You know that keeping your equipment in top shape is vital for both your business’s health and the safety of everyone who uses the nation’s highway system.That’s why getting ready for winter isn’t just an “oh, I’ll get around to it” task. It has to be a major component of any good software for truck drivers.
Here in Ohio, we’ve had an easy fall. Sure, there have been days that raining and cold, but as I write this, it’s almost 70 degrees on November 1. It’s like the weather wants to make winterizing our vehicles easy.
Do you have a winterizing checklist?
You know your rig. You know your equipment. If you’ve been on the road a year, then you’ve learned what it is you need. But last fall was a long time ago and many of those items may have been put away by now. Those tasks may have been forgotten.
(TruckingOffice trucking management software has a maintenance module can track that for you – per truck, if you’ve got more than one. You don’t need a special maintenance software for truckers that doesn’t do anything else for you.)
Brakes. I think the most important thing you should do right now is to get your brakes checked. Check the lines and make sure the system is in perfect shape. Don’t just assume that things are okay as you head into the rainy, slushy, snow in December and January. Your air compressor system might accumulate some fluid during the summer months. The air dryer might need some maintenance or replacement.
Heater and Coolant. Look, we’ve got to sit in that cab for hours every day and sleep in it all night. If the environmental system of the truck is bad, that will make your life a living hell. You don’t want to go there – get it checked. Even if you’ve been running the air conditioner all summer, check the thermostat and your coolant now. You can deal with not enough bottled water at the next fuel stop – can you endure the misery of no heat that long if you’re driving I-80 across the midwest and plains? What’s your radiator coolant level? Do you need to flush out last year’s coolant and make room for new for this winter? Make sure it’s up to the recommended levels, and give the cooling system a close visual inspection for leaks or other problems.
Battery Corrosion. It’s easy to overlook and a major hassle to take care of without checking it regularly. Corrosion is a sneaky problem. Checking them before it gets too cold and they get too bad seems like a no-brainer to me.
Here Are a Few More
- Oil is the lifeblood of your engine. Running low on it can have disastrous results. So check it before each trip and also during runs when you can. This is extra important if you’ve just had major work done to the engine or if the rig is new to you.
- Tire pressure can vary over time due to a number of factors. The weather, the trip length, and driving habits can all cause underinflation. On the other hand, overinflation can make tires prone to punctures. So check this important measurement on a regular basis, especially before a run.
- Keep an eye on your fuel vent, especially if your truck has been out of action for a while. The vent is a favorite nesting spot for all kinds of insects. If they take up residence in your rig, then the consequences can include rough starts or even failure to start.
Need a Reminder? The Right Software for Truck Drivers Does That Too.
Last summer, we were facing the CVSA inspections. We might as well get ready for the winter with the same level of preparation to keep our rigs in shape and everyone safe. Using the right software for truck drivers, owner-operators and fleet managers makes these unpleasant tasks a lot easier (and reduces the stress of the inspections.)
Our software for truck drivers can help you stay on top of all your maintenance responsibilities. TruckingOffice can help by giving you timely reminders when upkeep is due, saving you from expensive repair bills and giving you and your people greater peace of mind.
Taking a few moments to perform these basic checks will help ensure you complete your run on time and within budget.
Keeping these tips in mind will prevent all kinds of problems, helping you to enjoy the freedom of the open road. And keep TruckingOffice in mind if you’re in need of top-quality software for truck drivers that will also provide maintenance reminders. In the meantime, stay safe out there.