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8 Key Winter Weather Truck Driving Tips

8 Key Winter Weather Truck Driving Tips

 

Driving in winter comes with its share of problems for automobile owners, especially truck drivers. The enormous bodied motor vehicle used to lorry cargo becomes relatively tricky to handle when compared to its smaller counterparts, mainly because of lack of traction on snowy and icy roads. The problem persists from starting, stopping and manoeuvring to even when applying brakes on slippery roads. Poor visibility too is an obstacle for them as the foggy days and nights make it difficult to see around, thereby increasing the chances of collisions and accidents.

 

As India too is experiencing an unusually long wintertime this year, here are 8 tips for truck driving in the winter weather-


1. Pre-Trip Inspection

Pre-inspection is the first step for all professional drivers, particularly in the cold weather. Every vehicle that steps out for a trip should be fully inspected before the route. The examination should include checking the tire pressure, engine oil, wiper blades, battery, fluids, and lights.

 

2. Slow Down

 

 

As winter roads are slick, drivers should slow down and alter pace according to the road conditions. This might take them more time to reach the destination, but it will also allow them to react if things go wrong. So, go easy on the accelerator in the cold season.

 

3. Use extra caution on bridges

During a snowy night, elevated structures like bridges and highway overpasses, usually freeze first. These raised constructions might not always be treated with salt or sand to melt the snow, which may cause trucks to spin or lose control. Moreover, black ice conditions also make the roads dangerously slippery and often found on bridges, so stay observant and careful.

 

Recommended: 7 Ways To Make An Old Truck More Fuel-Efficient 

 

4. Attention to the tires

During winters, it is vital to check the condition of the tires before hitting the road. Worn tires have a higher chance of slipping and sliding in slushy and icy winter conditions, so it is essential to check the tire pressure. It is also said for every 10°F decline in the temperature the pressure drops by 1 to 2 lbs thus drive mindfully. Additionally, inflate the tires to the recommended level before starting the trip and invest in winter or all-season tires as they maintain a better grip in slippery situations.

 

5. Be vigilant when entering and leaving the truck

This may seem like a safety tip for all-weather, but in winters mainly, the driver should gauge how slippery the vehicle steps and road maybe and accordingly step in and out of the truck. Furthermore, go slow and wear all protective gears, i.e. snow boots or those with a good grip to reduce any chance of skidding and injury.

 

6. Give Extra Space

 

 

As much as slowing down is essential, so is maintaining an apt distance between two carriers. In fact, it is said that the stopping distance on an icy road should be as much as ten times than that of average halting distance. So, keep enough gap between two trucks and anything in front of it to give you enough time to respond. Also, try not to pass the lane and or any other vehicles unless necessary.

 

7. Stock emergency supplies

Winter weather is unpredictable and can get unfavourable anytime, so be prepared for the worst, and keep the truck filled with emergency supplies like a first aid kit, flashlight, a blanket, ice scraper, shovel, extra pair of warm clothes, etc. It is also essential to keep a stock of non-perishable food items like nuts–pistachios, almonds, cashews, energy bars, ready-to-eat food and water.

 

Must Read: 8 Common Checks That Are Overlooked During An Inspection Of A Long Haul Trip 

 

8. When in doubt, pullover

If the weather condition becomes too severe to drive, it is advisable to stop immediately. Don’t think about the schedule and find a safe way to get off the road. Also, start again only if the climate gets better, and there is enough visibility and less slipperiness to drive.

 

Though the above winter driving safety tips might seem simple, but if not followed, they may cause truck drivers to lose control and result in an accident. Remember, winter road conditions are tricky and not consistently favourable so be more alert, avoid any distractions, grip the steering wheel firmly and maintain control of the speed. Drive slow and stay safe!

 

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