‘Tis the season once again. Parts of North America are already experiencing winter weather. Time to get our refresher on driving in the slush, ice, and snow. Many of you have. But the driver demographic is changing every year. Some retire and newbies take their places. So, bear with us and heed this reminder.
Day or night winter weather can sneak up on us without warning and may find us in peril. Be prepared for whatever comes. Get ready for your trips, even the first in winter weather. Carry winter gear such as heavy clothes, a sleeping bag, food and water, a flashlight with extra batteries, extra blankets, flares, and be sure to check the condition of your tire chains. You just never know what’s waiting ahead on the road.
Don’t cut short your daily truck inspections due to the cold. Inspections must be carried out completely! Ignore your thought of skipping things. Someone’s life may be at risk, and it might be yours. Always remember, no load is worth a person’s life. Slow down and stay alert!
Before you head out, make sure all fluid levels are full, and don’t overlook windshield washers/deicing fluid. Clean your mirrors and turn on mirror heaters. Clean windshield wipers before leaving. Driving in snow is always treacherous so keep your speed down!
At times a crosswind can cause blowing snow to ice the road, making driving extremely dangerous. Slow down gradually or pull over for safety. This condition is truly hazardous at night. Get off the road when safe to do so.
Visibility is crucial. You must stop regularly to clean off your lights. Traffic must be able to see your lights to avoid an accident. Some people just refuse to slow down in snow, even if it is heavy. Keep your speed down and let the traffic go on. When snow becomes so heavy, it’s time to get off the road and park until conditions improve. You can call your shipper or receiver to let them know that driving is impossible until roads are cleared. Shippers and receivers know that delaying is necessary in winter conditions and safety is the main concern both to the driver and the product.
Your truck wipers will consume lots of through the windshield washer fluid in keeping the visibility through the truck’s windshield. Always carry extra year-round just in case. Take along anti-gel liquid if your outfit okays it. Diesel fuel thickens at 20F and below and can’t power your truck.
The best advice we can offer you is to prepare by carrying extra items, don’t drive beyond weather conditions, and if visibility becomes poor, get off the road and stay warm. We care about you. Keep the shiny side up.