Admit it, here in the GTA, we have a love-hate relationship with road salt. When you’re driving a commercial vehicle day-in and day-out, salt can make driving around a lot easier and safer. It has its downsides though, and those downsides can mean a big repair bill when you least expect it. Read along and find out why salt is used and what you can do to prevent rust and corrosion thanks to our good friend salt.
Ice is Public Enemy #1 for Ontario’s truck drivers during the winter months. And it’s because of all the ice that forms on our roads and sidewalks that we have to use salt. The science behind spreading all that salt over the roads is pretty simple: salt lowers water’s freezing point, so ice isn’t able to form as easily. Depending on the municipality you’re driving through, that salt may be mixed with sand and other chemicals to aid in melting and give vehicles better traction.
“The rock salt used on roads is
the same salt that is used on your
dinner table.” - Accuweather
As much as salt makes your driving life a lot easier throughout the winter months, it can also take a major toll on your vehicle. Commercial trucks spend more time on the road than the average vehicle, which means they’re exposed to more road salt. Unfortunately, salt is corrosive, so the more time your truck is driving on salty roads and getting coated with salt and road debris, the more likely it is to rust and corrode.
All commercial vehicles are susceptible to salt damage no matter what they’re constructed from. There are materials, however, that are rust and corrosion resistant. Aluminum, as an example, won’t rust and is more corrosion resistant than some other materials. Stainless steel is another material that resists corrosion well but is heavier than aluminum. Depending on what your truck is made of, it may be at a higher risk of rust and corrosion than other trucks.
Keep an eye on your mud flaps and if they’re starting to look a bit tattered, have them replaced. Mud flaps that are in good condition will help prevent road spray from hitting your truck or other vehicles on the road. If you’re part of a larger company and have access to service bays, it’s a good idea to regularly clean your truck of salt and road debris. The most effective way to prevent rust is to have your truck sprayed with a coating that will help prevent rust and corrosion. It’s a straightforward process that doesn’t take a lot of time, but it can really save your vehicle from corrosion and you from a big repair bill down the road.
Whether you’re a fleet manager or an independent contractor, our service department can ensure your commercial trucks and equipment are ready to take on those salty roads.