Winter driving and chaining

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by nw88, Aug 8, 2016.

  1. JReding

    JReding Road Train Member

    Sep 8, 2014
    Puyallup, WA
    Sorry, for some weird reason my reply ended up in your comment! Sometimes I hate technology...
    Lepton1 Thanks this.
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  3. Newbeav Newbie

    Newbeav Newbie Medium Load Member

    Jun 3, 2011
    If you run out west you need to know how to chain. Not a big deal. If it's bad park the truck and wait. Get weather apps on your phones with Doppler.
    nw88 Thanks this.
  4. Zeviander

    Zeviander Road Train Member

    Jan 23, 2015
    Winnipeg, MB, CA
    That's okay, I found it.

    Could a new driver in today's industry get a job in your company right out of school? 18 years ago, and I mean no offense by this, but standards were different. Laws were different. Insurance was different. Getting a rookie to navigate the Rockies in a freak snow storm to deliver medical supplies is almost a little irresponsible on the company's part.

    But yes, everyone needs to get their feet wet. Just not jump head first in the deep end with no training or experience.
    nw88, Lepton1 and JReding Thank this.
  5. JReding

    JReding Road Train Member

    Sep 8, 2014
    Puyallup, WA
    Our transportation department where I work now is only 3 years old.
    And yes, we would hire well qualified newbies, and continue to develop them, but no, we wouldn't send them over the pass their first year out. We run mostly the I-5 corridor in Washington and the Portland, OR area. If it should be snowing in the lowlands, however, we will coach them through the entire process as much as they need.
    Until they've had a little time in, we'll save the passes for our experienced drivers.
    We have a solid safety record with no incidents so far, and this year we're on track to break a million miles. Not bad for a total of 14 local drivers.
    TequilaSunrise and Lepton1 Thank this.
  6. xsetra

    xsetra Road Train Member

    Aug 21, 2011
    The only way to learn, is to do.
    First practice chaining in your driveway or where you park truck away from traffic.
    Easier to do it road side in the winter when you've done it before.
    I carry my winter coveralls and boots for just such occasion. A good rain suit will do in a pinch.
    I have only chained twice. Lucky I guess. I watch the weather forecast and take loads the other way.
    Most states have signs telling you when to chain. Still check on websites, sometimes the boards don't receive transmission change message. Washington state comes to mind.
    When you slow down stay right. Let the experienced (crazy) drivers get around.

    Good luck
    TripleSix, nw88 and JReding Thank this.
  7. Get the weather app.

    Don't drive faster than you feel comfortable.

    Be aware of your weather around you.

    And get online and ask
    nw88 and Lepton1 Thank this.
  8. Justin Sane

    Justin Sane Light Load Member

    Aug 21, 2012
    All good advice on here. I would add that practicing a few times when 'off duty' will help a lot. That's also a good time to check out your chain situation (are the chains up to par?; broke?; too loose,too tight?). I assume you're not slip seating, of course.

    Another thing, if in a storm and I want to pull off into a rest area or truck stop I attempt to scope out the situation ahead and see what, if any, storm related situations are going on. I have seen trucks/ trailers that have slid off of the side of the road blocking any entrance; or exit; might want to think twice about going in there
    nw88, Lepton1 and JReding Thank this.
  9. nw88

    nw88 Bobtail Member

    Jul 30, 2012
    A lot of good advice, thanks to everyone. Seems its best to avoid chaining but being out west at times it may be unavoidable.
  10. okiedokie

    okiedokie Road Train Member

    Jun 13, 2011
    Just a tip from an old hand. If you decide to pull over and stop for awhile on the snowpack. Don't set your trailer brakes just tractor. Also roll back and forth in your parking area. Say 2 truck lengths. Cools the tires off and makes a path for your get away. When doubt throw iron. Have fun.
    Lepton1, JReding, nw88 and 1 other person Thank this.
  11. David_Simpson

    David_Simpson Medium Load Member

    Feb 23, 2016
    in all my 30+ years, not once have i chained up, and in fact, i do not know how to, nor care to learn that now. every company i ever worked for said to shut down. my current company calls me at home to say our warehouse has closed due to bad weather, not all do that however.

    i DO make an effort to drive, so as to not be a Nancy pants, but my effort is always short lived and i call to say, "i cannot go on" at the very least, most companies want you to "make an effort", then just call to say you are not feeling safe.

    when i start out, if the snows are falling, i at least try to make it to my first stop, then second, then third, but the further north i go (to my 3rd/last stop) if it's terrible, i call my boss and tell him. he always tells me to turn around, there is always tomorrow with our loads, as it is the same customer.

    someone just said, "no load is worth it", and this is true, then too, you will be ###### if you do, ###### if you don't.

    but if a driver is to call "out sick" at the very first snowflake, then driving is not for that person, period.

    an effort should at least be tried, then a call to say it is not forewarned however, some other driver from your company can be doing the same areas as you, or just traveled the same roads, and will most certainly say that..."there is no problem"....

    now what do you do..?????

    make an effort, if only a few yards, call, then sit out the storms.

    it's what got me to my 30+ years, so something is working right.
    nw88 Thanks this.
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