Winter Driving Tips For New Drivers?

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Ally H's Comment
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Hi all, This will be my first winter driving experience in a tractor trailer. I am stressing out so much that I’m losing sleep in my bunk thinking about quitting. Black ice, ice bridges flurries and losing traction and crashing scares me to death. If there weren’t enough variables to juggle when conditIons are perfect. Please convince me it’s not so bad and not to quit. I have stocked up on kitty litter, shovel, Degel and my truck is prepared but mentally I am not. Thank you for providing this medium of communication.

Gladhand's Comment
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It's simple. Drive slower. If you drive an automatic change it to manual mode and shift on your own. Stay updated by checking the websites of the places you are going to. Most of those have cameras so you can see what you are getting into.

No need to quit over it. It's just part of the job. You can't be scared to do your job. If you don't feel safe, park it and let dispatch know. If you run the state's that require chains make sure you know how to. I won't chain period, but you should know just in case if it happens. It's not as scary as you think.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Ally H's Comment
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Ps I have read your excellent article 15 ESSENTIAL WINTER TRUCKING SAFETY TIPS as well

Hi all, This will be my first winter driving experience in a tractor trailer. I am stressing out so much that I’m losing sleep in my bunk thinking about quitting. Black ice, ice bridges flurries and losing traction and crashing scares me to death. If there weren’t enough variables to juggle when conditIons are perfect. Please convince me it’s not so bad and not to quit. I have stocked up on kitty litter, shovel, Degel and my truck is prepared but mentally I am not. Thank you for providing this medium of communication.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

This is my first winter, too. The only thing that you need to think about, is Safety First. Increase your following distance, reduce your speed accordingly, and be calm.

If you do not feel safe, shut down. Find a safe and legal place to park, inform your dispatcher , and wait out the weather. If your dispatcher tries to bully you into driving, have them talk to safety. You are in command of your truck, you are ultimately responsible for your safety, and the safety of the drivers around you.

Dispatcher:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Reyn R.'s Comment
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Ps I have read your excellent article 15 ESSENTIAL WINTER TRUCKING SAFETY TIPS as well

Ally, you have to be able to trust your instincts. To do that you have to get the feel for what your limits are. The more you do it, the easier it will get. Obviously you have the skills since you have your CDL. Something I don't have yet! Trust yourself. Take it easy. Most importantly, like Gladhand said, if you feel unsafe, park it & let dispatch know. Also, it's very important to learn the proper way to attach those chains. Like everything in life, the more we practice, the easier things become.

I remember Rainy talking about when she felt unsafe driving in stronger than usual winds? She parked at a truck stop. To confirm her decision was the right one, she said that her company had 3 rigs overturn in those winds. Good luck. God bless!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Here is a good article from the Trucking Truth Blog:

Winter Driving Tips

Use the search facility to find more archived information.

Thanks This is my fifth full winter...

Common sense and prudent driving must prevail; slower speed, vigilant space management, and finesse on the controls, meaning no abrupt corrections. If you think it's too risky to drive, park-it, heros need not apply.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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We have an awesome entry in our trucker's wiki called Winter Driving Tips & Items To Bring which I just updated with more ideas. That page is loaded with tons of great tips and also links to other resources here on TruckingTruth.

You can also find other conversations we've had here in the forum under our tag for winter driving tips: Conversations Tagged 'Winter Driving Tips'

Here's an entry from our truck driver's career guide called Dealing With The Weather

Ally H's Comment
member avatar

Hi Brett, about chains I never go past the Mississippi River and werner does not have any chain banks on the east coast do you suggest I purchase my own set?? Do you have a personal set? They are $$$$ from what I’ve seen

We have an awesome entry in our trucker's wiki called Winter Driving Tips & Items To Bring which I just updated with more ideas. That page is loaded with tons of great tips and also links to other resources here on TruckingTruth.

You can also find other conversations we've had here in the forum under our tag for winter driving tips: Conversations Tagged 'Winter Driving Tips'

Here's an entry from our truck driver's career guide called Dealing With The Weather

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

Chains on the east coast are mainly used just to throw on the ground, at the tires, so they can grip something other than ice. I might be wrong, but I think that most Eastern states have made chaining illegal.

Jim F.'s Comment
member avatar

This comment.......

stressing out so much that I’m losing sleep in my bunk thinking about quitting.

Come on now. All you have gone through to get where you are today???? Did you not think you would drive slick when prepping and doing all that training?

You've made it this far. Piece of cake. This is exactly why I chose winter for academy training here in the northwest.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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