The job of properly maintaining your vehicle becomes harder during the wintertime. Always remember to Be Safe, Be diligent, Be Responsible, and Be Proactive. With our guide you will know everything you need to keep your truck in working order for the entire season without error.
- Be Safe: Make sure to always remove all of the snow from the cab steps and grab bars to prevent a potential slip or fall. It is crucial you utilize the 3-point method of entering or exiting your truck.
- Be Diligent: Make sure to start your trip off right by conducting your initial start up process.
- Complete pre-trip inspection and unplug block heater
- Turn ignition to on and wait until dash lights stop cycling
- Start engine and let it run until operating temperature increases
- Be Responsible: Make sure to fully address all necessary precautions to ensure your truck is protected.
- Add diesel supplement to ultra low sulfur diesel fuel when temperatures drop below 32° F.
- If your truck has an engine block heater, plug it in when temperatures drop below 32° F.
- If your truck is equipped with air brakes, be sure to purge the air tanks daily.
- If driving through snow/slush/ice/rain, lightly apply the brakes while still moving before parking your truck to dry off your brake shoes, drums, rotors and pads to prevent your brakes from freezing while parked.
- Be Proactive: When there is heavy snow in the forecast, avoid parking your truck in an outside dock or near a building overhang. Snow from the building can build on the top of a truck and lead to the roof potentially collapsing.
Yourself: Fighting Hypothermia and Frostbite
Dropping temperatures can cause more than just a runny noses or the flu. Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature falls far below normal. Early to mild symptoms include: shivering, slurred speech, mental slowness, lethargy, muscular stiffness, and clumsiness. Symptoms of severe hypothermia include: mental confusion, disorientation, coma, stiff muscles, shallow breathing, weak pulse and a drop in blood pressure. Frostbite is another potential danger many drivers may face, especially when the wind chill factor is very low. Symptoms include changes in skin appearance which can range from swelling, redness, bluish/whitish coloring, numbness or rigidity. Untreated, frostbite can lead to the loss of affected fingers, toes, or other affected areas.
What you should do:
- Always wear multiple layers, preferably things that wick moisture.
- Wear gloves and knit caps to keep in the heat.
- Change clothing if they get wet.
- Pack an emergency kit with extra clothes, a blanket and snacks just in case of getting stranded.
- Fuel up with hot, nutritious meals and stay hydrated.
- Avoid the consumption of alcohol.
- Make sure you have a working cell phone in case of a breakdown.