Winter driving tips

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by ThomasTrucker21, Nov 21, 2020.

  1. Pittstruck

    Pittstruck Light Load Member

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    Not sure if it really helps or if it’s all in my head but when it’s snows or rains with a dropping temperature/increase in elevation, I’ve always put my windows down about 6 inches and listen for what I call the “sizzle”. You know that sound that the tires make on wet pavement? Well to me it sounds like burgers sizzling on the grill. When I quit hearing the “sizzle” I back way out of it. It also makes me think of summer grilling and puts me in a better mood. :)
     
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  3. okiedokie

    okiedokie Road Train Member

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    You're getting good information driver. I'll add 1 more tip. Learn to throw your iron before you have to. If your into to that kind of driving. A nice sunny day in a quiet parking lot. Hang the chains so they are ready to put on the tires. Not all tangled up in a ball. Think snow. Lol
    20200419_071114.jpg
     
  4. LoboSolo

    LoboSolo Medium Load Member

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    -Fill up your windshield washer fluid with the purple stuff thats good down to -15°F and is also a de-icer. (not the blue stuff or water) Helps keep ice from building up on your wipers and the sides of the windshield. Very good at cutting through roadspray you pick up.

    - if its snowing, I run my wipers on a low speed to keep any snow from sticking on the windshield. I run cab heat (never the defrost) and put both side windows down about 2 inches as I roll. That seems to help keep the windshield clean and fog free. Plus, you can hear your truck.

    If you run the defrost for any length of time, it heats up the windshield and melts whatever hits it, which then turns to ice as your wipers get buildup. Then things snowball, and then yer one of those guys climbing up on their truck on an offramp to get the ice off their wipers and windshield in order to see.

    -When I come in to park for the night, i will stop for 4-5 minutes, then move the truck a couple feet and repeat, and repeat a 3rd time. That cools down the tires so they don't freeze down, or create an ice patch under the tires in the morning.

    -If you're shutting your truck down for the night, sit and idle your truck until the air pressure is built up to max before shutting it down. Set only your tractor brakes, never your trailer brakes.

    -If you're gonna park for the night, you have nose mirrors, and theres gonna be weather in the night, tie a plastic bag over each nose mirror. You'll have one less thing to clean in the morning.

    -If its gonna be freezing rain or sleet in the night, put a piece of black tape over the keyholes on both doors so they don't get froze up. ( as in come the morning, you want to go shower, and lock yer truck up while you're inside. Except theres 1/4" of ice over the keyhole)
     
  5. Rideandrepair

    Rideandrepair Road Train Member

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    Don’t change lanes on bridges if possible. Road may be ok, bridge maybe icy. Some 91% rubbing alcohol can be added to windshield washer reservoir, if it’s freezing up on windshield, will also work in a pinch for ice in the air lines. Pour some into the line off the compressor. Hopefully won’t ever need to do that. If you run out of washer fluid, put wipers on high, it will smear up at first, but eventually will usually clear the windshield. As mentioned already, easy on the gas and brakes, and watching other Vehicles tire spray. No spray, it’s ice. You can usually see the spray on your own trailer tires also, Looks like they’re smoking. Snow and ice is usually not much worse than driving in the rain, which is usually much slicker than most realize. Especially after a hot period. In springtime, when it warms up, the heat brings up the oil in the road from tires wearing all winter, add a slight rain, and its an oil slick, very dangerous and unexpected. White outs, from sudden snow squalls, let go of the wheel, close your eyes and say a prayer, Lol. Just kidding. That’s a tough one. Don’t panic.Vehicle in front May panic and hit the brakes, like they do in a sudden rain storm. Best to try to be aware of what’s around you, and behind you, try to stay away from others. Sometimes the rumble strips can guide you, for a very long few seconds. Watch the exit ramps, safely slow down first, especially when they’re curved, often neglected by salt Trucks, and are solid ice. And above all, leave plenty of space in front of you. When a bunch of Cowboys holding hands get tangled up in front of you, you can stop in time and avoid a wreck. Just some ideas, ask your Trainer about all the ideas you’ve read or heard. Always something to learn. Better to be extra cautious. Like a roll over, the only way to find it, is to actually roll over. Not an option. You’ll be fine. If you’re not comfortable, Park it. Don’t risk your License or Life. Always another Job to be had, if needed.
     
