Safety Tips for Trucking in Traffic

Trucking professionals have enough to worry about when it comes to transporting their shipment from location to location. Schedules need to be strict and time is of the essence, but safety shouldn’t be compromised because of a hurried driver. Besides being hasty, there are a number of things to consider when it comes to keeping safety the focal point when driving around regular traffic on streets and highways.

A recent study showed that 2016 saw a 2% increase in fatal crashes involving trucks and buses, and the trend points to a continued gradual increase year-over-year. While truck drivers can’t do anything to make other drivers around them more responsible behind the wheel, they can take certain tips to heart when making sure they’re doing their part to keep things safe.

Investing in Truck Insurance

Truck insurance is a safeguard for trucking professionals who wants to ensure their protection for injuries or property damage sustained. Just like regular auto insurance, this kind of insurance is specifically designed to keep trucking professionals safe as well as the truck they’re driving, and can cover the cargo they’re hauling. This should be the first step for truck drivers looking to be more responsible on the road.

Keeping a Space Cushion

Professional drivers hauling big rigs should monitor something called the space cushion between their trucks and other vehicles around them. Where smaller vehicles on the road are able to shift in and out of traffic more freely, trucks with great size can’t. Drivers need to make sure they are not too close to objects, whether stationary or in motion. Consider tight turns, low bridges and small streets as well as other vehicles.

Trip Planning

Just like you’re prepping to set out on a family trip, it pays to plan ahead and look for things like weather conditions and terrain. This will help to anticipate flow of traffic along your route before you leave to make sure you are traveling down the safest and most efficient roads. Always make sure to plan for and add extra travel time for things like construction, detours, traffic congestion and inclement weather.

Safe Speed

Speed always place a factor for drivers looking to be safe on the road. A couple things large truck drivers have to consider is the fact that it takes longer to accelerate their truck and longer to slow their truck down to a stop. Always be sure to slow down in work zones, but don’t hang back so much that will bring traffic behind you to a screeching halt.

Turns and Road Curves

Tight turns become even tighter for truck drivers. Entrance and exit ramps, and turning down city streets always pose a high level of difficulty and risk of bumping into an object, including cars, pedestrians, and street lights. When you’re entering a curve in the road or negotiating a turn, a good rule of thumb is to slow down. This will help to avoid bumping into anything or anyone as well as turning the truck over on its side. Always allow for distance and speed of other vehicles when making a turn across traffic or into oncoming traffic path.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates and coverage changes.

Why Every Trucker Should Have Roadside Assistance Coverage

Roadside assistance is an add-on type of insurance that some commercial truck drivers may not consider when looking for coverage. Having regular insurance on hand is a must, but budgeting for something like roadside assistance may not be at the top of a driver’s list. However, it’s important that drivers all around know the benefits of having some extra help.

In the event that a semi breaks down, roadside assistance can kick in. Drivers should consider commercial vehicle breakdown insurance to cover a wide range of issues including hotel and travel discounts, fuel delivery service and parts delivery. Let’s see how else vehicle breakdown insurance can be a benefit to truck drivers.

Towing

A semi-truck that finds itself broken down on the side of the road and needs transport to a mechanic will have to be towed away. Typically, this is a major expense under insurance plans and usually higher when it is outside of a roadside assistance program like vehicle breakdown insurance. Investing in this coverage can make things less complicated.

Flat Tires

Semi trucks are not immune to flat tires. Just like a regular car driver may need some help to change a flat, truck drivers could find themselves stranded and looking for assistance. Having a roadside assistance plan in place will offer up built-in help including bringing someone out to help change a flat, no matter the size.

Mechanic Service

Some insurance providers offer up mechanic service to help with things like electrical and mechanical issues. A provider will send someone out to your truck and make any minor repairs needed. Mobile mechanics may not be able to take on bigger tasks, like working on transmissions, but most disabling problems can be taken care of on the spot.

Jump Start

Sounds easy enough, right? Well, sometimes a simple jump start can be a lot to handle, especially for semi’s. Leaving the lights on or having a battery drained will put stress on any trucking operation. Getting a quick jump start will get you back on the road in no time, a must-have for any driver in any state.

Fluid Delivery

Low on oil? A provider can send help with a mobile mechanic who can drop some much needed fluids into a truck. This will help to safeguard against potential engine damage down the road and keep internal damage at bay.

