Murphy’s law states that, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” And, as we all know, what can and will go wrong will happen on the coldest/snowiest/iciest day imaginable. While we can’t control the weather, we can control our surroundings, being as prepared as possible for whatever might come our way.
Conditioning your truck for winter weather and having the proper tools on hand can make what would otherwise have been a mountain into a manageable, NBD (no big deal) little molehill. Below, we offer some suggestions from our Director of Safety to get you through the winter months and all they might bring. Tools and supplies to keep on hand:
Fuel conditioner or alcohol: This can be added to your air system to dissipate water.
Starting fluid: While it’s not something you want to use regularly, in a pinch, a three-second burst into your air filter will get your truck started.
Tire chains: Our runs don’t take us through mountains so an eight would be overkill, but a set of two is helpful in situations like getting stuck in a customer’s parking lot—they’re also a bit cheaper and faster than a wrecker.
Jumper cables: What self-respecting driver of any kind of vehicle doesn’t have a set of these in their trunk?
Extra Food, clothing, and bedding: Winter weather can get really crazy, very quickly, and you never know when you might get stuck away from services, or be driving through areas where services aren’t available (Kansas ice storm, anyone?). Extra food and bedding gives a little peace of mind, and will keep you warm and fed until you get moving again.
Hammers: If not properly dried, brake pads can freeze to the drums once they are set after running in snow. Nothing a little elbow grease can’t remedy.
At Calhoun Truck Lines, educating our drivers and providing constant communication has been a primary focus in improving the quality of our truck fleet. Being a part of the intermodal trucking industry magnifies the problems associated with vehicle and equipment maintenance. Much of the equipment we haul is shared amongst multiple trucking companies, which creates challenges in maintaining equipment, but through education and programs, we continue to assist drivers with preserving their equipment. It is our hope that all of these efforts will help improve our company’s safety rating and reduce the long-term financial challenges of those who drive with Calhoun Truck Lines.