Winter weather seems to complicate everything it touches. Commercial truck drivers–along with thousands of other travelers–are slammed each winter with ice, wind, hail, snow and frigid temperatures. In the middle of the winter chaos, truck drivers prove themselves to be successful navigators of these storms. Whether a commercial driver is a new CDL holder or seasoned with experience, it is important that drivers provide themselves proper equipment for winter conditions.
Heavy coat and overalls – Though most of a truck driver’s time is spent inside the truck, the time spent outside in the cold air can very quickly affect a driver’s health. A simple way to keep warm in the winter is to invest in a heavy, insulated winter coat and overalls. If possible, drivers need to search for items that have reflective strips and are waterproof.
Boots and gloves – Drivers also need to invest in the health of their hands & feet. Waterproof, insulated boots keep feet dry and warm. To prevent falls, boots with traction are a necessity. When your hands are too cold, they lose mobility and even the sense of touch. This can make pre-trip inspections and other light maintenance tasks difficult. Multiple pairs of gloves are necessary. This way, when one pair gets wet, a fresh, dry set of gloves can take its place.
Extra blankets – Truck drivers should always have an emergency blanket no matter the season. However, we recommend multiple blankets for winter. These blankets serve as extra layers on an especially cold night or in case of an emergency.
Pocket hand warmers – Pocket hand warmers are a good addition to a driver’s winter supply kit. These small packets of heat can warm driver’s hands after standing outside getting fuel or hooking up a trailer. Many drivers keep a few packs in their pockets once the cold weather hits just to get that extra bit of warmth.
Warm drinks and hot food – There is nothing better than a piping hot cup of hot chocolate and a steaming plate of food to keep truck drivers warm in the winter! If the road allows, drivers should try to get at least one hot meal a day after a long shift in the cold.
Extra Truck Equipment and Supplies
Windshield washer fluid and blades – Drivers can never be too prepared when cold winter is on the agenda! Both of these items are something drivers will frantically miss if they run out. Additionally, ice can take a toll on windshield blades, increasing the chances of a broken blade; keep a spare set in the colder weather. Should you need an emergency repair while on the road, however, you can get in touch with a company like https://fergusontruckcenter.com/houston-commercial-truck-repair/ who will be able to come out and help you.
Scrapers, snow brushes and a snow shovel – Whether it be morning frost or a night of heavy snow, drivers will want a tool to scrape and clean their windshields. An ice scraper significantly cuts down on the time required for a windshield to defrost, while a snow shovel many be handy in moving snow piles around the truck’s tires
Sand or kitty litter – Sprinkling sand or kitty litter over icy pavement provides traction beneath boots and tires.
Flashlight – Along with adverse weather conditions, winter has much shorter hours of daylight. A flashlight can aid drivers in the early sunsets and late sunrises.
Diesel additives – Often available for purchase out on the road, diesel additives may grow scarce in anticipation of a cold front moving through. Consider stocking up on these fluids to avoid meeting an empty shelf when you need them most.
Overstock your food & water supply – In severe weather conditions, drivers may need to pull off the road until conditions are more manageable. Stocking one’s truck with healthy, shelf-stable food and bottled water will ensure preparedness regardless of weather.
Bring plenty of cash – Technology is great, when it works! Icy power lines can bring credit card machines and electronic payments to a halt at convenience stores and restaurants. Having extra cash makes the transactions easier in a storm.
Communication – A CB radio allows for drivers to inform one another about road conditions. Inversely, social media and phone calls on breaks let your friends and family know you’ve safely arrived at your location.