Winter Driving Thread

Topic 31012 | Page 1

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BK's Comment
member avatar

I would like to get a discussion going about winter driving, because we all know what’s coming again this year.

Yes, I know that anybody can research a ton of info here from past comments. But let’s do a refresher thread for all of us rookies.

I’ve met many new drivers from the south who have never even seen snow and there ice only comes in small or large bags, lol

Let’s do a winter driving thread to help prepare everyone for what’s coming up.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

What info are you seeking, Bruce?

BK's Comment
member avatar

What info are you seeking, Bruce?

Just general advice about driving in winter conditions for those who will be doing it for the first time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

It's not the snow and ice that bothers me, I've driven a multitude of vehicles in it and it has relatively fixed peramiters. It's the grey areas that bug me.

40 degrees and hard rain, some freestanding water, 44k in the box, feel confident driving around 60 mph. Average freeway, how much Jake can I use?

36 degrees, rain snow mix, no accumulation. Traffic is moving at typical freeway speeds. Empty or little weight. Can I use Jake at all? Maybe a combination of a little Jake, some manual to hold the gear and some brakes?

35 degree, light snow, sticking in some shaded areas, some wet, light load, coming down the pass out of Spanish springs in UT, dry desired speed is 45, what is it now? Some good 6 percent grades with turns, can I use Jake here, if not, whats the best practices for these situations, aside from the old addage "slow down". That's relative and doesn't really specifically address what technically to do or try.

Andrey's Comment
member avatar

Exact numbers for temperature, weight, grade can be very misleading and offer a poor service. Correct speed and brake application will come with experience and time, but before that the best thing is to slow down, and then slow down some more.

Davy A.'s Comment
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Exact numbers for temperature, weight, grade can be very misleading and offer a poor service. Correct speed and brake application will come with experience and time, but before that the best thing is to slow down, and then slow down some more.

Hopefully I dont sound combative, I didnt mean it that way. I just gave those as examples for a ballpark of types of situations. Conditions like those can present a problem of going too slow, of obstructing traffic as well as too fast. Ive been gradually getting to know things through experimenting and instincts, but I would think there would be some general rules of thumb at least other than just go slow. Alas, I overthink much, especially when I am in new territory, but its an approach that has worked well much of the time.

I was able to track what methods resulted in the smoothest and most consistent driving in the example of heavy rains, empty with no jake use at all. But it took a good bit of floundering with manual mode, gear selection, speed and service brake application to find a happy medium for the truck Im driving.

My next load will be going up to Utah, and the company recommended route goes up 191 off of 40, to 6. through Spanish Springs. It looks to be a really light load. In the dry months, I take the down grades there at a target speed of 40 to 45, but I usually dont use my service brakes once I have the speed set and just use the Jake. If its wet or snowy, Ive got to learn how to do that hill at an appropriate speed to go safely get down it using only gearing and service brakes. The quandary is: How do you negotiate the hill without the use of a jake brake, its a powerful tool to reduce use of the service brake? I get controlled braking to keep target speed, but at the same time, It seems like that would possibly heat the brakes up too much?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I use jake all the time, light to medium on slippery surfaces, full everywhere else. Without jake in rain trailer kicks into anti-lock and I can't stop. Basically I replace my break shoes when they start cracking from age. Light jake and light breaks is safer and works better than just breaks on the snow from my experience. I don't break on black ice, letting the engine do the work. Speed up up hill, roll slow down. Just play with it to get an idea what your truck can and can't do. PS: when 2 or 4 cylinders are used jaking, it works intermittent, kind of a jerky style, anti-lock like. Meaning it still has split second roll, lock, roll action. Do the math.

Mike H.'s Comment
member avatar

SLOW DOWN Be very smooth and gentle with steering and braking. Triple your following distance. If it's raining with temps close to freezing,watch the vehicles passing you to see if water is coming off the road from the tires.If it does,you're OK,if not,you're probably on ice.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

BK's Comment
member avatar

Remember that your trailer brakes can freeze to the wheel if the brakes are wet when you park. So either don’t apply them when wet or dry them out by using light pressure to generate some heat before parking

Kerry L.'s Comment
member avatar

Here is an interesting question that someone considering a new career in trucking might want to know:

If a driver goes out with a trainer during summer months in an area that has snow in the winter, can said driver ask for additional training in the winter since that poses a whole host of issues not encountered in the winter? Obviously this could vary from one company to the next. What advice can experienced drivers provide to rookies who feel they need additional training for winter driving but happen to be with a company that doesn't provide it?

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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