Lockout Service

Forget your keys in the truck cabin? This happens to anyone. Having roadside assistance in place will also lend a hand when you forget your keys in your truck as a provider will send someone out to replace your keys or help you get back into your truck.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates and coverage changes.

Tired Trucking: How to Combat Driver Fatigue

With the rise of e-commerce platforms like Amazon and a huge shift in how we as a society shop for and ship items, the trucking industry has seen a huge boom in activity in recent years. More than 15 million commercial trucks drive along American highways, transporting more than 70% of all goods in the U.S. While this may be a good sign of consumer confidence, it also shows the built-in rise of risk behind the wheel.

According to a survey conducted by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), the main reason behind commercial truck crashes are fatigued and overworked drivers. Given the nature of the size of vehicle, these crashes ultimately result in serious injury and even death. While it’s important for truck drivers and the transportation companies they work for to invest in Commercial Truck Insurance as a safe precaution, it’s even more important to understand how driver fatigue can be avoided. Here are some ways to combat it:

Get Enough Sleep

This may seem like a simple idea, but more often than not truck drivers find themselves climbing behind the wheel without the proper amount of sleep. It’s important to get a full night’s sleep every night and try to avoid driving when you’re feeling drowsy. Drowsiness may impair the response time of a driver and increase the chances of being involved in a crash.

Have a Healthy Diet

Long hauls on highways may make it hard to maintain a healthy and consistent diet, but it’s a vital component to driver health overall. Going to bed on an empty stomach, skipping meals, or eating foods that don’t contain adequate nutritional value can all lead to interrupted sleep. Not being well-rested due to lack of nutrition and lack of refueling can impair awareness and reaction time.

Stop for a Nap

Even though driver’s like to stick to a schedule, if it gets to a point where you find yourself constantly sleepy behind the wheel, especially during the day, it would help to pull over and nap for a short period of time. A quick stop to recharge or even just rest your eyes without falling asleep for 30-45 minutes will rejuvenate drivers in the middle of a long haul.

Be Aware of Drowsiness

Keep paying attention to indicators of drowsiness such as frequent yawning, heavy eyes blurred vision, and hearing issues. Being awake for 18 hours is relative to having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent, the legal level of intoxication. Be sure to recognize when it’s getting too hard to keep your attention focused, as this indicates drowsiness beyond a good limit.

Don’t Use Tricks to Stay Awake

From slapping yourself in the face to rolling the window down to let cold air in to chewing sunflower seeds, there are many different tricks that people have used to stay awake. These actually give you a false sense of security, making you feel like your gaming sleepiness. What they’re doing is actually making things potentially worse as you’re exerting more effort to stay awake when it’s easier and more sensical to pull over and rest.

What’s more, while caffeine may be good to get the day started, depending on caffeine to keep you awake will lead to insomnia, headaches and nervousness, a powerful combination that can lead to mistakes behind the wheel.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates and coverage changes.

How Data-Driven Technology Could Change the Trucking Industry

Technology is increasingly changing the world around us and making innovative steps in virtually every industry including trucking. Long haul companies are seeing a growing dependency on digital technology affect their operations and having to reorganize the way they do business. With the advent of autonomous trucking and a threat of a driver shortage looming, the trucking industry is seeing a number of rapid changes pushing and pulling it in many different directions.

Digitized trucking is still a little ways off and the logistics industry as a whole still has time to prepare for dramatic shifts like how to go about commercial truck insurance. Parts of it are already being put in place due to a couple major global trends that are helping to change the trucking industry.

The first is a push to manage climate change and to save energy and resources in an industry that traditionally goes against those notions. Secondly, social and cultural changes are beginning to open up new markets and expectations for the influence of autonomous vehicles and the digitized supply chain. Together, these two factors show that the effect of these trends isn’t just a matter of trucks themselves or how global supply chain is managed. Instead, digitized trucking will transform how most stakeholders in OEMs, logistics, warehouses, and others will operate.

Logistics

Soon enough it will be possible to integrate the truck into real-time logistics data across the whole supply chain. Parts, materials suppliers, manufacturers, warehouses–virtually every area will be affected. When orders are sent to manufacturers, a supply chain system will send back a report on the availability of the goods and timing of shipping it out, thus optimizing its production schedule. If something happens that impedes the truck from delivering on time, on schedule, the system can automatically determine a new route and update the receiving party about the new arrival time.

