If this is your first season as a truck driver, any winter driving tips you can pick up will benefit you. The 2017-2018 winter season has already proven to be a record breaker with snowfall as far south as Florida.
To prepare yourself and your big rig for safe travels in the lower 48, no matter what the weather forecast throws your way, here are a few things to consider.
Handling Shorter Days
One area that is often overlooked with winter driving is the lack of sunlight. During the winter season, states in the North receive as few as eight and a half daylight hours. As a trucker, the shorter day span has a few repercussions. Most notably, you may have trouble waking up in the morning.
Some drivers even experience Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, which is seasonal depression due to the lack of sunlight. A drug-free solution is to plug in a light therapy lamp. These lights run for $30 to $100 and can be plugged into USB or via a power adapter. Use a lamp to mimic the sun first thing in the a.m. to help wake up your body and cut down on seasonal depression.
A blizzard brings whiteout conditions, while an overnight frost can leave roads covered in black ice. Strong winds can blow your trailer around, and road slush will create a hazard on your windshield and headlights. Dramatic drops in temperatures can put your truck out of commission if it is not weatherized for the season.
Those are just some of the situations you can find yourself in during the winter season as a trucker. Protect yourself by taking a few precautions:
- Wash your lights, windows, and mirrors every time you stop. Buildup can be difficult to remove and reduce visibility for you and those passing by you.
- Be highly defensive when driving in severe weather.
- Listen to the radio, CB, etc., to hear weather forecasts, road closings, and alerts.
- If you are concerned with driving conditions, pull over and call your dispatcher. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Have a winter emergency kit ready with everything you need in case you get stranded roadside.
- Keep your cell phone charged at all times.
- Keep your diesel tanks filled in case you are stuck somewhere and need to idle without fueling facilities open near you.
- Watch the tire spray. No spray indicates frozen ground and possible black ice.
Choosing a Trucking Job in Iowa
If you are a truck driver in Iowa, who is ready to haul freight this winter, give us a call. At Simon’s Trucking, we are looking for professional drivers who want to make the most of their trucking career.