Just about everyone will tell you to prepare for the winter driving season, and I guess I will too, but I want to mention a few things many may not consider.

You should already know to carry winter gear on the truck - coats, chains (if applicable), fresh water and food (in case you are stranded in the cold), blankets, truck fluids, de-icer for locks, anti-gel, spare belts, etc.

What about some preventative steps to help out during the winter months?

Make sure to refill your windshield washer reservoir with winter blend washer fluid. The frozen fluid is of no use. Even if your washer fluid reservoir is full, drain it and fill it with the proper winter blend.

A new set of wiper blades and a spare set onboard are invaluable this time of year. All summer long your wiper blades have been drying in the sun and may not wipe clean when you need them. It’s always wise to carry a spare set of wiper blades all year long. 

If your windshield is pitted, sanded, cracked, and chipped, now might be the best time to replace it. Extreme cold outside temperatures coupled with heat from defrosting could make those small chips and cracks spread to be worse, even to the point of not passing inspection.

While we are talking about glass, now would also be a good time to get in the habit of using RainX or similar products on side windows, mirrors, and headlamps. It can help keep the rain, snow, and ice from accumulating on these surfaces and make them easier to clean later. I know you can get a RainX solution applied at a truck wash, but I have found that by applying it myself over the years, it seems to last longer and work better than the truck wash version. Especially for headlamps. If you have LED headlamps, they usually will not produce enough heat to melt away the build-up of snow or ice. Applying RainX will help keep it from sticking in the first place and also easier to clean.

As we make our way through another winter driving season, keep a check on tire pressures, look for the shiny roads, watch for the spray from other vehicles (or lack thereof) and have a safe winter out there.

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Greg Huggins

Greg has been in the trucking industry since the late 1980s. After spending 25+ years as an owner operator with United Van Lines, he leased to Landstar Express America in 2014. Greg is always trying to learn something new and share what he has learned with others.

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