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Got any fun snow stories ? Words of wisdom ?

Topic 17671 | Page 1

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Hayden D.'s Comment
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I'm taking the Greyhound to prime tommorow ! Last time at the super good Indian buffet :(. Anyway, it's snowing ! This got me thinking about when I used to drive a box truck (from TN to Chicago, IL) It was 2014 ( I think) the year Cowboys vs Ravens for the Superbowl. I'm not that big of a football fan, but that's just something that stands out to me.

I was driving a 10ft box truck and near Gary, Indiana I kept seeing cars and a few trucks all in the ditches. The the exit ramp to Gary with no less than 5 cars that slid off road trying to get down the exit ramp ( it's an easy one). In Kentucky, heading south it started snowing more, so I reduced speed, 35mph had trouble seeing out windshield. I fell in behind another 53ft truck, and his vehicle caught most of the snow so I could see again (Good thing) we climbed a mountain lookin thing... Then had drive down, that's when I started losing my " snowshield" so I punched the gas a little to keep up, that was not fun, and won't be repeated. Not sure how, but he had to have been doing 45 ish. If he got to far away, I'd lose my ability to see out the windshield. We finally got down and to a truck stop... It was packed, way more than usual, trucks everywhere around the stop too.

I never slid much, so I just kept going. I also never realised we'd been the only 2 vehicles on the road for a long time.

I thought I'd share this, and see if anyone else has any fun stories, or words of wisdom, they'd like to share about driving an 18 wheeler in the snow !

I'm kinda nervous about learning to drive in it, but it's also better because I'll be trained for the most difficult kind of driving, as far as I know.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rainy D.'s Comment
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My cat likes to sit on the dash and watch the trucks park. I think he likes the blinking lights.

In UT a foot of snow piled on my windshield over night. The cat jumped on the dash, tilted his head out of curiosity, then pawwd the window trying to move he snow out of his way.

The result was a blood curdling scream, his eyes popped out like a cartoon and he jumped from the dash to my bunk in one leap. Then hid under the blanket.

It was like "omg...that is cold...why did you let me do that?"

Hayden D.'s Comment
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That's Awesome ! I didn't know a cat could do anything besides meow ! I would love to see that !

Hey at least his paw didn't stick to the windshield.

...Something you might laugh at, I was installing satelite TV one time, and turned to look at the customers cat ( just turned my head) when I did, it looked at me, turned, and bolted ( still kinda looking) strait into the half way open front door that it had just walked past. Stumbled ( like it was seeing stars) for about 2 ft, then shot off strait for the back of the house. The customer and I about died laughing.

I have never seen a cat do that, ever... Most animals like me, so I don't know....

My cat likes to sit on the dash and watch the trucks park. I think he likes the blinking lights.

In UT a foot of snow piled on my windshield over night. The cat jumped on the dash, tilted his head out of curiosity, then pawwd the window trying to move he snow out of his way.

The result was a blood curdling scream, his eyes popped out like a cartoon and he jumped from the dash to my bunk in one leap. Then hid under the blanket.

It was like "omg...that is cold...why did you let me do that?"

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Check every weather source you can. I even reach out on Facebook to people I know, if they live where I'm traveling to/through, to ask what they're expecting.

When setting your ETA allow extra time if there's any chance of weather problems. Then consider leaving later in the morning to get some daylight. Today I picked up a load in Indianapolis going to Scranton, PA. I could be there early in the morning, but set an eta of 1500. The weather was good and I'm only 205miles left to go. But now I can wait for sunrise (which I almost never do) and GO SLOW if needed.

Most importantly; never be afraid to go slow or park it. If you push it and are wrong, you won't get a second chance.

Oh, and those little butane torches are great for unfreezing locks on trailers.

Good luck!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

I wouldn't call pulling a 53' trailer in snow and ice fun, but think of it more like a sometimes necessary evil. It's good that you will be getting your company training now. Slow and easy is the rule and never hesitate to park it when out of your comfort zone.

Daylight helps immensely.

Vendingdude's Comment
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Watch videos AND use a mentor to practice chaining. Do it bare handed, do it with gloves and jacket on. Do it on bobtail until you're confident, then with trailer hooked up. Do it on the trailer too. You may only chain up once a year, or less. Or you may chain up a lot. No way of knowing right now. I thing I do know; when you get out the first time to do it, on the side of the road in zero degree weather with snow and ice everywhere, you will be VERY grateful aftetward it only took twenty minutes and not three hours. You will also be very glad you didn't have to beg (or pay) someone else to help you.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Several years back I got caught in a blizzard in Indiana. The highways were in really bad shape and I was just moving slowly and trying to power my way through until I could get to a truck stop. It wasn't long before I managed to get to the Flying J I was planning on stopping at. It was crowded, but I managed to find a legitimate parking spot and got myself parked and settled in for the duration. Within about an hour the highway department closed the interstate and every one had to get off. We were literally stuck there at the truck stop for four days in extremely cold temperatures.

It got crazy! The trucks were piled in everywhere. People had to park in the parts of the lot where you would usually drive your truck in between the parked trucks as you try to find a spot. If you were like me and got there early enough to find a real parking spot, then there was someone parked perpendicular to your truck, right there in front of your truck! They were parked three or four across in between the rows of properly parked trucks. Most everyone was idling their trucks to keep the fuel from gelling. I can't remember the temps, but it was well below zero most of the four days. Some of the folks whose fuel was low when they parked were having to use five gallon fuel cans to walk over to the pumps and purchase five gallons at a time to walk it to their rigs to keep from running their tanks dry. The Denny's restaurant in the truck stop actually ran out of food on the second day because they couldn't get anything delivered in due to the interstate being shut down. The silly truck drivers who had no provisions with them were having to beg for food from those of us who were prepared. I ended up feeding three or four truck drivers parked close to me for a couple of days.

Here's the view I had from inside my truck for several days during that time...

truck driver's windshield covered in snow caught in a blizzard in Indiana

Once they finally opened up the roadways it was still chaos because no one could move their rigs. Some of us were just physically blocked in. Others had their brakes frozen up. Some of us had gelled fuel. Then some of the ones who had a clear path ahead of them couldn't get their rigs to move - all they could get to happen was their tires spinning on the ice! I remember watching one Swift driver just spinning and spinning his drives. I assume he was hoping to melt the ice and eventually get going, but it didn't turn out that way. What he accomplished was an eventual sideways movement which put him in a collision with the truck next to him! (Here's a good spot to insert a winter driving tip: When stopping in a heavy snow fall, once you get yourself in a parking spot pull your rig forward and back several times to pack down the snow that is in front and behind your tires. This will help make it a little easier to get that rig rolling when you do start again.) The Flying J had so many upset tuck drivers complaining to the manager (imagine that - a truck driver complaining!) that they were blocked in, that they called the highway patrol in to help try to organize a plan to get the trucks moving out of the parking lot.

After that big storm, they had plowed the roads and put down salt but it was still pretty treacherous on the roadways. There was such a thick layer of ice underneath the snow that the plow and the salt seemed to have little effect on it. Things looked like this for most of the next day, and I sat it out one more day just to make sure I didn't end up in the ditches.

snow covered road after blizzard in Indiana from truck driver's window

Things like this happen every once in a while, but you just have to take it all in stride and let the adventure your on help you build a bank of memories and good stories. Not all our memories as truck drivers are good ones, but most of them are. I actually kind of enjoyed the stay at that Flying J - It was amusing in a convoluted way. I didn't make much money that week, but it was still an interesting week, and one I will never forget.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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