Winter Driving Tips

Topic 33774 | Page 2

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Old School's Comment
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I wonder if keeping the trucks running would apply to day cabs too?

Yes. When a diesel is running, a certain amount of unused fuel recirculates back to the fuel tank. That fuel has been warmed up from the engine compartment and returns to the fuel tank effectively warming the fuel as time goes by. This is why we don't shut off our trucks in severe weather.

There are some other factors like how much fuel is in the tank. It takes longer for a full tank of diesel to start gelling than it does an 1/8 of a tank.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

Maestro's Comment
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Plus one on prep and Intel. Become a weather nut. Make sure your clothing, food and water is prepped. Make sure your equipment is and make sure not to pull your trailer brakes.

Regarding the trailer brakes, do you recommend not to pull the trailer brakes if docked?

Rob T.'s Comment
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The inspection lane had a steady stream of trucks all day though, almost all cold related issues. Also quite a few tows into and out of the yard.

Another driver from my company called me today. He said his red glad hand broke off the trailer. He called Michelin (road service) about 430am in the Minneapolis area. They said they'll try to find a provider to come out and do the job. Nobody had picked up the work order by 9am so one of the ladies in the office called some connections she has at a local to the area NAPA store and they had him on the road by 10am. Still had no ETA from Michelin but was told due to extreme temps work orders are open 12 to 16 HOURS and since he has heat, out of the way, and at one of our stores he was a low priority.

It's a pretty easy repair, he said 5 minutes is all it took, but our company is very picky about repairs only being done by mechanics. They do not want the drivers doing anything which is understandable BUT in turn he spent over 5 hours waiting for a 5 minute repair.

Rob T.'s Comment
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Regarding the trailer brakes, do you recommend not to pull the trailer brakes if docked?

Most places require brakes to be set and lock your gladhand. I've never had my brakes lock up but I've gotten in the habit of applying light pressure to the brakes to help dry them.

PackRat's Comment
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The inspection lane had a steady stream of trucks all day though, almost all cold related issues. Also quite a few tows into and out of the yard.

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Another driver from my company called me today. He said his red glad hand broke off the trailer. He called Michelin (road service) about 430am in the Minneapolis area. They said they'll try to find a provider to come out and do the job. Nobody had picked up the work order by 9am so one of the ladies in the office called some connections she has at a local to the area NAPA store and they had him on the road by 10am. Still had no ETA from Michelin but was told due to extreme temps work orders are open 12 to 16 HOURS and since he has heat, out of the way, and at one of our stores he was a low priority.

It's a pretty easy repair, he said 5 minutes is all it took, but our company is very picky about repairs only being done by mechanics. They do not want the drivers doing anything which is understandable BUT in turn he spent over 5 hours waiting for a 5 minute repair.

I always have a spare for the trailer side and for the truck air lines. I also carry compression fittings and various AN fittings (plastic and aluminum) for air line and brake systems.

For that, I would not call it in, repairing it myself instead of sitting for hours.

Pianoman's Comment
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Hi Trucking Friends!

This week is Kentucky we will be experiencing artic cold 🥶 weather.

As a rookie driver, what are your best winter driving tips or advice that you have learned and willing to pass on?

I think it was mentioned in passing here but the main thing I’d add here is keep your tanks topped off each night if you’re dealing with sub-zero temps. It’ll help avoid gelling. Rob also mentioned this in passing but if you’re worried about your trailer brakes freezing it’s helpful to ride your brakes to some extent in the parking lot before you get parked to heat them up and hopefully get rid of as much moisture as possible to avoid the brakes freezing, especially if you have to pull the trailer brake for some reason (like parking in a dock to get loaded or unloaded).

Another small tip.. if it’s so cold your wiper fluid is freezing you can add some rubbing alcohol in the reservoir and it’ll help keep it from freezing. It doesn’t take much, like maybe half of a small bottle of it iirc. (Don’t keep rubbing alcohol in your cab btw…dot violation. Just use what you need to and if there’s any left just throw it out).

Bruce also said this but I’ll reiterate it: just don’t do frozen rain/ice. It’s just not worth it. I love driving in the snow. Yes I’m crazy. I grew up driving in Colorado and it’s just something I enjoy but straight up ice is different. We don’t really get it in Colorado but a lot of the southern states get freezing rain in this weather and the roads turn into sheets of ice and when that happens you just can’t get traction no matter how heavy you are or how good your tires are. Even if you chain up you’re not going to get far because there will be pileups and if you’re lucky you won’t end up in one.

I’m mostly just repeating what was already said obviously but there’s lots of good advice in this thread. My biggest tips are leave the truck on and keep food and warm clothes/blankets with you at all times but literally everyone already said that lol.

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.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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Check out my video on winter driving

Kearseys Winter Driving Tips

Maestro's Comment
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Check out my video on winter driving

Kearseys Winter Driving Tips

Thank you, Kearsey, that was excellent!

Thus far with the winter weather, I have experienced:

[*] While moving a trailer to the company lot, I heard a screeching noise and didn't pay it no mind. I drove down the road and looked in my mirrors. I saw what I thought was snow coming off the trailer then I heard a loud POP. Suddenly, the trailer started to move faster. I thought the brakes were frozen and that the friction finally unlocked them. Nope...when I backed the trailer, I heard a loud thunk. I did a GOAL and heard air leaking out. I kicked the rear right tires and the second tire was flat. :(

[*] While traveling from Indiana, I was about a stone throw away from approaching Georgetown, KY exit. Suddenly, my primary air line started to drop and the truck was losing air. I pulled over and heard air leaking. I kicked all the tires. They were all firm. I aired up as much as I could and drove to the company lot with the load. I called Dispatch to tell what happened. Later I found out the air line popped off due to the cold.

Speaking of cold...What heavy duty gloves do y'all recommend for cold weather?

I had to double up my gloves and my hands still get cold especially when pumping fuel! 🥶

BK's Comment
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“Speaking of cold...What heavy duty gloves do y'all recommend for cold weather?”

Google “electric gloves” and “hand warmers”. But I wouldn’t spend too much money on gloves that will get diesel fuel on them. And make sure whatever you use is washable.

I have a friend who bought one of those Milwaukee brand heated jackets and he loves it. It uses the same rechargeable batteries his cordless tools use.

He likes electric stuff. He bought an electric car, an electric blanket, an electric guitar. Then he bought an electric chair and I haven’t heard from him since.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Davy A.'s Comment
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I picked up a set of insulated work gloves for 21.99 at pilot. Worked all trip at -10 to -20 below 0. Good enough I'll probably buy a few more sets and use them for ski gloves.

If I know I'm going to be doing pickups and delivery in cold weather, I'll wear a thin high insulated base layer like under armor.

I wear insulated steel toe boots most of the year anyway.

Down to about 15 degrees I'm good with my regular gloves just my safety bomber jacket I got from a pilot or loves. Colder than that I layer a fleece hoodie under the jacket.

I'm bald, so below 30 degrees I wear a fleece beanie.

I worked out in the elements for decades and taught skiing that I guess I'm just used to it. I'll take roasting hot days over cold any day though. I love working in 80 or 90 degree heat. Suits me fine.

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