need help preparing my truck for North Dakota


Jan 7, 2013
Watford City, North Dakota
I got a job in the oil fields in North Dakota. I'm heading up there next week but i still need to get my truck ready. What do I need to do/have done to my truck or what do I need to get to make sure my truck will start in those cold temperatures? I've lived in Texas my whole life and have never had to experience really cold winters, so any suggestions will help. Thanks.


TGT Addict
Oct 22, 2008
DFW Keller
Change/get and extra heavy duty battery if you current one is more that 2 years old. Other than that, change to oil to something like a 20/5 or 30/5. Good aggressive tires, but if you're current tires are less than 1/2 life, them maybe wait and buy a set in ND, as they will drive you nuts on the drive up. A cooling system flush wouldn't hurt either. Other than that, make sure transmission and differential are not leaking and in good shape.

Put together a little emergency bag. Gloves, slip on boots, flash light, small tool kit etc (you can figure out things to include) and keep that in the truck at all times.



TGT Addict
Jul 26, 2013
Texas, Mostly
Block heater!! I prefer the oil pan type. You didn't mention truck age but, you might consider Synthetic oils and lubes. Also Graphite for door locks. Also new hoses and belts, that rubber gets hard and older stuff could fail on Ya.


TGT Addict
TGT Supporter
May 19, 2009
Republic of Texas
Get some mittens and a hat. The crappiest pair of mittens is warmer than the warmest pair of gloves you can buy. +1 keep some supplies i the truck.


Staff member
TGT Supporter
Jan 22, 2013
San Marcos
Depending on where you're driving, you might consider stashing a sleeping bag in your truck. People in MN do it all the time 'cause if your truck breaks down in the middle of nowhere in the winter, you are in survival mode.


Supereme IT Overlord
TGT Supporter
Aug 31, 2013
Grand Prairie, TX
Some energy bars, a few bottles of water, blanket, hand warmer packets (about a buck each at Wally world), a multi-purpose knife, heavy rope.
Make sure the flashlight is LED. The batteries last MUCH longer in them.


Lifetime Member
Oct 15, 2009
Lampasas, Texas
Drain your wiper fluid and switch to an antifreeze type fluid. Get some good stuff. I have seen blue jugs rates for 0º freeze solid at 20º.You don't want that stuff to freeze up in your lines or on the window. New wiper blades are a good idea.

Also plan your clothing in layers, not one super heavy layer. Think about the medium weather days where heavy clothes are too much and light clothes are not enough. You don't want to sweat while it is freezing out.


Been Called "Flash" Since I Was A Kid!
Jul 11, 2009
East Houston
I grew up in the North and traveled extensively in the northern states. It gets 30 below zero there!. The parking meters have 120 volt plugs on them so when folks come to town, they plug the block and battery heaters in while they're in town. Oil viscosity is very important as is a proper mix of new antifreeze and windshield washer solvent.

Batteries......don't risk anything less than a new battery. Diesels have parafin in the fuel which solidifies to block fuel flow at low temperature. If your starter is tired, replace it just for insurance.

Protect your head and especially your face. Much of your heat is lost there. In Montana and Wyoming and to a lesser extent, ND and SD, they actually have gates to close the highways and snow fences are routine. Snow fences keep blowing snow from covering the road. When they close a road, they actually lock it up!

In the North, snow tires and chains are sometimes required or you aren't allowed out. They have dates that snow tires can be installed and when they must be removed.....especially studded snow tires.

Get a properly fit set of chains and learn how to install them. Have tow ropes and shovels, food and warm gear to carry at all times in an emergency. Never leave without your emergency gear.

Don't screw around in that climate. Texans don't have a clue about the kind of winters they have. They pour water from a cup and it freezes before it hits the ground.



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