Winter Weather Driving. Truck Trekking Advice for and from Semi-Trucks Drivers
Winter. You have to love the snow, ice, cold weather, and grey skies…right? WRONG! For a truck driver wintery weather is the most dangerous driving condition of all. The knowledge and ability of proper safety when attempting to trek, maneuver, drive and navigate through ice, snow, wintery mix and other poor conditions is what separates a good truck driver from a superb one.
As tempting as it can be to stay in a pack, avoid this when the conditions are poor to allow a safe distance between vehicles. If you do need to travel in a pack, make sure to keep a safe driving distance between vehicles. If the leader makes an error, you will too.
Some states have now made it illegal to stop on the side of the road, however if this is still legal in the state you are driving in, avoid it anyway. Snow, rain and poor visibility can cause other drivers to mistake your vehicle as being on the road. In actuality you are indeed pulled over, which causes them to slam into the back of your rig.
Do not, we repeat NOT, engage the Jake brake on icy roads and don’t overuse your foot break. Unless your entire truck is straight, don’t break! What will happen is your truck will slow down but the trailer will not, causing you to spin out of your position due to a sliding trailer. Stand by this rule, even if your trailer is empty.
Keep your tank filled, and not for the obvious reasons of avoiding running out of gas. To aid with traction you will want a full tank as it located above the drive tires. Any bit of traction on snow and ice is going to help you stay safe and the added weight will assist with that.
The most important safety tip is DRIVE SLOW! While the driving at the speed limit may be legal, it’s often too fast for roads covered in wintery mixes of ice and snow. Speed is the number one factor when it comes to accidents occurring in wintery weather so be patient, drive slowly, and be safe.
The only way to truly be prepared is to be prepared for the worst. Ensure your vehicle has the supplies for driving in all weather conditions and keep your truck and trailer lights clean so others can see you. Use your common sense and best judgment when driving in poor conditions or when determining when it’s not safe to drive. Safety should always be your number one concern.