While colder weather brings relief from the extreme cooling demands of the summer months, it also presents new challenges to fleets. Changing fuels, modifying cab and cargo heating and addressing equipment readiness become top priorities as the weather turns.
Effectively preparing for colder weather can also help increase energy and operational efficiency and reduce fuel expenses. The Truckload Carriers Association reports that fuel costs represent one of the top three concerns for fleets, along with driver retention and the impact of regulations. Thermo King offers practices and solutions to help prepare for the cold weather. The reefer and auxillary power unit manufacturer says equipment needs seasonal maintenance to maintain efficiency and avoid downtime.
Here are some tips from Thermo King experts to help prepare equipment for the colder weather:
For reefer systems:
1. Inspect/clean fuel pre-strainer
2. Check engine coolant and antifreeze protection
3. Drain water from fuel tank and check vent
4. Inspect/clean fuel transfer pump inlet strainer
5. Change ELC (red) engine coolant every five years or 12,000 hours
6. Replace fuel return lines between injection nozzles every 10,000 hours
7. Inspect battery terminals and electrolyte levels
8. Inspect wire harness
9. Check operation of damper door
10. Inspect alternator wire connections
For APU systems:
1. Replace heater fuel pump screen
2. Replace heater glow pin screen
3. Check heater glow pin
These services and inspections should be performed by qualified service professionals, the company added.