Winter truck driving can be a completely different experience compared to summer driving. Experience helps, but even those who have taken on the harshest road conditions can use a friendly reminder on how to stay safe and warm on the roads this winter season. For truck drivers, it can be helpful to remind yourself of some of the tricks for handling commercial vehicles and large trucks on roads covered with ice, sleet, snow, freezing rain and everything that Mother Nature throws at us in the winter.
Tips for Truck Drivers in Winter Conditions
Be prepared for the snow, slush and ice this season. Here are some things you can do to prepare your truck for the cold road ahead:
- Inspect Your Truck Before You Leave – Take the time to properly remove snow and ice from your vehicle. Do a thorough job removing snow from the roof, hood, trunk, lights and windows to ensure maximum visibility on the road.
- Keep a Winter Driving Kit in Your Truck – Be prepared with a winter kit and keep it in an accessible place in your vehicle. Your kit should include: proper clothing (extra layers, warm gloves, and rain gear), a flashlight, batteries, blankets, water, non-perishable food, First Aid kit, sand or salt, washer fluid, windshield scraper and brush, jumper cables, and tire chains or traction mats.
- Leave a Little Extra Time and Space – It is important not to speed or rush in winter conditions. Drive slower and leave extra space between you and other vehicles in order to account for decreased traction on the roads. The required stopping distance increases as the temperature drops, so being patient and alert can make a big difference in winter weather.
- Use Evasive Manoeuvres and Steer with Confidence – When driving at speeds above 40 km/h, deceleration and steering around obstacles requires less distance than braking to a complete stop. Sudden braking or steering in winter conditions may cause you to lose control of your vehicle, so steer with precision and control. Be aware of your trailer pushing your vehicle along curves and turns. If you do find yourself in a skid: depress the clutch quickly, look at the left mirror, steer and counter-steer as quickly as possible to get back in front of the trailer.
Most importantly, don’t risk your safety. If the conditions are too difficult to manage, do not drive or find a safe place to stop and wait for the storm to pass.
Prepare for Winter with Lessons from a Reputable Driving School
Whether you are an experienced truck driver or looking to learn, driving lessons in Burnaby, Coquitlam, Abbotsford or anywhere else in the Greater Vancouver area can help you improve your skills and stay sharp on the road. North Shore Driving School offers personalized driving courses that will have you handling your truck with confidence, regardless of the weather conditions.
North Shore Driving School, Ltd. offers truck driving lessons at our driving school in Surrey, Burnaby and surrounding areas. Prepare yourself for another winter season, or learn how to handle a large vehicle, with experienced instructors and a variety of course offerings.