When you make a living as a commercial truck driver, the arrival of winter means a new set of challenges on the road. Even if your route takes you through more southern states, there's still a chance of running into snow or ice on the job. Weather is unpredictable, so it's important to make sure your truck is ready for the cold even before you see your first snowfall. From preventative maintenance to having the right gear on hand, here's how to prepare your commercial truck for winter travel.
Inspect the Coolant System
Your truck's coolant system needs to be able to handle sub-freezing temperatures without taking damage or creating unnecessary stress on the engine. As you prepare your truck--or take it into your local shop for a winterization inspection--be sure to check the radiator, belts, and hoses for any signs of failure, leaks, or other potential problems. You should also check your coolant to make sure it's at the optimum freeze point. When you add coolant to your system, make sure you always use high-quality product from a reputable brand.
Make Sure Your Tires Are Ready
Tires are a simple yet essential part of how to prepare your commercial truck for winter travel. Worn or underinflated tires won't give you the traction you need to drive safely in wintry conditions. Additionally, poor tires can harm your gas mileage, costing you more money on the road. Make sure you check the pressure and tread of your tires before every trip to ensure they're in working condition. If you know you're heading into rough weather or snowy climates, you should also prepare by packing tire chains and reading up on chain laws in the different states along your route.
Pay Attention To Your Battery
Vehicle batteries have a harder time charging and staying charged in cold weather. Your battery is likely to drain faster when faced with colder temperatures. In fact, dead batteries are one of the most common causes of vehicle breakdowns during the winter. Make sure you check your battery and electrical system regularly throughout the season. If you know your battery is nearing the end of its life, you might want to look into replacing it before the cold weather hits.