Driving in Winter Weather for Truckers-Are You Prepared?
Winter weather doesn’t always make for ideal driving conditions but advanced planning and preparation can make your time behind the wheel this winter less stressful.
If you take the proper precautions and plan each trip ahead of time you can save yourself from a headache on the road. Here are some winter driving tips for truck drivers and suggestions for trip planning, performing even more thorough pre-trip inspections, checking equipment again as you head into a storm, and having the proper equipment on the truck.
Before each trip always check the current weather conditions along your route. It may be warm and sunny when you hit the road but cold or snowing at your destination.
- Chains – make sure you have enough and have the right size!
- Cam Lock T-handles
- Good, waterproof gloves
- Reflective vest
- Kneeling pad
- Boots with good traction
- Hats, gloves, scarves
- Extra warm bedding
Equipment for the Truck
- Extra Washer Fluid
In addition, a few extra blankets and a fresh emergency kit might also be a good idea. Remember that avoiding the hazards associated with winter weather is key in avoiding these types of issues. Your ability to be ready for what is to come is what keeps you safe as a truck driver.
When driving in snowy or icy weather, be sure to give yourself extra stopping distance, and don’t let yourself become distracted by things like your cell phone. And if you need to, don’t be afraid to stop and wait. Being safe is more important than arriving on time.
Keeping a cool head during inclement weather is Job One. More than anything else, keeping calm prevents slideoffs and accidents!
Mike Demars is a 28-year trucking veteran, as well as a graduate of New England Tractor Trailer Training School with well over a million miles logged on the road. Prior to being the Regional Director of Safety & Training for our Connecticut locations, Mike spent over a decade on the road as an owner/operator of a long haul transportation company and previously managed drivers as a Driver Manager and Safety Director. He has achieved the level of Master Instructor and holds his certificate in Collision Avoidance, and is often sought as an industry expert to discuss practices within the field and to testify in transportation and trucking matters.