Winter is a challenging time for truck drivers. With icy roads, snowstorms, and freezing temperatures, it’s essential to take extra precautions when driving a big rig. Here are six tips for semi truck maintenance & safety during winter:
- Winterize Fleet Vehicles: Before the weather worsens, ensure your vehicles are serviced for routine maintenance. This includes checking the vehicle’s brakes, tires, and other parts to ensure they are in good working order.
- Stock Up On Essentials: Ensure you have all the necessary supplies before heading out on a long trip. This includes items like antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, and de-icing agents. It’s also important to keep an emergency kit with you in case of any unexpected problems or breakdowns.
- Use Your Signals: When driving in winter conditions, it is essential to use your signals properly so that other drivers can anticipate your movements and be aware of your presence on the road.
- Let Your Truck Warm Up: Before taking off on a long journey, let your truck warm up for at least 10 minutes so that fluids are viscous and flowing and you can adequately inspect against leaks. Remember, the risk of damage due to cold temperatures can be significant.
- Be Cognizant Of The Road Conditions: Pay attention to the road conditions around you and adjust your speed accordingly so that you can safely navigate through any icy patches or slippery surfaces without putting yourself or others at risk of an accident. We all know the established driving limits and ELDs, and even though there are extensions for road conditions, be mindful of how alert you are behind the wheel.
- Check Tires, Fuel, And Lights Regularly: You have your regular checkpoints before departing with a load, but it’s worth noting that snow can conceal quite a few road hazards which can cause extensive damage to your rig. Check your tires more thoroughly than in summer, as unseen damage can create an unsafe conditions down the road. Also, be aware of your tread depth and tire pressures—worn-down tires reduce traction and significantly impact stability and braking distances on slippery surfaces such as ice and snow. Additionally, check fuel levels regularly, as cold temperatures can cause fuel lines to freeze up if they are not kept full enough. Ensure all lights are functioning correctly so that other drivers can see you clearly while driving in low visibility conditions such as fog or snowfall.
By following these tips for big rig maintenance & safety during winter, truck drivers will stay safe on the roads while still delivering their goods efficiently and effectively despite the cold weather conditions.
If your equipment is proving challenging to keep safe and roadworthy when the mercury drops, contact an ENGS rep for information on attractive leases and loans on new and recent tractor models. Taking advantage of a new lease can mitigate risks on the road and increase your revenue through greater availability with a more reliable tractor.