Winter brings snow, rain, sleet, and frigid temperatures. These weather conditions can make it challenging for new truckers to perform safely on the road. About 500,000 annual police-reported crashes involve trucks, and approximately 25% occur on slushy, snowy, or icy roads. Avoid truck crashes by implementing these five clever safety tips for new truckers this winter holiday season.
1. Winterize Your Truck
Have your truck serviced for routine maintenance before the winter weather hits. Check tire pressure and switch to winter/snow tires, check the batter, install the new window, change the air filter, change the oil, and wash your truck to ensure nothing obstructs your view of the roadway.
Conduct a thorough brake inspection, as it can take about ten times longer to stop a truck on a snowy/icy road. Verify that the brake pads, steering, and brake discs are all working correctly on your truck before the bad weather hits.
2. Watch for Hazards
Trucking in winter can be hazardous. That’s why you should watch for the following:
Use your lights to slow down in the thick, heavy fog that limits visibility. You can also use your demisters and wipers to keep windscreens as clear as possible.
Watch for clues that black ice might be on the road in freezing temperatures. Black ice is a dangerous road condition that presents itself as a thin layer of transparent ice that makes the road look slightly wet.
Slowing down is advisable, especially when you’re struggling to see the road ahead due to heavy falls. Keep a good distance between you and the vehicles in front of you, and beware of aquaplaning if tires lose traction. Hold the steering wheel straight if your truck starts aquaplaning, and gently ease off the gas. Avoid also hitting your brakes until you regain control.
Elevated structures, like bridges, usually freeze first and aren’t always treated with sand/salt to melt the ice or snow. During winter, approach these parts carefully to avoid losing control or spinning out.
3. Carry Your Emergency Kit
Trucking during the holidays can be full of unexpected breakdowns. That’s why you need an emergency winter kit with food, water, road flares, flashlights, blankets, first aid essentials, etc. These items help keep you safe during an emergency, like being trapped on roads cut off by ice or snow. Include snow chains as well if your truck doesn’t use winter tires.
4. Take Advantage of GPS and Telematics Tracking
GPS and telematics tracking can help you and your truck stays safe in various ways. It can be easy to pinpoint your location for immediate assistance in an emergency or accident. Telematics can also help you reroute if weather conditions on your route turn bad or traffic backs up.
5. Be Cautious When Entering and Leaving Your Truck
This might sound like an obvious point, but it’s common for truck drivers to fall and injure themselves because of how slippery their trucks’ steps are. Wear boots with a good grip to reduce your chances of slipping and injuries. And when visibility is low, remember your high-visibility vest!
Contact a Repair Shop for a Full Truck Inspection and Maintenance
You can’t control the weather. However, you can help prepare for it by routinely inspecting and servicing your truck before winter weather sets in. A truck inspection help catches any safety or mechanical issues early on. At Complete Truck Service, Inc., we take auto repair and maintenance services seriously. We have a qualified, experienced mechanics team, so book your appointment today.
Categorised in: Trucking Tips
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