Too err on the side of caution...

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Eowyn, Feb 7, 2021.

  1. Eowyn

    Eowyn Medium Load Member

    Jul 5, 2016
    I’m not sure how to do polls, and don’t care. I would like opinions and advice on driving through winter conditions. I have driven through many conditions. Lately most loads are light or bobtailing.

    I’m driving through MO today. Everything is fine...eventually the weather starts turning bad here and there. There is not a lot of snow, but some precipitation, until there is. Salt trucks are coming through and waiting ... then quickly freezing temperatures occur, so you know what’s going to happen, ice. Vehicles start going off the road, people are fishtailing in front of you.

    Would you push through? Why?

    I was bobtailing and planning on laying over in Effingham, IL. Since I was lucky enough to be able to adjust my schedule I stopped sooner.

    I have driven through snow storms and compacted conditions fully loaded. What’s the difference bobtailing or empty?
    Lumper Humper and truckdriver31 Thank this.
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  3. SoulScream84

    SoulScream84 Road Train Member

    Mar 21, 2020
    The major difference? No weight on your drives, meaning less traction, less braking, LESS CONTROL. Winter conditions are not the time to be bobtailing, especially when you already see drivers failing.
  4. Eowyn

    Eowyn Medium Load Member

    Jul 5, 2016
    Yep, that’s why I put my flashers on and got off at the next exit I could find.
    austinmike, SoulScream84, baha and 2 others Thank this.
  5. meechyaboy

    meechyaboy Heavy Load Member

    Oct 4, 2018
    If you don’t have to I would just take it easy, let the road crews get a chance to work their magic. Especially if bobtailing or empty.
    TravR1, truckdriver31 and SoulScream84 Thank this.
  6. Eowyn

    Eowyn Medium Load Member

    Jul 5, 2016

    If I had a trailer what would be the difference? Light or heavy? What about jack knifing in heavy braking situations?
    truckdriver31 Thanks this.
  7. truckdriver31

    truckdriver31 Road Train Member

    Sep 18, 2013
    i drove across I-70 to the pilot in east st louis one night. time i got there. i had to use a small 3 pound hammer to bust off ice on truck
  8. WesternPlains

    WesternPlains Road Train Member

    Sep 1, 2017
    When it is colder. Let’s say below 15 degrees. The ice is better. It’s hard. You can get traction ok. Need to slow down. But no worries of losing control if you’re careful.
    Now above 15. Especially closer to 32. Ice is bad. You can completely lose it no matter how careful you are. You can even slide with chains. Don’t fool around with this.
    I’ll never forget. One night in Ne. on i80. It had been raining. Got below 32. Turned to snow. I got off at Grand Island. Sat it out. They didn’t shut down i80. Many others tried making it. The next day. I watched a constant flow of trucks being towed into Grand Island.
    I watch for two things.
    First my steers closely. When they aren’t quite responding to corrections normally. Caution time.
    Two... when you start seeing cars wipe out.
    Just park it.
    You should have slowed down before these two.

    others love to tell you to just go. Like dispatch. Don’t listen to them. They aren’t responsible for the truck. They aren’t responsible. As far as they’re concerned. You can sacrifice your license to their company.
    Rocks, Eowyn, spindrift and 3 others Thank this.
  9. uncleal13

    uncleal13 Road Train Member

    Apr 9, 2009
    Humboldt, Sk
    I was empty a few years ago, freezing rain, strong side wind. Only doing about 30 mpg. Wind kept pushing drives sideways breaking traction.
    Only went four miles like that then parked it until sun came out and melted the roads.
    SoulScream84 Thanks this.
  10. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

    Dec 17, 2010
    Ainigriv Notpmah
    NEVER NEVER NEVER under ANY circumstances operate ANY vehicle of any weight in ANY weather condition when you don't feel comfortable! Heavy rain and fog are just about responsible for as many accidents as ice & snow! Yes, you can get advice to slow down etc etc, but by slowing down you might now be in that super trucker's way coming up behind you. 4 wheelers are another problem. I used the term super trucker on purpose. There are so dang many drivers out there that don't respect just how bad road conditions can get. I have seen many accidents over the years when that bill came due and a driver paid it with their lives OR somebody else died!

    I remember once up in Ohio driving up I 75 from Kentucky going up to get some Soup. I was empty after unloading in Georgetown Ky. That light rain turned to snow and by the time I got up on the other side of Dayton near Huber Heights I got into black ice. Weather conditions can change in a minute.

    As to your question. An empty 53-foot trailer averages about 14,000 some are heavier and some a bit lighter. Even with a reefer, there are maybe 8,000 on those drives at the most. Any weight added to those drives is good, but if I had a choice I HIGHLY recommend before operating bobtail OR EMPTY to make sure you know the conditions of the road. Once you lose traction on those drives if you had to hard brake that bobtail might well spin.
    Eowyn, Cowboyrich and SoulScream84 Thank this.
  11. Wicked Wizard

    Wicked Wizard Heavy Load Member

    Jul 15, 2008
    Northeast PA
    This last storm brought 22 inches to my house. I didn't work Monday or Tuesday. I'm currently teaching my girls the rules of the road. On days like that I told them that it comes down to Career vs job. If the boss doesn't like it he can get rid of me. I'll have another truck driving job by the end of the week. If I F up in bad weather I have nobody to blame but me.
    The problem is with management, they push drivers. Drivers in turn wreck. PA had gotten so bad a few years back that now the Gov bans empty trailers before the storm even gets here. So even if I pull a load I know that I will not be home tomorrow. You just gotta be smart out there if driving and know your limitations just like Clint Eastwood says. lol
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