I know we addressed this back in September, but it is worth repeating and reviewing with your drivers again, as I sit here writing this bulletin watching snowflakes hit my window. This week the Midwest is getting its first dose of measurable snow and below-freezing temperatures. The front will bring cold temperatures as far south as Georgia. So, it is a good time to review with your drivers how to take care of their fuel during these times.
- Diesel supplement should be added to the ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel when temperatures drop below 32 degrees.
- If your truck is equipped with an engine block heater it should be plugged in when the temperature is below 32 degrees. Trucks that are not utilized should be started and let run every day to bring the unit up to normal operating temperature.
- The initial start-up procedure should be as follows: Complete pre-trip of the unit, unplug block heater, turn the ignition switch on, and wait for glow plug lights to go out, start the engine, leave engine run until engine operating temperatures increase.
- For trucks equipped with air brakes, drivers should purge air tanks daily. If the unit is equipped with an air drier, bringing the PSI to 120 will automatically purge the system.
- If you are driving in snow, ice, slush, rain, etc., before parking the unit for the day you should lightly apply the brakes while the unit is moving to dry the brake shoes, drums, rotors, and pads so the brakes do not freeze while parked.
- Make sure the windshield washer solvent is full and all windows are clean.
- Remove any ice-snow build-up from steps and grab handles to prevent a slip or fall.
When parking the unit, if heavy snow is in the forecast, make sure the unit is not left parked in an outside dock or near a building overhang. Snow can drift off the building causing excessive accumulation on the top.
Fuel Additive Use during Cold Weather Conditions
As colder weather approaches you to need to use fuel additives to prevent fuel jelling. Fuel additives should be added anytime the ambient temperature is below 32 degrees F. Power Service and Penray are popular manufactures of fuel additives and both companies have two different products available through Navistar and Idealease locations.
-The "Red Bottle" is Power Service 911 and is to be used ONLY when the fuel in a unit has been jelled
-911 is NOT to be used as a fuel additive that you would regularly put in the fuel tank to keep the fuel from jelling
-Power Service Diesel Fuel Supplement + Cetane "White Bottle" is to be added to the fuel at each fill when the ambient temperature is < 30 degrees F
-This is the additive you should use on a regular basis during the winter months
Winter Thaw Emergency Diesel Fuel Supplement
Winter Thaw Emergency is ONLY TO BE USED WHEN THE FUEL IS ALREADY JELLED!
Preventing Driver injuries in Fall and Winter
Slip/Trip and Fall injuries are the most common type of injury for drivers. Most of them occur during the winter months. Each year, thousands of professional drivers are seriously injured due to not paying attention in winter conditions. Working in the ice and snow requires your full attention and awareness.
- Remember it is our primary goal that you go home to your family and friends the way you came to work today, safe, and healthy.
- Always wear proper footwear. A full support leather shoe with a rugged non-slip sole. Use non-slip covers on shoes (Yak Trax, etc.)
- SLOW DOWN, never be in a hurry.
- Always watch where you walk. Snow can accumulate on top of ice in and around truck parking areas.
- Take small steps and check your footing with each step.
- Look for ice on all handrails and hand grabs before using them.
- ALWAYS use gloves for better grip.
- ALWAYS use three points of contact when exiting/entering your tractor or trailer or getting on the catwalk behind the cab, ALWAYS.
- Always use your seat belt.
- SLOW DOWN!
What if I need to rent a truck for a driver that is subject to the ELD regulations?
If the rental period is less than 8 days, they can use the 8-day rental exemption that was granted by the FMCSA as follows:
- They can paper log for up to 8 days and must carry a copy of the letter of exemption
- Exemption letter
- with them during that 8 or less day period to present to an officer if stopped.
- Idealease locations will allow customers to bring their own portable ELD kits to install on our rental units.
- If the rental period exceeds 8 days, they can rent an ELD from our location.