When the weather gets colder, most people—with perhaps the exception of rebellious teens who think coats are lame—bundle up for winter temperatures. And, like us, our trucks also need specific winter protection. Thanks to Becky, our Fleet Operations Manager for RTS Lines, we were able to learn exactly how our trucks are readied for winter weather.

First, each driver is asked to check the coolant system. It’s important to ensure that it is full so the truck has plenty of coolant to handle colder temperatures. During this process, the drivers also check all belts and hoses to make sure there are no cracks and that the belts have not hardened or softened at all. At this point, they also confirm that all clamps are tight and secure.

Our drivers are also asked to treat the diesel in the trailers with a fuel additive because this prevents the fuel from gelling up and clogging the fuel lines and filters. Because our fleet recently got new tractors (check out the article here), we do not allow the drivers to use additive in them as it may damage the engine long-term. Instead, our drivers must make sure that they are keeping their tanks full to avoid gelling.

During winter, drivers also have to monitor the weather closely to see if they might be entering an area with extreme weather. They may have to add extra time to their trip to ensure on-time pickups and deliveries for our customers, because they may have to drive more slowly than usual to stay safe if road conditions are poor.

Finally, we recommend that our drivers keep proper winter equipment—like bungees, ice scrapers, fuel additive, PPE, flashlights, and salt—in their trucks during this time of year. We also highly encourage them to pack extra warm clothing, boots with good traction, gloves, hats, scarves, and extra warm bedding.

The top priority of our entire team is ensuring the safety of our drivers as they go out no matter the weather conditions. Year-round our drivers are told to check their tire tread and PSI, and to verify that their battery is charged and working correctly. But as we protect our drivers and fleet, we also help ensure that our vehicles are well-suited to transport products safely, keeping shelves stocked everywhere regardless of weather. So even though it may be dark and freezing, that’s something to smile about.