Seasonal weather creates many challenges for truck drivers. Compromised road conditions, fewer daylight hours and poor visibility are an unavoidable reality come winter time, so it is more important than ever to take strict safety measures and to exercise caution on the road.
At the end of the day, safety is about prevention. We believe that by following proper safety procedures, we can stop accidents from happening in the first place. Proper vehicle maintenance is an essential part of that prevention process.
When maintaining a truck in the winter, here are five points to keep in mind:
- The NHTSA reports that one in every 11 crashes occurs as a result of a tire issue. Checking overall tire health and traction should always be top of mind when engaging in truck maintenance.
- You can tell a lot from a tire. Uneven patterns are a sign of uneven wear which indicates flawed alignment, worn bearings and/or kingpin wear.
- If there is excessive steam and/or melted snow coming off wheel hubs, this could indicate that wheel bearings are over-heating.
- After a truck has been parked for a little while, check the surrounding snow for any signs of fluid leakage.
- Ensure that windows are always clean for optimum visibility, monitor windshield wipers, battery charge and anti-freeze levels, and make sure you fill the washer reserve with no-freeze fluid.
Practicing proper truck maintenance in the winter works to everyone’s advantage. It reduces the risk of hazardous and costly breakdowns which in turn minimizes downtime and gives drivers more time to run routes. Most importantly, it keeps everyone safe!