Most people you talk to will have their own horror story from driving in the winter. Whether that’s losing power in a snowstorm or skidding down a hill due to icy conditions, it often feels like the weather is out to get you in the cold months. Though a blizzard is unavoidable, there’s a wealth of measures you can take to ensure you are protected as much as possible during the winter months. From useful products to vehicle maintenance, we’ll explore the best options to help you keep on trucking.
Preparing Your Truck For Winter
First of all, we’d recommend getting your truck in its fittest possible state, meaning it has the best chance to get through the winter unscathed. For all truck and car owners, regular servicing and maintenance should be a must anyway but particularly in the winter months, this can pay dividends. Arrange your service just before the cold weather of winter comes, some garages even offer discounted ‘winter truck checks’ so be sure to take advantage of these.
If you’re going to look into this yourself rather than using a garage, there are a few key areas you should focus on first, such as your battery. In the winter the battery of your vehicle goes through a torrid time, with cold temperatures affecting output and increased use needed thanks to lights and heaters being used much more frequently. Battery failure is a common problem during the winter month, so you should ensure you check your battery and store jump leads in your truck, they’ll be vital to getting you back on the road.
Another key part of your vehicle to check is your tyres, as they are tested by icy roads and wet conditions during the winter. If you’re driving around on tyres that are low on tread and grip, you could be putting yourself massively at risk. You can even get specialist winter tyres to combat this which offer increased grip in snowy or icy conditions.
Then it’s a matter of the two antifreeze components; your engine and your windscreen washers. With your engine you’ll want a split of water and antifreeze to ensure the mixture doesn’t dilute the antifreeze and leaves the engine over heating in the winter months. For your windscreen you’ll also want some antifreeze to ensure the screen washer fluid doesn’t freeze. As dirt and mud from the damp roads is easier spread in the winter months, you’ll need the washer fluid more than ever.
For best practice, you should always have an emergency kit in your vehicle, for winter months you want to include a few extras items and purchase a specialist cold winter emergency kit. These are easily available from a wealth of retailers, both online and offline, so you should be able to get a hold of one easily.
You should look to include:
- Jump leads – To start your truck battery in case it runs out
- A warning triangle – To raise awareness of your vehicle if you are forced to stop on the side of the road
- A shovel – For if your truck is stuck in snow and you need to move snow around the tires to continue moving
- De icer – Whether in a spray form or a scraper for the truck, something that can remove excess ice from your windscreen
- A phone charger – In most situations now, our phone is our main port of call to escape emergencies. Hand crank chargers are available for emergencies when you have no battery or power ports available
- A wind up torch – To combat any power issues and ensure you can see during the night
- A first aid kit – For when unfortunate situations ensure you need medical attention and may not be able to get it right away
There’s a wealth of other optional extras you could look to include in your emergency kit, as long as you have the storage it is definitely worthwhile to include as much as possible.
Of course, your actions behind the wheel play a big part in your safety and the longevity of your vehicle. In the winter conditions there’s a handful of great tips you can follow to ensure you keep your vehicle running throughout the cold months.
- Keep your tank at least half full – This helps to avoid gas line freezing and if you’re forced to take a different route due to road closures, you have the extra mileage there to do so.
- Try to avoid country roads – This is common sense but roads that are less frequently used have more chance of building up snow and could leave you stuck in areas with lack of phone signal and passing cars.
- Drive in a higher gear in the snow – Obviously, try to avoid roads with snowy conditions at all if possible, but if you can’t ensure you drive in a higher gear than usual and avoid using sharp movements with the wheel or the brake.
- Give other drivers room – On a dry road you are recommended to follow no closer than three to four seconds behind other cars, in the snow this increases to eight to ten seconds. So give those drivers in front of you plenty of room, as they will be struggling with the conditions like yourself.
Truck Cover from Coversure
Of course, if an accident does happen you’ll want insurance that can protect you and that’s where Coversure come in. Our wealth of policies are built around your vehicle to provide the cover you need.
So, for some impartial insurance advice or a free no-obligation quote, get in touch with Coversure today. Find your local Coversure office by clicking here, or to find out more about our truck policies click here.