We are in the midst of winter, meaning a snowstorm can happen anytime. Harsh seasonal driving conditions pose lots of hazards, even for experienced drivers. That’s why it’s vital to pack proper tools and gear and to ensure safe driving habits are put to good use behind the wheel.
Driving a truck throughout the year requires alertness and diligence, but knowing how to handle a heavy load in winter conditions is another level of skill. Depending on where you are traveling, you may encounter whiteouts, slush, ice, or snow, and those conditions can change rapidly. Let’s go over some of the dangers of truck driving in cold weather.
Extremely Cold Temperatures
When temperatures dip below freezing, semi-tractors struggle to start. These massive machines aren’t built to haul thousands of pounds of freight under these conditions so getting them to do so can be difficult. Oil has difficulty circulating when it’s cold, putting pressure on the oil pump, and making the truck sluggish and harder to start. Truckers can be hesitant to run lanes in these regions because of the heightened potential for mechanical issues and wasted hours of service that these conditions bring.
During winter driving, an important safety tip for truck drivers is to keep the fuel tank full. This simple step ensures you won’t run out of fuel in cold weather and directly impacts traction. A full fuel tank adds weight to the truck, which improves traction on icy and slippery roadways. The additional weight provides stability and helps the tires maintain better contact with the road surface. In conjunction with a full fuel tank, having good-quality lug tires and proper tire pressure is crucial. Proper tire pressure is essential to maximize the tire’s contact with the road, ensuring better grip and handling.
Maintaining proper tire pressure is crucial for heavy-duty truck driving in winter conditions. Frigid weather causes tire pressure to drop, reducing traction and handling. Regularly checking tire pressure and ensuring it is at the recommended level is essential to maximize grip on slippery roads.
In addition to proper tire pressure, using tire chains effectively is crucial for safe winter driving. Tire chains provide extra traction on icy roads, improving stability and control. However, improper use of tire chains can cause significant damage to tires and roads. Following the manufacturer’s instructions for installing and removing tire chains is important.
Baltimore Freightliner-Western Star for all Your Trucking Needs!
Whether you are looking to upgrade your fleet to tow trucks or are simply interested in the latest trucking technology, you can rely on Baltimore Freightliner-Western Star. We have provided top-notch service for the trucking industry for 30 years and would love to assist you in buying a new top-of-the-line truck, finding the specialty parts you need, or repairing your truck. Give us a call toll-free at 800-832-7278 or locally at 410-685-4474, or contact us online. To find out more about what we are up to, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.