5 Winter Safety Tips For Truck Drivers

Tuesday, December 28th, 2021
crosswalk on road in winter with snow and ice

Winter can be dangerous in many areas of the country for all drivers. High winds, snow, and ice can cause all sorts of negative conditions. Everyone should practice safe driving techniques and stay aware of the weather. Here are some tips that truckers should follow while working during the winter season.

1. Slow down

Everyone should drive the speed limit, especially if driving conditions are poor. Sometimes it is necessary to slow down too. Do not try to pass anyone or change lanes unless you absolutely must. No matter how much of a hurry you are in, remember that safety is the most important part of your job. It is better to be late than to risk your safety or that of someone else.

2. Don’t drive too close

Avoiding traffic is a good idea when roads are icy and blowing snow is blocking your view. Even when you are driving the speed limit (or slower), if you are too close behind someone, you may not be able to stop in time if something goes wrong. Pile-ups are not uncommon in bad winter weather, so avoid traveling in a “pack” with others on the road. Leave a buffer zone around every side of your truck, especially in snow and ice.

3. Make sure your equipment is in good shape

Having your truck break down is never pleasant, but it can be downright dangerous in the winter. Make sure your truck and trailer are in working order before you leave for a job. You should also have backup equipment on hand if possible, like tires and tools. (At Kimrad, we have a full-time maintenance facility to take care of all our equipment and keep a higher standard of safety on the road.) Check the following before starting on any route.

  1. Tire pressure
  2. Fuel levels
  3. Defroster and heater
  4. All wipers
  5. Lights
  6. Mirrors
  7. Brakes

4. Always have the right supplies

Truck drivers should always have an emergency kit and supplies available, especially in winter. You can practice safe driving to the best of your ability, but sometimes accidents still happen. Having the following handy on your truck can help you out of some tough spots.

  • Your usual emergency supplies (non-perishable food, flashlight, batteries, flares, first aid kit, water, etc…)
  • Insulated socks
  • Extra warm clothing
  • Lined and water-proof boots
  • Extra blankets
  • Methyl hydrate for air and fuel lines
  • A propane heater and propane
  • Tools like a wrench and screwdriver
  • Cat litter to be used if your tires get stuck
  • Extra fuel
  • Tire chains
  • Candles (matches or a lighter)
  • Jumper cables
  • Ice scrapers (with brushes to keep lights clean)
  • A cell phone and charger (you should always have a charged phone)

5. Use good judgment

Ultimately, you must use solid judgment to drive safely in the winter. If you feel as though conditions aren’t safe, even if you are halfway through your route, tell your dispatcher. You are responsible for your own safety as well as for getting the product you are hauling where it needs to be.

If you need to pull over, try to find an area where you are not too close to the road. This is especially true if you are driving in a blizzard or foggy conditions. Also, remember to be patient with everyone on the road, including yourself. Finally, check the weather for your route BEFORE leaving. This way, you can be prepared for any type of road condition.

Working with Kimrad Transport, LP

If you’re looking for a trucking company that values the safety of its drivers as well as professionalism, Kimrad Transport, LP in Amarillo is looking for YOU. We offer a variety of benefits to our truck drivers and team members, including insurance, retirement plans, updated equipment, paid training, and more! We have multiple locations as well to help keep drivers closer to home.

To learn more About Us or to Apply for a position, give us a call at 1 (866) 359-3882. You can also Contact Us by email for more information.