As winter approaches, it’s key to have your truck ready for the upcoming colder temperatures. Here is a quick checklist and some tips to make sure you’ll be prepared and safe when the snow starts to fly.
1) Check the batteries — One weak battery can drain them all. Old or weak batteries should be replaced.
2) Empty the air tanks — The air compressor produces residual water, as will sudden drops in temperature. Some of this may get past your air dryer. When cold air hits it, it can cause the air valves to freeze up, affecting brakes and air suspension. Remove all drain plugs, drain all air tanks in the air system completely and allow time for them to dry. It’s not a bad idea to add some airline antifreeze as well.
3) Fuel filters and additives — Condensation occurs in fuel tanks when the weather changes, allowing water to collect in the fuel filters. Replace old filters and keep a few in the truck with you while on the road. Adding a fuel additive will also help prevent jelling when the really cold weather hits.
4) Check tires frequently — The importance of tire wear cannot be overstated. Be sure all tires are inflated to the correct pressure and keep track of tread wear.
5) Keep an emergency kit handy — Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.
- Keep a supply of non-perishable food items.
- Pack a well-stocked medical kit.
- Always have extra cold weather gear like blankets, gloves, hats, boots and sweaters.
- Road flares are essential for flagging down help.
- An extra radio with extra batteries is a good idea.
- Cell phone and charger.
- Carry extra coolant, washer fluid and engine oil.
6) Inspect hoses and belts — Anything that is worn or cracked should be replaced.
7) Electrical wiring — Inspect wiring for frays or other damage. Keep extra fuses on hand. Check periodically for loose or hanging wires that may collect ice and snow.
A little time spent now may save you a lot of time (and hassle) later. Be ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at you and prepare your truck and yourself for the road ahead.