Inspect Your Truck’s Brakes for Safe Winter Driving

Ice ice baby! The ice and snow is upon us, and safe winter driving in your Mitsubishi Fuso, Isuzu, Hino, or UD freight truck requires good handling techniques, but even expert drivers have a hard time navigating through snow and ice in trucks that aren’t prepared for wintry conditions.

Knowing how to maintain the braking system properly is the key to a long lasting system and will ensure highway safety. Proper brake maintenance practices are especially vital when considering your time and more importantly – safety.

  1. Addressing contamination and corrosion is important because of the ripple effect it can have on other parts of the vehicle. With all of the difference de-icing materials on the road today, inspecting the chassis components, especially the linings and wiring for damage and corrosion is very important. Also inspect for oil and water in the air brakes reservoirs. Any form of corrosion on the braking system will damage the overall system further.
  2. Slack adjusters must be inspected frequently to ensure they are in optimal condition. Technicians should not adjust the brakes during preventive maintenance procedures, instead they should check the free stroke and then measure the power stroke. This will enable to technician to know if the slack adjuster is working correctly.
  3. Maintain a clean air system. Drivers should drain the air tanks daily. At a minimum, the air dryer should be serviced once a year. It’s imperative you keep dry, clean air in the system at all times.
  4. Perform a visual inspection or walk-a-round, adding miles or years to the life of the vehicle’s braking system. Drivers are required by the department of Transportation’s Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance to perform pre- and post-trip inspections. There is a good chance the driver will catch a small failure prior to a major problem. It will keep costs under control and major repair expenses down.
  5. The anti-lock braking system (ABS) should be in optimal order. It’s essential to check the ABS warning light, the speed sensors, tone ring, wiring and connectors, and the electronic control unit diagnostics. The ABS warning light is an indication something may be wrong. During operation it may light up, which means there may be an intermittent problem the driver needs to report.

The introduction of more electronic sensors will provide more information on individual components that place a higher demand on the electrical system. Undoubtedly, there will be additional data for technicians, as well as new maintenance procedures. Proper training must be in place to deal with and accept new technology.

Safe winter driving in your Mitsubishi Fuso FE, FH, FK or UD 1200, 1300, 1400, 1800 or 2000 series, Isuzu NPR, NQR, GMC W3500, 4500, 5500, any other mid size truck or even regular passenger cars requires good handling techniques, but even expert drivers have a hard time navigating through snow and ice in trucks that aren’t prepared for wintry conditions.

Every system in your truck should be in good repair to take on winter driving, but we depend on tires and brakes to roll us where we want to go and slow us down when it’s necessary. Maintenance for both should be at the top of your to do list.

Knowing how to maintain the braking system properly is the key to a long lasting system and will ensure highway safety. Proper brake maintenance practices are especially vital when considering your time and more importantly – safety.

  1. Addressing contamination and corrosion is important because of the ripple effect it can have on other parts of the vehicle. With all of the difference de-icing materials on the road today, inspecting the chassis components, especially the linings and wiring for damage and corrosion is very important. Also inspect for oil and water in the air brakes reservoirs. Any form of corrosion on the braking system will damage the overall system further.
  2. Slack adjusters must be inspected frequently to ensure they are in optimal condition. Technicians should not adjust the brakes during preventive maintenance procedures, instead they should check the free stroke and then measure the power stroke. This will enable to technician to know if the slack adjuster is working correctly.
  3. Maintain a clean air system. Drivers should drain the air tanks daily. At a minimum, the air dryer should be serviced once a year. It’s imperative you keep dry, clean air in the system at all times.
  4. Perform a visual inspection or walk-a-round, adding miles or years to the life of the vehicle’s braking system. Drivers are required by the department of Transportation’s Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance to perform pre and post-trip inspections. There is a good chance the driver will catch a small failure prior to a major problem. It will kepp costs under control and major repair expenses down.
  5. The antilock braking system (ABS) should be in optimal order. It’s essential to check the ABS warning light, the speed sensors, tone ring, wiring and connectors, and the electronic control unit diagnostics. The ABS warning light is an indication something may be wrong. During operation it may light up, which means there may be an intermittent problem the driver needs to report.

The introduction of more electronic sensors will provide more information on individual components that place a higher demand on the electrical system. Undoubtedly, there will be additional data for technicians, as well as new maintenance procedures. Proper training must be in place to deal with and accept new technology.

How to Drive Box Trucks Safely

Driving your Isuzu or Hino Box Truck can rather be risky, but we have 7 essential things to keep in mind while driving a truck you’re not accustomed to driving.

Stopping

This truck will take much longer to stop than your car, especially when loaded. Dont tailgate, avoid traffic if you can, and be prepared to stop. Give yourself more room than you usually do from the car infront of you, because stopping will take much much longer than a regular truck or car.

Getting Gas

Find a gas station that is large and uncrowded. That way you avoid backing up and can just drive foward the whole time, you don’t want to have to worry about making a turn too sharp and clipping something. Just find a wide gas station, with few cars, and enough room to manuever easily.

Be familiar with the exact height of the truck before driving. If you see an overhang, make sure your truck can fit underneath.

Parking

Don’t be afraid to walk a long distance after parking. Don’t try to go in a crowded lot and find a tight area. Avoid backing up if you are not used to the length and blindspots of this vehicle.

Loading Docks

The best way to back into a loading dock is to roll down your windows, and always have someone guide you if you can. Otherwise, get out of the vehicle, inspect all things behind you, then get back in and do it slowly. Warn the people around you of what your are doing so no one gets in the way.

Side Mirrors

Most likely, using side mirrors can be awkward especially if you are accustomed to using the rear-view mirror. But when you are driving box trucks you must constantly check your side mirrors for approaching traffic. The design of these vehicles do not allow a rear-view window to be installed thus side mirrors are essential.

You must be aware that this is the only way of viewing traffic from the back and the sides. Driving this type of vehicle requires that you are comfortable with the mirror, that is why having a passenger beside if also helpful.

 

Using The Help Of A Passenger

Having a passenger help you will help stop common errors. The other person can help you back out a large vehicle, check for oncoming traffic and determine safety of the automobile.

Driving a large vehicle can be risky as you have lots of blind spots. This is especially true if you are just adjusting to the controls. A passenger or a co-pilot beside you will certainly help fill up these blind spots. This is not always an option though, so sometimes you will have to rely on mirrors. Perhaps setting up a second set of mirrors can help you with visibility.

 

Staying Aware

Among all other driving guidelines, awareness of the surrounding is of utmost importance. Since you are driving a large vehicle, you must always be mindful of where you are at positioned the road. Failure to determine positions proves to be the main cause of many accidents.

In fact, over compensating can often lead to major errors. To prevent unnecessary accidents, you must take your time and follow traffic rules at all times. This makes driving a box truck a lot easier.

Using your side mirrors gives you an overall view of the traffic around you. Having someone as a co-pilot gives you extra safety and prevents any accidents. Being mindful of the surroundings ensures the safety of everyone in traffic. Remember these guidelines by heart and you are on your way to a safe drive.

If you are looking for a new or used box truck, visit our website for our list of inventory. We have USED Isuzu NPR, NQR, NRR, FRR, FTR, and FVR Truck Parts, UD Truck Parts, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck Parts, GMC W3500, GMC W4500, and GMC W5500 Truck Parts.