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Preparing your equipment for cold weather

Keep your employees safe and your equipment in working order

It’s important to prepare yourself and your equipment for harsh conditions before
winter arrives—don’t wait for the first cold snap. Start organizing your survival gear now, including:

  • Sleeping bag
  • Gloves
  • Candles
  • Matches
  • Water
  • Protein bars
  • Ski mask
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Cellphone
  • Auxiliary in-cab heater
  • Multi-use tool
  • First-aid kit
  • Road flares
  • Reflective triangles
  • Jumper cables

Along with your personal survival gear, be sure to prepare your vehicle. Consider adding:

  • Fuel additives
  • Air-drying system
  • Tire chains
  • Lock lubricant
  • Deicer
  • Battery charger
  • Starting fluid

Your antifreeze is particularly important as the temperature drops. Make sure the
antifreeze you use meets your manufacturer’s recommendations, and mix it at the
correct concentration.

As you inspect your vehicle, be sure to check:

  • Fan blades
  • Radiator shutter or winterfront
  • Fan combination settings
  • Radiator coolant levels
  • Thermostat calibration—set to open at about 180° F
  • Water pump (for leaks and flow rate)
  • Hoses, clamps, and belts
  • Fuel system
  • Engine oil heaters and oil grade specifications
  • Electrical systems and battery terminals
  • Air systems—drain any water in the lines, and check frequently to prevent brake freeze-up
  • Exhaust systems
  • Tires
    • Each 10° drop in temperature lowers air pressure by one pound
    • Check tire condition and make sure tires are properly inflated
  • Locks and hinges—keep adequately lubricated
  • Windshields (for chips and cracks that need to be repaired)
    • Winter temperatures can increase the size of defects if not corrected
    • Check the condition of your wiper blades and washer fluid levels prior to starting out, so you have a clear view in the event of inclement weather

Test your battery and clean the connections. Be sure to follow all maintenance procedures so your battery functions properly in cold weather. Don’t wait to replace an older battery until it causes problems. That can cause a small maintenance expense to become a major one—and cause delays if towing services are needed.

Fuel problems can start when the temperature gets below freezing and your vehicle is sitting. To avoid issues with the fuel gelling, use the correct fuel and additives for the conditions you’re traveling in. Drain your water separator each night to prevent freezing, and fill your tanks at the end of the day.

Remember, we’re here to help you keep your employees safe and your equipment in working order. Find an agent to learn more.

The information contained in this document is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual. IT IS DISTRIBUTED “AS-IS”, WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES. NO MEMBER OF SENTRY INSURANCE GROUP WILL BE LIABLE TO ANY PERSON OR ENTITY WITH RESPECT TO ANY LOSSES OR DAMAGES CAUSED, OR ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN CAUSED, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY BY THIS DOCUMENT, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH CLAIM IS BASED ON CONTRACT, WARRANTY, TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE AND FOR PROPERTY DAMAGE AND DEATH) OR OTHER GROUNDS.

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