Winter is almost here and driving a truck is not for the faint hearted. It needs a person of character, strength and prime physical fitness to sit behind the steering wheel of an 18 wheeler.
Driving a truck during winter weather can be a real challenge. It needs 100% alertness, courage, experience and above all professionalism. This is because, it is not only your life that is at stake, but so many other drivers and passengers on the road.
Prior to getting on the road especially during winter, it would be appropriate to call upon your experience and professionalism as a truck driver to ensure that you reach your destination safely.
You want to be satisfied that in no way has your actions been responsible for the unfortunate actions of others on the road. You are the professional driver. Others on the road with you may not be displaying the kind of professionalism expected from you.
So, here are a few tips to help you.
Check the weather conditions
Prior to starting your trip, it is important that you check with the relevant authorities, radio and weather reports, so that you know what sort of weather you could expect between your departure point and destination.
Check your truck
A thorough check of your truck should be executed by none other than yourself. This is because you will be the one behind the steering wheel with the responsibility to reach your intended destination safely.
Every documentation and accessories (like chains) you would need to keep your truck within the laws of the State and safely on the road should be with you without any wanting.
Keep your truck clean and visible.
Windows, mirrors, headlights and rear lights should all be well cleaned and in perfect working order. Because with visibility down in winter, it is not only you who should be able to see the road ahead, but other drivers should be able to see you too.
Also, keep in mind that driving with your lights on even during the day time, helps others see you.
Wear appropriate clothing.
Carry appropriate clothing that you would require if you have to stay an extended period of time on the road between the two points of your intended trip. It is not unusual for emergencies that lead to road closures to occur during the winter.
Keep your fuel tank full.
Try to keep your fuel tank filled up as much as possible. This will help to ensure that if you get stranded on the road due to an emergency, you will have enough fuel to keep your engine running to provide you with the heat to keep you warm.
Also, Keep a good supply of water, beverages and snacks in your truck for such emergencies.
Driving on slippery roads
Driving on slippery roads requires defensive slow driving and careful maneuvering.
Keep your truck in the right slow lane.
Drive without making sudden lane changes or quick braking stops.
Keep a very safe distance between you and the vehicles in front of you.
Driving at a moderate speed will make you a safe driver and get you to your destination safe and sound.