Common Causes of Semi-truck Breakdowns in Winter

Common Causes of Semi-truck Breakdowns in Winter

Due to their extraordinary ability to transport a wide variety of goods, commercial trucks are vital to the American economy. Throughout the year, businesses utilize these trucks to move bulky and heavy cargo loads. Semi-trucks are an effective option for transporting products throughout the United States and they are relied upon throughout the entire year.  The operation of these large transporters covers all four seasons and while most of the year is relatively straightforward for semi-truck drivers, the winter may be challenging because of the severe weather. Travel is made more challenging by snow and ice-covered roads, below-freezing temperatures and breakdowns that delay delivery.

Commercial trucks may have mechanical issues due to worn tires, incorrect fuel, and inadequate maintenance over the winter months, which in many instances, could have been avoided. Here are a few problems that semi-trucks run into while making deliveries during the winter.

Problems with tire pressure 

Problematic tires are one of the reasons semi-trucks break down in the winter.  When the temperature outside drops, the molecules in the air slow down which causes air to compress. This leads to tires losing pressure. Poorly inflated tires can put your truck at risk of blowouts and can even cause premature wear of your tire treads.

Compromised electrical connections

During the winter months, roads are often covered with salt, magnesium chloride, and calcium chloride combinations. These chemicals may damage and cause corrosion of your truck's electrical connections. Faulty headlamps, taillights, wiring harnesses, and the power cable connecting the tractor and trailer are typical problems brought on by these corrosions.

Worn tires 

When the roads are coated with snow or ice, worn tires become a problem. Numerous semi-trucks drive into ditches while trying to access on-ramps or exit ramps each year. Worn tires can also contribute to accidents such as sliding on black ice or having your trailer blown by strong winds. Checking the treads on your tires is an excellent habit to get into as winter approaches, and the first snowfalls appear. The truck will have less grip on the road and slide more easily if treads are worn. 

Cooling system and fuel 

A fantastic approach to prevent your fuel from operating poorly or gelling up during frigid days is by adding high-grade diesel additives to your fuel tank. Additionally, frequently inspect your cooling system to ensure the radiator and other parts are functioning correctly with no freezing or malfunctioning. Before setting off on your journey, keep an eye out for any cracks or leaks.

Keep an emergency kit on hand 

Even if you conduct all the preventive maintenance necessary to keep your truck operating throughout the winter, systems and truck components might fail at any time. An emergency kit may help you remain safe or get your truck back on the road. Packing your truck's emergency kit with equipment like a shovel, emergency flares, windshield scrapers, flashlights, an additional layer of clothing, and fluids, among other goods, helps you be prepared for any eventuality that could arise.

Check the forecast often

The weather is one of the most crucial considerations when you're preparing to go on your truck route. You can be ready for the road ahead by checking the forecast to see what type of weather to anticipate. This may also aid in determining what to include in your emergency kit and the location of your pit stops.

Final words

Now you know the common causes of semi-truck breakdowns that can occur in winter. While keeping that in mind, you will be able to focus on the appropriate tips on how to take good care of your semi-truck. 

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