Post Date - Jan 24, 2023
For professional truck drivers, winter driving can be a dangerous proposition. Not only do they have to contend with lower visibility, slippery roads, and high wind gusts, but they must also be mindful of the extra weight their rigs are carrying due to cargo and weather-related equipment such as snow tires. These all make winter driving an especially hazardous time for anyone behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler. But with preparation and proper awareness of changing conditions, truckers can be well equipped to drive safely during the cold winter months ahead. In this blog post we'll look at essential winter safety tips that every professional truck driver should know when tackling the roads in their massive rig during challenging weather.
1. Check your truck. Pre-trip inspections are always key to safe travel but especially so in winter weather. Be sure to check the tire pressure, engine oil, and antifreeze levels thoroughly before you start out. This will help prevent unpleasant surprises down the road!
2. Stock up and keep an emergency kit handy. A well-stocked emergency kit should be kept in your cab at all times during the winter season, particularly when temperatures drop below freezing. Your kit should include items like an ice scraper, a first aid kit, flashers/flares, and a flashlight. Also carry extra gloves and hats, blankets, snacks, and water in case of being stranded for an extended period of time.
3. Make a plan. Before you head out on your next route, check a reliable news source or weather app to get a feel for what’s happening where you’re going. Weather forecasting isn’t always fool proof so make sure you give yourself plenty of time in case you encounter an unexpected storm or weather event.
4. Listen for alerts. Give careful attention to any communication you receive from dispatch regarding weather, traffic, or trip changes. At Boyd Bros., we send fleet messages to warn our drivers of any unusual or unsafe weather conditions.
5. Leave space and take it slow. Do not put yourself and others at risk by attempting to navigate icy roads too quickly or follow too closely behind another vehicle. Leave three times more space than normal between vehicles so that there is enough room for stopping without having an accident due to lack of traction on snow or ice covered roads.
6. Park safely. Winter safety awareness doesn’t stop when you stop! Try to park out of the path of direct wind and keep away from parking lot entrances and other areas that leave you exposed to moving traffic. Often cars and other trucks can slip or slide when entering or leaving the lot, potentially putting you at risk.
7. Pull over if the weather is too severe. If conditions worsen while you’re on the road and your safety is threatened, find a safe way to get off the roadway and wait until the weather improves. For Boyd Bros., nothing is more important than driver safety!
Taking proper precautions can greatly reduce the risk of accidents stemming from unsafe road conditions caused by bad weather. By taking some time to put safety first before heading out on your next run, you can ensure a safe journey both for yourself and those around you on shared roads this winter season.
It’s cold outside but Boyd Bros. has a warm welcome for truck drivers who want a stable, caring career home. Connect with us and learn more about joining the team at Boyd!