Any driver knows that winter conditions are not for the faint of heart. However, while it is difficult enough to drive an automobile through the snow, driving a truck is even harder.
While there is little substitute for long-term trucking experience, simply being aware of the most common challenges that are on the road in the cold season can go a long way in protecting truck drivers from an inconvenient truck breakdown or malfunction (or worse, accident). In this article, we will go over the most challenging aspects that truck drivers face in the winter months.
6 Challenging That Truck Driver Face in the Winter Season
1. Ice and Snow
It is pretty obvious that the biggest problem that truck drivers face in the winter season is navigating through ice and snow. However, there are things that you can do to help mitigate the risk of driving in a less than ideal environment, such as taking your turns slowly and steadily. You can also make sure that you have kept up with your truck’s preventative maintenance and make sure that your truck is equipped with proper tires.
2. Slippery Slopes
With winter driving, inclines and declines are more challenging than flat terrain. Larger trucks should approach these slopes with care and not rush
3. Clogged Fuel Filters
In cold weather, large trucks run the risk of experiencing the freezing and clogging of a fuel filter. Some truck drivers prefer to idle their truck when stopped to allow the cabin heat to heat up the filter and keep it unclogged.
The concern is greatest if you are started out in a warmer climate and travelling to a cooler one. The reason behind this is that fuel in warmer climates is not always treated with preventative additives to stop gelling. While this is fine in milder climates, it may pose a problem when you get up north.
4. Traffic Clusters
In icy winter conditions, it is best to stay clear of traffic as much as possible. While it is common for cars and trucks to “cluster” and drive in tandem with one another, it’s safest to maintain as much distance as possible from other vehicles. You should try your best to have a buffer zone in the front and back of your truck, as well as around every side.
5. The Need for Speed
Although it may be tempting to travel as quickly as possible, it is imperative that you take things slow when you are dealing with a winter storm. Although this is something that is technically in a driver’s control, it still deserves inclusion on this list as it’s an easy rule to forget about. But you should really remember to take it slow and steady when there are ice and snow at play.
6. Faulty Equipment
It is also important to pay attention to the state of your truck equipment but never is this as true as it is in the winter season. When you are driving in inclement weather, pay attention to any warning lights or signals that might indicate that things are not running as well as they could be. After all, the last thing that you want is to be stranded on a remote highway with a broken-down truck.
It is also important that you pay attention to the function of the trailer that you are pulling if you are pulling one. You should especially pay great attention to your trailer tires to ensure that they do not freeze.
Support for Winter Truck Drivers
Dieseltech is proud to support the hard-working truck drivers of the Vancouver area and beyond. With professional 24/7 truck repair services and truck breakdown assistance, Dieseltech is here to support you as you embark upon the open road. We also offer fleet maintenance from within our 15,000 square foot shop in Burnaby. Get in touch today to see how we can best support your team.