Transforming the Industry

Bringing updated digital technologies together in the trucking industry of tomorrow has already begun and the digitally integrated world of trucking will see massive differences soon. Trucking companies should already be on top of these changes and anticipating how they can change in real time. Expect to see further development of a hub-and-spoke delivery structure.

The use of large distribution hubs will become normalized in trucking. Trucks will have the ability to do away with human interaction during hub-to-hub trips as autonomous technology continues to be perfected. For now, there are trucking companies trying out this tech, such as Uber and Tesla, seeing how trucks can handle getting on and off highways as well as tracking their cruising performance. As hub-to-hub trucking becomes more common and necessary, regulations will have to change around the impact of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

This digital data landscape is more than just software and more visible in areas besides just warehouses and freight loads. Trucking companies should connect the dots between all areas of growth and change in the industry and see their domino-like effects.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and \ transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates and coverage changes.

Questions to Ask Your Truck Insurance Agent

For commercial truck operators, when it comes to insurance, a little bit of research can go a long way. From shopping around and getting quotes to going over exactly what is needed to be better protected behind the wheel, there are preliminary measures to account for.

Truck insurance options aren’t all made equally, and that’s why it’s important for those needing coverage to take a proactive approach to finding the best fit. Chances are that multiple insurance carriers will want your business after you first approach them, so be prepared to ask hardline questions to make sure you’re getting everything covered.  Here are five questions to ask agents.

1. How Much Coverage Do I Need?

Truck liability insurance for heavy trucks typically requires the minimum amount of $750,000 as set forth by the USDOT or by the State; but most truck operators select $1mm limits.  Most shippers and brokers require the $1mm limits. While these limit may seem a bit high, big rigs can cause a lot of damage to whatever they hit, even if an incident isn’t the driver’s fault.

Commercial drivers should ask their potential insurance agent to guide them through options related to limits. Also, touch on things like umbrella, or excess, policies that can protect you when it comes to drastic losses.

2. Do You Offer Cargo Coverage?

With different types of cargo comes different types of risks. From grain to livestock, oil to cars to hazmat, truckers should understand the potential risks these individual factors pose. While most truck drivers elect cargo insurance at $100,000 care should be taken to make sure the cargo insurance meets the maximum cargo value being transported.

A trucking insurance agent should know what you’re shipping around and be able to offer the right coverage options based on that.  In addition, cargo insurance policies can differ greatly in their coverage conditions and exclusions and a good agent will help you navigate these complex issues.

3. Can I Get a Combined Deductible?

There are times when an accident causes damage to everything from your truck to your cargo to other vehicles on the road. Each of these types of damage brings their own liabilities. Your insurance package should cover all this, but separate deductibles will apply to the individual factors.

When you get a combined deductible, you’re only responsible for paying a single deductible no matter the coverages used. It makes this process simple and more easily structured.

4. Can You Change My Policy Quickly?

Truckers who find themselves changing out what they haul on a regular basis, or even day-to-day basis, should be able to reach out to their agent at a moment’s notice. Being able to change your policy quickly can provide protection when you are in a situation where a specific coverage is needed.   Your insurance agent, or the office, should be available to you for these changes.

5. What Factors Are Affecting My Premium?

Typically, insurance companies base risk on a number of factors, Age, driving record, credit score, years of experience, distance traveled,  freight carried, and others all play a role in just what affects your overall coverage. If your quote seems high, bring it to your agents attention and ask just what is causing this. There are steps you can take to fixing it when renewal is coming up.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates and coverage changes.

 

 

What’s the Difference Between Commercial Property and Commercial Equipment Coverage?

For many property owners, the need to carry insurance to protect their land and everything on it is a standard and vital need. Property owners should evaluate what needs to be protected and then re-evaluate on a regular basis to ensure overall integrity.

But the decision to protect everything from heavy equipment to the garages, per se, that house them can bring some confusion. Ultimately, it’s imperative for business owners to invest in the right coverage to protect what is theirs, and educating oneself in regards to finding the right policy or policies needs to be at the beginning.

