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Louisville Switching Blog

3 Precautions To Take When You're On The Road This Winter

Posted by Louisville Switching

Jan 29, 2020 10:30:45 AM

At Louisville Switching, we understand the importance of keeping drivers safe. Our truck parts and services are designed with you in mind, and we want to make the process of implementing safety procedures and features as simple as possible. We are well into the winter season, and harsh weather is more than likely still ahead. 

Don't wait until the tundra-like conditions cost you unnecessary time and money to fix damages that could have been prevented with the right preparation. Whether or not you have already taken steps to winterize your fleet, the following tips are good to keep in mind, especially when it comes to winter travel and operating in your yard.


1. Check Your Cooling System and Engine

Checking your cooling system and engine is a must when preparing to hit the road during winter weather. Your cooling system plays a critical role in ensuring your engine temperature is warm enough to operate. Before you leave, make sure your antifreeze levels are adequate to handle the cold temps. 

Next, while your engine is still cold, perform a pressure test on your cooling system to check the heater control valves. No driver wants their heating system to go out when they are operating in below-freezing temperatures and icy weather!

Finally, check the engine and ensure all water hoses are free of cracks, wear and tear, and hardening or softening. Also, make sure all of the hose clamps are tightened.

Completing these steps will ensure your engine and cooling system are prepared for any winter weather you encounter while you are on and off the road. Your number one priority is keeping yourself and other drivers safe – which makes it our number one priority, as well. Stay safe this season by following the rest of these tips on winterizing your yard truck. 

2. Keep Your Truck Stocked 

Winter safety precautions aren't only for the open road. Cold weather can lead to unexpected and dangerous conditions during normal operation at your facility. Having a kit of essentials stocked in your truck is an important aspect of keeping your yard truck equipped for winter. From a dead battery to losing heat in the truck cabin, there are a few essentials every driver should keep handy in case of an emergency. 

First, we recommend always having a pair of jumper cables and other emergency parts handy, along with proper tire chaining equipment and spare tires. For your own safety, you should also pack water-resistant gloves, blankets, towels, flashlights and batteries, reflective gear, sturdy boots, a kneeling pad, and a first aid kit. 

If your battery or engine happens to go out, leaving you in frigid weather, it is best to keep a change of warm clothes in your truck at all times. Heavy-duty coats, scarves, and hats will come in handy, along with hand warmers, if you are outside working on your truck. 

3. Allow Extra Prep and Travel Time 

Another "must" when it comes to being prepared for winter weather and conditions is allowing yourself extra prep and travel time.

Especially when there are frigid temperatures and bad weather conditions, trip preparation is crucial for drivers transporting shipments across states. Always check the weather forecast before you hit the road. If the forecast calls for severe weather, plan your route accordingly to avoid driving on bridges and overpasses when there is fresh snow or ice on them. Another tip is to drive slower than usual and be cautious of other drivers when there is ice, as tires tend to have less traction, and it's easier for another vehicle to spin out in your direction. 

Build-in extra time for traveling if there’s bad weather on the forecast during the trip. You cannot safely drive as fast if there’s ice, snow, or heavy winds, so allow yourself extra time to get to and from your destination. Make sure your focus is on arriving safely to your location rather than getting there quickly. You will be glad you did!

We hope these tips will allow you to travel and work safely this winter. If you are in need of any winterizing services or updated parts for your yard truck this season, reach out to a member of our team to equip you with the best parts for your yard truck. For more tips on keeping your yard truck operating at its best, check out our Daily Maintenance Checklist