I love Winter, oh wait, that's Spring, Summer, and Fall. Winter has to be my least favorite season, I don’t like to be cold. I do enjoy playing in the snow with the proper cold weather gear, but I can go inside and get warm when I feel the need. Your truck doesn’t have that option.
You can prepare yourself for the cold before you go out so you should prepare your truck before the cold weather arrives. What needs to be done to prepare? I like to change the fan belts and shock absorbers every fall to start. Have the engine coolant tested and if the mileage is right to have the coolant drained, the system flushed and refilled with new coolant, check your owner’s manual for recommended drain intervals.
I spend a lot of extra time under the truck in the fall looking at everything, wiring, hoses, brakes, drivelines and related parts, anything that ice or snow could build upon and cause damage. The damage that may not be immediate but where moisture could infiltrate and cause issues later in the year. Looking for low hanging wiring that could gather ice and pull a connection apart, securing any potential problems before they happen.
Double check tire tread depth, if they are getting very close to needing to be replaced, I replace them and sell the used tires or if I need them, I have them retreaded, and yes retreads are safe and reliable. Double check the TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) if you have one and adjust tire pressures to fit your operation. If you run west of the Rockies you need to carry tire chains that fit your tires. We run OnSpot automatic tire chains so I lube them and make sure they are adjusted properly and function as designed. https://www.onspot.com/en-US/
I like to lube the chassis even if it is not due, just to be sure there is good water-resistant grease in the knuckles. I’ve always carried Power Service 911, just in case, I’ve had to use it once and was glad I had it on hand. Make sure the windshield washer reservoir is full of winter deicer type fluid and the washer system works. Carry an extra set of wiper blades and a winter front if equipped. I also carry at least one replacement lamp for every type of lamp on the truck, just in case.
Check all fluid levels again, power steering, coolant, engine oil, transmission, differentials, and washer fluid. Carry extra fluids, especially coolant and washer fluid. Make sure the glass is treated to repel water as it will help repel ice and snow also. As with a normal pre-trip inspection, check all lights, brakes, listen for air leaks and repair as necessary. The closer Winter gets the more I think about stuff I need to carry or things I need to check or do to prepare for the cold.
In the cab, I carry cold weather gear, beanie hat, a neck scarf, insulated gloves, insulated coveralls, thick wool socks, and waterproof shoes. Extra blankets, long-sleeved shirts, long johns, and jackets. If you have an Espar or Webasto diesel fired heater do a test run to check for operation and, if needed get it fixed before you need it.
If you have anything you do that I forgot to mention post a reply, it could save someone a headache later. Until next time, Be Safe.