We all know that 2020 has brought some interesting challenges to truck driving. This winter is no exception. As you plan for colder temperatures, dangerous road conditions and the current pandemic, it’s important to take safety precautions and plan for the unexpected. Here are five essential tips for truck drivers to stay safe this winter:

Have a winter emergency kit
It’s always important to have an emergency kit on your truck, but there are additional items you’ll need during the winter months. When breakdowns or other emergencies happen, they can become even more dangerous with colder temperatures and bad weather. Your winter emergency kit should include: extra food and water, de-icer and ice scraper, a shovel and bag of salt or sand, rain poncho, warm blanket and an extra set of warm clothes, working flashlight, extra gloves and hat, and recovery straps or tow chains.

Focus on your health
Winter is known as cold and flu season, but if there’s one thing that 2020 has taught us, it’s the importance of prioritizing your own health more than ever before. Make sure you’re staying hydrated, getting plenty of sleep and choosing food that fuels your body. Many of our truck drivers say that the key to eating healthy on the road is meal planning at home and prepping your meals so they’re easy to put together in your truck. You can find great in-cab workout routines with minimal equipment needed on YouTube and Pinterest. When it comes to avoiding germs –which is a high priority during the pandemic — make sure you’re washing your hands frequently, cleaning high touch surfaces regularly, and wearing a mask when you need to be around other individuals.

Don’t skip your truck inspection
Inspecting your truck is always important, but there are some things you’ll need to add to your list in the winter months. Check your tires for wear, air pressure and balance. Make sure your battery is charged, your lights are working and that your fluid levels are full. You’ll also want to make sure your windshield wipers are working in case you hit inclement weather and that they, and your exhaust pipe, are free of snow and ice.

Always check the weather conditions
Weather conditions can change quickly in the wintertime as you travel from one place to another, so it’s important to stay up to date on what the weather looks like along your route and any changing conditions. If road conditions become too dangerous, get off the road and notify your Carter dispatcher.

Allow for longer trip times
Winter driving requires a lot more time. You can’t always hop in your truck and go – sometimes you’ll need to spend time letting your truck warm up and to let your windows defrost. Hazardous road conditions require a slower speed, slower acceleration and deceleration, and a greater following distance. All of these may extend your drive time, so it’s important to plan accordingly.

Looking for a truck driving job this winter? Reach out to us at Carter Express to hear more about joining our team!
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