Summer and sunshine are shutting up shop for another year and HGV drivers are getting ready for the adverse weather conditions of autumn and winter. The colder season brings its own set of challenges and drivers will have to be prepared for the hazards of rain, wind, fog and snow. Here is SNAPs truck driver’s guide to winter.
Check | Anticipate | Prepare
The risky conditions of winter can challenge drivers in a number of ways, but by sticking to this drivers guide, you’ll be safer on the roads and will avoid trouble:
Before you start a job, check the weather forecast. If you know that there could be slippery roads, high winds or even snow, then you can prepare for the scenario in advance and get yourself ready. Roads could shut and alternative routes may have to be found. You can also notify your customers and fleet operator if you think there could be any delays for delivery.
Driving sensibly is even more important during winter. By operating smoothly, you will minimise accidents - smooth braking, smooth acceleration and smooth turning. The chances of skidding on wet roads or ice are greatly increased with abrupt motions. Lengthen the braking distance too, and keep a safe gap behind the vehicle in front.
Obvious to some, but winter requires more luggage. If you are working away, make sure you have enough warm clothes to get you through the week. Temperatures are dropping and an extra blanket, or a hat and gloves could come in handy. You might also need an added torch for the dark nights, de-icer,a shovel and extra food and drink if you find yourself unfortunately stranded.
Thoroughly checking the vehicle is more important than ever during winter. There are essential things to look out for to ensure the HGV is safe for the journey ahead. To speed up traditional procedures, why not use ’intruck’s Daily Checks’ feature and even add your own personal checks? There are among the most important things to be checking:(Tyre tread, Battery, Lights, Brakes, Fluid Levels, Mirrors, Windows, Windscreen Wipers, Exhaust, Trailer)
Vehicle lights play a key role during winter. The roads are dark a lot more frequently and visibility drops further during rain, snow and fog. Check your lights and make sure you use them, so you can light up your route. It also allows other road users to see you more easily. Clear off any snow from the lights to make sure you are seen.
Are you a fan of being a truck driver during the winter months? What are your top tips for coping on the road during colder times? Let us know via the SNAP social media pages.
Josh Cousens | SNAP.