Tips on Preparing Your Big Rig For Summer
“Hot fun in the summertime!” Sly and the Family Stone proclaimed my favorite season to be filled with hot fun. I have a folding lawn chair in my truck. I’ve had barbecues at the loading dock. I’ve read under a tree. I love summer trucking!
But breaking down in the Texas summer…not hot fun.
No A/C? Also, not hot fun.
Get your truck ready for the summer by following a few tips to stay safe, and cool.
Of course, it depends where you run but most drivers haven’t turned on their A/C units over the winter. Have it tested and inspected for any leaks or noises. Check for cracked tubes and any faulty operations before you hit the road for the hot summer. Your personal well-being on the road is largely contingent on the functioning of your A/C unit.
Coolant and Hoses
To keep your truck running and keep you cool during the summer months, be sure to give your coolant levels a check, as well as the associated hoses and all connection points. Visually assess your equipment looking for cracks, twists, leaks, or misalignments. Any damages can cause leakages, system failures, and potential breakdowns that will leave you stranded on the roadside.
Oil and Filter
Winter driving can degrade the quality of your oil over time. Extreme temperatures in both winter and summer can cause this as well, so starting the summer with sluggish oil can wreak havoc on your truck. Also, regular travel on gravel roads might have a severe impact on the quality of your oil. When it's time to get ready for summer, check your oil and filter to help guarantee your truck operates smoothly on long journeys.
As cold weather leaves us and the heat builds, check your tire pressure. Often during the winter months, compressed cold air in the tires gets overcompensated by adding additional air to a tire that appears low, so when the warm weather starts to decompress the air the pressure can become too high. Check your PSI and keep rolling down the road.
Like most other vehicles, starting them in the warmer weather causes less of a problem than in the winter months making us think everything is running smoothly. Heat can play havoc on a battery, creating problems with the charging system, and causing the battery to fail. Check your batteries on a regular basis to ensure peak performance.
Finally, while not truck related, an emergency kit can help you handle problems or hazards you encounter on the road. Because you never know what can happen while you're away from home, it's critical that you're prepared for a number of scenarios. Whether you're dealing with a mechanical issue or less-than-ideal driving circumstances, having an emergency kit on hand can help you get back on the road or at the very least get you by while you wait for help. The following components must be included in this kit:
● Extra food and water
● Extra clothing
● Rain jacket
● Rain boots
● Cash (in the event of power failure)
● Cellphone and charger
● Toolbox with tools of varying sizes
● Leatherman tool or similar knife and tool device