When a transportation company fires up a new big rig, they reach for dependable truck insurance. So why shouldn’t a business that operates with machinery or houses such equipment find coverage? Let’s take a look at the different between commercial property insurance and commercial equipment insurance:

Commercial Property Coverage

Depending on your company’s location, you may not be required by law to obtain commercial property insurance. However, a business may be required to do so by their lender. Most business owners make a choice to purchase this kind of insurance policy because of the wide range of protection that it provides.

Property that is being leased can also be insured under this policy as well as property that is owned by somebody else. Commercial property coverage provides insurance for any number of buildings, finished additions,  and other business personal property that are part of a business operation.

Specifically, this coverage applies protection for various types of commercial property. You can equate this to coverage for buildings and personal property  in a business. What’s more, if a business suffers a loss, commercial property insurance can provide coverage for lost income and extra expenses. Make sure to assess everything that needs to be covered or have an insurance broker determine what and how much needs to be put under a personalized policy.

Commercial Equipment Coverage

Commercial equipment coverage is also referred to as contractor’s equipment coverage. This policy provides protection for various equipment and machinery from physical damage. This policy goes a step further beyond commercial property insurance by covering what is not designed to be protected under the policy above.

Consider this: Does your business use heavy equipment such as tractors, backhoes, and forklifts? Then this coverage is tailor-made to protect against damage of those items. More often than not a business’s assets are tied up in heavy equipment, making this kind of protection a high priority.

Most people think that a policy like this only refers to physical damages, but it also includes loss due to theft. Stolen heavy equipment numbers are on the rise and commercial businesses need to do what they can to protect against such loss. Depending on where you are at in the country, your heavy equipment may be at a higher risk of being damaged or stolen.

Be sure to work with an insurance broker to understand what your business needs in terms of coverage and what needs the most protection.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is much more than a commercial truck insurance agency. Since 1954, we have provided our clients with unparalleled service for truck insurance quotes, customer service, coverage charges, insurance certificates, and more. We are committed to providing our clients with the service to keep their costs to the minimum and their opportunities to the maximum. For more information about our products and services, give us a call at (800) 937-8785 to speak with one of our experts.

More Than Just Posture – 3 Tips for Better Driver Ergonomics

Did you know that proper ergonomics is just as important of an aspect of truck driver health and safety as it is for those who work in offices? Each year, thousands of drivers are plagued by neck, back, and spinal issues associated with poor posture. Truck drivers are among the top professions to be out of work due to injuries, and ergonomic injuries are wholly avoidable by making only a few small changes

Most people don’t consider it, but the simplest way truckers can help prevent these types of ailments is by taking the same proactive steps designed for improved posture that are recommended for desk dwellers. Here are three vital ergonomic ideas to consider.

#1: Make Seat Adjustments

Similar to choosing the right type of desk chair, one of the easiest ways to ensure your cab is as safe as possible is to pay attention to seat adjustments before you even start the engine. Begin by making sure your feet can comfortably reach the gas pedal, clutch, and brake. Then adjust the seat’s backrest so that your arms are at a slight angle while you are holding the steering wheel. You’ll also want to raise the seat as high as you can while still being comfortable and tilt the seat cushion so that your thighs are fully supported without putting too much pressure on your knees.

#2: Remember Your Posture

Another vital thing to remember is your overall posture inside the truck. No matter how fatigued you become, don’t ever slouch while driving which can cause strain on your muscles and joints. This may take a bit of practice at first, but remembering to sit up straight can help prevent neck and back pain. It is also important to change your position in the seat slightly every half hour. While it isn’t always possible, try to take breaks when you can to get out of the vehicle and stretch.

#3: Maintain Good Habits When Outside the Truck

Keeping up with good health habits when you are off the road is also important. Exercises such as yoga or Pilates are excellent for strengthening your core area, which can help support your neck, back, and spine more efficiently when you are driving. And remember to correct your posture while sitting in a chair in your living room, hotel, or even at restaurants. Practice really does make perfect.

While truck drivers don’t spend their days in an office per se, a healthy and safe working environment is just as important. Protect your body by implementing the above ergonomic tips as soon as possible.

