How to Protect Your Truck and Yourself from Severe Winter Conditions

Winter comes with all different sorts of weather. For example, sleet, freezing rain, snow, hail, white out conditions, and frigid temperatures to name a few. It is important to keep yourself and your vehicle safe during this winter season. Safety is the number one concern when driving. Here are some tips to keep your truck and yourself safe.

Protecting Your Truck:

Snow Removal:  Remember to remove all snow from cab steps and grab bars to prevent a slip from happening and an injury occurring.

Protect The Vehicle From Freezing:  Diesel trucks should be plugged in overnight to protect the engine from a deep freeze that could prevent it from starting. Remember to use additive in the fuel tanks to prevent gelling of the diesel fuel. Another useful tip is to always fuel up prior to letting the trailer sit overnight to reduce the amount of air in the fuel tanks, which can cause fuel to gel more easily.

Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection:  Complete all pre-trip inspection duties prior to leaving, including but not limited to:

  • Tires
    • Cold weather can greatly affect the tire pressure. Be sure to check that your tires have proper air pressure in them before your trip.
  • Wipers
    • Make sure your wipers are operating effectively and can easily wipe off the precipitation on your window. Vehicle accidents occur due to lack of visibility. Having the best windshield wipers is essential for safe driving vision.
  • Washer Fluid
    • Be sure to have an adequate amount of windshield washer fluid in your vehicle and have extra in your truck in case of emergencies.
  • Lights
    • Make sure all the lights on your vehicle are in working order. Check your headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers, interior lights, and all trailer lights.
  • Coupling devices
    • Close inspection of the coupling device on a trailer can prevent a costly major accident and injury to yourself or others.
  • Fuel Levels
    • Always check fuel levels prior to departing and be sure to top the tanks before you shut down each night. Remember that, in a winter weather emergency, proper idling time can be critical to your safety.

Protecting Yourself:

Dropping temperatures in the winter can lead to frostbite and hypothermia. Drivers should take every step possible to stay warm, safe and keep their body functioning properly if exposed to cold weather. Frostbite occurs when extreme cold temperatures freeze the skin. Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature falls below the standard level. When working outside of the truck in winter, keep these symptoms on your mind and seek help immediately if any arise.

Early Mild Symptoms of Hypothermia Include:

  • Shivering
  • Slurred speech
  • Muscular stiffness
  • Lethargy

Severe Symptoms of Hypothermia Include:

  • Disorientation
  • Shallow breathing
  • Weak pulse
  • Drop in blood pressure

How to Prevent Hypothermia:

  • Wear several layers of warm clothing
  • If clothes appear wet, change them
  • Wear gloves and a knit hat
  • Fuel your body with hot meals and drinks

*Have a working cellphone or a way to communicate if you believe you have hypothermia. Stay in close contact with your dispatch and seek medical help if needed.

Symptoms of Frostbite:

  • Change in appearance
    • Swelling
    • Redness
    • Numbness in the skin or rigidity

How to Prevent Frostbite:

  • Avoid direct skin exposure to the cold air temperature
  • Wear proper warm clothing, including gear that protects vulnerable extremities like the head, hands, fingers and feet.

Thanks for reading!

Are there any tips we left out? Let us know in the comment section below!

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