There is no denying – winter is upon us. Eventually, those temperatures are going to dive below zero. Traction reduction and poor visibility make the job of truck drivers a real challenge. But, with the following 10 Tips for Winter Trucking, you can breeze through even the harshest cold-weather conditions.
Just like Santa checks his listed twice, make sure that before you head down a one-way street, or proceed through an intersection, you look twice. Traffic signs and lights can be hard to make out, especially if you’re driving in a whiteout blizzard.
Just like a Boy Scout – always be prepared. Carry blankets, warm clothes, and a thermos of hot coffee with you. If you’re going on a long haul, consider a bag of sand, traction devices, matches, a shovel, and a flashlight. Do you have roadside assistance? You should. And make sure your cell phone has a full charge.
Stop If You’re Unsure
Yes, you have a schedule to keep. But don’t drive if conditions are too severe. Wait until it’s safe to drive. Pullover safely, somewhere out of the way, and wait it out.
When You Can’t Break – Evade
Particularly on a snow-covered road, rather than braking hard, consider evasive action. To avoid a collision, it may be safer to decelerate a bit and work your way around an obstacle.
The Light of Your Life
Inclement weather conditions can mean poor visibility. Always light up the outside of your truck and use your headlights. Safe distances between truck and car are more easily maintained when other drivers can see you better.
This Is a Biggie – Tire Spray
Unfortunately, this isn’t something that a lot of drivers think about. Wondering just how hazardous the road is? Look around you at the spray coming off the tires of other vehicles. The road is most definitely wet if a lot of water is being sprayed up. Less water means that there is every possibility that freezing has started along the roadway. This means extreme caution is needed.
Smooth and Easy As She Goes
Sudden moves can spell disaster in cold weather. Fast cornering, acceleration, and braking could mean trouble. Try, whenever possible, to brake lightly. On slippery roads, it is crucial that you maintain traction, so try to maintain a consistent speed when traveling.
Space It out
Twice the normal stopping distance can be needed on a wet road. But 10 times the distance can be needed on icy roads! So that you have enough room, should an unpredictable situation present itself, leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you.
Calm Down There Sparky!
Or should we say, slow down. As was just mentioned, a consistent speed, when traveling, is best. Try to make sure that that consistent speed is not excessive. According to road conditions, you must always remember to adjust your speed. Ease up on that accelerator when you are on icy or snow-covered roads.
Do Vehicle Inspection
To prevent major problems, it is essential that, in order to be prepared for a winter haul, you get your truck ready. Before you hit the road, fastidiously check anti-freeze and engine oil levels, as well as tire pressure. And it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have a mechanic go over your vehicle in preparation for winter.
To keep our truck driving friends safe this winter, and for many winters to come, Mickey Genuine Parts carries an impressive selection of safety equipment. But whether you drive in wintry conditions, or tropical conditions all year round, you can depend on Mickey for all your parts and accessory needs. We also have used trailers for those wishing to save a little money. Contact us today to find out more.