Since March of 2020, truck drivers have been recognized as crucial frontline workers. As we continue to work our way through this on-going global pandemic and an increase in online shopping, truck drivers will still need to get products to their destinations on time. Winter storms can slow this process, affecting road and driving conditions.
As I wrote about in my last blog, according to AccuWeather and the U.S. Department of Transportation, a review found that each year trucking companies lose an estimated 32.6 billion vehicle hours due to weather-related congestion. They also found that nearly 12% of total estimated truck delays are due to weather in 20 of the metropolitan cities with the greatest volume of traffic, with the estimated cost of weather-related delay to trucking companies ranging from $2.2 billion to $3.5 billion dollars annually.
Here are 12 steps that truckers can take to prepare for the winter months ahead to promote safety over the road:
- Carry a strong tow strap in the event you get stuck
- Add winter wiper fluid that can handle freezing temperatures
- Treat your windshield with a water repellant formula
- Carry a few extra sets of wiper blades
- Carry extra fuel filters in case they ice up – you can never have enough
- Buy a powerful flashlight with plenty of spare batteries
- Ensure your first-aid kit is fully stocked
- Carry plenty of warm clothes and layer up! Layering is an effective way to protect yourself from the cold and you can add or remove, depending on the conditions
- Insulated gloves, boots, and beanies are essential as well
- Make sure you have plenty of food and water – you never know how long help will take to reach you
- Carry extra blankets and a cold weather sleeping bag
- Check the weather prior to leaving