It’s that time of year again. The snow is falling, the ground is freezing, and truckers everywhere are prepping their vehicles for the winter season. Snow, ice, and sleet can make road conditions hazardous, so it’s important to learn the best ways to tackle these obstacles like a pro. As you prepare to take on the icy roads this winter, here are some tips and tricks to help you stay safe while delivering loads throughout America.
Stay Alert - The most important thing to remember when driving during the winter season is to stay alert. The roads can be unpredictable at times, especially if they’ve been impacted by a recent snowstorm or cold front. Be sure to keep a close eye out for black ice, unexpected ice patches, and slick conditions that could cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Always drive defensively and take extra precautions when driving in bad weather conditions.
Bring Supplies - It’s always best to be prepared for whatever mother nature throws your way. Pack a few extra layers of clothing just in case your trip takes longer than expected or if something happens during your travels (like getting stuck in traffic). You should also bring plenty of snacks and drinks with you in case there are any delays due to bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances along the way.
Check Your Vehicle - It’s always a good idea to give your vehicle a quick inspection before taking it out on the road. Check all of your tires, fluids, brakes, and lights, and make sure everything is in working order. Additionally, fill up your gas tank before departing on long trips so that you don’t have to worry about running out of fuel during an emergency. Make sure you have an emergency roadside kit stocked with items like jumper cables, flares, flashlights, etc., so that you can handle any issues that come up while away from home.
Tire Pressure & Chains - Keep an eye on your tire pressure as the temperature drops. The cold can cause the air pressure in your tires to decrease, so check it regularly to make sure your tires stay in optimal condition. If you’re in an area where icy roads are inevitable, invest in chains or snow tires to ensure a smooth ride.
Visibility - Make sure your lights are all working and properly aligned. Check them often throughout the day, especially when heading into dark areas like tunnels and long stretches of highway. You also want to make sure that all windows are clean so you can have optimum visibility no matter what kind of weather conditions you find yourself in.
Watch for Black Ice - Black ice is a thin layer of ice that often forms unexpectedly on roads and highways in cold weather climates. It can be difficult to spot until it’s too late, so it’s important to stay alert while driving and pay attention to your surroundings. If you see patches of water ahead, assume they could be black ice and slow down accordingly.
Plan for Delays - Winter storms can create delays that are out of your control—so plan ahead! Check the latest weather forecasts before setting off on your route so you know what kind of conditions to expect along the way. Additionally, if possible give yourself extra time for any unforeseen delays or detours due to bad weather. Better safe than sorry!
Rest & Exercise - Don’t underestimate how important it is to take regular breaks while driving long hauls during wintertime. Your body will thank you for getting off the road every few hours or so and taking a short walk around or doing some simple exercises to keep yourself limber on those long trips.
Driving in the wintertime presents its own unique set of risks and challenges—but with proper planning and preparation, it doesn't have to be daunting. By following our simple tips above - stay alert, check your vehicle often, pack supplies for emergencies – and don’t forget to bring an extra pair of gloves! - you'll be able to navigate even the most treacherous roads with ease this winter season like a true professional truck driver! Stay safe out there!