Though winter doesn't officially start until December 21st, we are surely in the beginnings of the season in Minnesota. Now is the time to get in the habit of proper winter truck driving practices so that you won’t be caught unaware when the next snow storm hits. Follow the tips below from Bay & Bay Transportation for a safe trip and return home.
Plan Your Trip
This should be a common practice, but it is especially important in the winter. Bad weather can hit at any time and you must be prepared. Leave extra time when travelling in case you have to drive through a storm or aftermath of one.
Inspect Your Truck
This should be done before every trip, but there are items to take special note of during the snowy months. Make sure your wiper blades actually clear your windshield instead of just smearing salt and sludge around. Additionally, ensure that your rig is fully stocked up on washer fluid. Some other items to have on hand are anti-gel for your diesel tank and jumper cables.
Know Your Limits
We’re not just talking about speed limits here. If the roads are slushy or a little icy, know how much longer it will take to stop your truck. Don’t let other drivers (truck or commuter) pressure you into maneuvers or speeds that you are uncomfortable with.
Pay Attention to Surroundings
When you head out on the road, there are a few things about your surroundings that can clue you in to road conditions. First of all, an iced windshield means that there are iced roads. Proceed with caution if you find a frosted, iced layer when you get to your truck. When you’re out on the road, the tire spray of the vehicles around you can tell you how conditions are changing. Slushy, wet spray can be inconvenient, but tells you that the temperature is high enough to avoid ice. However, when the roads look wet, but there is little tire spray, it’s time to hunker down because you are probably heading into an area with a lot of black ice.
Planning your trip is just the first step. Weather conditions can change in the blink of an eye. Check The Weather Channel before heading out so you know what you are driving into. Also, you can always call on your fellow truck drivers over the CB radio to get a heads up on conditions. And finally, each state posts up-to-date information about the condition of their roads. Visit the Minnesota 511 website for information about Minnesota road closures and conditions.
Most importantly of all, return safely. At Bay & Bay Transportation, we work to provide our drivers with the best technology and safety practices so they can deliver the load and return home safely. If you are interest in applying for a job with us, please click here to apply online or visit our Driver Opportunities for more information.