As the weather turns, getting your truck ready for colder climates is crucial. It’s important to be prepared not only for normal weather conditions but for emergency situations, as well. If your truck breaks down in the middle of nowhere, cold temperatures can be fatal. The emergency supplies on this list are imperative to ensure your safety in case of an emergency. To be sure you’re ready for the cold weather, consider this last-minute checklist for truckers.
Winter clothes are some of the most important things you need to bring—you’ll be grateful for them every time you leave the warmth of your truck. The following are some of the essentials.
A Winter Jacket
You’ll want a heavy-weight jacket to keep you warm against the winter chill. Make sure it’s weather resistant—the impermeable shell layer will keep out rain, snow, and wind. Ideally, you should choose one with a hood to give you extra protection from the cold and keep snow from falling down your back.
Waterproof Winter Boots
A high-quality pair of boots will be your best friend while you’re on the road. You don’t want to get out of your truck to refuel only to find your shoes soaked with frozen water. Choose a durable, waterproof pair of boots that will warm your feet while keeping the elements out.
Other Winter Essentials
This may be common sense, but don’t forget the basics. Pack a hat, scarf, warm socks, and gloves to keep your extremities warm when you have to go outside. Investing in a quality pair of gloves is well worth it—you’ll appreciate them when your fingers stay warm and dry while working on your truck.
Bringing along a pack of hand warmers is another great tip. You can throw a pair of hand warmers in your pockets if you are going to be outside for a while; your hands will thank you.
Emergency items could save your life, so don’t skip them. Always plan for the worst-case scenario; this way, you’ll be able to handle anything the bad weather throws at you.
These blankets trap heat, allowing you to use your body heat to stay warm in extreme conditions. If you end up stranded, emergency blankets could make the difference in surviving harsh climates. And they pack up small, so they won’t take up much space.
Add this item to your toolbox; a hammer makes it much simpler to knock ice off your brakes.
A Small Propane Torch
Use a propane torch to melt ice off your truck’s drums and prevent the drums from sticking to the brakes.
In case your truck gets snowed in somewhere, you’ll need a shovel to clear a path out.
Another potential lifesaver, flares are used to signal for help when necessary. If you’re stranded somewhere without a cell signal, these may be your best chance of getting someone’s attention.
Sand or Kitty Litter
A well-known trick, but still worth mentioning: if there is too much snow or ice around your truck’s tires, add traction by putting kitty litter under the tires. Just be sure to choose the non-clumping kind.
Food and Water
If you get stranded somewhere, you’ll need to be able to eat. Have extra water on hand for both drinking and cooking. When packing food, choose ingredients to make hot meals and food that doesn’t require heating. Peanut butter is a great high-protein snack if you need sustenance in a pinch.
You’ll also likely want to eat a hot meal after a cold day, so bring ramen or soup that can be heated up easily.
Your truck will require a few modifications to run smoothly in the harsh weather. Here are some of the most important changes you should make.
These will ensure you stay nice and warm, even when it’s freezing outside. Be sure to check that each unit is working before hitting the road—you don’t want to find out the hard way that your heaters are broken.
In heavy snow, snow chains are essential for keeping your truck driving safely. Always have these chains on hand and be ready to install them as conditions demand. Certain states have laws requiring snow chains, so do your research on the areas you’ll be driving through before leaving.
The components of diesel fuel can freeze up in cold weather; add anti-gel to prevent that from happening. This product must be added every time you fuel up your truck to ensure the fuel doesn’t freeze.
A Winter Front Grille Cover
Specially created for trucks, these covers are designed to keep cold air out; this means better fuel economy, faster engine warm-up, and a warmer truck. These winter front grille coversfrom Fia are custom fit to give you the best quality product for your truck.
Last-Minute Truck Maintenance
You should perform basic maintenance on your truck before you leave for any long-haul job, but these aspects are particularly important in cold weather conditions.
Check Your Tire Pressure
Cold temperatures cause air to leak out of tires faster, making it more important than usual that you check your truck’s tires frequently. Tires must be kept within their recommended PSI range to ensure they are safe to drive on.
Charge the Battery
Cold weather leaches power from batteries. Be sure to check your truck’s battery frequently; you don’t want it to die and leave you stranded.
Replace the Windshield Wiper Fluid and Blades
The last thing you want is for your windshield wiper blades to break during a snowstorm. This scenario is worse than annoying—it’s dangerous. Purchase new blades that are guaranteed to hold up to tough conditions, and top off your truck’s wiper fluid before you hit the road.
Harsh weather conditions bring their own set of challenges, but plenty of truckers do just fine in the cold weather. Once you have everything on this last-minute checklist for truckers, you should be ready to hit the road during the cold weather months. Just make sure you start prepping well in advance—you really don’t want to be caught in a snowstorm without a coat.