Safe Driving Tips

Safety

  • Sign up for E-Logs to reduce hours of service violations
  • Always perform a proper Pre-Trip and Post-Trip inspection
  • Drive at or below the speed limit at all times and use your cruise control as much as possible.  You will save fuel, have less wear and tear on your equipment, and won’t get any speeding tickets.
  • Never change lanes until you signal your movement.  Check then recheck both sides of your truck for other vehicles which may be hidden in your blind spot.  Look for car shadows which may indicate a car you cannot see.
  • Never travel in a truck restricted lane even to pass a slower moving vehicle.
  • Increase your following distance in heavy traffic, rain, snow and other adverse conditions. Err on the side of caution.
  • Watch traffic patterns around your vehicle.  Watch for off-ramps and on-ramps and vehicles which are maneuvering to exit or enter the highway.   Anticipate how other vehicles may move and adjust your speed and spacing accordingly.

Maintenance

  • Winterization Tips
    • Diesel fuel contains paraffin that causes fuel to gel as it cools and that leads to engine malfunctions
    • Check the fuel’s cetane rating at the pump – the higher the number, the easier your truck will start in the cold winter months
    • Anti-gel additives during each fill up will boost engine performance
    • When temperatures are consistently below 30 degrees it is a good idea to add a fuel treatment such as Howes Diesel Treat
    • Fuel contaminants including condensation shorten the service life of your engine and lead to costly repairs.  To minimize risk, check your water separator daily and invest in a new fuel filter
  • Cooling Systems
    • Visit an authorized dealer or shop for a comprehensive winterization check.  Be sure to have the shop inspect the cooling system (radiator, hoses and belts) for issues that may worsen in cold temperatures and lead to engine damage
    • Coolant tests will make sure your coolant is at the optimum freeze point
  • Engine
    • Diesel engines are harder to start in cold weather than gasoline-powered vehicles because of their need for higher cylinder temperatures
    • Consider investing in electric-powered block heaters or run your engine every couple hours to keep your engine warm overnight and minimize large fluctuations in engine temperature
  • Air Dryer
    • The air dryer collects and removes air contaminants before they enter the brake system to prevent water freezing in the lines and causing brakes to become inoperable
    • Every two years, schedule your truck for an air dryer inspection or filter change in preparation for icy road
  • Battery
    • Cold temperatures drain batteries faster so it is important to check the age and life-cycle of your battery before winter
    • Have your charging system tested by an authorized dealer or repair facility
  • Trailer Brakes
    • Carry a hammer with you which will help free up frozen trailer brakes by hitting on the brake drums

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to call Maintenance at (800) 926-5526 option 4