Eleven Tips To Get You And Your Truck Through The Winter In One Piece

3600 Gallon Septic Tank Trucks

  1. Take good care of your radiator: especially in colder climates, your radiator is vulnerable to freezing which can lead to severe damage. You’re going to need to use a mixture of water and antifreeze in your radiator, or, depending on just how cold it gets where you’ll be driving, you may even have to ditch the water altogether and use only antifreeze. There’s nothing worse than finding your radiator frozen when you want to get on the road – except for your radiator and your entire engine block destroyed by expansion of water due to a freeze. Like the Boy Scouts say, be prepared.
  2. Rethink your hydraulics: Low temperatures slow down the hydraulics in trucks as the viscosity of the hydraulic fluid increases. Rather than dealing with a truck which takes longer to do, well, everything in cold weather, you may want to try this trick: replace your hydraulic fluid with automatic transmission fluid, which is less viscous to begin with. Its performance also doesn’t tend to suffer as much from low temperatures. Better still, you can use automatic transmission fluid in the place of hydraulic fluid year-round.
  3. Keep your valves warm: both knife gate and ball valves can (and do) freeze when temperatures get low enough. If your truck relies on these valves, replace them with heated valves before it starts to get cold outside. If you already have heated valves, have them inspected and serviced before winter.
  4. Check your oil: Especially in winter, you need to make sure that you’re using the right kind of engine oil in your truck; you probably don’t use the same oil year-round, or at least you shouldn’t. Have a trusted mechanic make sure you’re using the right oil before the really cold temperatures come.
  5. Know before you go: Most truck drivers do this anyway, but if not, make a habit of checking the weather reports before you get on the road and plan for the weather you expect to encounter. Bring extra clothing and emergency gear, especially in winter weather.
  6. Be informed: Not only should you check the weather before you head out, you should check weather reports periodically while on the road so that you’re not caught unaware and can adapt to changing weather conditions.
  7. Drive defensively: Whenever possible, try to keep some space around your truck by following the vehicle ahead of you a little less closely; you should always try to keep an escape route in mind in case of emergency on the road.
  8. Know when you’re beaten: None of us can fight nature. If the road conditions become too hazardous, just get off the road until it’s safe to proceed.
  9. Winterize your tires: In snowy or icy conditions, put snow tires on your truck before hitting the road – depending on your state, you may also want to keep tire chains handy and be sure you know how to put them on in case they’re needed.
  10. Don’t rush: You have a schedule to keep, but is it worth more than your life? Slow down a little and make everyone safer. Driving too fast is the leading cause of accidents in the winter.
  11. Winter Checkup: Before winter weather arrives, have your truck fully inspected to make sure everything is in good working order and ready to go.