  6. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

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    Sep 18, 2009
    The great state of TN
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    If you can obtain rubbing alcohol, do so. Put in a spray bottle, and spray the inside of your doors, keys, key hole, brakes, wipers, windshield. Alcohol dont freeze. Start cleaning your windows with alcohol. I put alcohol in the windshield reservoir. As for anti gel, you can get it at the truck stop. Its ½ price at Walmart. Bought some today matter of fact.
     
  7. Brandt

    Brandt Road Train Member

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    First thing is turn cruise control and engine brake off.

    Never let the trailer push your tractor. You always want to pull the trailer, like around corners or exit ramp. The trailer will always want to go straight. So it will push your tractor out of the way and keep going straight unless you pull it around corner or ramps. When your pulling the trailer your in control. If the trailer is pushing you the trailer is in control. You never want the trailer to be in control of your tractor.

    You don't use the engine brake because your settings yourself up for a jackknife. People seem to forget the differentials don't apply the engine brake power to all the drive tires. The do on dry pavement but on snow and ice they will apply all the power to tires with the least amount of traction. If you see trucks in parking lots in snow or ice you will see 3 drive tires won't spin but one set will because the differentials apply all the power to tires with least traction.

    The spinning or skidding tire will always want to lead. It will try and come to the front of the all the tire or your tractor. So if you turn on engine brake make drive tire lose traction. It will try and come to front and you are starting at tractor jackknife. If trailer tires lock up they will want come to front and the trailer will jackknife. If you put to much power to drive tires and spin them. They will want come to the front, and your making power jackknife by spinning drive tires like going uphill. You have know what kind of problem you have to save yourself. If pulling hill and it power spin just let off the power to let tires get traction. So you don't jacknife going uphill. If trailer tire lockup, take foot off brakes to get tires rolling again, to avoid trailer jacknife. If drive tire lockup take foot off brakes to get tires rolling to avoid tractor jacknife.

    Here is the crazy one I never see anyone talk about. Your going downhill. Trailer tires lock up. You take foot off brakes to get trailer tires rolling. But the trailer is still coming around your tractor and it jackknifing. You have to get control of the trailer to stop the downhill jacknife. YOU STEP ON the Throttle/power and pull the trailer downhill to get it to go back behind your tractor. Then you have control of the trailer again and you can apply the brakes to try and slow down again.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
  8. Rideandrepair

    Rideandrepair Road Train Member

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    Good points on cruise and jakes. I’ll add keeping 5th wheel greased, to avoid trailer controlling tractor, especially in turns. Also, I meant to mention, if steers lock up and start sliding straight in a turn for instance, you have to let off the brakes and steer out of it. Everytime it snows down south, I see this all the time, people go with they natural instinct and slam on the brakes. Slide right off the road for no reason. You have to go against your instinct, and let off the brake, and steer through it. I try to do most braking before a curve, like an exit ramp. A few yrs back, I had a rental car. Almost passed up the gas station, hit the brakes, and started sliding towards a pole. Let off the brakes, and whipped into the station. It was close, I didn’t realize the right lane was frozen. I’m just lucky I didn’t keep sliding.At Keats you have a chance At steering out of it. Sliding on ice, with steers locked up. you go straight, sometimes picking up speed. Lol. You’ll be a Pro in no time. Not as bad as it seems.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
  9. blairandgretchen

    blairandgretchen Road Train Member

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    Dec 9, 2011
    South west Missouri
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    Look after yourself first. Pack water, warm clothes, blanket, food. Charged cell phone.

    WCS you slide into a ditch, engine is dead and emergency services can’t get to you immediately. (I’ve been in a pileup before where this is a reality).

    All above responses are great.
     
  10. ThomasTrucker21

    ThomasTrucker21 Light Load Member

    Thank you all for the tips I definitely appreciate It!
     
    Crude Truckin' and Rideandrepair Thank this.
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