For most truck drivers around the US, winter is just around the corner. The elements that come along with winter can make a truck drivers job a bit more challenging. Here are five tips to help make driving during the winter months as safe as possible!
Create Winter Maintenance Policies
Make this as specific to yourself and your truck as possible. Things to consider as you create your winter maintenance policies are your vehicle and equipment, where you’re headed, the weather you’ll encounter, the amount of time you spend on the road, and the number of loads you plan to run on your route.
It will become easier to create your winter maintenance policies the longer your drive. You can build onto your policies as you become more familiar with your truck and route!
Address Truck Maintenance in Advance
As the winter months are approaching, be sure to check in with parts of your truck that may be affected by the cold weather. This will include your fuel filters, battery, cooling system, windshield wipers, air dryer, along with others. If you’re not sure something will make it through the conditions you drive through for an entire winter, considering replacing it ahead of time.
It is also vital to inspect fluid levels and refill as necessary. By catching all of the preventable issues before you start driving this winter, you’ll be able to avoid many of the maintenance issues that could leave you stranded in the worst of winter conditions.
Invest in an Engine Block Heater
Remember that the cold temperatures will affect more than your fuel and fluid levels. It can sometimes be tricky to get your truck started which is frustrating when you’re trying to stick to a tight schedule. One solution to this issue is to invest in an engine block heater! Getting an engine block heater will keep your truck’s engine at a warmer temperature and make it easier to start.
Switch to Winter Blends
Most truck drivers know that diesel fuel can turn into a gel during colder winter conditions. Luckily there are special blends of fuel design just for winter that have higher cetane levels to avoid this issue. It will also help to keep anti-gel additives on hand and add them whenever you fuel up to further combat the issue.
It will also help to switch to other fluid winter blends wherever you can. For example, you can change the fluid in your windshield wipers to a cold-temperature blend.
Restock Your Emergency Supplies
You just never know what might happen when you’re out on the road. Prepare for the worst and be sure you’re prepared if you were to ever be stranded out on your route. You should always keep an emergency kit on hand but will need to add a few additional supplies for the winter.
Add winter survival items like cold weather clothing, heavy blankets, a radio, extra batteries, and extra food stock to your regular emergency kit in case the unpreventable occurs and you get stuck out on your route.
We hope these tips help prepare you for the winter months as a truck driver! The winter elements bring new challenges for truckers, especially new drivers. If you’re new to driving, here are a few things you can expect in your new career!
And if you’re interested in becoming a professional truck driver, consider getting your CDL training finished with United. Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more!