Summer comfort

Just as we need to prepare ourselves and our trucks for winter driving, we also need to get the truck ready for the summer weather conditions.  First and foremost, change your tires from winter to summer tires.  Summer conditions will cause increased wear on winter tires, and will make for a rougher ride.  Be sure to check your tire pressure every day, especially if you’re using the wide single tires, as the temperature can play havoc with tire pressure and tire wear.  Always check your tire pressure when the tires are “cold”, before you start driving for the day. As you drive, the tire will heat up and the pressure will change. All listed tire pressures, whether on the tire sidewall or in the owners manual list cold tire pressure unless specifically stated otherwise.  Improperly inflated tires and the increased road temperature will cause your tires to fail. Check and if needed, top off your coolant level to prevent overheating. Ensure that your air conditioning system is working properly, and be sure the refrigerant is topped off. There’s nothing worse than being in a glass bubble under the hot sun with no air conditioning.  When you first start the air conditioning in the morning, use the “recirculate” function rather than “fresh air” setting. This will cool the interior down faster.  Once the temperature in the cab is comfortable, then you can switch to the “fresh air” setting. The “recirculate” setting recycles the cab air, and cools it down faster, whereas the “fresh air” setting draws in outside air.

Bugs on the windshield can really impair your vision, especially at night, so keep the windshield clean with a bug busting washer fluid.  If you happen to hit a fire fly, (they leave a glowing dot where they hit the windshield), avoid using the wipers and washer to remove it.  All you’ll do is create a glowing arc across the windshield.  Carry an old 5 gallon ice cream pail and a window squeegee to clean the windshield as needed. The best home made solution to clean glass streak-free is 2 parts water to 1 part white vinegar.

Don Taylor has been a professional driver since March 1985.  In 1994 he made the jump to driving tractor trailers, and has accumulated over 3.5 million miles, including over 4 years of driving turnpike doubles in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.  He is currently hauling flat decks across North America.