With fall here and winter on the way, many hazardous conditions can come up that can not only put your job at risk, but it can also put your driver’s life at risk as well. As a result, there are many annual maintenance measures you’ll need to take in order to keep your employees and your fleet safe while business is getting done.
For over 30 years, our Pharr service technicians at Camco Wheel & Axle have dedicated their hard work into making sure your fleet has the best equipment and work truck accessories to keep you safe.
Let’s take a look at the most common things you can do to keep yourself and others safe on the road this holiday season.
1. Inspect Those Tires
Tire pressure can drop substantially in colder temperatures. This causes all sorts of durability problems that can ultimately ruin the integrity of your tire tread. To put it bluntly, tires without decent traction traveling on icy roads or slippery surfaces because of a rainy day in the fall can lead to life-threatening situations while driving to your next job site.
Maintain adequate amounts of air pressure in both your tires and your spare just in case, and if you have to traverse highways in extreme winter weather, consider adding snow chains or a set of dedicated snow tires.
And if it has been a while since you last replaced your tires, don’t forget to stop on by. We’ve got you covered.
2. Check Your Battery
Winter causes those common cold starts; the battery produces less current when it is cold, severely hurting the battery’s life span. Make sure you check the health of your battery during the fall before winter sets in, causing additional difficulties.
Maintain proper company maintenance protocols and be sure to clean off the battery terminals to maximize battery life. Disconnect all of your non-essentials in your truck if you are going on a short trip, and plan on taking the long route on your next delivery. With a good alternator, a long road trip can help recharge your battery as the mercury drops. Your work truck battery will thank you.
3. Maintain Your Oil Pressure
Even if your battery is in great shape, it’s not going to matter if your pickup truck’s oil is a sludgy mess. Repeat fluctuations between cold to hot weather can negatively impact the oil filter in your vehicle.
Lower temperatures cause a large amount of pressure on the oil filter because it thickens the oil, making it harder to pass through your truck’s system and to your engine, and if it can’t sustain the pressure, it’ll put more unneeded strain on your battery. So make sure to change your oil and oil filter using the proper information from your truck’s manufacturer.
4. Visibility Is Key
Rain, snow, and ice build-up throughout all your truck’s windshield and headlights will naturally cause serious visibility issues. To keep yourself safe, inspect your truck’s outer exterior and replace any possibly burned out bulbs along within your vehicle’s lighting.
Maintaining your heater and defroster is absolutely paramount to clearing any condensation on your windows as well, and it’s also necessary to check and replace windshield wipers. It’d be in your company’s best interest to consider adding winter blades to combat snow and ice build-up.
5. Create an Emergency Kit
When going down your fall truck maintenance checklist, it’ll be a good idea to create an emergency kit. Consider adding in the following tools like
- Road flares
- Multi-functional tool
- Jumper cables
- Spare cell phone charger
- Bandaging and first-aid supplies
- Two day’s worth of non-perishable snacks (e.g. protein bars, beef jerky, etc.)
- A gallon of water
- Kitty litter for traction
Being prepared before adverse conditions arise can prevent dire circumstances from happening later.
6. Mind Your Undercarriage
To eliminate more trouble during wet winter weather, the roads are usually treated with salt. While this may melt snow and ice on the roads, salt can lead to nasty corrosion damage to the underside of your vehicle.
Ensure your vehicle is protected with an undercoating spray. This spray will seal any tiny nooks and gaps in the undercarriage, preventing rust from slowly wearing your vehicle down.
7. Cover Your Truck Bed
The bed of your truck catches untold amounts of fresh snow, slush, and sleet. This build-up can rapidly get out of hand without proper maintenance. You’ll be able to increase the bed’s durability by lessening its exposure to the elements.
Consider adding a bed liner to provide shelter and skid-proof/dent-resistant protection. If that’s not an option, perhaps consider installing a tonneau cover over the back of your vehicle to keep all of the rain, sleet, or snow out of your truck bed.
It’s important to keep your vehicle running safely, and as the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.