Driving With Chains

Topic 23492 | Page 2

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Chuck S.'s Comment
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What if really comes down to is ... everyone has an opportunity to make their own decision on this matter ... I chose to work the 11 western states so I could make it home to see my family a little more often ... no disrespect to any driver who chooses not to chain up ...

I put up this post to share my experience for those who are new and may get into this situation.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

What if really comes down to is ... everyone has an opportunity to make their own decision on this matter ... I chose to work the 11 western states so I could make it home to see my family a little more often ... no disrespect to any driver who chooses not to chain up ...

I put up this post to share my experience for those who are new and may get into this situation.

Really Chuck? Is that what it comes down to? Aren’t you the same guy a couple of days ago advocating common sense?

What it comes down to is no load is worth your life. If the snow is deep enough to require chaining-up, find a place to park and wait it out.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Brian's Comment
member avatar

I'm not understanding the arguement to begin with. Nowhere in Chuck's post did he say you better chain up or must chain up. Just like G-Town mentioned "common sense" well everybody on this forum has common sense and can decide for themselves if it makes sense to them. Obviously for a rookie driver not so much but at some point sure. This post was informative. I didn't know much about chains prior to this, and although I will probably never have to use them i learned something from this.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I want to focus on the techniques Chuck suggested in the initial post; they all apply to driving in wintery precipitation. Finesse’ the truck and avoid the temptation for any sharp or quick steering input or braking.

Space management is ultra critical...slow it down.

You are right Brian...Chuck never stated it’s requured to chain up. However in certain conditions and areas chains may well be required if you want to continue moving.

My personal rule of thumb? Use them as a last resort necessary to safely navigate to a parking place. Especially true for anyone lacking experience driving in snowy conditions.

Rainy D.'s Comment
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I'm not understanding the arguement to begin with. Nowhere in Chuck's post did he say you better chain up or must chain up. Just like G-Town mentioned "common sense" well everybody on this forum has common sense and can decide for themselves if it makes sense to them. Obviously for a rookie driver not so much but at some point sure. This post was informative. I didn't know much about chains prior to this, and although I will probably never have to use them i learned something from this.

Absolutely, one must know how to chain.

But new drivers often feel stress and anxiety trying to prove to their companies that they are go getters.

I drove through two blizzards my first couples months out that i should have shut down for. i didnt because i wanted my dispatcher to take me seriously and think im good. Contrary to what i thought, i was being unsafe by remaining driving. i jeopardized myself, others and the load. A major part of this job is knowing when to park it for safety.

As a rookie i misunderstood and thought i was getting it done.

Also, it can take time for newbies to handle mountains properly without smoking brakes so add snow, ice and high winds to Vail mountain, and thay rookie should be parked.

That is the point G Town is trying to stress here.

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

Old School's Comment
member avatar
However in certain conditions and areas chains may well be required if you want to continue moving.

I agree with this. Chuck said he's running the Western eleven. Those guys are going to be chaining up at times. Most OTR drivers can avoid it if they want to.

One thing you have to consider when using chains is that your speed is severely reduced. So, if you're earning 50 cents per mile and you can only average 15 mph while in a "chain zone," then you're making $7.50/hour. Plus you've got to calculate the time and frustration to "throw iron" and then remove it. That's why many drivers will take a break, let the roads get cleared, and then roll on without chaining up. Of course there's a few passes out West where you might wait six weeks for things to clear up! In those cases your options are really limited - so you throw the chains and move on.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

double-quotes-start.png

However in certain conditions and areas chains may well be required if you want to continue moving.

double-quotes-end.png

I agree with this. Chuck said he's running the Western eleven. Those guys are going to be chaining up at times. Most OTR drivers can avoid it if they want to.

One thing you have to consider when using chains is that your speed is severely reduced. So, if you're earning 50 cents per mile and you can only average 15 mph while in a "chain zone," then you're making $7.50/hour. Plus you've got to calculate the time and frustration to "throw iron" and then remove it. That's why many drivers will take a break, let the roads get cleared, and then roll on without chaining up. Of course there's a few passes out West where you might wait six weeks for things to clear up! In those cases your options are really limited - so you throw the chains and move on.

I run the Western 11, and I generally park when I see the chain law(s) go into effect. It's just not worth it to go clanking and sliding around on the hills in this part of the country. Better to wait until the storm passes and the crews can get out and make with the cleaning. The only time I'll actually sling iron is if it's an actual emergency. Example: last winter I was on my way to Oregon from central Cali, and as I was coming out of Redding it was snowing, but the chain law was not in effect. However, a semi lost it and jackknifed across both lanes of I-5 a couple miles south of Castella. By the time they got the truck moved enough snow had accumulated ahead of the wreck that they put the chain law up from Redding to Weed. Unfortunately, I was already caught in the backup behind the wreck, and had to chain to get out of there and up to the nearest place to park and wait for them to drop the chain law again...which was in Weed. Circumstances like that are the only exception to my "NOPE" rule when it comes to chains.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Joseph L.'s Comment
member avatar

I asked my trainer about how to put on chains and he said he actually paid this crew to chain up the truck and trailer , they explained it but he wasn't really paying attention. He said he did it because his co driver had experience driving in the snow and they only put them because it was required. He told me that if the weather gets bad enough that I have to put chains on, then the weather is probably too bad to drive in and it's best to shut down and wait (pretty much what Brett said). Another thing he told me was CRST is messed up in many ways but one area they are on the ball is watching the weather. He told me last winter they got shut down by three different times including one time for four days because of the weather. He explained that if you are headed into area where there is serve weather, crst will do one of two things 1) shut you down and have you wait. 2) reroute you to avoid the weather. Generally speaking though your most likely going to be shut down.

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