In the South, the winter weather isn’t too much to fear. But in the Northern states winter can last longer than we wish. Trip planning is the key to safe and stress free winter truck driving.
Take notes on where the chain up and chain off places are. Build a library of safe places to park so you have alternatives when your planned stop does not pan out.
A big part of trip planning in the winter is making sure you have the proper equipment.
Be prepared and have the right equipment for the job (and the weather).
Items you should make sure you have:
- Chains – make sure you have enough and have the right size!
- Cam Lock T-handles
- Good, waterproof gloves
- Reflective vest
- Kneeling pad
- Boots with good traction
- Hats, gloves, scarves – whatever you need to keep you warm
- Extra warm bedding
Equipment for the Truck
- Extra Washer Fluid
- Anti-gel, Anti-gel, Anti-gel
A proper Pre-Trip Inspection should be done rain or shine, but it becomes even more important in the winter. Make sure all lights work because half of them will be covered in road grime after 50 miles in the snow. Drain air from both the truck’s tanks and the trailer’s. Condensation in the air lines is the #1 cause of frozen brakes. Having a flat tire can be catastrophic. A breakdown on the truck in sub-zero temperatures quickly turns into a life threatening situation.
Check your equipment while en route – especially before going into the storm. Also, do not forget to stop after going through a patch of bad weather to knock the snow and ice off the mud flaps, ICC bumper, chain hangers, etc.
Remember, when the weather is bad, you may not be able to call for help. Be prepared to get yourself out of any situation.