Trucking Life

The #13 Winter Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

Winter Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

If you are a truck driver, you may need to drive in winter, So you have to know winter driving tips for truck drivers to help you stay safe when driving on the roads in winter.

Trucking in winter can be dangerous and demands specific skills in order to be able to safely reach your destination, and get your transportation delivered.

While driving in adverse weather conditions, it is important to continue protecting fleet operations. Even when the holiday season is over, the short, cold days will continue.

Winter Driving Tips for Truck Drivers:

To help you stay safe when driving on the roads in winter you have to follow these tips:

1. Don’t harry:

Most accidents occur because drivers are driving too fast on the road.

If you traveled on the maximum limited speed it may be legal, Driving at the speed limit may be legal, but compared to the situation (snow-covered or icy road) then you need to slow down.

You need to take into consideration that speed kills. This rule should be at the top of any winter driving tips for truck drivers list.

2. Give yourself some extra space:

The stopping distance on a wet road is twice the normal stopping distance, while on icy roads, it’s almost 10 times.

So, leave plenty of room between your truck and the vehicle in front of you so that you have enough space to move out of harm’s way in case of unpredictable situations.

It’s always good to put extra space between yourself and some of the terrible drivers you might meet during the winter months.

3. Don’t act beyond the limits of your truck:

It is necessary to know what your equipment can handle because you need to act within your truck’s ability, which is one of the best ways to stay safe.

4. Carry a hammer and putty knife:

Air tanks can freeze up quickly. You can carry a hammer and putty knife with you.

If you are driving in excessive amounts of snow, you need to get under the truck and make sure there is no snow or ice packed up on your air tanks.

You may think that the heat coming from your motor or the air in your tanks can melt the snow, which is wrong.  When the snow melts it is going to turn into ice from the cold metal below it.

5. Pay attention to the tire spray:

This is one of the most important winter driving tips for truck drivers. Observing the water coming off the tires of the truck seems to be a good way to evaluate the road condition.

The road will be wet if there’s a lot of water being sprayed, but if the tire spray is low, it means that the road has started to freeze and you need to be aware.

6. Turn on the lights:

Inclement weather always means low visibility. Therefore, turn on the low-beam headlights and the front and rear fog lights as required.

Other drivers can see you better and maintain safe distances from your vehicle.

7. Check your truck tail-lights :

Having your taillights and license plate visible to drivers in your back is one of the most important winter driving tips for truck drivers.

Every time you stop after driving in snowy weather, take look at your taillights and license plate. You need to be sure they clean and visible, as winds may cause them to be covered with snow.

In addition, when you are able to stop in a safe place, clean the lights of your truck and trailer from snow and ice.

8. Keep a safe driving distance:

In bad weather conditions, you need to stay back from the vehicle ahead at all times.

Follow the two-second rule by which you as a driver may maintain a safe trailing distance at any speed.

The rule is that you should stay at least two seconds behind any vehicle that is directly in front of your vehicle

9. Be wise:

When you find the weather is so severe that you need not drive on the road, then you need to recognize that it’s very dangerous to be out there.

Find a place to get off the road safely and wait until conditions get better, then go ahead with your journey.

10. Pay your attention to braking:

Remember that at the time when the truck slows down, the trailer does not. This is totally occurring when the trailer is empty.

Try not to overuse your foot brake, unless both your truck and trailer are straight on the road. Don’t over brake when the truck isn’t straight. Your truck as well as the trailer may slide and things may be out of control.

If you are using air brakes in the winter, then you need to keep the system dry and the pressure increased. Be certain to keep more stopping distance when driving on wet roads than you would keep when driving on dry roads.

Be certain that the minimum operating pressure is no less than 100 psi for a truck with an air-brake system.

11. Check your truck before travelling:

Before you travel on the road, you need to make certain checks for your truck to ensure that you will drive safely on the road. Here is the following list with checks you should do:

  • Check that the defroster and heater are working properly.
  • Make sure that taillights and license plate are visible.
  • Check wipers and wiper motor.
  • Be certain windows and mirrors are clean before traveling.
  • Check brakes.
  • Be sure washer fluid is topped up.
  • Check lights.
  • Make sure that the air tanks have no moisture.

12. Maintain topped up fuel tanks:

When you keep the fuel tanks full, this provides the truck tires with extra weight which increases the traction.

Good quality lug tires, with the proper tire pressure, are important for good traction for safe winter truck driving.

13. Watch out for bridges:

Bridges, highway overpasses, and other elevated surfaces freeze faster than the regular road. They also may not be salted.

Use caution when approaching bridges to avoid spinning out of control on black ice.

What are Winter Driving Essentials for Truck Drivers on the Road?

In order to adapt driving your truck in winter, here are some winter driving essentials that you should carry with you:

  • Warm clothing, winter jacket, hat, lined gloves.
  • Lined waterproof, winter boots
  • Extra blankets.
  • Cell phone and charger, and keep your phone charged.
  • Food and water.
  • First aid kit.
  • Fuel conditioner.
  • Methyl hydrates (for fuel & airlines).
  • Windshield washer fluid.
  • Tire pressure gauge.

Driving According to the Winter Road Conditions.

Because safety always takes number one priority, be certain that you are following winter driving tips for truck drivers for your safety and to keep others on the road safe.

Remember that you are the captain of your truck, and you make all the decisions.

When weather or road conditions and visibility are poor use good judgment always. It is ok to be off-road rather than to put yourself, your truck, and trailer at risk.

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