Winter Driving Tips for Trucks

With winter on the horizon, it is time to get your truck and your frame of mind ready to handle the harsh weather and difficult road conditions that make winter driving a hazard for so many. Let’s say you are based in Ontario and that you have already passed the G1 practice test, now there are few things to take in consideration before taking your truck to it’s winter trip. There are a number of things to consider and some safety precautions you can take that will get you mentally prepared and get your truck ready for those icy road conditions.

Get Yourself Ready for the Cold

Storing warm clothing, boots, extra food, and water, as well as blankets in your truck, can help to keep you warm when needed. As well, a flashlight and a shovel can all be useful tools when stuck on the road. More training can be found in the commercial driver test guide.

When winter arrives, you need to keep in mind that your vehicle’s handling is going to be significantly different from warm & clear driving conditions. That means we have to prepare mentally to drive during the winter; which requires us to slow down, leave more space between vehicles, and make sure you have plenty of room for stopping without sliding.

Get Your Truck Ready for the Cold

As driving a truck requires being on the road regardless of the season and weather conditions, your vehicle needs to be ready for it just as you do. With that in mind, keeping chains in your truck may be useful in deep snow and remote locations. 

By adding weight to your truck box in the form of sandbags, you can maintain a better grip on the road, but using winter tires can add even more grip, which is well worth the minimal cost.

These preparations on your truck can not only make for safer driving but they can also ensure your comfort on the road:

  • Glow Plugs: If your truck has glow plugs, make sure they are in proper working order so you do not have starting issues.
  • Battery: While batteries do not like cold temperatures, ensuring your battery is in the best possible condition can go a long way to keeping you on the road.
  • Cooling System: Ensure your entire cooling system is ready by with the appropriate antifreeze for the range of temperatures in your area. Also check the hoses, clamps, and radiator for any signs of wear.
  • Fuel Filter: A clogged or old fuel filter is a prime spot for fuel to freeze so make certain it is clean.
  • Fuel: As diesel fuel tends to gel and harden in extreme temperatures, make sure you have additives on hand to take care of the problem when necessary. 
  • Block Heater: Making use of your block heater, will allow you to start your engine when you need it, but test it before the temperatures drop too much to make sure it’s functional. If there is a risk of temperatures hitting -15C go ahead and plug it in. The cost of power on a block heater is minimal compared to the problems it can save with just one morning that your vehicle does not start.

Your truck is a tool you need in any season. It is a good idea to make sure that it is well-prepared for the harshest season to come, and that you are ready along with it for safe driving all winter long.