This is that time of year when it’s always good to put out some Winter safety reminders among your drivers. While many of the items listed below may seem like basic things, they’re also among the most commonly overlooked. Let’s take a moment to review…
Keep Tabs on Weather & Trip Plan
This one seems pretty obvious, but monitoring the weather on a regular basis should be a part of every driver’s routine. Not only does it allow for planning in where you’re coming from to where you’re going, it also enables you to communicate that important information back to your Fleet Manager in the event unexpected delays might occur. Staying on top of the weather isn’t just a one person job, it’s communication between everyone involved. Fortunately, this is much easier to do now with apps such as The Weather Channel readily available along with new overlay mapping technology that that Fleet Managers can use to see where all trucks are headed and what the weather in that area is looking like.
When In Doubt, Shut It Down
It’s not worth risking your life to potentially be a hero. That simply means that no matter how much pressure you might be putting on yourself or might be feeling from those around you, if the weather conditions and your intuition tells you not to drive – you need to shut it down. If there’s any doubt at all, it’s not worth it. No load is worth your life.
Be Careful Going In & Out of Your Truck
So you’ve made it to your destination safely and survived the winter storm. Now it’s time to step outside the truck and BAM…down you go. Sure enough, the ice caught you on that first step and before you knew it you were on your back. Frustrating, but it happens all the time the Winter. Misjudging a step in a hurry could lead to an unexpected injury that will sideline you for quite some time.
Make Sure Your Systems Are Running
Double check before you leave for your destination that things such as the defroster and heater are working properly. It is also imperative during snowy/rainy conditions to make sure wipers, wiper motor, lights, esp. brake and tail lights are working correctly. washer fluid is topped up, drain moisture from the air tanks, all brakes are set up and windows and mirrors are completely clean before departure.
Slow Down & Allow for Extra Space
Never drive faster than what the conditions will allow. While your truck may be governed at a certain speed, it doesn’t mean you need to go that fast in treacherous conditions. If traction is poor, it’s time to slow it down and make all your moves gently. This might mean increasing your follow distance to 2-3X, and of course, avoiding tailgating. A good rule of thumb is to keep at least a ten second following distance when driving on snow and ice covered roads.
Keep Extra Equipment with You
Winter weather or now, it’s always a good idea to have extra equipment on hand. You never know when a breakdown is going to occur and it’s always better to be prepared. Some good items to have on hand are:chains, extra food/water, bungees, waterproof gloves, reflective vest, flashlight, kneeling pad, boots, warm clothes, extra washer fluids and deicer and anti gel. This may seem like a lot, but it could very well come in handy one day.
Being Prepared is Key
Whether it’s fleet maintenance or driving habits we’re talking about, It’s very important to be extra prepared and aware during the Winter months. The holiday season not only brings about increased traffic, but also adverse weather conditions. Be sure to keep these tips in mind to ensure the rest of your 2017 is successful.
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Dickinson Fleet is the nation’s leader in mobile truck maintenance and repair. We currently have 300 mobile trucks equipped with state of the art technology visiting our customers nightly across 40 states in nearly every major city in the country.
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