It is that time of year again - the temperature is dropping, the snow is falling, and a long winter is coming. Winter is a difficult season for those in the transportation industry, as hazardous road conditions create a dangerous driving environment for drivers. The winter months demand increased safety measures and supplemental equipment to keep rigs (and drivers) from expensive damage. Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty suspects that adverse weather can cost the transportation industry north of $3.5 billion each year.
SO WHAT MEASURES CAN YOUR FLEET TAKE TO BEAT OLD MAN WINTER AND AVOID THESE EXPENSES?
MAKE SURE THE TRUCK HAS WINTER SUPPLIES - You don’t want to get caught in a blizzard without the tools you need to get the rig to its destination. Here is what every truck should have during the winter months:
|1. Flashlight||5. Chains|
|2. Extra windshield washer fluid||6. Anti-gel|
|3. Windshield scraper||7. A bag of salt or sand|
|4. Bungee cords|
MAKE SURE THAT THE DRIVER HAS WINTER GEAR - That’s right, it isn’t enough just to make sure that the truck is fitted correctly - the driver must also have the correct winter gear! Here is what every savvy driver should carry with them during the winter months:
|1. Blankets and warm bedding||5. A day’s worth of food and water|
|2. Hats, pairs of (waterproof) gloves, scarves, and thermal socks||6. A couple of packs of hand/feet warmers|
|3. Reflective vest||7. A cell phone charger or power pack|
|4. Boots - preferably with great traction|
DRIVE CAUTIOUSLY - This should go without saying, but one of the best things that a driver can do to make it through winter safely is to slow down. Don’t speed, follow the road signs, and always make sure that your truck has at least a half-tank of fuel. Getting stranded on the side of a highway during a blizzard because you were going too fast is not worth a couple of minutes you could’ve saved by exceeding the speed limit. Safe driving is smart driving.
It is also imperative to ensure that drivers and employees have a preparedness plan in case of severe weather. Especially in the winter, highways and interstates can be shut down with little notice, leaving drivers stuck for hours or even days. Further compounding the severity of these situations are equipment breakdowns, which often leave drivers without any temperature control and can be extremely dangerous.