Winter is coming, but the supply chain needs to keep moving. Products need to get to stores and medical supplies need to get to those who need them. For truck drivers, that means driving into and through difficult road conditions. Safety and preparation are the key to making sure that drivers reach their destinations and homes safely every day. Based on discussions with drivers and industry leaders, Centerline Drivers’ has released its list of top tips for winter driving:
Inspect Before You Start
Perform a pre-trip inspection before you get onto winter roads by checking tread depth on tires, making sure your heater and defroster are working and that headlights, marker lights and taillights are operable and clear of snow and ice. Truck drivers should also perform multiple tug tests, as winter weather elements can cause trailers to become disconnected from fifth wheels.
Practice Social Distancing
Social distancing is not just for COVID-19. Because everything takes longer on snow- and ice-covered roadways, you should practice social distancing on the road, too. Accelerate and decelerate slowly, increase following distance to 8-10 seconds and don’t drive in clusters.
Beware of Flying Droplets
Use tire spray as a temperature indicator. Tire spray on the road generally means that roadways are wet, but if a road appears wet without tire spray, it could mean that roadways have begun to ice over.
Mask Up and Prepare
In addition to a mask, gloves and hand sanitizer, carry blankets, gloves and extra socks in case your feet get wet and a flashlight, extra windshield wiper fluid, traction aggregate such as sand or salt, flares and triangles in case you get stuck or break down. Driving through mountain passes? Know how to chain your tires.
Don’t Take Unnecessary Risks
Even though new FMCSA rules allow two additional hours during adverse driving conditions, don’t risk exposure or weather-related issues. Keep yourself and other drivers safe – when in doubt about the safety of your vehicle or the road, shut it down. The freight can wait!
“Safety is the No. 1 priority for all of our drivers,” said Jill Quinn, president of Centerline Drivers. “Drivers have an obligation to stay safe not only for themselves, but for others on the road. Following these tips will not only keep everyone safe on the roads, but will keep our supply chain moving so that food and products stay on shelves, deliveries continue to be made and medical workers get the PPE they need.”
About Centerline Drivers
Centerline Drivers connects over 4,500 drivers annually with Fortune 1000 and mid-sized companies. Centerline has been delivering superior staffing service to fleet operators and good jobs to qualified drivers since its founding in 1975. It offers nationwide coverage from a network of branches in 40 U.S. markets and a centralized service operation. Centerline is part of TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI), a global leader in specialized workforce solutions that help clients achieve business growth and improve productivity. In 2019, TrueBlue connected approximately 724,000 people with work. Learn more at centerlinedrivers.com.