Winter Wonderland? Here are some simple reminders to get through it...
Winter is usually a magical time of year. What, with the holidays and our friend, the snow you know.... But with the snow comes the cold weather and we know what that can do. Cold weather can wreak havoc on your equipment so we've put together a few items for you to check in preparation for severe cold weather:
Diesel - make sure you are buying a winter blend. If not, be sure to properly treat the fuel each and every time you fuel your truck, and try to keep the tanks full as much as possible.
Idling - with the DEF systems it is imperative not to "slow Idle" the trucks over night, the trucks will never build up enough heat to clear the exhaust filters and the DEF systems will clog, making a regen impossible. When idling for the night trucks should be idled up to 1200 rpm, possibly higher if the engine is not retaining heat. If possible, do a manual regen before and after each long idle/rest period. Although there is not a manual regen button per say, there is a "code" for most engines that will kick off the regen process, much of this can be found on the internet or the engine manufacturers. If your trucks can be plugged in, plug them in. Check your receptacle today and buy extra extension cords.
Air Systems - bleed all air dryers constantly and properly condition the air systems to prevent freezing. This need to start immediately, once the air lines freeze it is too late, it's important to get the treatments throughout the air system before freezing temps.
Trailers - For tankers, Work with your tank wash to properly dry the trailers, especially the external valves before they put them back onto the trailer after cleaning.
Trailer brakes - Drivers need to take extra care to ensure the trailer brakes release and are not frozen, failure to do this and excessive dragging of the tire will flat spot and ruin a complete set of tires.
Wheel seals - Plastic and metals will contract more in severe cold, the contraction may cause leaks where there were no leaks previously.
Batteries - better to check and replace your batteries before the really cold weather hits.
Another note of caution is that there will be delays in getting trucks started, unlocking trailer brakes and all the other issues cold weather brings, drivers and your maintenance folks should be planning on this. I know that this is not the first time it has gotten cold, but a little preparation can make all the difference in running smoothly or a $3,000 repair bill. These are some of focus areas, I am sure many of you are already aware and preparations are underway.
Stay safe out there drivers.