Winter driving tips

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

  1. LTL Bull

    LTL Bull Medium Load Member

    Mar 12, 2020
    A set of winter blades helps out a lot to keep windshield clear.

    Plenty of food and water and warm clothes and blankets.

    I’ll take flak over this but I’ve never trucked west of the Rockies in my three decades and us flatlanders that run everything east of the big mountains see chains as a thing to get you from a bad spot to a better spot not from a good spot to a worse spot. If it’s bad enough to chain, it’s time to shut down and go to sleep. Let the salt shakers and scrapers do their thing. You get flak over that, ask them if they want to unload with a forklift or a bobcat. They ask what you mean by that that tell them they’re gonna need a bobcat with a bucket to get their crap out of the dumpster that it will be loaded in after the wrecker service cleans it out of the ditch.
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  3. Rideandrepair

    Rideandrepair Road Train Member

    Aug 8, 2015
    F2C6C4FA-9A54-45C9-94C8-61BA3F4561B6.png This stuff is good to have. Less than $10, the jug is handy, instead of a bag. Any brand, Calcium chloride, Especially good for dropping or hooking a trailer on ice. Only had to use it a couple times. Some on the ground, and some on top of the drives in the tread. Works great. I also carry a propane torch. Good for melting ice blocks inside brake drums, after being parked, and brakes won’t release. Again, only had to use it a couple times, in over 20 yrs.
  4. mmk trucking

    mmk trucking Light Load Member

    Mar 6, 2016
    Dont wear your sandals
  5. skellr

    skellr Road Train Member

    Jul 17, 2011
    The Village, Portmeirion
    One thing you can do to prevent frozen brakes is try to dry off your brakes before you park. just keep the brakes on slow and steady before you are going to park for the night to heat them up and get rid of the water, watch out for puddles that will get them wet again before you park. If your brakes do freeze up, it is easier to break them free by going in reverse. Or you can climb underneath and tap them with a hammer or put some water on them. It doesn't need to be hot water, just some water you have in the truck or from the store. That will also unfreeze your door if you get a truck wash and then park on a cold night. :)

    Moving the truck back and forth is a good idea, hot tires will melt a divit in packed snow that is hard to pull out of, and it's good to move back and fourth if there is going to be heavy snow that night while you are parked so you "blaze a trail" so you can get back out in the morning.

    Anti-gel for your fuel? I've never needed it when getting fuel strictly in the northern states that sell treated fuel. Only when you run up north from the south with some untreated fuel and partially fill up with treated fuel. I've had issues with having around a third of a tank of untreated fuel and then filling up with treated fuel, it wasn't enough to keep it from gelling up. It's easier to treat the fuel when in doubt. If it does gell up sometimes you can put anti-gel in the tank, run the motor as long as it will go, wait 10 min after it dies and try again, and again, and again. might save a service call or tow to a heated shop...

    You will have more traction when the wheels are turning. sometime you will have a choice to either slow down or make a maneuver, like a lane change, but not both. If you are going down a hill and loose traction don't try and stop as you won't be able to steer if you do. The momentum will just carry you straight whichever way you are sliding if your wheels are locked up. You probably need to speed up or keep the throttle in a "neuatral" position so you can regain control, and then slow down again when you can go straight. Letting off the throttle completely can also cause your drives to slip.

    It's strange... It can be easier to ride a bicycle on black ice than it is to walk on. Just take it easy and no sudden changes in direction or speed.

    When in doubt, just park it. Don't let anyone push you. It's not an easy thing to judge as it's a double edge sword. You never get the experience and get a feel for it if you don't do it, but the risks are high when things go wrong. Just take it one step at a time, it will take a while.

    Are there any go-cart tracks in your area with a "slick track"? Counter-steering out of a slide helps immensely when things go bad. Not that it will happen very often, it's just that, IMO, most reasons people that go into the ditch can be easily avoided by not panicking. Steer or break, but try not to do both at the same time, don't put yourself in the position to need to do both.
    seagreg and ThomasTrucker21 Thank this.
  6. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

    Jul 7, 2015
    Learn how to throw your chains on BEFORE you get to a situation where you need them.
    ThomasTrucker21 and skellr Thank this.
  7. Accidental Trucker

    Accidental Trucker Road Train Member

    Jun 4, 2015
    Good advice, haven't seen anyone mention getting your air dryer serviced.

    I'll add that it's worth remembering that every time I read the book, the tortoise wins...... Slow, and steady. Slow and steady. Take care of your truck with the right fluids, decent tires, winter blades and QUALITY chains. Take care of yourself with food, water, and winter gear (water proof gloves, heavy boots and rain suit for hanging chains in the slush), as well as emergency gear such as long underwear, winter sleeping bag and such. Keep the CB on to talk to trucks coming your way.

    For the rest, slow and steady, for the win.
    ThomasTrucker21 Thanks this.
  8. ThomasTrucker21

    ThomasTrucker21 Light Load Member

    Well from what I understand about my company they don’t really like for us to drive in the snow and I don’t think they provide chains for us either as far as I know
  9. ThomasTrucker21

    ThomasTrucker21 Light Load Member

    Once again thank you all for the advice It is much appreciated. Hoping to go southeast regional after I do my time at my starter company so hopefully will only need these tips for one winter lol
  10. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

    Jul 7, 2015
    If they send you into areas chains are required, I would think they'd have to provide them. Its against the law to drive in certain places without chains on board.
    okiedokie and nredfor88 Thank this.
  11. ThomasTrucker21

    ThomasTrucker21 Light Load Member

    We don’t run any farther west than Colorado and from what both my trainers have told me it’s rare to run out there. We do go through West Virginia and Pennsylvania so not sure if they require chains or not
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