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Winter Driving Tips for Professional Drivers

Winter driving tips for professional drivers that will be delivering countless products in messy winter weather. Be prepared, get winter ready now.

  • Three points of contact in and out of your vehicle, summer and winter.

  • Kitty litter or salt, keep a few bags in your truck. The heat from your tires on ice will create indents when coupling or uncoupling loads you will be stuck after one spin of your drive tires.

  • Before you attempt to move after you are coupled up, give your trailer LOTS and I mean lots of time to air up completely. Cold air slows the time it takes to air up your brake system completely. If your brakes are not released fully, when you go to pull out, one spin of your drives you may be stuck.

  • Once your brakes are free start moving in the highest gear you can to avoid spinning, again once you spin on snow or ice you become stuck very quickly.

  • Traction grates are super handy, in case you need them to get your tractor rolling.

  • Use caution on your pre-trips, longer hours of darkness, make sure your flashlight has fresh batteries. Keep spare batteries in your truck. Watch where you are walking with snow covered ice or black ice.

  • Once you start moving be sure to check ALL your trailer tires (in your mirrors using a few gentle turns) are rolling so you are not dragging tires, which can get very expensive quickly.

  • Slips, trips & falls during winter months can create health issues with lifetime effects. Use something like these fantastic devices from Devisys. The ice cleats work very well. I have used the Devisys original for over 5 years, light to wear, do not interfere with your feet on the pedals. Work on all floor surfaces like reefers, bamboo, polished cement and hardwood.

  • Keep your fifth wheel clear of extra grease as grease will thicken up with colder weather. The grease will also trap debris, snow and ice which will create improper couplings by jamming the coupling mechanism. Summer and winter always check the front pin, side handle and visually check to make sure the jaws of the fifth wheel are closed around the kingpin. Here is a great video on cleaning and lubrication your fifth wheel for winter use.

  • Make sure you know where your tow hook is located. If it is fastened to a wall or frame make sure it can be released when you need to use the tow hook.

  • Extra gloves, extra boots, hats and outerwear, you never know when you will require these items.

  • One area that countless drivers are injured in happens between trailers. Use caution in the terminal yard or on the terminal doors. The heat from inside the trailer causes the snow on the trailer roof to melt. Causing ice on the ground once a refreeze happens. Once the trailer is taken off a freight door and put in the yard. If the trailer is still on the door at a terminal, the ground may become cold and cause the melted snow to turn to ice. Always use caution between trailers, this is a hazard area.

  • There are lots more great winter driving tips for professional drivers out there. We invite you to share your winter driving tips for professional drivers on our Facebook page.