Poor weather and risky driving conditions are something that you must navigate through with extreme care. It is imperative to practice safe driving techniques in weather conditions such as rain, ice, fog, and sleet.
With your truck in transit to deliver critical goods while traversing through harsh weather, you must have your vehicle ready, and your drivers trained to tackle such deterrents.
It’s best to postpone a trip under such circumstances; however, it is not practical to evade shipments in the trucking business.
Therefore, the best course of action is to make use of fleet risk management tips to prepare your truck to navigate through harsh weather.
Tips To Prepare Your Trucks For Harsh Weather
Follow these tips to prepare your trucks for extreme weather conditions and deliver goods safely and in time:
Navigating through bad weather typically takes longer and is more troublesome. Be sure to check the weather at your destination before you leave.
If you can select an alternate route to steer clear of the brunt of a weather system, then go for it.
If you decide not to postpone and continue with the trip, bring a map with you or use online maps to prevent getting lost during low visibility, and know about alternative routes if necessary.
Leave Space In Front
Driving experts suggest doubling the cushion between you and the vehicle in front of you when driving in the rain, sleet, snow, or other harsh conditions.
Braking distance is longer in such scenarios, and therefore, leaving more room ahead is critical. When the winds gain momentum, place both hands on the wheel and slow down your wagon.
Do not follow anyone too closely, specifically when trailing sensitive and valuable cargo that you cannot afford to damage.
Look out for objects blowing across the road, and do not let your safety be in jeopardy when driving in high winds. It is best to pull onto the side of the road, away from tall objects like trees and halt.
Double-Check Your Equipment
Have your engine brakes frequently monitored during extreme weather seasons. Also, be sure to carry an emergency aid kit with you at all times.
Ensure that your windshield wipers are working appropriately and that your headlights do not have any accumulated dirt. Dirty headlights can substantially cut down visibility, especially in poor weather.
Clean your windshield and mirrors of ice or frost before you leave, and keep them clean with wipers and wiper fluid while being in transit. If you feel like pulling over to scrape ice or snow, always stop at a safe location.
Steamy hot days can take a heavy toll not only on you but also on the battery of your vehicle. When the temperatures surge, the liquid inside your battery might evaporate.
An older battery might not hold an adequate charge, thereby increasing your chances of ending up stranded on the road.
If your battery is older than three years or more, consider replacing it immediately. You would not want to get stuck with an immobile truck when transporting essential shipments.
Check Your Tire Health
When temperatures plummet, you must always keep in mind that the air pressure in your tires will be lower in cold weather than during the summer.
Tire pressure generally changes by 1-2 pounds per square inch (PSI) for every 10 degrees of variation in temperature. Since cooler air implies retarded molecular motion, it causes the air pressure in the tires to drop.
Consider investing in reputable logistics solutions providers for a better hold on your tire health. Tire pressure can impact your gas mileage, tread-wear, and safety.
Be sure to keep your tires properly inflated when temperatures begin to fall to cruise seamlessly and ensure that no harm goes your cargo’s way.
Low Beams In Fog
When turning on your headlights, use low beams, not your high beams in fog, whether you are traveling through it at night or during the day.
Your low beam headlights contribute towards better visibility and also help other incoming vehicles to spot your truck.
It is very crucial to maintain adequate following distance in fog and drive calmly, as you may not perceive things like an incoming automobile or a traffic light until it is almost upon you.
Put On Some Radio
Tune in to a radio station that provides road condition information at a low volume while being in transit. The station might even offer alternate routes or alert you of road closures up ahead.
Maintain a low volume so that it does not intrude on your concentration; you need to stay sharp and focused when traversing through terrible weather.
Do Not Accelerate
You must drive more cautiously than usual in poor weather. Your truck carries precious cargo that can get damaged with minimal force if you accelerate and later have to push the brakes too hard.
Moreover, rushing or speeding during foul weather can cause accidents and lead to fatal injuries, apart from the loss of cargo.
Cautious driving cuts down the chance of skids as well as accidents. Be sure that you wear your seatbelt at all times. The traffic control has set speed limits for clear driving conditions.
Pull Over When Necessary
If you feel fatigued, pull over along the side of the road, and rest your eyes for a while.
Do not be afraid of the time you think is getting wasted by pulling over. Delaying the delivery is absolutely a better risk than getting involved in a potentially fatal accident.
Also, if the weather turns too bad, it might be a good idea to find a safe place to pull over at the side of the road and wait out the wicked spell.
While it is not always feasible to halt a critical trip on rough weather if you have to deliver essential cargo, there is an option to take precautionary measures before and while being in transit.
Samsara can help you organize your fleet for enhanced safety on the road by rendering state-of-the-art telematics solutions such as driver AI.
By following these tips, you can steer clear of any mishappenings and safely deliver cargo at the desired destination.