Winter Trucking Advice for New Operators

Winter is a dangerous time for drivers. Even if it’s not actively snowing, temperatures are cold and ice abounds. All it takes is one oversite or wrong maneuver to send a vehicle spinning into another. When you’re driving an 18-wheel truck and trailer, the results of a winter accident can be truly devastating.

That’s why it’s crucial for truck operators to exercise the highest caution possible during the winter months.

If you’re new to the truck driving industry, or you’re considering joining, here’s some advice from the pros to get you through those long winter months.

Preparation is Key 

Every vehicle on the road in northern states should have supplies packed for winter, especially semi-trucks. You never know when you may have to pull over due to weather. Or worse, you could go off the road and be stuck until help can reach you.

During the winter months, regardless of what the forecast says, your truck should always have:

  • Winter clothing (boots, gloves, a coat, wool socks, etc.)
  • Food and water
  • Blankets
  • A flashlight
  • Hand and feet warmers

Items like jumper cables and flares should be in your truck year-round, but they’re especially important in the winter. Lastly, you should always try to keep your gas tank above half-full.

Always Look for Black Ice 

If the weather is below 35 degrees, there’s a chance for black ice. If you haven’t experienced black ice before, consider yourself lucky. These icy patches are almost invisible, yet they can instantly send you spinning.

Black ice is most common from sunset to the early hours of the morning. It’s also more common in shadows, on bridges, and around overpasses. If the road is suddenly looking a little glossier, it’s probably black ice. If a road looks wet, but you don’t see water spraying up from the tires of other cars, you’re likely on ice.

Slow down, keep both hands on the wheel, and be careful.

Keep Your Distance 

Truck drivers should already be used to keeping a safe distance from other vehicles. When there’s snow and ice on the ground, however, that distance should increase even further. Even if you’re driving safely, the person ahead of you could lose control, forcing you to react quickly.

Be Willing to Not Drive 

As a new driver, you want to make a good impression and make sure you reach your destinations on time, if not earlier. While punctuality is certainly a big part of a driver’s job, so is safety. If you feel road conditions are unsafe to operate on, wait until they improve.

Remember, getting into an accident will not only delay you further, but it could result in the injury or death of yourself or another driver. It’s simply not worth the risk.

Ready to Get Started? 

If you haven’t lined up a consistent trucking job yet, or you’re unsatisfied with your current one, Woodruff Enterprises currently has openings for truck driving jobs in the Charlotte area. We offer consistent mileage, quality at-home time, state-of-the art-equipment, and more for both part-time and full-time operators.

Click here to get started.

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