Freezing winter months pose many challenges while driving, from poor visibility to snow-covered roads. It is essential for a trucker with a flatbed trailer and load to have good maneuvering and skid control ability. Professional drivers have smart decision-making skills with experience, like when to start or stop in poor weather conditions. Also important are quality vehicles, which you can buy, sell or rent from United Trailer at affordable prices.
Safe Driving Tips in Freezing Temperatures
When the temperatures dip to zero degrees or lower, it is difficult for truckers to manage the icy roads. Here are a few driving tips to keep you safe in winters:
1. Prepare Your Vehicle for Freezing Temperatures – Check the air pressure in the tires, the engine oil and the anti-freeze levels carefully before hitting the road. Make sure the headlights and windscreen wipers are functional. You can visit a mechanic or do a hands-on inspection for a quick checkup of your vehicle before starting the journey. Always clean any accumulated snow or ice on the vehicle.
2. Slow Down – Snow-covered roads allow poor traction. It is better to drive slowly so that you have enough time to react when something goes wrong.
3. Maintain Space Between Your Truck and Other Vehicles – Your truck skids a little further every time you stop your vehicle. But on wet or icy roads your truck will move 10 times more the distance. It is better to leave sufficient space between your truck and the vehicles in front and back to avoid harm in case of unpredictable situations.
4. Stay Smooth – Sudden braking or acceleration is not good and you should always. pump the brakes lightly. Always try to maintain a consistent speed and in case of obstacles, take evasive actions and don’t hard brake.
5. Maneuver Confidently – Have a strong grip on the steering wheel and confidently control your vehicle through the rough winds and ruts in the roads. Slippery surfaces require careful and precise movements, which help in preventing skids. It is important to keep an eye on the flat bed trailer moving along the curves and turns, as the loads don’t have much protection.
6. Identify Black Ice – Black ice is the thin layer of ice, which forms in shaded spots when temperatures drop. When on roads, it makes them appear slightly wet. Be careful on bridges, overpasses and intersections where a skid can turn fatal. To understand whether the temperatures are freezing or not, you can observe ice build-ups on mirror arms or tree branches.
7. Tyre Spray – By paying attention to the amount of water coming off the tyres, you can understand road conditions. Too much spray indicates a wet road while hardly any spray indicates freezing.
8. Lights – Visibility is poor on foggy or snowy days. Keep the headlights on all the time which will make you more visible on the road for approaching vehicles.
9. Take Extra Precautions When Driving in Mountains – Landscapes in mountains present unique challenges like for trucks or flat-bed trailers. There may be a few areas where avalanches are common where you have to be cautious and may need snow tires.
Whenever you find the weather conditions getting severe, stop the vehicle without worrying about the schedule. You should be prepared for such situations and carry an extra pair of warm clothes, shovel, a first-aid box and more. Carry cellular phones with contact numbers of roadside assistance, which can help you in emergencies. In case the tires skid, quickly depress the clutch and look at the left mirror only. Continuously try to steer until you get back in front of the trailer. Follow all these simple yet effective safety tips to avoid disasters.