We all know that truck driving is one of the most challenging jobs existing today and at the same time, a secure means of earning a handsome living. It is a difficult task to manage a fleet of large trucks and 18 wheelers. Fleet safety becomes a huge concern during the time of foul weather conditions.
According to the data taken from US department of transportation, it is found that a large number of people has died due to truck crashes. Even for an experienced fleet driver with access to fleet management software, operating a truck often weighing more than 75000 pounds can be really dangerous.
Here are a few tips for truck drivers during foul weather:
1. Fuel is considered as a friend and not a foe
When roads are icy or snowy, extra weight can lead to extra pull. Always keep fuel tanks filled for withstanding extra weight over truck tyres. You are getting better protection against sliding around at the delivery, when you have combined with proper tire pressure, tread and a spare.
2. Always be cautious
When there is a heavy snowstorm, it is better not to keep too close to the tail lights in front of your truck. If you are concentrating on others’ brake lights instead of the road, there is more chance of getting too close to the vehicle. Hence, if they make a wrong turn, it would be dangerous for us and thus leading to accidents.
3. Make sure there is a clear vision of the road
Truck drivers should ensure windshield wipers and windshield washer fluid are working or not before taking off the truck. The thing that should be considered about wiper blades is that they are intact and able to remove rain. Also, one should be ensured that whether that particular washer fluid reservoir is good for your journey or not.
Before starting the ignition, checking these things will improve the truck’s ability to make safe journey.
4. Never use diesel during foul weather
During extreme cold conditions, diesel fuel starts gelling and it forms into large wax crystals. As the fuel thickens, it can clog filters and engines which lead to stop running. Anti-gel additives can be stocked, for the fleet to be kept moving on the road during cold climates.
5. Here are the safe driving techniques in bad weather
Always make sure that the headlights are on
Obey all road and traffic signs
Be alert and drive defensively
Stopping distances should be at least ten times greater than that on dry roads
Braking takes longer on slippery roads. Hence the slower you are, the easier you are able to control the truck and thus stop the vehicle whenever necessary
Always keep your hands on steering and have both your eyes on the road. This could assure more safety against slippery roads
Be aware of the reduced visibility conditions as you tend to follow the tail lights of vehicles in front of them
Accelerate and brake gently and try to drive slowly on bends where loss of control is more
Try to avoid unnecessary lane changes and stay in the same lane if possible
Always keep on increasing the following distance. The more distance you keep, the more safer you are
Usually it is a huge risk to manage a heavy vehicle such as a truck. Hence the more safety awareness you gain, the better you are able to prevent and reduce road crashes. In order to make a serious effort for making truck journey safer, it would be better to search and share the advice from driving experts.