Get Ready For Winter
We've been blessed with a nice summer and a pretty mild fall, but winter is just waiting in the wings. Take the time now to get your truck ready for winter, before it hits!
Being prepared for anything is the motto of the Boy Scouts of America, but it's good advice for everyone. You should have the following things in your truck before the snow flies.
You should always have a first aid kit in your truck, but in the winter, make sure it is not only stocked with additional supplies like matches or lighter, hand and foot warmers, and candles. In addition, pack an extra blanket or two, cold weather gear like hats, gloves, and scarves, and tire chains. Make sure you have a flashlight with extra batteries, a snow shovel, and sand or salt to help with traction. It's not a bad idea to pack water and non-perishable foods, in case you get stranded overnight.
When it comes to your vehicle, you should pack extra coolant, oil, fuel filter, and windshield washer fluid. You don't want to be sitting along the road or in a parking lot and have to walk to get these things. A good, sturdy ice scraper is essential in helping to keep your windows clear. Make sure you have a good supply of flares and a battery-operated radio, in case of emergency.
Prep Your Truck!
There are several things you can do to help make sure you have a smooth winter when it comes to your truck. First off, make sure that your battery is ready for the extra cranking it is going to have to do. Don't wait much longer to test the battery and make sure that it is mounted securely. Loose connections or frayed cables can lower the battery's power. If the battery is nearing the end of its life, you're better off to get a brand new one before the freezing temperatures start. While you are checking the battery, you should check the alternator and starter, too. It's not much fun to be stranded somewhere in the middle of a blizzard because of a dead battery. Take some time now and save your self some aggravation later.
Make sure your fuel is ready for the cold temperatures, both gas and diesel fuels have problems with winter conditions. Diesel fuel can gel and it won't flow through the fuel filter. Most fueling stations will offer a winterized diesel or a winter blend that is mixed with kerosene. Check the cetane rating of the fuel, the higher the rating, the better it will be in freezing temperatures. You can also add your own anti-gel additives, but make sure you read your owner's manual first to make sure you don't cause more damage.
While we are discussing fuel, let's talk about your fuel filter and water separator. Make sure that your fuel filter is in tip-top condition. If it isn't, have it replaced before the winter starts. The same goes for the water separator. Water in diesel fuel can damage your engine, so make sure it is drained regularly. In the winter there may be more water than usual, as condensation can form on the inside of warm fuel tanks.
There are a lot of things you should do to prepare your diesel engine for winter weather. Make sure you or a trusted mechanic check things like the cooling system or the air dryer. You or the mechanic can also install a block heater or inspect the current one.
Ready the Outside
The inner workings of your truck are important but don't neglect the outside of your rig this winter. Make sure you have good, working wiper blades, washer fluid with antifreeze in it, and that your windshield is free of chips or cracks. A small crack can quickly grow if it is cold and hit with the hot air of the defroster. A small chip is cheaper to repair than replacing a whole new windshield.
Just like you slipping on the ice when wearing a shoe with no treads, a truck can't operate safely on bad tires. Make sure they have a good tread and are inflated to the correct pressure. If you drive through a state that requires tire chains, make sure you have a set and know how to apply them. If the chains are worn or damaged, replace them. A broken chain is an injury waiting to happen.
Make sure that your tarp is in good shape and that the electrical system is working smoothly to open and close your trailer. It doesn't do much good to have a remote system if you have to get out in the weather to operate your covering. Roll-Rite can make sure your whole tarp system is in good working condition and is ready for the upcoming winter months. Our service department will have you running safely and comfortably.
Take a Few Minutes and Save Yourself Bigger Headaches
If you prepare your truck and trailer before the weather becomes miserable, you'll be happier than doing it in freezing rain or whiteout conditions. Roll-Rite, LLC wants you to be a customer for a long time and we're concerned for your safety. We hope these tips will help make your winter go smoothly.