Trucking in Inclement Weather: Tips and Tricks
Wondering if trucking in inclement weather can be done safely? Check out our tips and tricks for making your route more secure.
Truck driving is a crucial part of our economy and way of life, but it is also a profession that comes with its own set of unique challenges and dangers. One of the most prominent of these challenges is trucking in inclement weather. This brief article will share some specific tips to take into consideration when embarking on a drive in which truckers are likely to encounter unfortunate weather circumstances.
First: Be Aware of the Weather Forecast
This one goes without saying, but it is still important to mention. Before you embark on a trip, make sure to be up to date with the weather forecast as well as recent weather patterns in areas you will be driving through. This will ensure that you know what to expect from the weather before you begin driving.
Truck and Trailer Preparation and Maintenance
Before hitting the road, ensure that all systems are a go. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Checking your tires. Do not run the risk of your tires going flat during a drive through inclement weather. If possible, check your tires throughout your drive to ensure they are in good shape.
- Check your head-lights and tail-lights. In bad weather conditions, poor visibility is a common issue that all drivers face. You also want to make sure you have the ability to communicate with other drivers on the road with your lights.
- Ensure you have all the necessary fluids to complete your drive; coolant, wiper fluid, etc.
- Check to make sure your wiper blades are in good shape. If you are to encounter a storm (rain, snow, sleet, etc), you want your wipers to provide a clear view of the road.
Use Additional Care on Inclines and Declines
When traveling on an uphill road, it is important that you use extra care in your driving. Generally speaking, as elevation increases, weather patterns change. If you find yourself in a storm, you may encounter more rainfall/snowfall, and/or more powerful gusts of wind.
Additionally, temperatures tend to drop when driving uphill, which could have an impact on your tires. Be extra careful when driving downhill in inclement weather, and always watch your speed. Speeding kills, and according to the truck accident attorneys at Douglas, Haun, & Heidemann P.C., they often see truck accident cases as a result of speeding.
Make Smart Decisions Based on the Weather Conditions
The safety of yourself and others on the road always comes first. If you believe the weather is too harsh or too dangerous to drive in, it is better to wait out the inclement weather. Remember, according to the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA), you cannot be punished if you deem the weather conditions a concern for your personal safety and a risk to the vehicle.
Keep a Kit of Things You Might Need
A general roadside safety kit is good to have, but in the case that you are caught in weather, you’ll need more. Some items to consider packing include, but are not limited to:
- Warm clothing, jackets, shoes, socks, etc
- Food and water supply
- Fuel conditioner
- Propane heater
- Extra tire chains
See this article for more information.
Trucking in Inclement Weather the Smart Way!
There is no doubt that truck drivers face unique challenges when driving in bad weather conditions. However, by taking the necessary precautions, truck drivers can help to ensure their safety as well as the safety of others on the road.