Preparing for Winter
Preparing for Winter starts before you are out on the road. The best way to prepare is to stay tuned into the weather forecasts, local stations, and keep your equipment in check.
A proper pre-trip is not only in place to prevent DOT CSA violations and equipment breakdowns, but most importantly to protect you and others on the road. A pre-trip inspection will help to prevent unforeseen delays. This is especially important when preparing for Winter. These pre-trip inspections help to reduce the risk of out-of-control circumstances due to poor vehicle maintenance and wear and tear on the truck and trailer.
When completing a pre-trip vehicle inspection, a driver must make sure to check the following items:
- Look over the entire unit for body damage.
- Check fluid levels.
- Look for oil, fuel, coolant, power steering fluid leaks.
- Make sure caps are tight.
- Observe at the engine block. Check for leaks, fluid running down the side of the engine.
- Check hoses for wear, cracking, or fraying.
- Inspect fan belts for proper tension and signs of wear.
- Be sure the engine fan is not chipped.
- Look for exposed or bare wires. Look for wires that appear out of place.
- Check windshield wiper fluid level.
- Inspect steering axle tires for uneven wear, nails, etc.
- Look at shock absorbers, ball joints, and kingpins for wear and proper lubrication.
- Check all tires on the tractor and trailer.
- Inspect airlines and electrical cords to ensure they are properly connected.
- Check the trailer suspension. Air bags should be up with no broken springs.
- Look for a minimum of ¼” lining thickness in brake pads. No red marking is exposed.
- Observe gauges to be sure oil pressure is good and the electrical system is charging.
- Idle the truck at 650 RPM. Do nit high idle the truck right away.
- Make sure the air pressure is building.
- Turn on all lights and flashers and exit the vehicle.
- Do a visual of the motor to look for leaks.
- Observe belts for proper tension and that they are turning properly.
- Be sure that all lights are properly functioning.
- Listen for air leaks.
A truck’s windshield should be free of ice, snow, rain, and cracks. It is important to follow this step especially when preparing for Winter driving. A driver must inspect the windshield and wipers during the pre-trip inspection. During this time of year, a driver does not only worry about unexpected winter conditions, but also the abundance of farm equipment on the road for harvest season. The equipment on the road could create a visibility barrier. Always use caution when passing.
Here at Werner Service & Trucking Inc, we want everyone to be as safe as possible on the road. If you have any other suggestions for preparing for Winter driving, please let us know.