Driving a truck on the snow

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by KAMA3, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. KAMA3

    KAMA3 Bobtail Member

    Feb 23, 2014
    Hey everyone. I've been trucking for about 2 months so far and now feel pretty confident behind the wheel most of the time ( the first week was very stressful, I think you all know what I'm talking about ). But summer is almost gone,snow time is coming soon and my next concern is how to safely gain some winter driving experience. So I'm trying to get some advises about driving on the snow for rookies. What you must and must NOT do, when on the snow? I know, I should avoid driving on the snow whenever possible, but if it just happens? What is different from driving a car? Can your company make you drive on the snow? Can you legally refuse driving on bad weather conditions? Any info is appreciated.
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  3. joseph1135

    joseph1135 Papa Murphy

    Nov 8, 2009
    The Highway To Hell.
    Just drive. Be patient, drive cautious. No distractions, keep your eyes on the road and mirrors at all times. Increase your following distance as well.
    Bumper and KAMA3 Thank this.
  4. snowwy

    snowwy Road Train Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    SLOW AND steady. it's not that bad. drive at your comfort level and you'll be just fine.

    P.S. don't be afraid to throw chains. if your in the mountains. or you could be like most lazy trucks and park it till who knows when. but if your going THAT route. make sure you have groceries and water.

    3 years ago. 4 company drivers left on the same trip. one delivered his load, grabbed the next load. went down south. grabbed the next load delivered and was home for the weekend. the other 3 trucks parked for the entire week waiting to deliver that one load.
    TripleSix, striker, Lepton1 and 3 others Thank this.
  5. pattyj

    pattyj Road Train Member

    Jul 19, 2008
    Sioux City,ia
    You can legally refuse loads if you don't feel safe driving but don't be surprised if your company puts a service failure on your DAC for every load you refuse.I understand your concern about winter driving,I didn't care for it but as a trk driver your job is to pick up and deliver loads no matter what adverse conditions you encounter except during a blizzard,ice storm.But otherwise your company will require you to drive in it and if you still refuse be prepared to face the music with your dispatcher and the company once you get back to the terminal.If your worried about it then find a company that don't go to the rockies. that's where its the worst.As you know always keep plenty of following distance and go the speed you feel most comfortable at.Like I said I don't like driving in that crap but loads have to be delivered and as long as they are passable you'll have to drive.
    KAMA3, Plan-B Trucking and Snowshoes Thank this.
  6. okiedokie

    okiedokie Road Train Member

    Jun 13, 2011
    When in doubt throw Iron. Split the travel lane/tracks when possible, that's where all the gravel has been pushed to. If you stop roll your truck back & forth 20 ft. and get those tires cooled off . Don't set your trailer brakes just the tractor. Your trailer brakes will freeze. Or park on a slight incline. If you don't feel all warm & fuzzy driving on pack Snow you will it takes time. Like 1135 said........run it cool.
    KAMA3, Lepton1 and briarhopper Thank this.
  7. tumblin dice

    tumblin dice Light Load Member

    Apr 18, 2014
    Jacksonville, FL
    Snow is not the problem so much......it's the ICE to watch out for! When you approach a bridge or overpass back off the accelerator before you hit it. If you feel yourself sliding...pucker up and hold on....don't over react....you'll only make things worse. Most of the time you'll never see the ice before you are on it. Use your CB to monitor road conditions up ahead. If I see other truckers pulling over I do like wise. If you see other trucks running slow then get in line. I remember following a fellow trucker at 40 mph for about 3 hrs. and no one was passing us.
    KAMA3 and Lepton1 Thank this.
  8. Joetro

    Joetro Road Train Member

    Aug 23, 2008
    Post Falls, ID
    What the others said, but I will add, DON'T BUNCH UP WITH THE OTHER IDIOTS. You see it all the time; 15 trucks all bunched up, just waiting for one moron to take out several other morons. Increase your following distance to compensate.
    JReding, allniter, Lepton1 and 3 others Thank this.
  9. Happily Retired

    Happily Retired Road Train Member

    Apr 16, 2014
    high plains colorado
    Sadly, not much can prepare you for winter driving. I suggest a spare pair of under wear. Why? When it happens , you'll know. Snow, as long as it's not real deep is passable,,,with a load. Empty is down right treacherous. Freezing rain,is,by far, the worst. I wouldn't run in freezing rain,period. 30 or 35 mph is about the max on ice or snow, and remember, the brakes, even the engine brake can get you into trouble. Start slowing down way ahead of time, downshifting, and stay off the brakes. Allow plenty of time, if you must run, it takes a long time to get somewhere at 30 mph, and above all, remember, better to be way late than to have an upset. Know why they call it an upset? Because when you call the boss saying you went off the road, they get really upset!:biggrin_2559:
    sherlock510 and KAMA3 Thank this.
  10. Puppage

    Puppage Road Train Member

    Aug 2, 2012
    Experience speaks! You'd do well to heed his advice.
    joseph1135 Thanks this.
  11. stevep1977

    stevep1977 Road Train Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    Chicago, IL
    My rule that I've always followed is if you see pavement and it's just spray/water, 55mph is a safe speed. Once you get to the point where there are tire tracks in the snow where you can still see pavement, but a strip of snow cover between the tires, I'll reduce to 45 mph. Once the road is completely snow covered I'll go down to 35-40, and even down to 25-30 depending on visibility. Iced up roads are not safe to drive on
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