With winter’s approach, truck and fleet owners face certain unavoidable weather challenges. While you can’t do much about the presence of snow, sleet, and ice, you can take proactive measures to help ensure your trucks are prepared to roll through those winter challenges.
Prep Truck Equipment Before Winter Starts
Your pre-winter prep work will help make winter less harsh for your truck or fleet. Make sure the following is on your fall truck maintenance checklist:
• Drain air tanks and service air dryers to avoid moisture buildup.
• Test starting and charging systems and your battery for damage and wear and tear.
• Plug block heater in and test for operation.
• Check ultra capacitors, pre-heaters, and so forth, and ensure drivers can effectively operate them.
• Keep block heater ready to go, plugging it in even when temps don’t feel frigidly cold.
• Emissions systems in engines 2007 and newer can be damaged by uncontrolled idling. Keep trucks running, not idling.
• Diesel exhaust fluid, or DEF, begins to freeze in fuel lines at temps under 33 degrees. So, keep it circulating by operating the truck.
• Routinely check tires for tread wear and tear, damage, and air pressure.
• Routinely check safety components, such as wipers, headlights, and taillights.
• Routinely check key operating components, including filters, hoses, belts, and brakes.
• If the area requires it, ensure drivers have and know how to properly use tire chains.
With proper planning and implementation, the above simple tips will help your trucks or fleet safely navigate winter challenges. Start your planning by knowing your trucks, the area(s) they’ll operate during winter months, and driver’ knowledge. From there, you can develop both a proactive and response plan of action to safely, effectively, and efficiently cover all your winter truck challenges.