Winter throws loads at truck drivers and their autos. A pair components embody freezing temperatures, snow and ice within the air and on the bottom, in addition to corrosive highway therapies. With an eye fixed on preserving vans in good working situation in chilly and nasty climate, this installment of the Bendix Tech Suggestions collection supplies reminders on taking correct care of air, brakes and management system elements.
A is for air
“Loads rides on a truck’s air system — from braking to automated guide transmissions to emissions controls — and, specifically, on a dependable provide of fresh and dry compressed air,” mentioned Richard Nagel, Bendix’s director of promoting and buyer options, air provide and drivetrain. “When it’s chilly, moisture in the air system can condense and freeze, which will increase the chances of brake and valve malfunctions.
“That’s why it’s all the time advisable to manually drain the air tanks at the beginning of the chilly climate season. And whereas draining each three months is mostly enough, month-to-month or weekly drains could also be mandatory for autos like vocational vans, which have a excessive air demand.”
The starting of chilly climate can be a great time to exchange the air dryer cartridge — though for those who haven’t but, it’s not too late, particularly if you’re not sure whether or not it’s overdue. Since oil aerosols may be significantly dangerous to a truck’s air system, by damaging valves and seals, Bendix recommends an oil-coalescing cartridge that includes PuraGuard filtration, even for those who’re changing a typical cartridge. If the car is already utilizing an oil-coalescing dryer cartridge, it’s necessary to stay with that sort for system safety.
As well as, preserve an eye fixed on the dryer’s purge valve for grit accumulation or corrosive injury due to road-clearing chemical substances. Placing in a brand new one is a fast and easy little bit of preventive upkeep that may save greater complications sooner or later.
Lastly, keep away from utilizing de-icing options on an air system, until it’s an emergency. These chemical substances can corrode O-rings and valve seals. If it’s completely mandatory, restrict the publicity to the smallest space attainable, and conduct follow-up checks on the affected elements.
B is for brakes
“At the wheel-ends, the onset of winter climate means paying additional consideration to brake elements,” mentioned Mark Holley, director of promoting and buyer options, wheel-end. “Throughout pre-trip walk-arounds, drivers ought to take a look at the air brake chamber housings for corrosion or injury that might enable corrosive supplies to take maintain, and be sure that mud plugs are correctly put in. The concept is to stop corrosion from getting a foothold when these areas are most uncovered to hazardous conditions.”
Within the store, there are a number of steps to take with the intention to preserve braking elements wholesome within the winter. On drum-braked wheel-ends, lubricate the automated slack adjusters, clevis pin connections, cam tubes, shafts and bushings. It’s a typical preventive upkeep process that additionally retains moisture from build up and enabling corrosion.
On wheel-ends geared up with air disc brakes, examine the information pins and examine the boots for tears or punctures that might allow corrosion. Change any pins or boots as wanted. Confirm that the shear adaptor cowl is in place and totally seated. Additionally, examine free of charge motion of air disc brake pads within the service. If mandatory, take away them and clear the service floor with a wire brush to make positive the brake strikes freely on its steerage system.
C is for controls
“Driver help applied sciences, reminiscent of stability and collision mitigation programs, could also be known as upon extra usually in wintry highway circumstances, whereas tire stress monitoring programs are helpful in preserving correct inflation throughout temperature swings,” mentioned TJ Thomas, Bendix director of promoting and buyer options, controls. “It’s key to comply with pre-trip inspection suggestions detailed in the Bendix Service Knowledge Sheets to ensure these digital programs are working correctly.”
It’s additionally necessary to examine digital connections to make sure they’re safe and watertight. Connectors and different delicate elements may be ruined by moisture, salt and highway chemical substances.
Drivers must also be conscious of preserving exterior cameras and radar sensors, reminiscent of forward-mounted collision mitigation models, freed from snow and ice by checking them simply earlier than driving. Thomas famous that whereas right this moment’s superior driver help applied sciences are built-in, the foundational applied sciences can typically stay operable if higher-level features are restricted by winter circumstances.
“A blocked lane departure warning digicam, as an example, doesn’t shut down the complete collision mitigation system,” Thomas mentioned. “Equally, if a radar unit turns into obstructed by snow throughout driving, whereas the collision mitigation features could also be restricted, the underlying full-stability expertise continues to be supporting the driving force.”
Winter all the time comes round, prefer it or not. Preparation and preventive upkeep assist fleets and owner-operators keep away from the toll it could actually tackle their vans, enhancing the security of the women and men behind the wheel and everybody who shares the highway.