Winter Truck Maintenance: How to Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter
As the calendar year approaches its end, the weather gets colder, especially in northern or higher regions. While winter temperatures and frigid conditions are harsh on any kind of vehicle, freight vehicles are significantly affected since they usually spend over 12 hours a day on the road.
Your truck needs to be adequately maintained; after all, it is the essential component of your business. By performing daily maintenance on the trucks, fleet owners and managers should be able to avoid emergency repairs or costly breakdowns. Here are some tips for preparing your truck for the winter season.
Trucks usually have three or four batteries to guarantee enough amperage to start the engine in the cold. If necessary, clean the terminals before winter comes. Also, be sure that the battery is not expired or will expire during the trip. A dead battery is unable to hold a complete charge. You may also invest in backup batteries just in case your batteries die.
Tires and brakes
Utilizing proper tires is crucial when driving in freezing weather. Lower temperatures gradually reduce tire pressure and may cause a lasting impact on tire tread life and your safety. Accurately inflated tires will help the truck maintain good traction on snowy or icy roads. Also, continuously checking your tread can ensure that your tire is risk-free.
Water is the leading cause of brake troubles in wintertime, and the season’s chilling breeze may prevent compressors from functioning correctly. You may also be sure that the brakes are in optimal condition and that the truck has enough brake fluid.
The windshield wipers should be replaced once a year, and the beginning of winter is a perfect time to do so. When driving in harsh conditions such as snow or freezing rain, you want to ensure you have the clearest vision possible. Also, check the windshield washer fluid levels.
The engine is the heart of your truck. The engine must work harder in cold weather to run properly, just like a human heart. A block heater only keeps an engine warm; it doesn’t warm it if it is already cold. So, the heater should be plugged in as soon as the engine is shut off.
Pro tip: always, if possible, park the truck with its nose against a wall to minimize heat loss because of the wind.
Fuel and fluids
Most of the main fuel brands offer winterized fuel lines, which may help stop the drop in the fuel economy during frigid temperature months. A special additive may also increase fuel economy and horsepower by 5%.
Engine oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, and windshield washer fluid levels are of utmost importance since the correct amount could prevent breakdowns or unnecessary delays.
Make a plan
Every road, every route, and every region of the nation is different. Having a plan according to your itinerary should avoid delays and may help develop an efficient fuel administration. Keeping a car safety kit is also crucial. It must contain at least a flashlight, a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit, some flares, jumper cables, and an ice scraper, among other essentials.
Remember your drivers
Please make sure they are comfortable, warm, and safe in the cab.
Winter is often a significant challenge for the freight industry, but taking these actions should prepare you and your truck or fleet for running placidly during winter.