High winds, icy roads and below zero temperatures—driving a truck during a Midwestern winter isn’t easy. There is enough to worry about on the road, so why start your day scraping frost from your windshield? While we can’t stop Mother Nature, we can offer some tips for preparing your rig for an overnight freeze.
- Cover your windshield wipers with tall socks. Socks help prevent ice from forming on the blades. They also help stop the blades from freezing to the actual windshield.
- Put plastic bags over your mirrors. Place plastic bags over your mirrors (when possible) and secure them with a rubber band and clothespins. In the morning, remove the bags to ice-free mirrors.
- Put a blanket over your windshield. If it’s a really wet snow and temperatures are projected to drop below zero, skip this tip—it may result in a frozen blanket to your windshield. However, if the temperatures are freezing, but with no snow, then throw a blanket over your windshield to keep it from frosting over during the night.
- Park your rig facing east. The sun rises in the east, so it will naturally defrost your windshield after an overnight winter freeze.
- Turn on your headlights. The heat from the lights will cause the ice to melt, resulting in greater visibility.
- Keep an extra plastic spatula in your rig. Lose your ice scraper? A plastic spatula is an excellent alternative.
- Spread kitty litter around your tires. If your rig gets stuck on a patch of ice, spread kitty litter around the tires. It should melt the ice enough for you to slowly navigate your way to drier ground.
The NEVER List:
- Pour hot water on the glass. Heat melts ice, so why not pour hot water on it? Applying any type of extreme heat to a frozen windshield will almost guarantee you a cracked windshield.
- Break ice by hitting it with a hard object. No matter how careful you think you’re being, trying to simply crack the ice off your windshield can easily result in a chip or crack.
- Scrape ice off with anything metal. Trying to scrape off the ice with a metal object may work better than something plastic. However, odds are you’re left with some nasty scratches on the glass.
- Pour water and vinegar mixture on your glass. A lot of websites recommend a DIY windshield defrosting solution of three parts vinegar, and one part water. However, the vinegar will actually eat pits into your windshield with time and will tarnish your rig’s paint.
Also, please remember to clear as much snow and ice off your rig before you hit the road this winter. You don’t want to have anything fly off and hit or impede the vision of drivers behind you.
Do you have a unique way of preventing your rig from a freeze or quickly clearing ice from your rig? Tell us in the comments!
Don’t hit the road this winter without making sure you’re properly insured. Contact Truck Writers today to learn more about our trucking insurance offerings.