Traction Control . . . A Must-Have This Winter

on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 in Life on the Road


This winter has been one for the record books. It has presented our drivers with weekly snow and ice-filled challenges.

In a recent blog post by driver Roger Ihle Jr., he relived his experience during the first ice storm in Atlanta. In his blog post he talked about how well the Peterbilt 579 performed in the icy conditions when other trucks were struggling.

The Peterbilt 579’s performance was in part due to a must-have traction control system.  With the integrated Bendix Wingman system, wheel spin is minimized, which enables you to better maintain traction.

Here’s how it works. On the 579’s, the rear axle is the one that always has power. If either wheel position, driver’s side or passenger side begins to slip on snow, etc., the ABS system will begin to apply braking power to that slipping wheel in an attempt to gain you more traction. If you engage the power divider switch on the dash, power will also flow to the forward axle of the tandem. Also, if either wheel position on that axle begins to slip, the same braking mechanism applies as well. This combination of traction control can go a long way in helping you to get rolling on slippery surfaces.

This system automatically disables at speeds above 25 mph. One word of warning though, you must use care when engaging the power divider switch. The wheels must be at a complete stop before engaging and you must not exceed 25 mph. Flipping the switch while the wheels are spinning, or exceeding 25 mph with it engaged can cause tremendous damage to the axle components. You can however, disengage the divider while the wheels are rolling.

Traction control is just one of the many features that our fleet trucks contain. The 22-inch flat screen and inverter also comes in handy when you are grounded due to snow.