5 Myths About Heavy-Duty Trucking in Winter

There are numerous myths and misconceptions surrounding winter driving that are widely believed, even by experienced truckers who have spent years navigating slippery roads. These beliefs can be attributed to ingrained habits, outdated thinking, stubbornness, and a lack of knowledge.

Unfortunately, these myths can lead to unsafe practices on the road. In this article, we’ll debunk five common winter driving myths that heavy-duty truckers may encounter, and provide some tips on how to stay safe on the road during the winter months.


It is true that diesel fuel does have a higher flash point and freezing point compared to gasoline, it can still freeze in cold temperatures. The flash point of diesel fuel is typically around 125 degrees Fahrenheit, while the freezing point can range from -40 to -60 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the specific blend of diesel. This means that if the temperature drops below the freezing point of diesel, it can start to solidify and become thicker or even turn into a gel-like substance.

This myth may come from the fact that diesel fuel contains additives that help to lower the freezing point. However, these additives are not always effective in extremely cold temperatures and can still allow the fuel to freeze.

There are many risks associated with your heavy-duty truck’s diesel fuel freezing. The fuel lines can clog which can cause damage to your fuel pump, fuel flow can become decreased due to fuel filter damage which reduces your engine performance and fuel efficiency  In extreme cases you may have difficulty starting your engine and increased wear and tear on your engine’s internal components.


Winter tires and their value have been a contentious topic since they were introduced in the 1930s. Many motorists swear by their all-season tires as a year-round solution and believe they are not worth the money. Since “all-season” is somewhat deceptive, tire producers must shoulder a large portion of the burden.

Yes, all-season tires may be used on a truck all year long, but if you haul loads anywhere where there is snowfall and freezing weather, there are probably better choices than this. A cynic may say that all-season tires are a “jack of all trades, master of none” tire choice.

The debate becomes much more complicated when all-weather tires are brought up. Higher-grade all-weather tires, which should not be confused with all-season tires, provide better actual year-round performance. Simply be aware that they cost more and have a lower tread life before purchasing them. 

There is no doubt about it; a decent pair of winter tires is the only tire that makes your truck safer on slick winter roads. This is true regardless of whether you drive an all-wheel-drive or traction-control truck. Winter tires are designed with a rubber composition and tread pattern that enhances traction, allowing you to stop, turn, and accelerate more effectively in cold weather—even on dry roads. According to testing, decent winter tires may increase a truck’s capacity to stop more quickly in winter circumstances by up to 30–40% compared to those without them.


Sadly, a frustrating number of truck drivers still believe that they do not need to fully remove snow from the roof, hood and sides of their trucks. Clearing snow from the truck and trailer ensures that the driver has good visibility while driving. When snow accumulates on the windshield, it can obstruct the driver’s view, leading to potential accidents. In addition, snow on the roof of the trailer can fall off and hit other vehicles on the road, which can also be dangerous. By clearing the snow, the driver can ensure that they can see clearly and that their truck is not a hazard to other drivers on the road.

When driving a semi-truck, it is essential that the driver can easily access all parts of the vehicle, including the cab, trailer, and fuel tanks. If the snow is not cleared, it can make it more difficult for the driver to perform routine checks and maintenance tasks, which can impact their overall safety on the road. By taking the time to clear the snow, drivers can help ensure that they are able to safely transport goods and avoid potential accidents on the road.


Common sense seems to be in short supply when it comes to widespread winter driving fallacies, such as the belief that lowering tire pressure will improve grip on slippery roads. Adjusting tire pressure should not be taken lightly, as it should be maintained at a precise level for optimal performance. It is not a good idea to experiment with tire pressure, especially in dangerous driving conditions.


It is a common misconception that it is acceptable to use both all-season and winter tires together on a heavy-duty truck.  While many trucks do this, keeping all-season tires on their front axles and winter tires on their back axles, however, this is not recommended as it can negatively impact the stability and control of the truck. It is important that all tires on a heavy-duty truck have the same size, design, load rating, construction material, and inflation pressure in order to ensure optimal performance. Mixing tires of different types, such as all-season and winter tires, is not advised. 


By following a few simple precautions and avoiding common misconceptions, you can play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of yourself and other drivers on the road this winter. Not only will debunking these myths help prevent accidents and injuries, but they can also help you save money on fuel and reduce your vehicle’s emissions.

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