How to Get Commercial Truck Fleets Ready for Winter

With winter coming, commercial truck fleets should be ready for the cold weather. This helps ensure the safety of your vehicle, your drivers, and everyone they meet on the road. Read on to learn helpful tips and avoid getting stuck on the road, collisions, and other potential dangers.

Things to Consider for the Winterization of Your Truck

From heavy rains to icy roads, driving commercial fleets can be challenging during the winter. Thus, take the following necessary precautions.


Use winter tires that have larger lugs to help prevent braking loss or skidding on icy roads. Ensure enough inflation too for maximum performance. Check the owner’s manual to verify the right PSI when you inflate tires. An average of 5/32 inches tread depth is good for winter. You may need an extra set of tire chains for extreme situations and locations.

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Keeping your fleet winter-ready means checking the batteries and fuel filters for optimum performance. Inspect other important components too, like the belts, hoses, blade wipers, and fans. Heavy-duty windshield wipers are ideal for dealing with a harsh climate, including ice buildup.

Electrical System

Make sure to check the electrical system, including the trailer cable plug, for corrosion. The plug controls the signals, antilock devices, and the lights, so keep them clean. You’ll have to exert more effort in the winter because of salt, magnesium chloride, and other chemicals. Excessive exposure to these chemicals can cause corrosion and loss of power and lights. Moisture in the plug and wiring system can also lead to costly repairs.

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Cooling and Cab Heating System

By using engine coolants and coolant heaters, fleets can protect the engine against significantly low temperatures. While engine coolants prevent the engine from overheating, they should also prevent corrosion and fluid freezing. Thus, a 50/50 mixture of water and antifreeze is necessary to keep the system protected from -34 degrees Fahrenheit.

Moreover, a bunk heater can be used as an alternative heating solution to idling the engine. The reduced engine idle helps you save on fuel and avoid engine wear and tear. Every 30 days, tell the driver to run the heater for at least 20 minutes.

Compressed Air System

Make sure the air is clean and dry because with low temperatures, moisture from the air system can result in freezing. Once it finds its way to the air tanks, the suspension, braking system, and transmission will be affected. Maintain the air dryer by frequently replacing the cartridge. Then, check the purge valve regularly to make sure it properly opens and closes.

Fuel System

As diesel fuel has an ingredient called Paraffin, it gels at a very low temperature. This results in roughness or engine failure. Thus, use winter-blend fuel. Use anti-gel additives while fueling too to make sure your commercial fleet starts during the cold weather. Consult your engine manufacturer for the right fuel treatments.

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How to Properly Maintain the Engine

To give your engine extra protection, choose a winter-prescribed engine oil. This motor oil has a lower viscosity rating marked by “W” for winter. Moreover, consider installing water fronts. This will keep the engine of your commercial fleet warm, providing a cozy and comfortable feeling.

Don’t forget to check for any obstructions in the fuel filters too as these will stop the engine from operating well. If there’s ice in the filter, heat it to remove the blockage.

While winter can be challenging for any commercial driver, preparation is key. From the tires and electrical system to the cooling and heating system and fuel system, check on everything by following our tips above. 

Ensure all your commercial truck fleet needs are covered. To learn more about winterizing your fleet, visit our website or contact us today.

Categories: Bauer Built Blog