How To Drive Your Truck In The Winter?
With the sweet summer weather long gone, and the murky weather of fall slowly passing, winter and heavy snow is almost upon us. Maintenance and safety during winter is critical for both protecting yourself and others on the road. Make sure you don’t skip this and regret it later. Not doing so can bring a lot of misery. Malfunctions, critical failures, breakdowns and of course, the most dangerous, severe injuries. Winter is a very dangerous and trying time for any driver, less so for a veteran, but a danger nonetheless. By following some basic principles, protecting yourself, your truck and trailer, and others on the road will be easier.
Obvious, right? That may be so, but still, paying close attention to current weather can save you from making your way through a heavy snowstorm, where visibility is extremely low, and protecting yourself and others becomes a lot harder. Do yourself a favor, and check if there are any storms in your way before you begin the trip so you can begin to plan any detour that is needed. Take into account that some roads might be closed off during the storm so careful planing is essential.
Making sure that your equipment is up to the challenge can make all the difference in the world. If your brakes fail or engine gives out, that can spell trouble for yourself and your haul. Carrying a winter kit can help greatly if something happens on the road and make sure it is stocked up with all of the essentials like tire chains, traction mats, washer fluid etc.
A lot of the trucking accidents come from overconfident drivers that can lose control of their vehicle because they think they can successfully manage their rig in high speeds. Accelerating, braking and driving a little slower, and making easy and gentle movements can help you gain better control over your vehicle, but don’t get overly complacent! Also giving yourself some more space in your lane can make it easier to react if something goes wrong, both with your own truck or somebody else’s car.
Always make sure your tires are properly “winterized” and that they can take the pressure when driving in harsh winter conditions. Also make sure you stay on top of the current winter tires that are offered and make sure that you don’t skimp out on them. Better safe than sorry!
Protecting your trailer connector from the elements by keeping it lubricated, regularly cleaning it of snow and ice, at the start of the haul, mid-trip, and at the end of the drive. It maybe sound as an insignificant peace of work but don’t be fooled it keeps your trailer well attached to your vehicle.
This is a very dangerous and deceptive piece of ice that forms in shaded spots, bridges and dark overpasses. It is transparent and can appear to be a regular water puddle when the temperature is close to freezing. Black ice is extremely slippery, and if you run into it, you can easily lose control of your rig. If you suspect you are about to run into a patch of black ice, slow down, and drive carefully to avoid any accidents.
This might also seem as an obvious precaution, but focusing only on driving and nothing else – no music, no pets, no eating or smoking – helps you remain focused on the driving and on the watch for any dangerous situations. One of the ways you can significantly focus yourself is by knowing exactly where you are going by using voice assisted GPS units, or any applications or devices that can make your life easier on the road. With that in mind one of the devices you should never forget is a phone charger, because you never know what can happen on the road and you don’t want to find yourself stranded without a way to call for help.