Automobile owners, especially truck drivers, face challenges on the road during winter. When driving on snowy or slippery roads, the big-bodied motor vehicle used to haul cargo can be more challenging to control than its smaller counterparts. This issue is present at all stages of driving, including acceleration, deceleration, turning, and braking, and it is especially problematic on wet and icy roads. Misty days and nights make it impossible to see around, increasing the risk of collisions and accidents, which is another challenge they face.
As a result, all professional truck drivers must possess specific skills if they ever want to operate a tractor-trailer in freezing weather. In bad weather, especially on slick roads like those caused by snowfall, you’ll need to adjust how you usually drive. In adverse conditions, the ability to maneuver and control skids is crucial. Professional drivers can set themselves apart from the rest of the pack by knowing and using the correct, preventative safety techniques necessary for driving in adverse weather.
Inadequate Stop time,reduced vision, less traction, and an increase in the unpredictability of other drivers all contribute to the dangers of driving in inclement weather, especially snow and ice. Some precautions should be taken before winter sets in. Let’s get started with this introduction to safe winter driving, introducing you to some of the best techniques for handling difficult weather conditions.
Truckers’ Winter Driving Tips
Truck drivers who work professionally have a significant obstacle whenever winter weather makes its appearance. The following are helpful driving recommendations for the winter that will keep drivers safe on the road.
1. Navigation and 10-day forecasts are essential
Managers of fleets should be able to keep changing winter weather conditions in mind. Due to the startling variation from region to region, truck drivers and fleet management must factor in weather forecasts when planning routes, delivery schedules, and safety measures. Businesses can use external resources such as websites to compensate for the lack of in-house meteorological technology.
Although it may be challenging to communicate this information to a fleet, even the smallest fleets should consider purchasing a modern navigation system that includes real-time weather updates. Changes in the weather are common in the country’s highlands. Clear skies and pleasant temperatures on one side of the mountain and a big whiteout on the other. A GPS will alert the motorist of impending hazards.
2. Truck Pre-Trip Inspection is Required
Your engine requires extra care to keep your vehicle operating smoothly through the winter. Park for the night with the tractor brakes set, but the trailer brakes unlocked. If you do this, you won’t have to lay under your trailer in the snow and ice and risk frostbite while you knock on your brake drums with a hammer, which is a horrific thing to have to do. Additional checks for safe truck operation in the winter include:
- Maintaining a full tank of non-frozen fluids is a must. Look under your truck and trailer for ice and other debris that could fall off and cause damage to your vehicle or another on the road.
- See to it that your mirrors are spotless and that your heater and windshield defroster are in good operating order. To avoid ice buildup, activate any heated mirror features.
- I have tires with enough tread depth free of cuts, bumps, abrasions, and punctures.
3. Put the Brakes on
To put it simply, speed is a significant contributor to vehicular mishaps. As it takes a longer distance to stop a truck, it poses a more substantial threat to truck drivers should they encounter an obstruction or event on the road. Roads in the winter are slippery. Therefore drivers need to adjust their speed and driving style accordingly. This may cause them to be later at their destination, but it will give them more time to respond in an emergency.
So, in the winter, ease up on the gas pedal. Take your time getting used to the vehicle’s controls before heading out on the road, and remember that it will be considerably more difficult to steer or stop on a snow-covered road. Remember that the posted speeds are only appropriate when the streets are dry and the weather is good.
4. Be Wary of Icy Conditions
Truck drivers have a difficult time on ice. The rapid and unexpected formation is possible. And in low-light settings, you’ll have a hard time seeing it before you run over it. Black ice is a similar phenomenon that can occur. In this context, “snow” refers to an invisible, ultrathin layer of clear ice. Paying attention to the outside temperature and your windshield is the only way to realize there is danger coming. If the temperature drops below freezing, ice will form. Again, the same is true if you notice a light coating of ice on your windshield. This is why ice is so dangerous for truck drivers.
5. Pay Attention to the Tires
Before heading out onto the road in the winter, it is essential to inspect the tires on your vehicle thoroughly. In the winter, it is necessary to check the pressure in your tires because worn tires have a greater propensity to skid and slide on slushy and icy roadways. Be careful out there since the air pressure will drop between one and two pounds for every 10-degree Fahrenheit drop in temperature. In addition to ensuring that the tires have the correct amount of air, investing in winter or all-season tires is a good idea. These tires offer improved traction on roads that are icy or rainy.
6. Avoid Being Misled by the Brake Lights
When vision is poor, you might rely on the car’s tail lights to guide you. It’s risky to develop this habit since it makes it hard to assess your distance from the vehicle in front of you, increasing the risk that you’ll follow the other car’s tail lights off the road. Instead, it’s important to drive at a safe speed and focus on the road stripes if you can see them when operating a truck in the winter. When vision is so poor that you cannot see the road lines, when you must slow to a crawl to avoid crashing, or when you can see absolutely nothing, it is time to pull off the highway and locate a safe parking spot. Shoulder driving is dangerous in any weather, especially when visibility is limited.
7. Avoid Taking Any Chances on Bridges
When it snows at night, the higher buildings, such as bridges and highway overpasses, are the first to become covered in ice. If the snow is not treated with salt or sand, trucks driving on these elevated structures have a far higher risk of losing control and spinning out. In addition, there is the possibility of black ice conditions, which can make the roads exceedingly hazardous; this typically happens on bridges.
8. Stock Emergency Supplies
It is imperative that you always have a first aid kit, flashlight, blanket, ice scraper, shovel, extra warm clothes, and other items like these in your vehicle. Winter weather is notoriously difficult to forecast, and there is always the chance that it could turn for the worse at any given moment. Some examples of non-perishable goods that should be kept on hand at all times include nuts, energy bars, food that is already prepared to eat, and water. Before embarking on a journey, double-check that you have everything you require, particularly if the excursion will take place during the cooler months of the year. Always try to be as well-prepared as possible for anything that can occur.
9. When in Doubt, Pullover
Truck drivers must always call it a day if the weather or road conditions become too dangerous. Pulling over as soon as possible if the weather gets too bad is best to continue driving safely. Avoid worrying about being late and locate a safe exit from the highway. If the weather improves to the point that driving is safe, you should wait until then to begin again. It’s too simple to get into a situation where your life is in danger. It’s also not a good idea to drive if you’re sleep-deprived or experiencing any sickness or nausea. It would make it difficult to concentrate, significantly increasing the likelihood of unfortunate events. For the interest of everyone involved, it is best to wait things out and get some sleep before diving headfirst into your work.
10. Allow Yourself Some Extra Room
On a wet road, stopping takes twice as long as on a dry one. It’s nearly ten times that on snowy roads. It would help if you gave yourself plenty of space between your truck and the car in front of you in case of unforeseen circumstances. If you’re driving in the cold, it’s wise to give yourself more distance between you and the bad drivers you might encounter.
The above winter driving safety tips may seem common sense, but if truck drivers don’t follow them, it could lead to a severe accident. Keep in mind that the roads are more hazardous and less reliably favorable in the winter, so you should pay more attention, stay focused, avoid distractions, and keep a firm hold on the wheel. A skilled truck driver will pull over and wait for conditions to improve when there’s too much ice, snow, or strong winds.
Professional drivers with superior driving and management abilities can be found at I-Way. They are familiar with the severe winters and have plans to deal with them, so there will be no delays in delivery. Contact I-Way if you are seeking the most exemplary logistics service provider.