Winter winds bring all sorts of new obstacles to the road. From sneaky patches of black ice to skidding highway cars—Us truckers need to be prepared for whatever Old Man Winter throws our way.
With the goal of bringing you the top winter safety tips and tools for maximizing driving comfort, your friends at All Truck Jobs put together some winter driving tips to help you keep on truckin’ this winter.
Make sure you cash in on your nighttime ZZZ’s. While this is always important, a good night’s rest is especially important when there’s snow and ice because you need to be fully aware of your truck and surroundings, or at least, more so than usual.
Prepare like an Eagle Scout.
Pack items like:
- A flashlight
- Food and water
- A bag of kitty litter
- Window scraper
- Jumper cables
- An extra tank of gas
Do a pre-road inspection. Check out your truck before you hit the road. Do your windshield wipers work properly? Are your lights working? Is your radio getting a clear signal? Check all of your important items from fluids to tires. Besides making sure your truck’s basic gadgets are in working order, make sure your exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow or ice. This could cause a deadly accumulation of carbon monoxide, and that is the last thing we’d want to happen.
On the Road
Slow down. A slower speed gives you more time to react in the case of an accident, or an animal darting out into the road. Accelerate and decelerate slowly. This will help with tire traction and will also help avoid skidding.
Give yourself plenty of space. It’s not a race to drop your load off, especially in icy winter conditions. By maintaining a safe following distance, it’s easier to view the road in scope.
Hold your steering wheel firmly. Bumps and ice on the road can cause you to lose control of your truck instantly if you’re not gripping the wheel properly, so be sure to keep a steady set of hands on the wheel to prevent an accident.
Use extra caution when approaching bridges. You may be asking yourself, why is this important? Well, bridges are usually the first place to freeze during a storm, mostly due to the proximity to water and gusts of wind.
Don’t push your luck. If you’re having trouble seeing or just have a bad gut feeling, trust it. Don’t put yourself and others in danger for the sake of hauling freight. Look to weather reports and radio warnings for tips.
Pro Tip: It is much better to explain why a load was late than why you wrecked your truck.