Winter Weather Poses Challenges for Today’s Truck Drivers

Posted: December 12, 2019

We can’t deny it any longer: winter is officially here—and with it comes significant challenges for CDL-A truck drivers. Not only are the roadways particularly busy during this time of year due to the holiday season but also the potential for inclement weather spikes dramatically, making travel dangerous for anyone who’s out and about.

Luckily, there are plenty of preventative steps truck drivers can take to ensure their safety—and the safety of others—when on the road:

Plan ahead. Before you head out on your next route, check your favorite news source or weather app to get a feel for the weather ahead.

Expect the unexpected. While it’s good to know what to expect beforehand, always remember that weather can turn on a dime. So even if the forecast calls for clear skies ahead, be prepared to go with the flow if things change.

Stay stocked. Always keep extra food, clothing, and water rations in your truck in the event of a breakdown. Getting stranded out in extreme cold can be deadly if you’re not prepared.

Pretrip, pretrip, pretrip. Complete a proper pretrip inspection before each and every route so you won’t run into any surprises down the road.

Practice safe parking. Be mindful of your surroundings when you park at the end of a shift. Do your best to stay out of the wind, and keep away from parking lot entrances and other areas that leave you exposed to moving traffic.

Idle and treat. When temps drop to single digits and below, idle your truck. We typically like to ask our drivers to turn off the engine, but when parking in single-digit temperatures, it may be best to keep the main engine running. And when temperatures reach the teens, it’s time to use fuel treatment.

Pay attention. Don’t disregard any en route communication you receive from dispatch. For example, at Big G Express, we send fleet messages to warn our drivers any time a polar vortex comes down from Canada. It’s important to take these warnings to heart.

Weather itself—in any season—is out of our control, but there are ways we can prepare for it and lay the groundwork for a safe delivery. If you ever have questions about safety, talk to your fleet manager. Better yet, come to Big G Express, where we’re all about safety; connect with our recruiters today!

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