Post Date - Jan 12, 2022
Truck drivers have some unique concerns and challenges when winter weather rolls through the country. Here’s Paper Transport’s winter driving tips to stay warm when you’re away from home as well as stay safe while driving.
Run your heater. This might seem like a no-brainer! Run your heater for a while before you’re about to sleep. You can do it when you’re finishing up your paperwork or getting ready for bed. Once truck is turned off, then turn on the Espar Bunk Heater to the desired temperature. This will keep the cab area at a comfortable temperature while truck is turned off.
Invest in a sleeping bag. A sleeping bag that’s designed to withstand extremely low temperatures will keep off the chill. Thermarest Polar Ranger -20F Sleeping Bag, Marmot Trestles 0 Sleeping Bag, and Kelty Cosmic 0 Sleeping Bag are all budget friendly, mummy style options. To increase the warmth, add layers of blankets on top of the sleeping bag for additional insulation.
12-volt mattress pads. The pads plug into a lighter socket and are perfect for helping you stay warm at night without idling the engine. Sunbeam, Beautyrest, Electrowarmth have several excellent heated mattress pads.
Crack a window open. It seems counterintuitive to open a window when you want to stay warm, but it keeps moisture from accumulating in your cab. A small crack to keep the moisture out does the trick.
A Pre-trip inspection can seem routine, but the fact is it could save your life, particularly during harsh winter weather. Check the tire pressure, engine oil and antifreeze levels before you hit the road and give close attention to these areas:
Windshield wipers. Make sure you have good windshield wipers and all-season windshield washer fluid.
Good headlights. It’s darker in wintertime, so make sure your lights go on and aren’t covered by snow. You want to see where you’re going, but also want other drivers to see you. Keep your headlights and taillights clear of snow and ice.
Tire check. Make sure your tires’ tread depths are sufficient to provide the traction necessary to ensure the vehicle can safely operate on snow and ice.
Watch your step. To protect your own personal safety, make sure all ice and snow is removed from handholds, steps and deck plates.
Breathe easy. As cab ventilation is poorer during the winter with all the windows being rolled up, make sure exhaust-system connections are all fitted and functioning properly. This helps prevent the danger of accidental carbon-monoxide poisoning.
You’ll also want to check:
Set yourself up for success to solve minor problems yourself to keep warm and rolling. Downtime on the side of the road is never fun, especially if it’s something simple.
Tools. Every driver has their go-to tools that are always with them; vice-grips, adjustable wrenches, rubber mallets, 1 lb. hammer, drivers and bit, tire inflation hose, etc. Give yourself the tools to make quick fixes to get back home.
Clothing. We never know what conditions we may find ourselves in, but gloves, winter hat, water-resistance clothing, and a spare jacket could always come in handy. (My personal favorite in cold weather is dry socks.) Anything that will keep you as comfortable as possible.
Food/Water. Keep some snacks and water around if you need to shut-down due to unsafe conditions. Earlier this winter, roads were shut down on the east coast and people were stranded for multiple hours.
There is not a single load we haul that is worth the risk of accident or injury due to cold weather and there is nothing more important than driver safety and satisfaction at Paper Transport! Our late model equipment has many added features designed for safety and comfort such as collision avoidance systems, satellite tracking for proactive planning, automated transmission, premium interiors with added insulation for noise reduction, and a 1500-watt inverter. PTI is also proud to consistently receive the newest truck technology from Freightliner as a pre-series test fleet.
Have questions about our safety culture or driver opportunities at Paper Transport? Connect with us today!