January 23, 20235 Tips for Trucking in Winter
The winter season for anyone working on the road can sometimes be strenuous. Although winter holds extraordinary beauty throughout the country, it can also bring obstacles. Rain, snow, hail, and ice can deter any traveler, especially those working on the road. Mother nature always has her plan, but these 5 winter trucking tips can help you stay one step ahead.
1. Know How Winter Weather Influences Trucking
Winter can bring many different weather conditions ranging from sunny skies to hailstorms and blizzards. The changing weather means being prepared for driving in the rain almost year-round, winter being no exception. One of the biggest winter driving challenges is ice. Besides affecting traction on the road, low temperatures that cause icy conditions can also impact your vehicle’s windshield, tires, and other parts. When driving in winter, observe the differences in the weather’s impact on your vehicle based on travel during different seasons.
2. Inspect and Stock Up When Trucking in Winter
Inspecting your vehicle and staying stocked up on essentials is especially significant when trucking in winter. Check windshield wipers and fluid; they will see plenty of action in the winter. Replace regular wiper fluid with one containing a de-icer designed for cold conditions to help when ice tries to cover the windshield. Tire pressure can decrease faster as temperatures drop. Snow tires can also be available to aid when driving through snow. Stock up on essentials like jumper cables, extra blankets, and snow and ice scrapers, many of which should be carried at all times but whose importance significantly increases during winter.
3. Fueling Your Vehicle in Winter is Vital
Keep your vehicle fueled when on the road, especially in winter. Low temperatures drain electric batteries quicker, which need to be charged more often. Diesel and gas users should also be wary of batteries in winter because they require more juice to start when it’s cold. The best bet for avoiding fueling hurdles in winter is to stay fully fueled as often as possible; easier said than done since trucks often travel great distances between stations, but winter isn’t the time to skip any and try to make it to the next one.
4. Check Winter Road Conditions for Safe Trucking
In winter, road conditions can be unpredictable, with the possibility of ice, snow, hailstorms, rain, and more. If you ever find yourself in Alaska, you may encounter one of the world’s most dangerous roads that gets more treacherous when snow and wind are present. Driving through other states in the US can also be complicated and sometimes tricky when dealing with snow, ice, and anything else winter brings. Preparing for driving in the snow can ease the effect of some of the obstacles that come with it. Caltrans offers a service where you can enter a highway number and see current road conditions before leaving for a trip in case you need to find an alternate route.
5. Get Familiar with Tire Chains in Winter
When snow covers the road, tires can have difficulty making it through, and tire chains might be required. Knowing how to install chains to your truck’s tires, knowing when they’re necessary, and being prepared when you might need them can save trouble and time along the drive. Stopping to apply tire chains can be a nuisance sometimes, but it is necessary during snowy and icy conditions to ensure road safety. Tire chains can be lifesaving when traversing mountainsides and shouldn’t be overlooked.