Winter is on its way. This means that you need to prep your semi truck for potential winter weather. When the temperature drops and roads are slippery, it is more important than ever to make sure that your truck is prepared. If not, it can lead to breakdowns, potentially leaving drivers on the side of the road in dangerous conditions.
Read on for more information on seasonal maintenance and winterizing your semi truck.
One of the most important aspects of owning a semi truck is routine preventive maintenance. By getting your truck regularly inspected and serviced, it will be ready for harsh winter weather and cold temperatures. We also recommend taking your semi in to be checked over right before the winter season starts. Performing routine maintenance, such as replacing worn belts, brake pads, etc. can save you from expensive repairs down the road. Here are some of the top things to consider when you go in for your pre-winter check-in:
Brakes are vital to safe semi truck driving. This is even more true in the winter. We recommend getting your brakes inspected and serviced, including inspecting air brake chamber housing for damage, checking for tears or cuts on the wheel-end protective boots, and making sure that your brake air dryers and filters are working properly to prevent the freezing of water in your brake line.
It’s crucial to make sure your windshield wipers are functioning at the top level. If they don’t clear snow efficiently, it could negatively affect your visibility, which can be dangerous. It’s smart to go ahead and replace them at the beginning of the winter season to be on the safe side. Also, make sure that your windshield wiper fluid is topped off. Wet conditions can make your windshield get dirty quickly, which can lead to low visibility, so you need the ability to quickly and efficiently clean your windshield while driving.
Brake and Transmission Fluid Levels
Before winter, check and top off engine fluids, such as power steering, brake, windshield washer, and power steering fluids. If you use a heavier engine oil, it might make it hard to properly lubricate the engine, as the low temperatures can make the oil too viscous. It might be beneficial to make the swap to an oil with a lower temperature viscosity in the winter months. Always refer to your owner’s manual with selecting engine oils. Another thing to note is that you should also have at least a quarter tank of gas at all times to prevent freezing.
We recommend getting a new set of tires before winter weather strikes. Tires tend to deflate faster in colder weather, so check the air pressure regularly. Also be sure to check the traction, as winter driving conditions require good traction in order to be able to drive safely through snow and ice.
Does My Semi Need Chains?
If you regularly go through states where chains are needed for safety during snow and ice, you may need to get them. Individual states have laws on whether or not they are required. Some states, such as Colorado, require that you have chains for certain commercial vehicles in specific months. Some of the southern states, such as Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, allow tire chains when they are required for safety when there is snow or ice on the road.
Cold weather can cause your battery to drain, so it’s important to get it checked regularly. Your battery is what makes your truck start, so an impaired battery can be devastating to a semi truck driver. Make sure that your battery is always fully charged by testing it with a 2,000 CCA tester. Also, check that your terminals are clean and all battery connections are tight.
Call Tri-State Truck for Your Fleet Winter Maintenance Needs
By winterizing your fleet, you will ensure that your trucks are winter-ready, allowing your operations to run smoothly. Tri-State Truck offers full semi truck repair and maintenance services, from changing tires to tuning all of the systems in your truck. To schedule a maintenance appointment, please contact us. We look forward to helping you keep your fleet on the road, operating at top performance!