In the past few years I have not been operating my business as far north as I traditionally have in the past.  This week my shipment took me to Whitestown, IN in order to get me to closer to the Midwest Truck & Trailer Show located in Peoria, IL.  Upon looking at the weather I saw there was an extreme arctic blast that was to sweep across the country at this particular time.  I always keep a certain amount of winter gear in the truck but this seemed like a good time to evaluate that all the proper apparel was stowed and available.

The next area of concern for me was gelling fuel as temperatures were supposed to drop into the negative teens with wind chills of over -45°.  Extreme cold temperatures is an area of particular concern as most of my fuel has been coming from the south where it is not treated for these frigid temperatures. 

The course of action was to run my fuel down low as I approached till I got far enough up north to buy treated fuel.  The next course of action was to turn on my Park Smart diesel fired heater and allow it to run for two hours in order to get the winter treated diesel fuel into its supply line.  The reason I ran it for two hours is that I was logging a 8 2 split and I figured this would give the heater adequate time to draw the treated diesel through the fuel lines. This is a lesson I learned the hard way. Several years ago, I made sure I had winterized fuel in the truck before making a delivery to Janesville, WI.  After arriving I turned on my trusty Park Smart HVAC System to enjoy its nearly silent idle free heat.  Much to my chagrin the heater would not fire up due to the fuel being gelled up in the -18-degree weather.   This was an important lesson for me which has made it that I always think of making sure winterized fuel has gone through my diesel fired bunk heater.  This same course of action should also be considered for auxiliary power units of any kind.

In the end, preparation made this trip go trouble free in these extreme weather conditions… It’s all about being prepared.

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Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/Tâ„¢, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

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