Winter presents many challenges, even to those of us who love to drive. Large vehicles have an even harder time of it, and winter issues can crop up quickly even before the real snows set in. Here are a few problems we face in the coldest months and tips to help truckers stay safe while winter driving.
Winter Driving Tip #1
Ice of any kind poses a real threat to anyone on the road, but with the weight and longer stopping time of a big rig, this is an issue that causes a lot of damage and can even be fatal. Sometimes we get into the habit of driving a certain speed, especially when we know the area and have driven it a million times. This can lead to disaster if you find yourself on black ice and out of control. One of the best things you can do when you know there’s going to be trouble on the road is to take it slow, even slower than you normally would. People will honk at you, but it’s much better safe than sorry.
Winter Driving Tip #2
Snowstorms come up quick, especially in Minnesota. There are some areas of the state where it seems like they come out of nowhere, and then there’s whiteout or low visibility. Slowing down is a good idea during these times, but with a large vehicle, it’s best to get off the highway as soon as possible and try again when the snow has cleared. We’re responsible for other people on the road as well, and it’s better to be late than dead.
Winter Driving Tip #3
Although it’s uncommon with trucks, breakdowns are always a possibility and preparation needs to be made for cold weather. There should be supplies in your truck for these kinds of emergencies, just like you have in your car: a heat source, food, water, flares, a charged burner cell phone, and other necessities to keep in your cab the same way you should be keeping one in your trunk. Freezing temperatures can very swiftly cause hypothermia. Your life and health are of the utmost importance.
Winter driving is always a challenge, no matter the type of vehicle. Truckers face even more difficulties because of the nature of their work and the size of the vehicles they drive. Remember to take a few precautions and you’ll have a safe and profitable winter. Learn how to stay safe on the road by enrolling in one of our CDL programs! Contact us at Heavy Metal Truck Training to register today for our next class! 651-528-8994