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NEWS | Dec. 8, 2020

HMMWV: Preparing for Winter Driving

Vehicle training ops in January snow at Fort McCoy
Photo by Scott Sturkol
A properly maintained and safely driven HMMWV is your first line of defense in cold weather. But freezing temperatures add another layer to already tough conditions.

You’ll find plenty of cold-weather operating tips in TM 9-2320-387-13&P (Mar 14) and TM 9-2320-280-13&P (Jan 14).

Here are some helpful reminders for successful winter operations:
  • Perform PMCS before, during and after vehicle operations.
  • Before heading out, check road conditions along the entire route and know the difference between conditions.
  • Vehicle operations might start out as GREEN or AMBER, but be RED farther along.  Here’s a key to road conditions
 GREEN Road conditions are normal.
 AMBER   Military vehicles will not be driven on roads except for essential official business. The unit commander may be the directing authority.
RED Same as amber, except the directing authority is an officer with 0-5 rank or above. Government vehicles required to travel will use tire chains or other similar devices designed for heavy snow conditions.
  • Keep headlights clear. Brush snow off all headlights and taillights and use low beams so the vehicle is more visible to others. Inspect tires regularly, and check tread depth and tire pressure before any trip. 
  • Tire chains, NSN 2450-01-675-7131, are authorized for use on HMMWVs in some states and under specific driving conditions.
  • Make sure windshield wipers work and the rubber blades aren’t torn.
  • Check the windshield washer fluid reservoir regularly and refill it as necessary. Winter roads can be especially gritty and grimy and cause visibility problems when slush splashes on windshields.
  • Ensure your vehicle’s battery is fully charged and in good condition.
  • Stay alert when driving. Don’t count on other drivers to use headlights, slow down, or follow the rules of the road. Your extra alertness may help counter some risks that other drivers present.
  • Take it slow! You need more time to stop on icy roads.
  • Apply brakes early to allow enough stopping time.
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