Driving in High Winds

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by jeepkid7998, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. jeepkid7998

    jeepkid7998 Light Load Member

    Feb 28, 2007
    Albany, Oregon
    I hope there is not a post for this already. I looked and didn't see any.
    I have a question for the veterans. Im a newb myself and I'm sure I'm not the only guy or gal who has wondered this.

    I was truckin thru Wyoming last week with a target load to Woodland Ca and for the first time got to experience some hellacious cross winds. I have driven in high winds before but not this bad. My question for the old timers are how bad do the winds need to be before YOU will pull your truck over and let them die down? Or do you?

    Any stories or advise would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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  3. 3.14

    3.14 Road Train Member

    Jun 8, 2009
    hmmmmmmm, lets see, for me personally, if i cannot hold my lane after slowing down to 35mph, i get the hell off the road.

    the night before my 25th birthday, i drove through a couple of tornado worthy storms in nebraska. the first one had steady winds of 50mph, gusting up to 80mph. i drove the truck at 15mph, emergency lights flashing, and managed to make it out just fine. the second storm cell i hit was near grand island. that one dropped a tornado while i was going west on i-80. my ears popped, heard the howl, and braced myself. it was a hellish 4 miles of slow ### driving, wondering if i'd make it out alive. the truck's qualcomm dome got hit by lightning, and the truck itself received a couple holes in the cab from softball sized hail.

    the trick is: SLOW THE HELL DOWN.
    free2frog and jeepkid7998 Thank this.
  4. ChromeDome

    ChromeDome Road Train Member

    Jun 10, 2007
    Lakeland, FL
    Yup. He got the trick.
    Drive slow, do not over steer. When gusts hit you need to correct but they will stop fast, so if you over correct you will make it worse.
    Also depends on your load. They will post warnings in that area based on weight. If you are in a curtain side or running light, then stop when you see the warnings. Before you get to the high wind area.
    mitchlocke and jeepkid7998 Thank this.
  5. GasHauler

    GasHauler Master FMCSA Interpreter

    Oct 23, 2005
    They all got it right. It all depends on how the truck handles. I've been on I-80 in WY with a load that was just about 120,000lbs and the wind was blowing like crazy but you couldn't feel it in the cab. Then I've hauled triples that were empty and I had to pull over to let it die down. Anytime the truck is not handling right you slow down and if it gets so slow you're wasting your time take a break.
  6. brinkj23

    brinkj23 "Asphalt Cowboy"

    Dec 26, 2005
    Last time I ran through wyoming wb on 80 I saw the signs warning of steady winds of 40 and gusts to 60. I ran about 45 50 ish through the wind, I only had about 20,000lbs of cereal on and it was blowing me pretty good if I went over that, and the cab on the truck was at a constant lean to the right. Was a little freaky at first cause ive never had cross winds like that before, but once you get a comfortable speed then its good. So just slow down till you can control the truck and keep it in your lane. An like the others said dont over correct, sometimes you just need to ease it on the shoulder a bit to cushion the wind so the brunt of it doesnt try to tip ya over.
  7. He who is called I am

    He who is called I am Medium Load Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Da U P Eh, Michigan
    Ah yes nothing like driving down the freeway with your steering wheel turned 4-6 inches one way to go straight and get a swirl and have to counter steer the other way to keep it on the road. Good times good times..lol
  8. striker

    striker Road Train Member

    Aug 8, 2009
    Denver, Co
    everyone is different on this, I drive Colo., Wyo., NE, NM daily so I deal with this all the time. I've had a 53' container ripped off a chassis by high winds, I've also had an empty 20' container on a stretched 20' chassis (the 2nd most stable empty platform I can hual in high winds) try to pass me becuase of the wind. After the blow over, any time I would get a cross wind exceeding 35 mph I would get nervous (the container that was ripped off the chassis was in 50 mph winds while I was doing 75). It took me about 5 yrs to get over it, but I still get nervous and have turned around or parked for a few hours several times.

    A couple of rules of thumb for me, in Colorado, if they say there is a high wind restriction, then park it or I'l tell my boss I'm staying local if that's an option. If Wyo. tells you NO light weigh/high profile trailers then park it. If it's listed as an advisory then I'll flip a coin. One thing to keep in mind, especially in Wyo., if you can stop at the POE do so, during the worst months for wind they all have a computer terminal setup where you can check the weather on your route including wind speeds.

    the biggest thing, slow down, slide your tandems to the rear (if possible based on your configuration or load), put your 4-ways on and use your best judgement. Just because a fellow driver for your company chooses to continue on doesn't me you have to, if you get blown over it's your ### not his.
    jeepkid7998 Thanks this.
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