Winter Storm Jonas dumped more than 25 inches of snow on several cities, and caused major travel delays on roads across the eastern United States. While the storm is gone, roads are still icy and dangerous for all motorists – especially truck drivers.
As the country is in the heart of winter, more storms are expected with the possibility of one striking the east coast at the end of the week. For fleet managers and drivers, our Winter Hub contains up-to-date shop alerts, tips, and winter weather advice to keep your fleet safe before, during, and after any storm.
With the right preparations made now, you can maximize fleet uptime, keep your drivers safe, and prevent unexpected fleet maintenance costs over the course of the winter season. The following steps will help you ensure that your vehicle is as prepared as possible to weather the winter roads.
- Keep a vehicle running at highway speeds in extreme temperatures vs. idling so it can reach the temperature threshold required for the regeneration and Diesel Engine Fluid cycling processes.
- Plug in the engine block heater on all diesel trucks each night – even when the temperature feels warm. The longer a truck sits, the more crucial it is to plug it in. Be sure the vehicle is at normal operating temperature when you plug in your block heater. Block heaters maintain temperature; they are not designed to heat coolant from ambient temperatures.
- Avoid cold soaks. Cold soaks occur when the engine fluids and the steel of the engine block drop to low ambient temperatures. This happens when a vehicle sits for more than a day and it impacts starting and charging systems.
- Be sure to get a correctly blended fuel with a cloud point additive to prevent fuel filter waxing, especially if you are not fueling at a Ryder location.
- Base your fuel needs on your destination weather. Use winter weight fuel when driving north and consider fuel additives.
- Check your tires often. Freezing temperatures can cause slippery driving conditions. Having correctly inflated tires in good condition will help prevent breakdowns and accidents.