Even if you think you’re a pro when it comes to truck driving, the winter season can still throw you curveballs that you may not always know how to handle. As we enter the thick of the cold season here on the East Coast, it can’t hurt to have a refresher in some of the more basic precautions you should take when out on the road. At TQM Logistics, we’re not only your source for full-time truck driver jobs here in NJ, we’re also your resource for driving tips and advice: Let’s have a look at our list of Winter Truck Driving 101 tips for you to keep in mind this season.
1. Double-Check Your Vehicle
Making sure your truck is prepared for winter driving is essential to preventing major issues. Check your engine oil, tire pressure, and antifreeze levels before you head out on the road. You may also want to have a mechanic inspect your vehicle to ensure it’s prepared to withstand the winter season’s wear and tear.
2. Watch the Tire Spray
This is one of the most useful winter driving tips. An easy way to assess the road conditions around you is to observe the water coming off the tires of other vehicles. If you see a lot of water being sprayed, the roads are definitely wet. On the other hand, if the tire spray is less than you’d expect, this means that the roads have begun to freeze and you need to drive more cautiously.
3. Be Evasive
Sometimes, taking evasive action is safer than hard braking, especially when you’re driving on ice-covered roads. If your speed is around 25-30 mph or more, decelerating your truck and maneuvering around any obstacles may be a better way of avoiding a collision than slamming your brakes.
4. Stay Prepared
Keep your truck prepared during winter drives, even if you’re not going a particularly long distance. Carry blankets and warm clothes with you, as well as supplies that are useful for getting vehicles unstuck from snow banks, such as shovels, traction devices, and bags of sand. Be sure you have access to your roadside assistance information to fall back on if run into any trouble.
5. Control Your Steering Wheel
In snowy or icy conditions, it can make steering especially challenging to control. Sharp or sudden movements can cause your vehicle to skid, particularly around turns and curves. Make sure you use a firm and steady grip on your steering wheel at all times to maintain smooth, precise movements over wintry roads.
6. Use Extra Care on Bridges
Because they freeze more quickly than regular roads, bridges, overpasses, and other elevated surfaces require extra caution and attention. To avoid spinning out, approach all highway overpasses and bridges slowly and carefully.
7. Learn to Handle a Skid
If you begin to skid, depress the clutch immediately and continue to steer and countersteer, fighting until you regain your position in front of the trailer and restore control to your vehicle.
As always, never ask your truck to do more than it’s capable of. A responsible driver always knows their limits. Be safe out there!
Are you searching for Class A driver jobs in PA? Call our team at TQM Logistics today at (866) 823-4519.