Big Rig Basics | Replacing wipers

John Baxter | September 21, 2011

Combating Ice

Owner-operator Gordon Bow uses winter-style blades made by Trico and others. A rubber cover or boot surrounds the entire arm of these blades. “I use them because the rubber cover keeps ice from building up and making it impossible for them to clean the windshield.”

He always carries these with him because snow can show up unexpectedly. For anyone who runs far enough north to encounter snow a significant number of days a year, it makes sense to use these, except in summer.

Changing Wipers

Level of difficulty: (scale of 1-10 with10 being the hardest job): 1

Time needed: 10 minutes

Tools needed: none

Watch for Small Parts

This Volvo VN and many other tractors have under-hood air intake systems that connect with outside grills only when the hood is closed. When handling small parts like adapters as you work, be careful not to drop them into the air intake system.

Big Rig Basics Tips

Heavy-haul and oversize driver Gordon Bow, who operates out of Oakfield, N.Y., carries a case of wiper blades with him at all times so he can change them right away if they show signs of improper operation.They normally wear out at almost the same rate, but he changes both sides even if one is still usable.

He also carries an extra set of flex arms in case a spring would fail and keep the wipers from staying tight against the windshield and performing properly.

He uses a product like Rain-X on the windshield because it helps keep the blades from sticking when ice starts to freeze on the glass. Bow periodically uses rubbing alcohol on a clean rag to wipe down the rubber to help the wipers fit right against the windshield.

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