How Your Truck Experiences Winter

As a trucker or fleet owner, you understand how dangerous winter driving can be — especially when it’s an 80,000-pound class 8 truck that’s out there trying to navigate the snow and ice. But also consider that it’s not just you or your drivers that are having to deal with winter — your truck is also experiencing it.

As it gets closer to the heart of winter, it’s important to not only make sure you’ve got the appropriate tires and that your brakes are at peak performance, but to also consider the major systems of your truck or fleet such as the HVAC and drivetrain, and take into account what they might need to help you stay “up” this season.

Winter and Your Driveline

Your driveline, also commonly called a drivetrain, is crucial all year long for supplying power from the engine to your wheels through an intricate system of angled tubing, joints, and yokes. But if you live or drive in areas with ice and/or heavy snow accumulation, your driveline is your best friend.

Whether you have front-wheel, rear-wheel, or all-wheel drive, it’s always a good idea to test your drivetrain system to make sure it fully engages. It’s gearing up to be a tough winter for many parts of the country, so knowing where your drivetrain performance is at can make the difference between on-time deliveries and unexpected downtime. And even if your drivetrain seems okay right now, do you know the most common signs that something’s not working right?

Signs That You Need New Driveline Parts

If there’s one thing we can hold true about truck parts, it’s the fact that just because something is working now doesn’t mean it’ll stay that way tomorrow or even two weeks from now. One of the most important factors of safe winter driving is driver awareness, so here’s what to listen and feel for when it comes to your driveline:

  • Vibrations under the truck. This is a symptom of drivetrain u-joints or bushings wearing out, and if left unaddressed, it can lead to further damage to other components. While it is possible for tire balance issues to also cause vibration, that type is typically speed-sensitive while drivetrain vibrations are not.
  • Turning difficulty. Since your drivetrain powers the wheels, a problem with the system could lead to difficulty with turning or not feeling like you have proper control of your vehicle.
  • Clunking noise. Nobody likes a loud clunking noise, and if you hear this while shifting, it could be worn-out u-joint.
  • Shuddering during acceleration. If you feel this while you are accelerating from a stopped or low speed, this is a sign that a center bearing or u-joint need your attention.
  • Annoying squeaking. At low speeds, an obnoxious squeaking noise coming from under the truck could signify that a little bit of grease is needed on a u-joint.
  • Knocking or clicking. This is an indication of a worn or broken constant velocity, or CV, joint. This should also be replaced as soon as possible.

Start The Season With The Best Aftermarket Parts For Your Truck

Is your drivetrain less than ideal for the upcoming winter season? Don’t worry — you’ve got options:

  • Dana Spicer. This trusted brand specializes in drivetrain axles, shafts, u-joints, and everything else in between. With over 100 years of experience, Dana Spicer parts are built tough with steel and can be spec’ed for your specific trucking needs.
  • Meritor. Also a brand that knows its stuff when it comes to drivelines, Meritor has received accolades for its Xtended Lube MXL and Permalube drivelines. Offering increased savings on lubrication cycles, these drivelines can also withstand the higher low-end torque necessary for engine downspeeding.
  • Autocar. Trusted by over 1,000 suppliers across the country, Autocar proudly carries the title of the oldest nameplate in North America — a testament to its continued success and ability to adapt to the ever-changing trucking industry.

Where To Buy Aftermarket Driveline Parts

Ready to replace or upgrade your current driveline parts? We carry Dana Spicer, Meritor, Autocar, and more! No matter what part you need and when you need it, we’ve got solutions for all makes to make sure you get up and stay up all winter long.

Shop driveline parts today by signing into your account or create an account with us — it’s fast and easy!

Key Points: Winterizing Your Driveline

  • Your truck’s driveline is important during winter driving and should be tested
  • Even if your driveline is fully operational now, there are a few common signs that can indicate an issue such as clanking, squeaking, or clicking noises, trouble turning, feeling a constant vibration, or shuddering while accelerating.
  • Meritor, Dana Spicer, and Autocar are trusted driveline brands to get your driveline set for this season

Outfit your truck with the best driveline parts for your trucking needs. Contact our parts team today to get started or browse our haul of heavy-duty everything.  

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