Blustery winter weather is never fun for drivers, especially truck drivers. Roads can become dangerous and even impassable when covered with snow, ice or drifts.
If you are a truck driver, you know conditions can change quickly. Your route can go from clear skies to a winter weather warning in less than an hour.
Therefore, now is the time to be prepared for winter weather by knowing and following these top 10 winter weather driving tips.
Top 10 Winter Weather Driving Tips for Truck Drivers
- Before you head out, clean snow and ice off the truck, including the roof, mirrors, windows, lights and reflective tape — to ensure the safety of other motorists.
- Inspect your vehicle thoroughly before hitting the road. Check your tire pressure, antifreeze levels and engine oil.
- Give 20 feet or more of additional space for safe stopping distances. Traveling a safe distance behind other drivers is especially important when trucking during busy holiday travel days.
- Watch for brake lights on the vehicles in front of you, while remaining cautious not to follow too closely.
- Be cautious of the cloud of powdered snow surrounding your truck and trailer. There may be a car hidden in it.
- Turn your defroster on high initially to warm up your windshield, then use your air conditioner to help keep windows defrosted.
- Be extra cautious on entrance/exit ramps and bridges. A sharp turn on a slippery ramp can lead to sliding outside your lane. Bridges freeze first and will be more slippery than the roadway.
- Slow down to increase your traction. Accelerate and decelerate gradually and carefully. If the pavement is slick, the conditions are ripe for a jackknife so just take it slow.
- Along with taking it slow, stay calm. Take a deep breath and slow down when a stressful situation is out of your control, such as the weather. Impatience and road rage in poor weather conditions is a disaster waiting to happen.
- Pull over to a safe place and stay parked when conditions become too dangerous. Contact dispatch to reschedule your delivery and help you determine what to do next.
As a truck driver, you play a huge part in keeping the roads safe. Set an example of what being a good driver means. It’s also important to be prepared with emergency supplies during the winter months.
Essential Emergency Supplies for Truck Drivers
You’ll want to make sure you have an emergency supply of water, blankets, a heavy coat, snow boots, winter gloves, a hat and non-perishables in case you get stranded. Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply:
- Windshield fluid
- Extra clothes
- Bags of sand or salt
- Tire chains
- Jumper cables
- Snow scrapers/brushes
- Flint, matches, flares, tinder
- Solar smartphone charger
- Snow shovel
- Propane heater
- Fuel conditioner
Driven by the Best
At Classic Carriers, we place high importance on keeping our drivers safe. Our team values driver communication with us when it's time to shut down for unsafe winter weather conditions. Join the Classic Carriers family today!