Winter Crash Course

Topic 16595 | Page 1

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Gladhand's Comment
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Alright to be honest guys I am getting nervous about winter especially because I usually find myself running the west. I have experience in a 4 wheeler in snow, but still hate driving in it. Here are a couple questions.

Do I need to idle my truck to avoid my diesel from gelling up?

Also should I put in antigel in order to winterize? (Probably something I should ask the shop guys).

Chains. From my understanding they are to take you out of a bad spot so you can shut down? Actually need to learn how to chain. Thankfully Donner is still clear tonight but I know in the coming months it can be bad.

Lastly how often have you had to shutdown because of ice/etc. My life always comes first that I know I will shutdown if I don't feel safe. Just hope it doesn't make my miles worse. If anything I am just trying to survive winter so I am not too worried about making money haha.

Rick S.'s Comment
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A great many companies would rather you shutdown than chain-up - but you still have to know HOW to do it, in case you do need to chain to get to safety. But DO ASK SAFETY what the particular policy your company follows when it comes to chain or stop.

PLENTY of videos on youtube to show you how.

There are also roads (aside from Donner, mainly in Colorado) with mandatory chain-up requirements in order to proceed.

Yeah - you are probably going to want to use anti-gel - but go with the companies recommendation AND what they will PAY FOR (you don't want and shouldn't need to pay for your own anti-gel).

Rick

Sambo's Comment
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Gelling shouldn't be a problem as diesel in states where Gelling is a problem is usually treated already. Might not hurt to put anti gel in each fill up, but I'm sure someone with more knowledge than I will chime in.

Since diesel in the colder states is already treated, it may not be a problem unless it is extremely cold, like at 0 or below, or, if you have fuel in your tank from a prior fill up in a state that doesn't treat their fuel.

Most of the time, they recommend you don't let your fuel tanks drop below half when you are headed up to the colder state.

As for chaining, I'm not sure on that one. I need to study up on that too. My trainer told me that if it's bad enough to chain up, just shut down. That is something I'll have to get into my head because I'm the type that if I think there is a way, I'll try to push through, albeit, slowly. I like to get the work done if it is possible. Just have to see how bad it is. If it's really bad, then just cab up for the night and wait.

Gladhand's Comment
member avatar

Gelling shouldn't be a problem as diesel in states where Gelling is a problem is usually treated already. Might not hurt to put anti gel in each fill up, but I'm sure someone with more knowledge than I will chime in.

Since diesel in the colder states is already treated, it may not be a problem unless it is extremely cold, like at 0 or below, or, if you have fuel in your tank from a prior fill up in a state that doesn't treat their fuel.

Most of the time, they recommend you don't let your fuel tanks drop below half when you are headed up to the colder state.

As for chaining, I'm not sure on that one. I need to study up on that too. My trainer told me that if it's bad enough to chain up, just shut down. That is something I'll have to get into my head because I'm the type that if I think there is a way, I'll try to push through, albeit, slowly. I like to get the work done if it is possible. Just have to see how bad it is. If it's really bad, then just cab up for the night and wait.

I already am set that if chains are needed I am done. Just need to know how in case I get myself into a situation though.

G-Town's Comment
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There is a lot of really good information on the site regarding winter and winter driving. Use the search bar and you will have way more reading than you bargained for.

G-Town's Comment
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One last thought on this. Check with your DM before you purchase anti-geling additives. Swift typically does not want you adding anything like that unless pre approved. If it's that cold, idle your truck.

At the DC where I am assigned, if the temp is in the single digits. they issue an "idle required" message through the QC.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

Another thing about anti-gel: if you add too much, it can gunk up your bunk heater and make it stop working. Found this out the hard way two winters ago. So, follow the directions from your shop or on the bottle if you do add it.

Also, make sure you have enough food and water in your truck to last a few days. It's rare but not unheard of to get stuck somewhere for two or three or even four days during a really good blizzard. If you have enough fuel, your bunk heater works, and you can eat, blizzards can be really fun. Expensive fun, since you're not running, but still fun.

Rob S.'s Comment
member avatar

Swift has a flyer available at the terminal that details the cold weather policy. Check with the service desk or wherever the permit book materials are. My DM sent a message to make sure we keep a bottle of Howes on board just in case we have Arizona fuel and a Minnesota delivery. BTW in Ontario, CA that bottle costs about $21, that covers the parking ransom, just scan the receipt (get a po first though). I was forced into a 34 reset last year when WY closed 80. I think I got layover pay but I can't remember for sure. I was glad they closed the roads. I have no need to drive on ice.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Another thing about the anti gel in addition to what Bud mentioned, it also causes issues with the regen system and will diminish the life of the dpf filter. Now, is it gonna crap out on you in the middle of a snowstorm? Probably not but when those filters clog up, the engine will throw a code, de rate the power and give you absolute fits. With the winter blends used today, you really don't need to add it.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

Hey Gladhand, Please don't use the words Winter and Crash in the same post. How about, "Winter Accelerated Learning Course"?

shocked.pngrofl-3.gif

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