Winter supplies

As winter looms large and ugly, it’s time to move our winter supplies back into the truck.  We’ve covered winter clothing already, but there’s more to winter survival than just warm clothing. This is in no way a full complete list, as that would require a small encyclopedia, but what follows is a list of the bare essentials. Trying to decide what is the most important fact is a matter of personal opinion, so here are a few items to be followed religiously in no particular order:

  1. Maintain at least 1/2 tank of fuel at all times. A collision or bad weather could have to stranded in the middle of nowhere for days, forcing you to idle the truck to stay warm.
  2. Use winter fuel when appropriate. If winter fuel is unavailable, keep a good supply of fuel conditioner to prevent fuel gelling. Gelling will starve the engine of fuel, and it will shut down.
  3. Most trucks these day have “heated fuel tanks”, allowing you to run summer fuel in the winter.  Well, not exactly. The tanks are not actually heated. The engine draws more fuel from the tanks that it needs. This excess fuel is warmed by the engine before being circulated back into the fuel tank to help heat the remaining fuel in the tank.
  4. Carry enough non perishable food to last for as long as you plan to be out, and a week beyond that date.  Same for any prescription medications you may be taking.
  5. Carry a few candles with you. They generate a surprising amount of heat to help you stay warm, and for heating up water and other food.
  6. Have your cooling system checked to ensure you don’t have a coolant freeze up and carry a couple gallons of coolant with you at all times.
  7. Check the operation of you windshield defroster. If it’s not working properly, then it must be repaired before you leave on your trip.
  8. Use good quality winter washer fluid.  The summer washer fluid will freeze on a cold windshield.
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.