The days are getting shorter, which means that winter is right around the corner. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, we’re in for lots of rain, snow, slush, and some record-breaking cold temperatures. Are you prepared? Your friends at Carter Express have put together our list of 15 winter essentials you should pack in your truck when the weather can be dangerous:
1. First aid kit
We always recommend having a first aid kit in your truck, not just during the winter months. It should include gauze and bandages, antibiotic ointments, alcohol cleansing pads, antiseptic wipes, eye wash, and a pair of disposable gloves.
2. Extra food and water
Pick shelf-stable food that won’t spoil and are nutritionally dense – think canned stews, beans, dried fruits, or nuts. These are the best types of food items to have on hand because they will give you energy and are rich in vitamins and minerals. Don’t forget to keep bottled water or even a gallon jug of water. If you get stranded, you’ll need food and water to sustain you until you can get help.
3. Reflector triangles and flares
Traveling during the winter can add visibility issues. Not only does it get dark sooner, but inclement weather such as fog, sleet and snow can make it harder for people to see your truck if you’re stopped on the side of the road. Emergency triangles should be placed in front of and behind your truck to make other drivers aware of your vehicle. Using flares can add visibility.
4. Winter wearable layers
During the colder months, you should be dressing in layers so you can add/remove clothes to stay comfortable and warm. Choose items that are moisture-wicking and that will protect you from the wind. Don’t forget to include a set of warm coveralls, an insulated jacket and/or a pair of snow pants.
5. Extra clothes
It’s not enough to have the right clothes – you should also make sure to pack extras in case your first set gets wet. Make sure you’re also including extra gloves, hats, and socks.
6. Hand warmers
Hand warmers are a great option because they don’t take up a lot of space and can produce heat for up to 24 hours. You can even stick some in your boots to keep your feet warm when working outside.
7. Extra winter-specific fluids
Certain fluids your truck uses on a regular basis can’t be used when the temperature is below freezing. Your coolant, for example, needs to be one that uses antifreeze. It’s also recommended to add anti-gel to your diesel and windshield washer fluid that’s specifically formulated for cold temperatures.
8. Sleeping bag/extra blanket
Since the temperatures at night will be colder, we recommend packing a sleeping bag rated for colder temperatures or an extra blanket or two.
Technology has come a long way, but if you get stranded somewhere without cellphone service, a battery-powered or CB radio will help you communicate and get help.
A flashlight is essential if you’re stranded overnight. Get one that’s a good size and very bright so that you’ll be able to see well when you’re using it. Also make sure you have plenty of extra batteries.
You should always have a tool kit with you to do quick fixes around your truck. If you don’t already have this, we recommend multi-use tools because they can do several tasks and take up less space. Also consider getting tools that are brightly colored so you can spot them easily if there is low visibility.
12. Backup cellphone battery or charger
If you get stuck somewhere, you might not have a way to charge your cell phone. Just make sure you keep your extra battery or charger fully charged so they’re ready when you need them.
13. Snow shovel and ice scraper
A well-made full-size snow shovel and long-handed ice pick are extremely helpful tools to have on hand during the winter. You’ll inevitably be somewhere where you’ll need to move some snow out of the way or scrape ice off your windshield.
When it gets cold enough, any amount of moisture can freeze and cause you some issues. Ice forming in small crevices can cause your doors, windows or even door locks to freeze up. Forcing them open or trying to break the ice can cause damage to your truck. Instead, use the de-icer to get things unfrozen.
What other winter essentials do you keep around as a trucker? We’d love to hear about it. Share on your social media and tag Carter Express!
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