Winter is coming….like a good boy scout be prepared! As we all know, winter driving presents some additional challenges, especially for truck drivers. Here are 5 tips to consider when driving in winter conditions.
- Block heaters are not designed to warm an engine. They are designed to maintain the heat already generated in the engine. Thus it is crucial that your semi-truck is plugged in while the engine is still warm.
- Remember to UNPLUG your truck before starting it. Two to three seconds of the engine running while the block heaters are plugged in is enough to burn out the block heaters.
- If moisture is present in an airline, use one cap full of brake line anti-freeze in the EMERGENCY (red) side ONLY. Never put it in the blue side or you may cause the brakes to lock up. Use only company supplied brake line anti-freeze, as there are many products out there that will cause damage to the internal brake system.
- Slow down. Most winter accidents occur because drivers are going too fast for road conditions. A slower speed gives you more time to react if something occurs. Hydroplaning happens more frequently at higher speeds, including loss of control due to slush. Extra patience and care for other drivers can help a lot.
- If stranded or stuck, stay in your vehicle. If you get stuck in a bad storm, blizzard, slide off the road, and you can’t see a close place to seek assistance, stay put! It’s easy to get confused in a bad storm, and you may get lost. Bundle up. You should also keep moving to stay warm. Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow, and open a downwind window slightly for ventilation. Run your engine for only 10-15 minutes each hour.