As the temperature seems to get colder and colder and winter sets in, many truck drivers are beginning to consider how they will prepare their truck so they can continue on working throughout the winter months. It’s important that truck drivers are aware of how they can prepare their truck for winter to ensure they are able to handle anything the cold, frigid temperatures and ice, sleet, and snow throw at them.
The following are 4 great steps to help keep truck drivers safe on the road and to help them travel safely even through the winter season’s most treacherous stretches:
1. Maintenance checks
Winter weather can take even the most seasoned drivers by surprise. The last thing you want to be dealing with on top of the weather is truck maintenance issues. A few checks you need to perform include:
- Truck battery – check your battery’s age and strength before you hit the road
- Cooling systems – inspect your radiator, belts, and hoses for possible failures. Check coolant for optimum freezing levels
- Tire pressure – make sure tires are at full pressure and check the pressure often throughout the winter
2. Switch to winter blend fuels
Diesel fuels have a habit of turning to gel under the extremely cold conditions that can occur during winter. It happens because regular diesel fuel contains a hydrocarbon called paraffin that crystallizes under freezing conditions. Switching to a winter blend fuel with a high cetane rating and adding anti-gel additives whenever you fuel up will keep this from happening.
3. Invest in an engine block heater
If you drive through some of the coldest parts of the country and your truck sits for long periods of time, consider investing in an electric engine block heater. Diesel engines are notoriously difficult to start during the winter because of their higher cylinder temperatures, and an engine block heater will help solve the problem by raising the temperature.
4. Stock up on emergency supplies
Make sure your normal emergency supply kit is well stocked (i.e. flares, working flashlight with extra batteries, first aid kit), but also consider these additions for when you are driving in winter weather:
- Anti-gel additive
At CDS Tractor Trailer Training, we do more than just help our students earn their CDL. We make sure that they are prepared to enter into the trucking workforce. With the help of CDS, you can be on the road to a new career in just 4-weeks. Contact us today to learn more about our training programs!