Posted on 12/10/2021 at 04:22 PM by Blog Committee
4 Steps to Preparing Your Truck
Even the most experienced CDL-A truck drivers can dread winter driving. But there are ways you can be prepared for the worst when driving in these potentially dangerous conditions. Here are a few tips to set you up for success this winter:
Winterize your truck
It’s a little bit harder to keep your truck in tip-top shape during the winter. And it may require more than making sure your heater and defroster are running. Before it gets too cold, check your coolant system for leaks and replace your coolant if it’s over two years old. Repair chips and dents on your windshield before cold weather puts added pressure on the glass and make sure your tires are up to the task if you’re driving on winter roads. At Hummer, our team of mechanics work hard to ensure the trucks are well-maintained and ready for winter, but it’s up to you when you’re on the road. You can find additional tips on maintaining your truck. During the winter months, we prefer our drivers to idle the trucks to stay warm and avoid cold-weather mechanical issues.
Keep extra food & water
While truck drivers are normally prepared for the worst regardless of the season, it’s a good idea to store extra food and water during the winter. Roads may be closed or become impassable, restaurants may be closed, the power may go out … you never know what obstacles a winter storm may bring. Keep jugs of water and a few ready-to-eat meals on hand in case you end up stranded or need to wait out a storm.
Stock up on essentials
In addition to food and water, it is a good idea to stay stocked up on emergency essentials like toilet paper, a backup power supply, flashlights, matches and traction devices (a couple bags of sand may do the trick!) during the winter months. Most truck drivers already have blankets on board, but if you’re traveling in cold weather, you should also have warm clothes, a good coat, winter hats and gloves at the ready. If possible, keep extra blankets, hats, and gloves for others as well. Again, you never know what obstacles a winter storm may bring.
Now that your truck is ready for winter, you need to be prepared to drive in it. Before starting your runs, clear off your lights and mirrors and make sure snow isn’t piled on top of your truck. Once you’re driving, slow down, give yourself some extra room and, as always, refrain from making any sudden movements. Your stopping distance will be longer on wet or icy roads and your visibility won’t always be 100 percent – better to take some extra precautions now than run into trouble down the road! At Hummer, if the road conditions are unsafe, we encourage our drivers to park the truck until conditions improve.