Winter is a dreadful time for truck drivers. As if hauling loads of cargo around isn’t stressful enough as it is, adding bitter cold temperatures and icy roads makes it all the more nerve wracking. As a top educator in the art of commercial truck driving, we can’t stress the importance of truck safety enough, especially during the winter. By following these 4 simple tips, you’ll ensure your rig lasts the entire season without a breakdown or accident.
Keep Your Windshield Clean
The most catastrophic event every driver fears is causing an accident. An easy way to avoid this from happening is by ensuring you’ll be able to see, even during a brutal snowstorm. Check your windshield to ensure there are no cracks or chips. After that, inspect your wiper blades to see if they’re in need of changing and make sure your windshield washer reservoirs are filled to proper winter dilution levels.
Strengthen Your Traction
If your truck isn’t outfitted with the correct equipment, winter driving is going to be harder than it needs to be. To ensure your rig has a good grip on the pavement, make sure your tire tread thickness is a minimum of 5/32 inches. You should also check ABS operation at the start of the season and monitor stroke adjustment on drum brakes. For severe snow and ice conditions, you can even put tire chains in the vehicle for additional support.
Check and Maintain Engine Heaters
To keep your engine warm in freezing temperatures, you must regularly inspect your heaters and perform maintenance when necessary. If your engine heaters aren’t working properly, your truck will not start in sub-zero temperatures. An easy way to do this is use a multimeter to measure the ohms produced by your heater. Ideally, it should measure between 8 to 25 ohms. If it reads below or above that range, it might be time for a replacement.
Test Your Battery
Although hotter temperatures have proven to accelerate battery degradation, they typically fail in winter. This is likely due to the high starting load they face in winter, coupled with the months of degeneration caused by the heat of summer. To avoid your battery from failing during the winter, test it before the season starts and make sure you frequently clean the connections.
Winter driving is one of the toughest challenges a truck driver faces, so make sure you follow these tips to get through the season safely. If you’re 21 or older and looking to learn more about truck safety, 160 Driving Academy would love to teach you more. Call now or fill out our online form to get started on your new career path. Also, check out our Facebook page for more information about our truck driving school!