may not work well for other conditions on the road. Understanding your truck, your route, and your needs will determine if you should carry snow chains with you.
These are just a few things you can do to prepare yourself for driving this winter. You just never know what you might have to face on the road this winter. Better to be safe than sorry!
Need to refresh on your driving skills before the winter? DriveCo CDL Learning Center offers a customizable CDL refresher course to help you improve your skills! Contact us today to get started.