Preparing Your Semi Truck or Heavy Equipment For Winter
Living in and around Alberta and Calgary, Canada, is great for many reasons, but one of the facts of life here is that winters can be harsh. With temperatures that range from bitterly cold and icy to above-zero and slushy, your vehicle has to put up with some intense environments between October and March every year.
While most people take some preventative action for winter, like installing winter tires, there are some often-overlooked steps you can take across all your vehicle’s systems to ensure that everything is running in top shape – before the really cold weather hits.
Here’s what we recommend for heavy trucks and heavy equipment winter prep at West Tech Mobile:
1) Check Your Air System
Living in Alberta, Canada, where winters can be unforgiving, ensuring your semi-truck or heavy equipment's air system is in peak condition is crucial.
The air system is vital for numerous functions in your truck, and any contamination can lead to significant issues, especially in cold and damp conditions. That's why at West Tech Mobile, we emphasize the importance of a clean, well-maintained air system.
Regular Checks & Cleaning
Here's how you can ensure your air compressor and system remain free from contaminants:
2) Keep an Eye on Coolant
The coolant in your truck is more than just a fluid; it's a critical defender against the harsh winter temperatures. Proper coolant levels and balance are essential to protect your engine and keep it running smoothly, even in the coldest months. Here's why coolant for your heavy truck or equipment is vital and how you can maintain it:
Why Coolant Matters:
Coolant, or antifreeze, is responsible for regulating your engine's temperature. It prevents freezing in cold temperatures and overheating in extreme conditions. However, its effectiveness depends on its chemical balance and concentration. Incorrect coolant mixture or old, degraded coolant can lead to cavitation and severe internal engine damage.
Maintaining Your Coolant
3) How Are Your Batteries?
Batteries are the heart of your truck's electrical system, powering everything from the ignition to the lights and heating. In winter, the chemical reactions in the battery slow down, diminishing its capacity and making it harder to start your engine. Sometimes even a new heavy truck battery might be dead!
At the same time, the energy demand from heaters, wipers, and lights increases. Ensuring your battery is in top condition is crucial to avoid being stranded in the cold.
Key Steps to Maintain Battery Health
4) Have You Considered Block Heaters?
When your truck is exposed to extreme cold, the oil thickens, and the battery works harder, making it difficult to start the engine. There are a few different ways to help ensure your truck's engine starts even on a cold day. A block heater warms the engine and fluids, ensuring smoother starts, reduced wear on the engine during ignition, and immediate heat for your comfort.
Maximizing the Benefits of Block Heaters
5) Don't Forget The Other Important Checks!
How are your wiper blades and washer fluid? You’ll want those in good condition before the slush of winter coats your windshield on a busy highway.
Or how about your engine oil? At West Tech Mobile, we have bulk 5W40 synthetic oil at a very reasonable cost – it will keep things working smoothly and extend your engine’s longevity.
Keeping on top of these things will make your winter driving experience much easier and will ensure that your truck or heavy-duty equipment starts when you need it to and stays running. Remember – a little preparation now will save you time, money, and frustration in the long run.
What Are Some Trends To Watch For in 2024?
Winter offers unique opportunities for fleet manufacturers to improve their design and functionality. Some trends to watch for include:
Electrification of Fleets
The trucking industry has a growing trend toward electric vehicles (EVs), including heavy-duty trucks. While there are challenges regarding range and charging infrastructure, the move towards electrification is driven by the desire to reduce emissions and operational costs.
Watch for advancements in battery technology and cold-weather performance enhancements specific to EVs.
Advanced Telematics and Predictive Maintenance
Telematics systems are becoming more sophisticated, offering comprehensive data collection and analysis. This technology enables predictive maintenance, which anticipates potential failures and suggests interventions.
In the future, expect these systems to become more integrated with the vehicle's operational systems, providing even more precise diagnostics and prognostics.
Autonomous and Semi-Autonomous Vehicles
Automation technology is advancing rapidly. While fully autonomous trucks might not be widespread yet, semi-autonomous features are becoming more common.
These include advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) like lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and collision avoidance systems, which can significantly enhance safety in winter driving conditions.
Don't Miss Your Winter Check-Up in Calgary with West Tech Mobile
It’s a good idea to inspect your vehicle to ensure it’s winter-ready. Book in with West Tech Mobile here in Calgary, Alberta, for a quarterly inspection so you avoid any costly surprises over the coming months.
Not only will our team of expert technicians ensure that your vehicle is equipped to handle winter conditions, but they can also provide recommendations for any additional maintenance or repairs needed to help ensure you don't need our roadside heavy truck repair near Calgary.
Don’t risk it this winter. With unpredictable weather and hazardous road conditions, it’s important to stay ahead of any potential issues with your vehicle. Schedule your winter check-up now and have peace of mind while driving in the Alberta winter.