This year has been wilder than anyone could’ve imagined. So many people are staying home to help slow the spread of COVID-19. With the virus around, individuals are worried we may be in for a rough winter. Still, truck drivers will definitely experience the worst of it. Unlike other people who can sit on their couches watching Netflix, truck drivers have to get out and complete their routes. Luckily, there are some essential winter driving strategies for truckers who are behind the wheel, come rain or shine.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Speeding is never smart. However, going over the speed limit is especially unadvisable when the weather is less than ideal. Snow and ice weaken your tire tread. Consequently, it could be more difficult for you to stop at a moment’s notice. So, remember the old nursery rhyme—slow and steady wins the race. Hopefully, employers will understand if deliveries are later than expected due to hazardous weather conditions.
Stay Apart, Not Just 6 Feet Apart
Social distancing has become a part of everyone’s vocabulary this year. Try to keep this in mind while driving, too—not only because of COVID-19, but also for road safety. The closer you are to other vehicles, the more likely it is that you’ll get into an accident. Also, as previously mentioned, your tires may not have as much tread if there’s snow on the ground. As a result, it’s a good idea to stay a car’s length apart from other riders on the road, so no sliding occurs.
Check Out the Engine
Another essential winter driving strategy for truckers is to perform preventative maintenance before they hit the road. Of all people, truck drivers know how brutal wintertime can be. Also, truckers drive great lengths to deliver peoples’ packages. Since they’re driving so far in adverse conditions, they better make sure their engine is in tip-top shape before they complete their routes. After all, no one wants to be stuck on the side of the road freezing cold weather. Here are some preventative maintenance tips drivers can do to prevent this from happening:
- Diesel engines sometimes have trouble starting in the winter because they use glow plugs for combustion. Drivers must ensure these glow plugs are always working so that their truck starts as it should.
- Tires can become especially damaged during the wintertime because of the ice and snow on the ground. It might be wise to pump the tires more frequently, so drivers don’t get a flat.
- Truckers need heat more than any other drivers on the road since they travel long distances. Consequently, they should check their heating systems, so they don’t have to bundle up with a blanket while they’re behind the wheel.
The Importance of Keeping a Light Load
Like humans, trucks have to work extra hard to operate efficiently in the winter. No one would try and walk up a hill with a twenty-pound backpack in the winter. So, it’s unfair for people to expect these extremes from their trucks. Luckily, there is a simple solution to this issue—keep loads light. Individuals shouldn’t put too much strain on their trucks in the wintertime because additional weight causes them to burn more fuel, and it’s not good for the tires. If a driver runs out of gas, they could be in danger when the truck stops.
Trucking fleet managers may worry about keeping loads light because that means not putting as many items on the truck. However, supervisors must prioritize their drivers’ safety. One way employers can make up for the lighter loads is by hiring more seasonal workers. Lots of individuals search for work over the holidays. So, rather than jam-packing a truck and compromising someone’s safety, bosses might think about adding on more staff to carry the weight.
Clean Every Square Inch
No one likes to see their vehicle covered in snow when they walk out the doors. Still, this is sometimes unavoidable. The worst thing a driver could do is ignore the snow on their trucks and drive away. Instead, staff members must clean off their rides before starting their routes. Vision is everything when driving through the snow. People should do everything in their power to ensure there are clear sights ahead. Mother Nature will already make things blurry enough. As a result, truckers must clean their windows, mirrors, and doors, so things are picture-perfect.
Drivers should clean the insides of their trucks because there could be issues going on under the hood. Truckers might consider getting more frequent oil changes in the wintertime so that parts are more lubricated. Also, the loading portion of the truck should be dry and snow-free so that truck drivers don’t slip while delivering a package.
Pull Over When Necessary
The final step to ensuring that truckers stay safe while driving this winter is to pull over when necessary. No delivery is worth a substantial injury. Employees should pull over and wait out any storm that’s too challenging to drive through. Again, here is where employer compassion comes into play. Every business leader knows that the holidays are the busiest time of the year. Though, increased orders are no excuse for putting someone’s safety in jeopardy. Every boss should listen to every employee who thinks they should pull over—don’t ignore their pleas. Sometimes, this kind of neglect can be tragic.
All of us owe a great debt to this nation’s truck drivers. These professionals have been on the frontlines since the pandemic started, and they’ll stay there to make sure we get our holiday packages. Hopefully, performing preventative maintenance and keeping things clean will minimize the likelihood of accidents. Still, anyone who does run into problems should call ATL Diesel right away. We have excellent diesel engine parts for sale at a reasonable cost. We understand how costly it can be to run a trucking fleet. So, we sell remanufactured parts for a fraction of the cost, so that drivers can get back on the road quicker. After all, it’s the holidays, and we want to do our part to ensure everyone’s home with their families this season.