ExpressIFTA Blog

Monday, February 5, 2018

Winter Maintenance And Carry Checklist For Truckers

ExpressIFTA promotes Trucker Safety

Uh oh, the groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter! That means our roads are going to be snowy and icy for quite a bit more time. We hope you’ve been safe and warm out there so far, but know that a trucking emergency could happen at any time.

When you’re having to deal with winter weather you never know when an accident or breakdown could occur. Take the time to maintain your truck now to make sure it can handle what winter is about to throw at you. 

Winter Maintenance And Carry Checklist For Truckers


The most important thing you want to do in winter is stay dry and warm, so check on your cab heating system. Clean out your heater filters to get rid of any debris and check on your heater control knobs and motors.

While checking on your heaters, it’s good to take a look at your air systems as well. Be sure to check the filters and change them if needed. The filter cartridge should be changed according to your air dryers specifications, which tends to be every 1 to 3 years.

Also, it doesn’t help to be prepared with a portable heater or gas powered heater if your truck loses power. Other good items to have include extra blankets and an extra set of warm, dry clothes.

Then you will want to check on your batteries and electrical systems. Take the time to disconnect each battery system and load test each battery. You will also want to make sure all connections are clean and tighten them if you need to.

While you’re doing that go ahead and make sure your belts are in good condition. They shouldn’t be torn, stretched, or frayed. You can also carry extra with you in your glove box along with extra spark plugs.
ExpressIFTA knows winter emergency items truckers should carry

Carry an extra set of batteries for your important tools and devices, like your phone or your flashlight. You can also find a hand crank radio for a cheap price. It’s always great to have to stay up to date in emergency situations, especially if you lose power.

Don’t neglect your truck's coolant system. You need enough antifreeze for cold weather protection. The hoses need to be in good shape to fight winter conditions. Make sure they aren't cracked, softening or getting hard.

Make sure that your windshield wipers are stronger and ready to take on ice and snow. Also, you need to be sure that your windshield and mirror heaters are working so they’ll defrost.

Always spray your tires down to remove chemical salts and spray they may have picked up from the road, as they can cause your tires to wear faster. Also, make sure the thread is in good condition and consider carrying a set of chains.

You will also want waterproof gear like a warm winter jacket, hat, and gloves. This way if you do have to make repairs, you won't get cold and wet while you’re outside. Always have an extra jacket and pair of warms socks too.

You never know when you’ll get stuck for a while so have bottles of water and nonperishable snacks on hand. Beef jerky, crackers, and canned food can be great to have when you can’t go anywhere for hours or maybe even a day or two.

Stay Safe And Warm


Winter will be here for a little while longer and February and March are notorious for being extremely cold and snowy. Make sure you and your truck are up for whatever this winter challenges you with.

Please add winter trucking tips in the comment section below and visit ExpressIFTA.com for more trucking blogs.

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