Safety Tips for Truck Winter Driving
Tip #1 Ice on your windshield means ice on the road.
The ice doesn’t have to be packed up on the roadway to be dangerous- a thin sheet of ice can develop quickly into a thick problem.
Tip # 2 Keep an eye on the temperature.
Water freezes at 32 degrees. The roadways tend to be slightly warmer than the air temp, but once you’re down that low in temperature, you need to be wary.
Tip # 3 Look for spray coming up from other vehicles.
If spray is coming off the tires, it’s likely that the roads are wet (as opposed to ice covered), but keep in mind that a short stretch of road with ice on it can be just as dangerous as a ice-packed roadway.
Tip # 4 Talk to people.
Make sure your CB radio is on and talk to the drivers around you. If you are a new driver, try to find a seasoned driver who isn’t talking a lot of big talk. We’re all a little nervous out there if we really know what we’re dealing with. You want to find a seasoned driver with a healthy respect for physics to help talk you through it.
Tip # 5 Don’t follow too close.
Traffic tends to bunch up on bad roads–the natural inclination is to follow other drivers. Stay away from four-wheelers. Often they are under the illusion that the roads are safer than they actually are.
Tip # 6 Watch for warning signs.
If there are four-wheelers spun out in the median or shoulder, the roads are bad. If you start seeing big trucks spun out, it’s time to get off the roadway.
Tip # 7 There’s no load worth your life.
If you are on dangerous roadways, your best bet is to find a safe spot to wait it out. Let your logbook gain some hours. If you can’t find a spot in a truck stop, park on a ramp or anywhere out of the way. Try not to park on an incline. You’re liable to get yourself stuck.
Tip # 8 Carry supplies.
In the unfortunate event that you end up stuck, spun out, wrecked, or just sitting in a backup, be sure you have necessities with you. Keep extra blankets, canned food (and a can opener if needed), and water. Be sure you keep your diesel tanks full so you won’t run out.
Tip # 9 Treat your diesel.
Diesel gels when it gets really cold. If your diesel gels, your truck won’t run. If you are facing winter weather conditions, you need to put an anti-gel additive in your tanks (put it in BEFORE you fuel so it mixes). It’s a good idea to stock up ahead of time and/or buy at a Wal-Mart rather than expecting the truck stop to have it in stock. They tend to run out right when you need it–every one else already bought theirs from them