The winter months can be challenging for anyone who makes a living on the road. It is often dangerous, time consuming, and frustrating for even the most experienced drivers. So, here are some suggestions to help you complete your runs safely and efficiently with a minimum amount of stress.
Before you hit the road
You should always inspect your truck before you start out. But it’s even more critical in inclement weather. Pay particular attention to these items:
- The defroster and heater are working properly
- All of your exterior lights are clear of snow or ice. (Check them each time you stop during your trip)
- Your tires have good tread and the recommended pressure
- You have a full tank of fuel (Try not to let it get below half while you’re driving)
Check the weather and road conditions before you leave, and make sure you have the apps and other resources to receive up-to-date weather reports as you drive. Make sure you charge your phone and bring along the charger. Check out your CB radio to confirm it’s in good working condition. You might have to rely on either or both of these in an emergency or if you are stranded.
Be prepared for problems on the road
Since your diesel fuel wants to solidify in frigid temperatures, take along anti-gel treatment to keep the fuel flowing. Seasoned drivers claim that the gel is one of the most important items to have along during winter.
Take along some non-clumping kitty litter to help you get traction if you’re stuck. And don’t forget an extra bottle or two of wiper fluid with a particular de-icing formula if you can get it. The fluid helps to melt the ice on your windshield and keeps it from accumulating and hindering your vision.
Bring along a set of tire chains and make sure you know how to put them on before you leave. On-the-job learning is great unless it’s happening in the middle of an ice storm. Tire chains may be required on some roads, so this is one thing you don’t want to leave behind.
Don’t forget those items that could turn out to be critical if you’re stuck or have to make a repair. Waterproof gloves, a flashlight, boots, a warm jacket, and rain gear should be with you during every winter trip.
Winter driving tips
Take it easy! Rushing in snowy conditions is not a recommended way of arriving safely at your destination. Even if you’re under pressure to deliver by a designated time, it makes sense to take it slow and steady when the conditions are shaky.
Leave more stopping distance between you and the vehicles in front of you. Accelerate and brake carefully. Be especially cautious around non-professional drivers; they don’t have the same training and experience as truckers, and they might not be making the best decisions when they panic in slippery conditions.
Get more helpful advice
For more information on winter driving, contact an expert at Contracted Drivers Services today.