6 Ways for Minnesota truck drivers to stay safe this season
Over the last few weeks we have seen temperatures drop dramatically with ice and snow beginning to cover the ground. Ready or not, this signals the beginning of the winter driving season. Now more than ever, it is important to have driving safety tips and techniques at the forefront of your mind. Winter conditions are tricky for regular commuters, and typical issues like snow and ice become even more deadly in a big rig truck. Bay & Bay Transportation has compiled a list of reminders and tips to make sure you are prepared for winter driving and all the extra work that accompanies it.
1. Stock up on winter supplies
This applies to both the driver and the truck. Make sure you have winter gear for every occasion, such as heavy boots, hats, gloves, and extra blankets. When it comes to the truck, carry extra washer fluid and plenty of anti-gel for your diesel engine. Carrying your own supplies in sufficient quantities instead of depending on the next rest stop to have some in stock will be your saving grace in the middle of a blizzard. Also, be sure to have and wear reflective clothing and items should you ever need to exit your truck during a storm.
2. Inspect before you leave
Double check not only your truck, but the weather as well. Be sure that all of your product is properly secured and won’t shift; it could be the difference between steering out of a slide or completely losing control in icy conditions. Drive your truck with gentle movements to prevent unexpected shifting. Always remember to check the weather as well. Those clear skies may quickly become stormy and produce blizzard conditions, especially in the northern and mountain states.
3. Iced windshields = iced roads
An important step to driving safely in the winter is to be aware of your surroundings. If your windshield is beginning to ice over, be extra cautious and aware of slippery spots on the road. In particular, be extra vigilant for black ice, a type of hazard that just looks like water on the road. Black ice is one of the most deadly winter driving challenges a driver can face.
4. Use common sense
Some winter driving tips for regular commuters apply to truck drivers as well. Always keep your lights on. Do not use the cruise control, especially when you know there is a risk of icy conditions. Leave two or three times the typical distance between you and the car in front of you.
5. Plan ahead
Know potential stopping points along your route, such as rest areas which are open year-round and truck stops where you can stop and wait-out nasty winter weather. Use your CB radio to check with other drivers in the area about road conditions and potential accidents ahead. It never hurts to get the advice of a driver more seasoned than you while navigating the wintery roads.
6. Most importantly of all, always wear your seat belt.
Bay & Bay Transportation loves the ambition that our drivers have while out on the road, even during the harsh winter driving season. However, no load is worth your life. If weather conditions have become extreme and driving is no longer safe, please pull over. We would rather you log a few extra hours than risk your life. To all truck drivers, we hope you stay safe out there on the roads this winter.