The best way to avoid the regret of dealing with problems and consequences caused by the winter on the vehicles, because the trucks weren´t prepared for the cold season, is to be organized and prepared in advance in the previous months.
There are many aspects to have in count during a pre-inspection trip, but we will share some that really get affected by the cold weather and may need a special attention. What should the fleet companies and owner-operators need to pay attention on their trucks?
- Verify the Air System
1. Draining all air tanks every day, especially the wet tank. Compressed air retains moisture and can provoke a problem if the moist and warm air arrives to the brass fittings, valves, hoses and cold steel air tanks.
2. Eliminating any restrictions, low points, 90-degree bends or kink from the system plumbing. Because during the winter those points can be frozen.
3. Replacing or fixing old air compressors if problems like spitting oil and leaks are detected.
- Inspect the Starting and Charging Components
1. Test the batteries and substitute the ones in bad condition.
2. Visually examine cable runs to assure they are correctly bound
3. Visually examine the wiring connections at the alternator and starter looking for signals of deteriorating or corrosion wiring.
4. Perform tests on the alternators and starter output if they have the equipment.
5. Check the trailer pigtail since it´s a very exposed part. The connector should be pulled to inspect the interior. If necessary, replace this part, since it`s cheaper than receive a fine.
6. Clean up the terminal ports of the battery, then apply dielectric grease or protectant to avoid corrosion
- Check the chassis
1. Inspect if there is water in the fuel tanks, something that inevitably happens. It will be necessary to let the tanks get low, then verify if water got inside these tanks and finally drain this water off as much as possible to prevent it from freezing.
2. Replace the fuel filters, if there is water inside, by a spare one, and them put a bottle of air-line antifreeze according to manufacturer instructions.
- Verify if everything inside the cabin is working perfectly such:
• Mirror heaters;
• Door and window seals for air leaks;
• Heater-defroster fan;
• If the exhaust system for under-cab is leaking or not
- Inspect the tires:
1. Verify the tire pressures frequently during the cold season
2. Check the tire chains if there is any signs of damage or wear
- Replace the wiper balder for ones especially designed for the winter and keep the one for an emergency replacement.