Winter can be a wonderful time of year. Holidays, family gatherings, good food, and pretty sights fill up this time of year. However, there’s still the dread that comes with winter driving. Snow, ice, high winds, and other weather conditions can affect your ability to drive safely. For pickup truck drivers, you have some ways to maximize drivability. These ways to winterize your pickup truck will ensure a safe, winter commute.
Perform Basic Interior Maintenance
You’ll need to ensure proper drivability during winter weather. Good interior maintenance is the best way to do that. Basic pickup truck maintenance includes changing fluids and checking hardware. Make sure antifreeze is equipped to handle freezing temperatures, and make sure to add this before temperatures drop below zero. Also, add only as much as you need to avoid issues with the cooling system during warmer weather. Additionally, replace engine fluid, brake fluid, steering fluid, and transmission fluid according to your owner’s manual.
Protect Your Bed
Let’s face it, what do you keep in the bed? Whether it’s a tool box or all your job equipment, keep these items safe and protected during the winter cold. There are some different ways to protect your bed without changing your pickup. Bedliners provide one way to shield the inside of a truck bed while keeping cargo in place. The two main types of bedliners are drop-in and spray-on. You can easily apply and remove drop-in liners with no prep work, whereas spray-on is a coating that adheres to the interior. You can also protect your belongings with a Tonneau cover or truck cap.
Check the Battery
As the main component that makes your truck run, protecting your battery is essential. Cold temperatures can damage battery life and drain it quickly, as it takes twice as many currents to start your pickup in the winter than in warm weather. Consider replacing your current battery with a heavy-duty one for winter use. You can also use a battery warmer (also called a battery blanket). These wrap around your battery and ensure warmth and efficiency; just make sure to follow the instructions. Park in a garage or away from weather conditions for extra warmth.
Keep Extras on Hand
It’s never a bad idea to keep extra supplies on hand in case of emergencies. While you may have all-terrain tires or four-wheel drive capability, accidents can still happen. Getting stuck in a snow storm, driving into a ditch, or spinning out uncontrollably can all occur during winter travel. Some things to pack in your bed or back of your cab are extra blankets, a first aid kit, flashlight (with batteries), snacks, water, gloves and winter clothes, a snow shovel, and/or extra fluids. What you include is up to you, but these are just some essentials. If your pickup is rear-wheel drive, consider adding sandbags or bags of cat litter for extra weight. This will allow for better traction and increase stopping distance.