However, in addition to having these best practices in place, all truck drivers, whether they are full-time employees or independent contractors, should have truck insurance that provides coverage for injuries incurred on the job, whether it is Workers’ Compensation for full-time employees or Occupational Accident for independent contractors and owner-operators.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is much more than a commercial truck insurance agency. Since 1954, we have provided our clients with unparalleled service for truck insurance quotes, customer service, coverage charges, insurance certificates, and more. We are committed to providing our clients with the service to keep their costs to the minimum and their opportunities to the maximum. For more information about our products and services, give us a call at (800) 937-8785 to speak with one of our experts.

How Truck Drivers Can Stay Safe in the Summer Heat

Now that the sweltering months of summer have arrived, many truck drivers find themselves facing some unique safety challenges behind-the-wheel. Fortunately, there are a few simple tips all truck drivers can follow to keep themselves and other motorists safer this summer.

Save Yourself From Sunburn

Exposure to UVA and UVB rays is a risk for truck drivers year-round, but this is especially true during the summer months, when truck drivers are less likely to be wearing protective layers that would otherwise limit their exposure to the sun’s harmful rays. While driving during daylight hours, make sure you apply (and re-apply) a quality sunscreen at least every few hours. Wearing sunglasses and/or a hat with a brim while driving can also protect your eyes from sun damage while allowing you to avoid dangerous glare and other obstructions.

Keep Your Truck Maintained

When was the last time you had the tire pressure checked on your truck? If it’s been more than a week or two, be sure to have this done; this is an important maintenance task year-round, but especially during the hotter months of summer, when truck tires are more susceptible to blow-outs. The same goes for checking and servicing your brakes, as hotter temperatures can make it easier for your brakes to overheat and create a major safety hazard while driving.

Load Up on Hydrating Fluids

Drinking plenty of water while behind the wheel is one of the best decisions you can make to avoid dehydration and the side effects (such as fatigue) that can come along with it. While it may be tempting to choose an iced coffee, soda, or other caffeinated beverage over plain water, it’s important to stay well hydrated during the sweltering months of summer. To make sure you’re drinking enough water, consider investing in a quality insulated water bottle that you make an effort to fill up at least a few times a day during your travels.

Be Alert on Crowded Roadways

Highways and roadways tend to be more crowded during the summer months, especially as children are out of school and families are taking more vacations and road trips. With this in mind, it’s more important than ever to stay alert on the road, especially during times of heavy traffic. Above all else, try to maintain your patience and remember your safety training when navigating busy roads.

Summer time can be a more dangerous time for truck drivers—and for a number of reasons. By following these practical safety tips and making sure you’re protected by the right commercial truck insurance, however, you can keep yourself and other motorists safe. Reach out to the Western Truck insurance team today for more information.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is much more than a commercial truck insurance agency. With roots dating back to 1954, we have provided our clients with unparalleled service for truck insurance quotes, customer service, coverage charges, insurance certificates, and more. We are committed to providing our clients with the service to keep their costs to the minimum and their opportunities to the maximum. For more information about our products and services, give us a call at (800) 937-8785 to speak with one of our experts.

Why Crime Insurance is a Necessity for Trucking Operations

Trucking operations are a prime target for theft and criminal activities. Cargo theft in the U.S. is more common than people think. According to the FBI, the annual economic loss due to cargo theft is around $30 billion – reporting that the average cargo loss in 628 incidents in 2015 had a value of $44,426 per case.

What About Employee Theft?

Thieves scout for vulnerable trucks with poor security measures in place where cargo can be stolen easily – and some of those thieves may be trusted employees. Insurance for crime coverage in trucking operations is generally limited to motor truck cargo insurance and warehouse legal coverage. Since standard insurance policies have an exclusion for coverage of employee theft, criminal activity by your own employees isn’t covered. In order to bridge the gap between what is covered for cargo and warehouse losses and potential employee crime, you need a crime insurance policy which specifically addresses employee theft.  

