With fall's arrival, and the days getting cooler and shorter, now is the time for every knuckleboom truck company to begin to think about getting their work fleets ready for winter. Cold weather operation presents a few unique challenges for all work vehicles, including knuckleboom trucks, so forward planning is essential. Whether purchasing new or used knuckleboom trucks from a good knuckleboom trucks dealer, it is imperative to ensure safe travel and operation of these units by being ready once bad weather hits.

Check Those Tires and Brakes

Knuckleboom trucks, along with many other heavy duty vehicles, can be a challenge to drive on bad winter roads. Unfortunately, this is when many of these vehicles spend the most time on the roadways, so the right tires are essential. Whether using all-weather, or specific snow and bad weather tires, ensure they are in good condition now, and make a plan to replace them, if not. Similarly, check brakes and replace them if they are coming to the end of their life cycle. Non-responsive brakes on a slippery road spell disaster!

Late fall is also the time to adjust oil changes to include winter-weight oil for easier starting, as recommended by truck manufacturers and knuckleboom trucks dealers. It is crucial to go into winter with this equipment in the best possible condition, and then continue with routine maintenance. Trucks should be scheduled now for winter maintenance so they are ready for the cold once the temperatures start to dip.

Stock Emergency Gear and Supplies

Each work unit should have an emergency kit that includes the following:

1.A first aid kit

2.A spare tire in good condition, along with the necessary tools for changing a tire

3.Flares, reflective road triangles and any other safety equipment required to help in the event of a bad weather breakdown

4.Chains, road salt or kitty litter to help sliding tires grip

5.Spare windshield fluid and antifreeze

6.Jumper cables

7.Heat packs and blankets for the crew that is stranded in the cold

Practice Safe Driving and Vehicle Operation

Vehicles - especially work trucks such as knuckleboom trucks - behave differently in bad weather, so it is important to anticipate this. Drivers must practice good driving habits, and account for bad weather and poor road conditions. Speed should be reduced to prevent swerving and loss of balance. Brake more softly, and sooner, to leave enough time to come to a safe stop. Take turns and curves more slowly. Be observant of road surfaces when setting up knuckleboom trucks to perform work, to ensure they are safe. Learn the limitations that even the best new or used knuckleboom trucks have when driving on poor roads, and do not attempt to push them beyond these limits.

Wintertime safety for knuckleboom trucks, and other work vehicles, requires the same type of planning as any other truck. Although these trucks are specialized units, the basic rules of the road for keeping safe when the temperatures drop still apply. Even when working with new or used knuckleboom trucks, recently purchased from reliable knuckleboom trucks dealers, it is still essential to ensure each vehicle is outfitted with important winter safety gear and receives the proper winter maintenance. By planning for the cold season, companies can help ensure their equipment and operators stay safe and productive - even in the event of a winter road emergency!


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