Summer has become more extreme in recent years. Drivers can never be sure of what they might encounter on the road, from high winds to fires to floods to extreme heat. These tips for preparing your semi-truck for the summer season should help you get through the long hauls with as little disruption as possible.
Service Your AC
You might be a windows-down type of driver, but it’s a fair bet that you and your truck will travel through a heat wave or two this summer. You don’t want to get caught in traffic on a 100 degree day with a malfunctioning air conditioner. When the summer heat arrives, turn on your AC and check for leaks and fluid levels. Top off required fluids and replace any cracked or damaged tubing.
If you upped tire pressure for winter, be sure to check it again as the weather warms and tire pressure increases with heat expansion. Consider adding a tire pressure monitoring system to your truck if you don’t have one already. Avoiding a blowout will keep you safe and save the time and expense of repair and delay.
Check the Oil, Belts, Battery, and Brakes
Servicing your AC is for your comfort in the cab, but if the engine isn’t properly maintained, you’ll get hot under the collar even with the AC blasting an arctic chill. Make sure you use the proper grade diesel engine oils for summer conditions, and check all other engine and truck lubricants to ensure they are fresh and ready to go.
Make sure the engine coolant is topped off and ready, and that the hoses are in good condition. Check belts and brakes for wear, and replace them on the appropriate maintenance schedule for your truck.
There’s a tendency to neglect vehicle batteries in the summer, but that’s a mistake. Clean battery terminals and check the charge. If your battery isn’t charging properly, replace it for the summer heat.
Pack an Emergency Kit
Fires, floods, and mudslides are all factors of everyday life. You could get stuck for days trying to get around them. High winds could knock over the trailer, cause injury, and damage your truck. Be ready with a well-stocked emergency kit that includes:
- First aid kit
- Clean clothes
- Several days’ supply of water
- Rain Poncho
- Mobile phone and charger
These are a few ways to prepare your semi-truck for the summer season. You know your rig best, so if past summers have turned up glitches unique to your truck, now is the time to address them before you’re in traffic at rush hour or climbing a mountain pass.