Reducing Employee Theft

While it’s crucial that you cover your trucking operation with a crime insurance policy for employee theft, there are security measures you can put in place to reduce the possibility of being a victim of employee crime:

  • Never leave a loaded truck unattended, or without security, on your property or allow a driver to take a loaded truck home.
  • Ensure that drivers maintain regular contact with dispatch during every part of the shipping process.
  • Have a closed-mouth policy about your operations. Train your drivers and employees to be careful about what they say to fellow employees as well as friends and family. Train them to refrain from talking about the cargo in the trucks, and to not give out route information to people not in the chain of command.
  • Make sure all employees and drivers follow delivery and pickup protocols. Have a procedure in place for checking all ID from any personnel who unload a truck – each time. Audit your protocols regularly.
  • Screen for dishonest employees before hiring them. Run a comprehensive background check on all employees, not just the ones who have direct access to cargo contents, shipping, and routing information. If they claim to have worked in the trucking industry before, contact every reference they provide.
  • Have periodic security training for all employees.  
  • Pay attention to employees who don’t follow directions, don’t follow protocol, are loose with standards, and if there are security breaches, don’t keep them on.  
  • Use technology to manage security and route shipments, and have a system in place to act quickly if a truck goes off its route.  

If you have employees in your trucking operation, you need a crime insurance policy to cover employee theft, even if you have truck cargo insurance and warehouse insurance coverage. If you have questions about your trucking insurance needs, we have answers. Give us a call today or stop by and speak with one of our insurance specialists.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is much more than a commercial truck insurance agency. With roots dating back to 1954, we have provided our clients with unparalleled service for truck insurance quotes, customer service, coverage charges, insurance certificates, and more. We are committed to providing our clients with the service to keep their costs to the minimum and their opportunities to the maximum. For more information about our products and services, give us a call at (800) 937-8785 to speak with one of our experts.

Is Your Rig Ready for Winter? 7 Ways to Prepare for Plummeting Temperatures

It’s getting chilly out there. Is your truck ready? Take some time today to prep your truck for the cooler, potentially freezing, temperatures that are surely ahead. A little preparation today can save you from a whole lot of trouble later.

When Temperatures Drop, Coolant’s a Must

Anti-freeze, or coolant, provides vital protection to your truck during freezing weather. Getting your coolant system in order is one of the most important winter maintenance preps you’ll do all year. Check for leaks and low coolant levels at every PM. Use high quality coolant, obtained from a reputable source. This is one area where you don’t want to compromise on quality.

Don’t Get Stuck in the Snow- Check Your Chains

Are your chains ready to go should you need them? Many drivers take their chains off the truck and put them into storage during warm summer months, but now that the temperatures are dropping, it’s time to bring them back. Before loading them up, give them a quick check to make sure you have everything you need and that all parts are in good repair.

It’s also prime time to brush up on chain laws. Many drivers prefer to sit and wait when chain whether hits, but some states require that you carry them, needed or not. Knowing the laws in the states where you travel most can save you from expensive tickets and violations.

If you do use chains, remove them as soon as they aren’t needed. Chains that are left on too long can rip up your tires and cause road damage. Remember, chains are intended to get you out of trouble, not into it. If it is too snowy to continue, stop and wait for the weather to clear.

Are Your Tires Ready for Winter?

Tire pressure drops in cold weather. It’s time to check pressure on all your tires again. It is often most effective to check your tire pressure during your pre-trip inspection, before you do any driving. Valve caps help to ensure that ice doesn’t form in the valve core, leading to a slow pressure leak. If you’re missing any caps, replace them.

Tire pressure isn’t the only tire check you should do this winter. If you regularly drive in icy, snowy areas, consider special tires with tread designed for winter driving.

Scrape Less- Add Some De-Icer to Windshield Fluid

Check your washer fluid levels and add de-icer if needed. This will help to defrost your windshield and will keep your fluid jug from freezing solid and bursting. While you’re at it, check your windshield wipers too.

It’s Hard Being a Battery in the Winter

Cold temperatures make it more difficult for your battery to charge, often resulting in lower battery levels. Cleaning, checking, and testing the battery should be a regular part of your PM (preventative maintenance) program. If your battery is over three years old, you may want to replace it this winter.

If your truck has an APU, you can expect reduced service life from your batteries, especially during cold weather. The APU is constantly pulling power from the battery which can drain battery life.

Stock Your Truck, Just in Case

Do you have cold weather essentials on hand, just in case? You should have a heavy coat, a blanket, and some food on hand in your truck. Although we hope you’re never stranded out in the cold, you’ll be happy to have a few emergency supplies on hand. These supplies could very well save your life some day.

Is your truck ready for winter? What are your favorite ways to prepare for dropping temperatures?