The winter season is just around the corner, meaning new climate challenges will be faced in many parts of the country. The job of a truck driver becomes increasingly more challenging when handling something as large as a loaded tractor trailer. Even if you are a highly experienced driver, you can never be too prepared. If you travel through sunny states like Florida, lucky for you! But, for those of you who will have to truck through the snow this year, these tips are for you.
- Bundle up
You can never be too prepared for the cold. Make sure you are bringing extra gloves, hats, scarves, with you on the road. You never know when you may need them!
- Give yourself extra space
Truckers should always have ample space to maneuver, and leave plenty of time to break smoothly. In winter, make sure you emphasize this even more! Black ice is very dangerous and can be nearly impossible to spot.
Here are 5 driving tips for dealing with black ice:
- Resist the urge to hit the brakes.
- Keep the steering wheel straight.
- Slow down by decelerating or shift to lower gear.
- Head for areas of traction.
- Stay calm.
- Pay attention to the tire spray
This is one of the most important (and commonly forgotten) winter driving tips. A good way to assess the road condition is to observe the water coming off the tires of vehicles around you. If there’s a lot of water being sprayed, the road is definitely wet. If the tire spray is relatively less, it means that the roadway has started to freeze and you need to exercise additional caution.
- When in doubt, pull over
If the weather conditions are too severe to drive, think about your safety first. Delivering a late shipment is such a better option than putting your life in danger. Find a safe way to get off the roadway and wait until the weather is clear and it’s safe for you to drive. It is also a great idea to check weather ahead of your route, plan for the cold/snow, and take all the right precautions pre and post trip. A nervous truck driver is just as dangerous as a careless driver!
Bottom line, , safety on the road should always be your #1 priority. It is crucial to take these extra steps especially when you will be driving in these unideal weather conditions. Winter driving can be nerve-wracking, but staying up to date on safe driving techniques will help you feel more prepared. A smart trucker is always prepared for bad weather conditions and uses their best judgment and common sense – remember, you are in charge of the truck. Stay safe!