It’s Never Too Early To Prepare For The Winter Months
This year is flying by! Let’s start thinking about winter safety, it’s important to remind ourselves of the dangers that exist during the coming months.
Things To Remember…
Winter driving can be stressful! Freezing temperatures, ice, snow, and high winds can all take a toll on a driver and his equipment. Make sure you do a complete pre and post-trip inspection (Lights, brakes, tires, etc.), keep your fuel tank half full or fuller, use a proper additive to reduce the chances of your diesel fuel gelling, and do a walk-around check of the truck and trailer every time you stop. When the roads are icy, watch for spray coming off the tires of a vehicle you’re following or off one passing you. If you do not see tire spray, you are driving on ICE.
If there is a stiff crosswind, carefully watch the vehicle in front of you. The trailer you are pulling will be like a kite in the wind and can easily whip your truck off the road. As a general rule, do not drive in winds greater than 25mph. If you do encounter high winds, pull off the road, park parallel with the wind, stay safe, and protect your life!
While driving through Colorado, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and other Rocky Mountain States from September through May, you must have a set of chains in your truck for your power unit, and in many cases for one of the axles on the trailer as well. Although you are required to carry chains, we do not recommend putting them on your truck or trailer. Chains give you a false sense of security, are hard on your truck, and will damage the camper. It is best practice to pull off the road and shut down when chains are required for travel. Do not take chances with your life, truck, or the unit you are transporting!
If you feel a stiff wind or are on a snowy/slick road while in transit, watch for trailer movement in your side mirrors. If the trailer starts to slide, DO NOT hit your truck brakes. The electric brakes on the trailer do not engage as fast as the hydraulic brakes on your truck. If you do, the trailer will continue to push the truck and it will go into a slide. Instead, reach for the control knob and activate your trailer brakes first. This will help straighten the trailer, slow down the truck, and keep your rig in a straight line. Take your time, drive slow, and stay safe!
There may be times when progress is lost due to high winds or icy roads, but pushing hard to make up time is not the answer. Your first and foremost responsibility is the safety of yourself and others. Focus on the current mile being driven and understand that there are some things you cannot control.