A friend asked me recently about the trucks she’s noticed on the roads. “Does everyone wash their trucks every day?  I noticed a dirty truck on the road today – it’s the first one I’ve seen all summer.”

Yep, we take pride in our rides.  The investment we put into our trucks makes us want to keep them looking good and running well.

That’s why I want to talk about winterizing today.  Here in Ohio today, it was 75 degrees and sunny – a rare October day to be sure.  This won’t last.

But it’s a lot easier to do the regular maintenance that your rig requires now than it will be in January – regardless of how far south you live.

I don’t really have a checklist of things to do to winterize – I should probably make one, but these are the ones that I want to remember every year – and forget.

  1.  New wiper blades.  No matter how good they are in October, by January I’m wishing I’d bothered to replace them on a sunny day instead of in an Ohio sleet storm in January.  I guess I’m thinking that they’re good enough and right now, they are.  But in three months, they won’t be.  I might as well do it now.
  2. Check my battery ground wires.  Corrosion is a sneaky problem.  Checking them before it gets too cold and they get too bad seems like a no-brainer to me.
  3. Buy fuel treatment now. I like to buy it early and keep it in my truck instead of buying it when I get to the truck stop.   But that’s just me.  If I were doing a north-south lane, then maybe having it on hand wouldn’t be as important, but buying by the case is cheaper.
  4. Check the block heater.   Shorted out cables or just plain breaking down while on the road is a real pain. The weather can sneak up on you in November.  It’s smart to be prepared.

When I first started driving for a local company, they paid someone to come out and power wash all the rigs on Saturday mornings.  It made the Monday morning walk to the truck a more positive thing.  My truck was ready for the week and therefore, so was I.  Getting your truck ready for winter is the same thing – during the time of year when it’s dark too much and cold and rainy too often, having your truck ready makes it easier to do your job.

What do you want to remember to winterize before this year’s first snowflakes fall on your windshield?

Oct 14

(If keeping track of your regular maintenance is a problem for you, we’ve got a solution already installed in the TruckingOffice trucking management software.)

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