Winter is nearly here in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For truck drivers, this means that extra precautions must be taken everyday while out on the road. At Bay & Bay Transportation, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, we put the safety of you and your truck first, above all else. Whether you’re new in your truck driving career or a seasoned veteran of the open road, this is a good time to go over some of the basics of winter semi-truck driving.
It cannot be stressed enough: your pre and post trip inspections are absolutely key to your success in not only winter driving, but also in all of your driving. Checking these important essentials is vital to driving safely in the winter:
- Tire pressure
- Clean windows and mirrors
These are fundamentals that should be checked each time you drive. In winter truck driving, these items are even more critical to your success.
Staying up to date with various state laws for winter driving is also important. For instance, Colorado and Oregon, among others, require chains for your tires while driving in winter conditions. Many states’ websites have their own safety tips for winter driving. For instance, the North Dakota Highway Patrol prepared an online handbook with vital information for truck drivers. Washington State, the Department of Labor and Industries in Washington State, Texas, Maryland and, of course, Minnesota, among many others, all have crucial information for winter truck driving.
Another key factor to remember is your pre-trip preparation. Do you have extra blankets, food, and warm clothing? If you become stranded due to bad winter driving conditions, do you have enough fuel and supplies to last a few days? It’s important to remember to check how road conditions may have evolved over the course of your journey. You don’t want to be caught unprepared for winter road changes. For instance, in November of 2014, truck drivers were forced to spin and fume in the snow with the Interstate closed to commercial traffic in New York State.
As for all vehicles on the road in snow or ice, one rule is necessary and it cannot be overstated: slow down, slow down, and slow down! When you are driving a big rig, you need at least six seconds and 500 feet to stop your truck. In the snow and ice, you are likely to require more room than that. Keeping your speed down and keeping a safe following distance will go a long way to avoid accidents or other serious problems. Always know that in bad weather, the posted speed limit is too fast.
Here at Bay & Bay Transportation, your safety on the road is imperative to the success of our company. We want all of our drivers to stop in and complete the winter driving training course on the simulator. As a truck driver, it is a helpful tool to have this training.
If you do your inspections and necessary preparation for winter driving, serious problems while on the road will be greatly reduced. At Bay & Bay Transportation, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, your safety as a truck driver is the most important element of our company. Together we can have years of success, no matter what winter brings to bear.