Since we have this every year, It would be nice if everyone posted their tips and tricks for prepping their truck for sub-zero temps and then your other rituals (ie. if you dont idle, do idle, or start up truck every 4 hrs, etc) do you have a bra for your radiator, etc,etc,etc. Try to list everything you can think of.
Something I do is make sure the radiator has good antifreeze in it and protected to -60 F. I run Power Service Artic formula (white jug) in the fuel even though my fuel filters are changed at every oil change (15,000 miles). I have thought about switching to Howes.
I make sure the airtanks are always drained and will run air line antifreeze in the air system. This year I got a new air comp, air dryer and gov and then added 1 gal of antifreeze to the system (pressurized air delivery system, can explain more) and cleaned it out good due to oil and lots of water in the system.
I pack snow chains and all the necessary cold weather gear to handle temps like -20 F like we had in North Dakota a few weeks ago.
I also pack canned goods and water just for emergency purposes only. Also a can of starting fluid and always carry at least 2 gallons of window washer fluid along with an ice scraper/snow brush..
This isnt everything but what I can think of at the moment.
Extreme cold weather truck preparations.
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Seal up any holes you've got in the cab/sleeper. Those leaks will add a draft to the truck to make it unlivable.
Put in a new desiccant cartridge on your air dryer every fall.
Put winter air in your tires every fall just before snow fly.
test your coolant every oil change and monitor your protection ( it'll also save you issues and extent the life on your engine. )
I always carry a sleeping bag. Found out the hard way when my fuel lines froze in -0 weather and the heater wouldn't work. I also carry a childs snowshovel behind the passenger seat (don't laugh, it's small enough to not get in the way and big enough to shovel a trailer out of move junk from under the wheels or spread sand), also a plastic jug of ice melter and one of kitty litter. Shovel the snow from under the tire as much as possible, a little snow melt, wait a few put down the kitty litter and rock it out.
I also carry a pair of insulated Carhart bibs under the bunk and an extra warm hat and mittens. Neos insulated overboots are worth their weight in gold.
One more thing people tend to forget. When parking for the night, drag the brakes on the way into a lot to heat them and drive out water then park, do the paperwork and fiddle about a little then move a foot or so back or forward to get out of the melted spot your about to get stuck in in the morning.
Anti-gel or treated fuel, which is available in some places, or winter blend or even straight #1, heavy blends of 70 to 80 percent #1 are good toabout the same as treated or anti-gel, below -30 degrees F; straight #1 probably won't gel in any temp we encounter, jet fuel is basically the same grade as is kerosene.
Block and pan heaters and fuel tank and fuel filter heaters are used by some, idling if the electrical system is being energized, slow idling may not be enough to energize the alternator, and the batteries can be run down enough to freeze, shutting the idle down. I have see this happen, unbelievable as it seems
Goto Walmart and buy two of the heavy duty tow straps. They were $60 each.
I got stuck one day and that small investment saved me a $1,200 tow bill. A sand truck came buy and pulled me into safety. He said that the local tow driver charges $1,200 and he didn't like seeing the tow truck driver ripping off truck drivers.
Feel sorry for you guys that go back and forth between cold and warm areas. That is the hardest on truck. Those of us that stay up north in the cold have it easy. It only takes a couple of days to weed out the weak trucks. When it's below zero let the truck run and take care of your fuel.
Put a little air line anti freeze in supply line off compressor . And in trailer supply lines.
Snow is one thing , freezing rain and ice is another. You need to know when to park it!
Be safe..... And happy new year to all !
I guess I glance over it because I thought it was general knowledge.
It's not uncommon to see an idled vehicle with dead batteries because the alternator would not keep up with it.
likewise, the more accessories you run and all, A/C, fan, lights etc, you really need to idle up the engine to deal with it. The added stress of the cold will freeze the batteries as they loose their charge. Not sure how many times we've replaced batteries that were frozen.
The army would have us using DF2 in the summer, we'd put DF1 in during the winter. Eventually, we went to straight JP8. That stuff did some incredibly cleaning the fuel system. To say it's like kerosene would be an understatement.
in the truck, never used anti gel, just made sure i burned off all the usa fuel before i got back to canada
lowest temp i saw was -51, didnt freeze up
reefer was another story, have had those freeze up, as you dont know where they were fueled up....especially in drop and hook
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