Winter’s Coming! Get Prepared with This Inspection List.

Friday, December 21 is the official start of the 2018 winter season. Winter driving brings additional hazards, and commercial drivers must be prepared to avoid accidents. Now is the time to get that truck ready for the long, cold season. Items to inspect include:

  • Cooling system
  • Heater and defroster
  • Tires
  • Brakes
  • Windshield wiper blades
  • Lights and bulbs
  • Batteries
  • Fan belts
  • Suspension and steering systems
  • Overall safety inspection

Ensure all maintenance items including air and fuel filters, transmission fluid service, oil and filter change are up to date. An exhaust system inspection ensures exhaust gas does not leak into the cab through small holes or gaps under the truck in the floorboard. Inspect the tires for any indications of uneven wear, cupping, cuts and tread life. Don’t forget to check the spare tire and be sure the jack is in good working condition.

While performing a brake inspection, ensure the air dryer is working correctly. Air dryers remove air system moisture and contaminants prior to entering the brake system. This is done in order to prevent water freezing the brake lines, resulting in the loss of braking functions.

Diesel fuels contain suspended water as a result of condensation inside the fuel tank. Install a new fuel filter and check the water separator daily. Additionally, keep the fuel tank level to a minimum of half full to minimize the risks of water freezing inside the fuel lines.

TruckSeries is here to assist you with any service information you may need to complete repairs and/or maintenance requirements identified during the inspection. Search for “Specifications” in articles to identify OEM recommendations concerning engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid or other information for varying weather conditions. Thank you for your efforts in keeping our truckers and everyone else on the road safe. Have a safe and enjoyable Holiday Season!

For more information on winter repairs:

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About the Author

Bruce Cansler

Bruce Cansler started his automotive career in 1973 as a technician for Datsun. He retired from the U.S. Navy as a Seabee Construction Mechanic with 20 active years of service and 10 as a reservist, then spent time working in Ford, Lexus and Caterpillar dealerships. Bruce has obtained ASE certifications in both cars and medium/heavy trucks and has worked with the Commercial Vehicle Group at Mitchell 1 since 2009.