Staying on top of your safety while trucking is a top priority. With Winter upon us it is important to recognize potential hazards as well as the knowledge to take the appropriate action to protect yourself and others. Winter preparedness will save you a lot of time and suffering.
Winter brings snow, ice, freezing rain, high winds, and cold temperatures. Sun glare is a distraction that can cause a person to overlook hazards, such as potholes or ice patches. It is also known that working outside increases the risk of winter-related illnesses.
Keep an eye on your equipment. Hitting a pothole hard enough can damage tires. An inoperable heater or malfunctioning window defrosters can create driving distractions. Damaged wiper blades can reduce visibility and could potentially lead to a crash.
Failure to obey warning signs and not paying attention to your surroundings are prime examples of unsafe behaviors. Choosing not to wear proper winter clothing when working outside is also a choice that could lead to serious health risks.
Keep Your Fuel Tanks Full
Winter preparedness starts with keeping your fuel tanks full. Your engine is your only reliable source of heat. Keep it running. A truck driver has a much better chance at surviving a break down in the winter, if there is enough fuel to last a day or two. Tanks that are less than half full also have a greater risk of gelling. To keep your fuel from gelling, visit Werner Service and Trucking Inc to purchase an anti-gel additive such as Howes.
Keep Emergency Rations on Hand
If you are stuck in a storm, it is important to consume food and water. It is a good idea to have a small supply of high calorie snacks for emergency use. A driver should also keep a couple of cans of ready to eat food or soup as well as a can opener handy in case of emergency.
A Winter survival kit is a must for any driver, especially those drivers on irregular routes. Warm clothing is a must. Here are a few items to remember in your winter kit.
- Several pairs of heavy socks.
- Insulated coveralls.
- A good winter coat, mittens, and a hat.
- A pair of thermal underwear or several t-shirts to layer.
- Quality winter boots.
Winter Tool Kit
- Candles, butane lighter, plug-in rechargeable flashlight, batteries
- Sleeping bag
- Spare fuel filter, filter wrench
- Anti-gel fuel additive
- Air-line antifreeze
- Windshield ice scraper
- Road salt or cat litter
- Try to alert someone so that someone knows where you are.
- Consider your fuel supply and how long you may be able to leave the engine idling to keep warm. If you are low on fuel, only idle long enough to warm the cab and then shut it off again.
- If you have a downdraft exhaust, dig out any snow around it so that carbon monoxide does not cause an issue. Also, crack a window.
- Do not leave your truck because in the truck you can stay safe and warm until help arrives.
- Dress warmly even when inside the truck.
- If you fall asleep, set an alarm to wake you up periodically.
Winter survival begins with preparedness. Be prepared and be safe. Happy trucking.