Pretrip inspection FreightlinerPreparing for winter starts with a maintenance policy. Fleets and drivers should always have a well-written maintenance policy in place. This policy should be specific to their vehicles, equipment, geography, distance they travel, loads they carry, time on the road and other pertinent facts. Conditions for winter travel can obviously be more challenging and safety is the top priority. In general, drivers should follow this checklist prior to any trip:

  • Maintain proper tire pressure
  • Monitor tread depths
  • Watch for irregular wear
  • Inspect suspension components

A pre-trip inspection is not only important to improving safety, it is also critical to ensuring the most efficient performance from the trucks. The advantages of a pre-trip inspection include improved highway safety, reduced downtime, increased productivity and better on-time load delivery. 

Cold weather tire pressure requirements. Tire pressure monitoring is a key component of a complete tire maintenance program. The number of tire related issues and roadside events will be significantly reduced by maintaining proper tire pressure. This ultimately results in less downtime on the side of the road.

With the onset of cold weather, tire pressures will drop. It is imperative to set the tire pressure prior to operating the vehicle at the onset of the trip while the tires are at ambient temperature. The ideal time to check tire pressures is during the pre-trip inspection prior to departure. Driving, even for a short distance, causes tires to heat up and pressure to increase.

Drivers should always use a properly calibrated gauge when verifying the pressure of a tire and should not rely on the aspect of the tire. If the tire is 20% below the recommended pressure, it must be considered flat. It should then be removed and inspected for punctures or other damage. Failure to do so may lead to unwanted downtime.

Winter treads. Fleets and owner-operators know their specific operating and delivery conditions. If the fleet is located or operates in conditions which are likely to experience winter conditions (such as the Northeast, northern Plains, upper Midwest, Pacific mountains or Canada) they may want to consider a specific tire tread or a retread for those conditions.

Michelin XDN2 GRIP 1
MICHELIN XDN 2 tir
Michelin offers specific products for these conditions. The MICHELIN XDN 2 tire and the pre-mold retread, all-weather, non-directional, drive selection are optimized for exceptional traction on slippery surfaces. The MICHELIN XDS 2 tire and pre-mold retread are designed for year-round drive axle traction optimized for challenging winter conditions. 

Inappropriate tires in winter weather applications. If during the tire inspections the driver starts to notice circumferential cutting, chunking, spin damage or tearing, these could be signs the tires are experiencing low traction conditions. The fleet operator needs to have a dialogue with the driver about the specific conditions that he is experiencing. The fleet operator should work with the dealer to discuss the appropriate tire selections for their operations.

The use of tire chains in severe winter weather conditions. Tire chains are often necessary in certain regions and with challenging winter conditions. Chains are often required as determined by local law enforcement. Operators should also make sure to follow the chain manufacturers’ instructions for properly mounting the chains with the correct type and size to ensure safe operations. They should also refer to the tire manufacturers’ service manual for recommended directions for both speed and duration of use.

For new drivers and drivers new to a fleet, it may be beneficial for the driver to be trained on the equipment specific to the vehicle and be sure the equipment is correct for the season. This can be done in the yard when the weather conditions are fair, well before they are experiencing the challenging conditions with the weather elements. The end goal is for the driver to be comfortable with the process.

SHARE THIS:

Related information

How Aggressive Should I be with my Retirement Planning?

If you ever hope to retire and live off your savings, you need to be sure that you will have enough money to do so, and that your funds are safe and earning enough as you age. Experts recommend being prepared to have sufficient resources to generate between 70-90 percent of your earning power to carry you through retirement.

Read full story

10 Tips to Follow if You Receive a Letter from the IRS

Your taxes have been filed and some of you might have even received a refund from Uncle Sam. Unfortunately, some of you might not have been quite so lucky. You might have received a scarier letter from the IRS.  Each year the IRS mails millions of notices and letters to taxpayers. There are a variety of reasons why they might send you a notice. Here are the top 10 tips to know in case you get one.

Read full story

Tips for Filing an Amended Tax Return

Your taxes have been filed and you might even have a return on its way. That is when you realize that you made a mistake. If this sounds like you then don’t worry. All you need to do is follow these tips on how to file an amended tax return.

Read full story

KEEP YOUR BUSINESS BETWEEN THE LINES WITH USEFUL INFORMATION SENT RIGHT TO YOUR INBOX.

Sign Me Up