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How To Keep Your Truck Safe From Winter Corrosion

How To Keep Your Truck Safe From Winter Corrosion

Justin Rollin

Your truck is the most important asset to your snow removal business. Without it, you wouldn’t have the bandwidth to balance your clients’ needs. Your truck is at the front of whatever comes between you and efficient snow and ice removal. It’s important for your snow removal business to prevent truck rust as best you can.

Rusting is a chemical reaction that occurs when air and moisture are exposed to metal. This is common in cars and trucks since they’re made of metal. Rusting is a type of corrosion. Corroding produces the formation of the oxides of metals or salts. Only iron oxide forms when metal rusts.

Working during a blizzard is hard. So is maintaining your vehicle while shielding it from the snow, ice, and corrosive rock salt. These tips can help you better prevent rusting during the winter for a rust free truck.

Prevent Truck Rust by Washing Your Truck

Cleaning your truck, regardless of rust, is a necessity to maintaining professionalism. It is also a very important preventative step to rustproofing. The very same rock salt you’ve been spreading on roadways and parking lots all day will be all over your truck. You know more than anyone the corrosive qualities of rock salt and liquid deicer. Left unchecked, they’ll find their way through your paint job, causing rust spots. Don’t run the pinnacle of your business through a touch less car wash. You can achieve rust proofing through the following precautions.

Wash by Hand

Either wash your truck by hand or have a professional do it for you. Touch less car washes are convenient but they’re not that great at cleaning your vehicle. They may even kick up particulate from previous washes and spray it against your vehicle. This does more damage to your paint job than if you hadn’t washed it at all. It can cause damage to your protective coating and corrode your truck. If your truck is corroding down to its base coat this could be why.

Forego the automatic car wash and wash your truck by hand using a brush and warm water. Warm water will assist in melting away the grime and salt easier, removing rust. Make sure you’re washing your truck in a space that is above 32 degrees. The last thing you want is to freeze your truck shut, or to crack a window due to a sudden temperature change.

Get Under Your Truck, where it Matters Most

Underneath your truck can be easy to lose track of because it’s difficult to inspect. Despite the difficulty, it’s extremely important to inspect it. Salt residue will eat away at your undercarriage, causing many problems. You need to check the nuts and bolts to ensure they’re not corroding. The last thing you want is to be a job site ready to plow only to hear the telltale sound of a busted tailpipe. Checking all parts of your truck is an important part of corrosion protection.

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Keep Your Tires Inflated & Clean

Cold weather can drop the pressure in your tires, giving them uneven wear and tear. Many gas stations have free air compressors you can use. If not, consider buying your own air compressor to keep your tires topped up weekly. Keep your tire pressure normal to lengthen their life.

It’s also important to pay attention to your tires when washing them. Use a tire and wheel cleaner. This will create a protective barrier between the rubber and the outside elements. And don’t forget to clean your wheel wells to prevent truck rust from the constant salt and moisture. Your wheel wells are the first place to rust and the most important place to stop truck rust before it starts.

Winterize Your Truck

It’s essential to winterize your truck, after all, it’s most used during that season. Winter is hard for cars and even harder on a plow. But with a proper defense against the snow, ice, and salt, your truck will live through many winters without issue. The following things can help your truck with rust protection.

Buy Heated Wipers

Part of running a successful enterprise is investing in innovative solutions. Removing ice from your windshield can be a frustrating process. Your windshield wipers will not do much against the ice encrusted on your windshield.

The best product to fight this are heated windshield wipers. They’re powered by your vehicle, heat up when in use, and make quick work of the snow and ice that’s collected on your windshield.

Protect & Lubricate Your Plow Blade

Unfortunately, your plow blade will become rusted metal if left unchecked. Many plow operators swear by a spray-on substance known as Fluid Film. Apply Fluid Film to your blade to protect it from the elements and keep it from becoming rusty metal.

Perform Regular Truck Maintenance

You should have a daily, weekly, and monthly checklist to go over for truck maintenance. Improper maintenance will lead to truck breakdowns. Ensuring everything in your truck is tip top can help corrosion resistance. You want to show clients that you run a credible business—a well-maintained truck is a huge facet to that. Winter is hard on your vehicle, so be sure to include these items (listed from most frequent to least) in your regular maintenance checks:

  • Check your tire pressure.
  • Inspect plow blade and mount for any signs of corrosion.
  • Sharpen your plow blade.
  • Check the levels of your oil, transmission, windshield wiper, and antifreeze fluids.
  • Visually inspect and scrub your battery terminals, when necessary.
  • Tighten your plow bolts—they’ll loosen with use.
  • Inspect your hoses and belts for cracks.

Truck Rust Is Inevitable, Maintenance Minimizes It

Your truck takes a beating. You’ve chosen a business that does most of its work during the most extreme season of the year. Your truck faces constant moisture from ice and snow as well as the rock salt you’re plowing. Using your plow day-to-day gives your truck wear and tear. Because of this, it’s important to prevent truck rust as much as possible.

There is no one way on how to stop rusting. Keeping a maintenance and washing schedule will constantly fight against it though. While much of the maintenance you perform on your truck has a negligible effect on rust, it keeps you in the right mindset. Your vehicle is your investment and it needs to be in tip-top shape. Rust is a part of the job, like snow and ice. But you don’t let snow and ice run rampant, it’s your job to fight against it. The same is true for rust, it may be a force of nature, but so are you.