Whiteline Express, Winter Trucking

Trucking: 3 important things to remember as winter approaches

The trucking industry can be one of the best in the entire world. There aren’t many jobs out there that give you the same level of freedom as trucking, with the opportunity for you to explore the world. But as with any industry — and perhaps to an extreme — trucking has its pitfalls.

One of those is in relation to winter driving.

Nobody likes taking a vehicle out on the road in bad conditions. Even light rainfall will complicate your drive and probably add to your trip time. But something that can really mess up your drive is the wintertime. Snow, ice, dry conditions, etc. — it makes truck drivers’ jobs infinitely more difficult. Today, I’m going to give you three things for truckers to remember as winter approaches.

1. If you don’t feel safe, do not be afraid to prioritize your safety

As much as you might feel pressure to accumulate miles or deliver your load in a timely manner, nothing is more important than your safety. If you feel like you cannot physically drive your vehicle without risking your safety, park it. Even if only for a few minutes.

Snowy conditions, especially in areas like the northeast, can make it nearly impossible to drive. It’s not worth your safety and the safety of others on the road to deliver a single load on time. They can wait 30 minutes longer.

2. Prepare for the worst-case scenario on bad days

If the weather seems particularly bad in the wintertime, make sure you’re prepared for the worst. As uncommon as breakdowns or accidents may be for you, you’d regret NOT packing extra clothing, blankets, food, and water in the case of an emergency. Whether there’s a repair vehicle coming or you’re doing the repairs yourself, it will take longer if you’re in a blizzard. Here’s a list of items that can help to have in the winter, according to Advanced Career Institute.

  • extra clothing layers
  • gloves
  • flashlight
  • rain gear
  • windshield fluid
  • blankets
  • bag of sand or salt
  • tire chains
  • jumper cables
  • snow scrapers and brushes

3. Bring sunglasses with you

Sunglasses? If you’re new to trucking, this may seem like a bizarre thing to pack in the middle of winter. That said, it might be one of the most important things to remember on this list.

Something that won’t necessarily be at the forefront of your mind when it’s 25 degrees and snowing is “snow blindness.” Snow blindness describes the glare directed into a vehicle driver’s eyes caused by an excess of snow. Not only will it reduce your visibility while driving — it can actually cause serious damage to your eyes. Generally, this is an issue in the artic, but nobody is totally safe from it.

Pack some sunglasses.