Winter Weather is Here – What to Look Out for in Frozen Conditions
In December we took a closer look at what colder temperatures mean for tire pressure and gave you some tips on how be sure you’re not driving on over- or under-inflated tires. There’s more, of course, to consider for winterizing your truck as you move through colder climates and face conditions that send temperatures plummeting well-below the freezing mark.
Here are just a few steps you can take to make sure your truck – and you – stay safe this winter during freezing conditions.
It’s important to drain moisture from air tanks regularly, ideally every night. That’s because any moisture trapped in the brake system can easily turn to ice – which will impact the performance of your brakes. You should also check brakes hourly. Pumping brakes several times an hour can help keep them from freezing and, ultimately, failing. Also test brake lights to make sure tail lights are clean, visible and working properly.
In addition to keeping an eye on tire pressure, you should always carry chains with you. This is critical for safety in extreme snow and ice – but also because some areas of the country have laws that require chains on tires. Whether you’ve put chains on before or not, it’s always idea to read through manufacturer instructions and practice before you’re out on the road. And if conditions deteriorate too quickly for you to get chains on, pull over and wait out the storm.
In extreme weather it’s best not to let your fuel tanks fall below three-quarters of a tank. The added weight of the fuel gives your truck better traction and keeps fuel tanks and fuel lines from potentially freezing over.
Trucks should have chains handy and ready for use (in some areas, chains are required by law so be prepared). If you’ve never put chains on before, make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions and practice, so you know what to do when it becomes a necessity. It is still possible to slide with chains on; if conditions are bad enough, don’t be a hero. Pull over and wait out the storm if you have to.
Breakdowns are never ideal, but in very cold weather – they can be dangerous. Be sure to keep supplies on hand that will help you stay warm, dry and safe. Start with basics like having easy access to a toolkit, ice-scraper and foldable snow shovel. Pack extra heavy, warm clothing and blankets in case you get wet as well as plenty of food and water.
Other Parts and Systems
Inside the cab, make sure your defrost and heat are in proper working order. Outside make sure mirrors are in the right position and clean of snow, ice and dirt. Check wipers and have extra windshield wiper fluid on hand. Inspect doors for worn gaskets and clean frames to keep doors from freezing shut. Carry de-icer as well to apply to door frames if needed.
If you do run into problems on the road – whether an overheated engine or any other issue – make sure to download the FYX Driver App for immediate access to FYX service providers. Our innovative FYX platform streamlines communications and monitors service in real time for faster repairs and minimized downtime.
For more information, please contact FYX: 800-888-1001 | sales @fyxfleet.com
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