Just Above Freezing Temps Are Dangerous

Topic 32699 | Page 1

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Nuts's Comment
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Yesterday we had temps of 33 to 34 degrees after it was below freezing overnight. (1st red flag) It was a light drizzle coming down so the roads weren't obvious ice but we're slick in spots. I left Fargo, ND on I94 heading east for my first delivery about 60 miles away. Growing up in these conditions it makes you a cautious but you still want a productive day, but if your in the ditch your production becomes negative real quick. About 30 miles out of Fargo was the trail trailer and dolly of a double on it's side. About 1/2 mile further up the road was the tractor and main trailer on it's side, (2nd red flag) not a ride I would have wanted to been on. Looked like it might have been there a couple of hours, it was about 10am. Just ahead in the passing lane a mile or so was a squad and road flares before the crest of a hill. Once over the hill the road turns to the right pretty sharp for 70 mph, good conditions no problem but icy not so much. There is a semi upright but jackknifed in the median. There were 3 wreckers on scene we're setting up to pull this guy out, driver was ok when I passed as he was getting in a small tow truck. Guessing the towing entourage was out for the first wreck and then this happened. About another 10 miles further east was a tanker in the center median headed west upright with his flashers on but that was a steep median how it didn't roll idk, but glad it didn't. I will take snow over freezing drizzle everyday of the week. But if your new and have not had to drive in the north during the winter please be cautious and slow it down. Watch for signs that road conditions might be changing, they are out there. Could the driver who ended up jackknifed in the median avoided it, more than likely, did he see the other truck on it's side and slow down?

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

TCB's Comment
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The temp could be 33-40 at ground level. But the temp might be 32 or lower up in the clouds where precipitation forms in a frozen form before falling to the ground. The slightly above freezing temp at ground level doesn’t give it enough time to melt before falling to the ground. So, you now have a wet snow or ice, which is very slippery and dangerous. Be safe drivers.

Ryan B.'s Comment
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Ice is more dangerous than snow. One, ice can be hard to see on a road surface. It can go from wet to frozen very quickly, especially with elevation changes. Also, tires can keep traction on snow better than ice. If traveling on a road with other vehicles around, watch the tires. When you are seeing spray from the tires, you know that you have a wet road and traction can be maintained. Even still, keep it slow. If you stop seeing spray, you are now hitting an icy road. Slow it down and consider looking out for a place to park.

BK's Comment
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Yesterday I came down through Illinois and then west across Arkansas. It rained almost the entire way, 650 miles. It was also above freezing the entire time. There were so many wrecks one would have thought it was the first time it had rained since the automobile was invented . Only one accident involved trucks, and then it was pretty clear no injuries took place. But there were enough wrecked cars to give a good start to a new salvage yard. I guess it was a case of early winter jitters. If it had been freezing rain, I can only imagine how bad it would have been.

Wishing everyone a safe winter of driving.

Mr. Curmudgeon's Comment
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A trick I learned from my brother was to watch the backside or your westcoast mirror. When you see glazing there, you know that it's possible/ likely everywhere. Also, keep an eye out for spray from your drive tires, or the tires of other units on the roadway. Precipitation falling without spray rising from the road generally means ice is forming.

My first winter of driving, I was kinda pushed into running a load of potato chips (about 13k) from Detroit back to DOT Foods in Hellinois. Through one of those lake effect / central western Michigan blizzards. Several of the super truckers that chided me on CB for not going fast enough (visibility was pathetic - dangerously short) as they passed me before I pulled off at Watervliet were in the median or off into ditch six hours later when the sun came out and the roads got treated. I just drove past without comment.

Glad you made it safe.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Nuts's Comment
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Last night coming home in my 4 wheeler and it was an actual ice skating rink. It was below freezing but it was raining. By my house there is a sugar beet processing plant and there are trucks that hall from piles to the plant. One of the trucks towing a full length beet trailer plus a pup beet trailer jackknifed trying to take the normal exit they take. His pup trailer blocked the exit ramp and the tractor and other trailer took up both southbound lanes of I29. Sitting there in the car watching my rearview mirror with trucks stacked up in front of me and seeing more approaching was a little scary knowing the road conditions. After a little while someone attempted to make it around the tractor and was able to make it around, soon all the most of the vehicles followed and cleared the jam. I felt bad for the driver of the truck but without a heavy duty wrecker there was nothing anyone could do. The visibility was good, otherwise it could have been chain reaction crash as I was passed by a few semis and I was probably going to fast for conditions doing 35-40 mph.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Larry T.'s Comment
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Got my relay sent to me Monday night in Minneapolis to start my week. Going to Minot. Looks pretty nasty there. Could have made it to Fargo this morning. However with it being DG store deliveries I'd have to bring my light trailer back to Jamestown in the snow/ice and wind. Guess I'll head out tomorrow morning and see what happens.

Last night coming home in my 4 wheeler and it was an actual ice skating rink. It was below freezing but it was raining. By my house there is a sugar beet processing plant and there are trucks that hall from piles to the plant. One of the trucks towing a full length beet trailer plus a pup beet trailer jackknifed trying to take the normal exit they take. His pup trailer blocked the exit ramp and the tractor and other trailer took up both southbound lanes of I29. Sitting there in the car watching my rearview mirror with trucks stacked up in front of me and seeing more approaching was a little scary knowing the road conditions. After a little while someone attempted to make it around the tractor and was able to make it around, soon all the most of the vehicles followed and cleared the jam. I felt bad for the driver of the truck but without a heavy duty wrecker there was nothing anyone could do. The visibility was good, otherwise it could have been chain reaction crash as I was passed by a few semis and I was probably going to fast for conditions doing 35-40 mph.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Nuts's Comment
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Larry, I94 was shutdown from Fargo to Bismarck and the snow is supposed to continue through Thursday, I wish you safe travels. The snow has been wet so it has cut back on the blowing snow but the ice underneath is what has been causing issues. I guess a driver rolled a tractor/trailer this morning near the 111 exit where the semi jackknifed last night.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Harvey C.'s Comment
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Although not particularly dangerous, our son Michael shared that he encountered a first time thing yesterday evening, I think at the Pilot in Chemult, Oregon. He had parked for his 30 minute break and got out and when he came back he noticed his truck was slowly sliding out of the parking space. He said this lot had an incline to it.

I reminded him of something I had shared with him before when I read OldSchool had used kitty litter to get unstuck (and de-icer) and said he might want to pack some of that as I thought that should help stop sliding if he was going to be parked longer.

G-Town's Comment
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Harvey wrote:

Although not particularly dangerous, our son Michael shared that he encountered a first time thing yesterday evening, I think at the Pilot in Chemult, Oregon. He had parked for his 30 minute break and got out and when he came back he noticed his truck was slowly sliding out of the parking space. He said this lot had an incline to it.

Harvey I respectfully disagree; this is potentially dangerous as it can happen. It's quiet...no one is expecting something like this. The slightest incline can cause something like this on very thin ice. Gradually increasing momentum can be destructive.

I can think of several times when I parked in relatively flat Walmart lots; when icy, just to be sure, after I pulled the brakes, lowered the window to listen for any indication the truck was sliding. When I exited the truck; I watched it for about one minute to see if there was the slightest bit of movement before leaving it to enter the store.

Ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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