Tips for Preparing Your Semi for Winter

December 11, 2018 2:49 am Published by Leave your thoughts

While the first day of winter hasn’t technically arrived yet, there are many places across the country already getting cold winter weather. As a semi truck driver, you’re likely going to have some long hauls across wintry territory over the next few months, so it’s important to make sure your truck is fully prepared for the harsh conditions that lie ahead.

Here are a few tips from a semi truck mechanic in Shelby County, TN to help you make sure your truck is ready for winter:

  • Check your coolant levels: The antifreeze system in your truck should be more than capable of handling extreme cold. It can help to pressure test the coolant system on a cold engine and make sure it is at 15 to 18 psi after you’ve turned on the heater control valves. After that, pressure test the radiator cap at a pressure of at least 5 psi, then check all the water and heater hoses for wear, cracks or damage and tighten any loose hose clamps you notice. Make sure all your coolant is at the proper levels, adding more where needed.
  • Treat your diesel: You really do not want your diesel to freeze up during the winter. Diesel gels as it gets extremely cold, and if this begins to happen in your vehicle, your truck simply will not run. Therefore, it’s a good idea to add some anti-gel additives into the fuel tank before you put fuel into the vehicle. We strongly recommend keeping some of these additive products in your cab at all times, because you never know when you’ll need more of it.
  • Make sure your vehicle is stocked with the right equipment: Be prepared for anything that could potentially happen during your winter driving trips. You should always have the proper chaining equipment and bungees in your cab. For your own comfort and safety purposes, make sure you’ve got waterproof gloves, a reflective vest, flashlight, first aid kit, kneeling pad, good winter boots, a blanket and extra winter clothes, in addition to all the standard safety items you likely already have stowed in your vehicle.
  • Plan ahead: You’re going to want to add some extra time for deliveries if you know you’re going to be going through bad weather. When there’s ice or heavy wind or extreme cold, it’s going to take you more time to get to your final destination. It’s more important to be safe than it is to get there as quickly as possible.
  • Keep an eye on the weather: Part of planning ahead is knowing what you should expect out of the weather during your trip. Always keep an eye on the weather forecast, and if you know there’s going to be severe weather, you should plan your route accordingly so you can either avoid the worst of it or at least take safer route options.

For more information about preparing your semi truck for winter, contact a semi truck mechanic in Shelby County, TN at United Diesel Power today.

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