Inclement weather introduces a multitude of problems for truckers and small fleet owners. Blizzards are especially hazardous and demand a unique safety protocol. Is your fleet ready? Here are some tips that can help you keep your drivers and your equipment safe through all of the snow and ice that are bound to come this winter.
How To Drive in a Blizzard
Best Practices for Driving in a Blizzard
Check the Weather
Refer to the Boy Scouts’ mantra for this one—be prepared! Knowing when and where a blizzard is going to strike vastly reduces the odds that you will be caught in one. Today, it is easier than ever to stay on top of weather news. Download an app to your phone or check The Weather Channel before hitting the road. The more you can learn about road conditions before you trek on them, the better!
If you don’t have one, make one. Transport Topics suggests you include a battery-powered radio, blanket, first aid kit, maps, tire repair kit, flares, jumper cables, drinking water and non-perishable food. It’s better to be over prepared than under prepared, especially when the temperature is below the freezing point.
Slow Down and Leave Early
This may seem obvious, but keep in mind that it is harder to break when there is snow/ice on the road. So don’t speed! Accept that your trip is going to take longer in the snow than it would during normal conditions. Give yourself more time, slow down, and leave early.
Before you embark, be sure that all ice has been removed from windows and mirrors. Don’t give yourself any additional blind spots by letting snow obstruct your view. Take the time to scrape it off by hand or run your cabin’s heat for a bit before departing for the open road.
Worst Practices for Driving in a Blizzard
Why risk it? If you can avoid it, try not to pass civilian vehicles and especially other big-rigs. The cold creates less-than-favorable road conditions, so don’t make any risky moves if you don’t absolutely have to. If you left early like suggested above, you’ll have already accounted for some extra time traveling.
Be a Hero
If weather services and the government are issuing severe warnings, consider taking a rain check. Delivering something on time is not as important as being safe. Talk with whomever it is you are delivering goods for and explain why you decided to delay the drive — nine times out of 10 they are not going to be upset.
Drive on Empty
If your truck slides off the road and gets stuck, you’re going to want a full tank that can keep the heat going in the cabin while you wait for help. Driving with anything less than a half tank can be very risky.
Remember, safety first! Whether you are driving in a blizzard or trying to find the best method of alternative financing, heed caution and take the safest route.
For alternative financing, the safe choice is invoice factoring. It’s a fast and flexible way to stabilize your cash flow. Plus, it can be used short-or-long-term. In addition to funding, fuel advances are available to get you paid before delivery.