Winter Weather Readiness Tips for Truck Drivers

Driving in Adverse Weather Conditions

“I like the cold weather. It means you get work done.”
– Noam Chomsky

Trucking is an industry where the work always gets done, no matter the challenges – and there are many challenges. Staying on top of new legislation and regulation, monitoring new technologies and their benefits, and creating a company culture that attracts the best talent at all levels are just of few of the things leaders in transportation know to expect and can manage. Winter weather, however, is a factor teams can prepare for, but no one can control.

Safety and Winter Weather Conditions

Creating, implementing and maintaining a culture of safety is a pivotal core value for any transportation company. Employee training focused on the best practices for driving in winter weather conditions is an important part of that culture. Incidents of weather-related accidents involving large trucks increased greatly between 2012 and 2014, causing many leaders to reevaluate how to make the roads safer for everyone.

North America has experienced numerous severe weather events since the beginning of this year, including new record-cold days and even the first snow in 28 years in Tallahassee, FL! The cold weather continues and with it, a need to focus on cold weather preparedness for truck drivers.

Below are tips to keep drivers safe in extreme weather conditions.

Winter Weather Tips for Truck Drivers

  • Check weather apps and sign up for alerts

    Traveling long distances is a literal “day at the office” for truck drivers. Weather conditions can change dramatically over great distances. Starting with the end in mind is perfect for these occasions, as a trip can originate in mild temperatures but end in harsh winter weather. By planning ahead, drivers can choose better routes and determine the best locations to refuel and rest.

  • Perform pre-trip inspections

    Preparation is the key to success. Performing a pre-trip inspection is a vital best practice for truck drivers. When the practice becomes second nature it can be tempting to forego, but the routine is an essential safety step for every trip.

  • Treat traffic with care

    Wintry weather is a challenge for everyone on the road; truck drivers must exercise additional caution navigating slick road conditions. Maintaining a safe following distance is always important, but in winter weather it is paramount. Also, following traffic signs, like detours, ensures trucks are traveling along the best paths for the conditions.

  • Stay on track

    Traction is necessary to keep drivers moving forward safely. Patience and extra caution must be exhibited to start, accelerate and stop on wet or icy surfaces. Drivers have to be willing to travel at much slower speeds, to ensure better traction.

  • Keep windows clear and maintain a watchful eye

    There are various steps that can improve driver visibility in extreme weather conditions. Keeping all windows, mirrors and reflectors cleared of snow, ice or excessive dirt is essential, as is making sure all lights are working. Again, the pre-trip inspection is vital to this process. Use the cabin’s AC to keep windows defrosted and maintain a safe temperature, protecting both driver and fuel. And while navigating icy roads, especially on bridges and overpasses, remember to watch for snow drifts, which could have small vehicles or structures underneath.

To obtain more tips from industry experts and prepare a truly world-class fleet, click here to learn more about the Infinit-I Workforce System for Trucking.