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Four Ways Truck Drivers can Prepare for Safer Winter Driving

Four Ways Truck Drivers can Prepare for Safer Winter Driving

Four Ways Truck Drivers can Prepare for Safer Winter Driving

Winter officially begins on December 21, and while many consider this “the Most Wonderful Time of Year,” it can be a very dangerous season for you men and women behind the big rigs that bring us holiday cheer.

“While many of us are shopping, traveling, and decorating for the holiday season, truck drivers are moving food, gifts, decorations, and essential needs to everyone. They work to not only provide for the public good but also to support their own families, friends and loved ones throughout the holiday season.” 
~Matt Schrap, VP Government Programs, Crossroads Equipment Lease and Finance

Of course, you drivers are the backbone of our economy and with winter conditions fast approaching we wanted to share some winter tips to keep everyone as safe as possible this season….especially the motoring public!
Below are four key ways you can use to best prepare for this fast approaching season.


  • Inspect, Inspect, Inspect!
    • Professional Inspection: Before you get out on those tough and harsh winter roads make sure you get your truck inspected. You don’t want any hidden problems revealing themselves when it is too late. Before the winter season you can take it into a shop to make sure it’s in tip top condition.
    • Self-Inspection: While you should take your truck to a shop to get it inspected, you should also be very diligent in the daily inspection of your vehicle making sure that your windshield wipers, fluid levels, flashlight and everything else is where it should be.


  • Winterize your vehicle
    • After you have inspected your truck you want to go back and make sure it is “Winterized.” You want to go beyond your typical inspections and make sure that vehicle is specifically prepared for the challenges that come with driving in the winter. Some of this winterizing may include but shouldn’t be limited to:
      • If you will be driving through the Sierra Nevada or Rocky Mountains, the Cascades, parts of New Mexico and Montana even Arizona you will more than likely need to carry chains if there are snowy conditions. Even if the conditions are clear you should check local weather advisories and still make sure your tires have a good amount of tread so you can have traction for stopping during cold but clear conditions.
      • Understand that you might need to add fuel additives, if travelling to colder temperatures with summer stock fuel. You don’t want it turning to jelly in the cold temperatures.
      • Don’t forget to empty your air tanks to prevent any leftover condensation from freezing while you’re on the road, that could shut down your truck, and that is no fun at all.


  • Have an Emergency kit!
    • You never know when the weather can leave you stuck for a while. Maybe the roads are harsh and you have to pull over until you can safely finish your trip. Maybe you take a stop and get snowed in. Either way if you just so happen to get stuck you want to have some things to keep you safe, warm, and fed until you can keep moving. Here are some things you might consider packing in your emergency kit:
      • An extra set of clothes, gloves, scarves, boots, etc.
      • Blanket(s)
      • Flashlight
      • Shovel
      • Matches
      • First aid Kit
      • Water
      • Nonperishable Food


  • Place your safety before your job!

Remember, at the end of the day, your safety is more important than your haul! We want our truckers safe and well, so if weather conditions are too harsh, take a break. If you know a route might have stronger weather take a slightly longer and safer route instead. Leave a bit earlier if you know it could take you longer than usual. Whatever you do, make sure that you are making the choice that’s safe for you and your truck.
Share these tips with your passenger car operating friends and loved ones so they too can benefit from taking steps to stay safe. Even though the only jelly they will have to worry about is the kind that goes on the PB&J’s. Stay safe warm and Happy this Holiday season, and Keep On Trucking!
Here are some other resources for winter driving and winter preparation that you should definitely checkout to be as prepared as possible: