is widely known that driving in snow requires you to poses a particular set of
skills, especially if you are a big rig driver. Most drivers on the highways
fail to adjust their driving skills, when driving in weather conditions that
are poor, such as icy or snow-covered roads.
During the winter period, it is always risky to drive due to poor visibility, the increased unpredictability of the other road users, the stop-time required as well as poor traction. The skills that are needed for driving in snow and other poor driving conditions, can potentially distinct the sound and skilled professional drivers from the others.
The article aims to enlighten you with some of the practical driving tips for truck driving safely in winter conditions, which you can employ when trucking in ice and snow. Peruse through and enhance your knowledge.
Keep your speed in check.
Did you know that most accidents during the winter are as a result of overspeeding? Even though driving at the speed limit is allowed, the speed could be too fast for roads covered with snow and ice. While the overland shipping sector heavily depends on speed so as to access essential goods from place to place, drivers should always moderate their speed. During this period, low visibility and high winds can significantly impact on your stability, hence preventing you from seeing hazards and obstacles on or near the roadside.
Observe a safe following distance.
You should always leave plenty of space between your truck and the vehicle in front of you, besides your car as much as possible. The recommended approximate distance should be a quarter of a mile.
Never travel as part of a pack.
In most instances, traffic seems to move as packs on the highway. For you to enhance your safety, you should always try and find a way of getting out from the pack and travel on your own, with the objective of maximizing the distance around your truck. Why is this important? If the driver ahead of you or at the back makes an error, you are likely to be involved in it too.
Don’t pack your truck on the shoulder of the road.
During conditions of very low visibility, such as driving in snow, it is hazardous to stop on the roadside. Other vehicles might mistake your position for being on the main road, slamming into your truck as a result.
Chains and snow tires.
Most states, especially those in the mountainous regions, such as a part of the U.S. west of the Rocky Mountains, have certain areas where the use of chains and snow tires are mandatory. Failure to observe such laws can lead to expensive fines and blights on your record as a driver. The use of chains and snow tires are meant to add traction and prevent the truck from slipping on icy pavements, as well as making both slowing and stopping less dangerous.
For your braking operations, you should depend heavily on the jake brake. Try to avoid overlying on the foot brake, unless the whole unit is straight on the highway. If you over break when the vehicle is not straight, it might slide, spin out of position, leading to accidents.
Ensure that your systems are in excellent condition.
Carry out, a visual, hands-on inspection and examine all the essential items including wiper blades, the meal stop locations, the chart fuel, the tires and the overall condition of your truck. Additionally, ensure that the heater and the defroster are functioning properly, the washer liquid is topped up, the mirrors and the windows are clean before your departure.
Your fuel tank must be adequately topped up.
This is crucial, as it exerts an extra weight over the drive tires, so as to help during traction. Also, High-quality lug tires, with enough tire pressure, are required for good traction and driving in conditions with ice and snow.
Keep an eye on the black ice.
Black ice is a hazardous road condition. It is usually a thin layer of transparent ice which forms when the temperature drops closer to freezing and makes the way seem slightly wet. The condition is quite difficult to spot, but you can check if there are any ice build ups on your truck mirror arms, the top corners of the windshield or on the antennas.
Ensure that both the trailer and tractor lights are clean.
If you can stop in a safe place, you should remove the snow and ice which accumulates on the LED lights. This can derail your visibility further, putting you in danger of being involved in a crash. Keep everything clear, so that you may be seen.
Include winter driving essentials.
Apart from having the necessary roadside emergency kit for safe trucking, you must have the following:
• Fuel filters.
• Warm clothing and an extra pair of boots.
• Adequate food and water.
• Tire chains.
• Methyl hydrate.
• Fuel conditioner.
Great trucking tips for snow drivers.
2. A smart truck driver is often prepared for adverse weather conditions. His truck must be equipped with necessary items and outfitted for every type of driving condition.
1. A wise trucker usually uses common sense for the best judgment.
These are the things which will keep you safe as a trucker!