Winter is approaching, and drivers will be faced with driving semi-trailers in harsh winter conditions. In harsh conditions, especially when driving on snowy or icy roads, you need to adjust your driving style. Good maneuverability and anti-skid control skills are essential.
Prepare before you go
Before the journey begins, you need to check whether you have the right equipment to deal with various possible situations. It is recommended that you prepare the following items:
- Ice scraper: used to remove snow or ice from the front and rear windshields to prevent being blocked the sight.
- Shovel and salt: Salt can accelerate the melting of ice. When we are stuck, we can use the shovel and salt to shovel away the ice and snow. In addition, it can also be used to remove ice on the air tank.
- Blankets and extra clothes: Blankets and clothes can bring us warmth. When we get stranded, these clothes play a huge role.
- Food and water: When we are stuck or waiting for heavy traffic, food and water are always essential.
- Tire chains
Sudden, sharp movements will make you lose control of the semi-trailer, which can easily cause it to roll over. Therefore, it is very important to maintain a distance between vehicles, which allows you to have a comfortable braking distance in icy conditions. When driving in snow, the driver should:
- Slow down: Most accidents are caused by drivers driving too fast. The braking time of the truck is long, and it will take longer to stop on icy and snowy roads. Please note: The speed signs are usually for dry roads and good weather conditions! Therefore, in rain and snow, you need to reduce your speed appropriately.
- Leave extra space: In severe weather, you need to leave more space to react to the vehicle in front. Severe weather not only refers to rain and snow but also includes the dazzling of fog and sunlight. The way to judge whether there is enough space: Observe whether you can see the taillights of the vehicle in front. When the snow is heavy, the visibility will be very low. If you see the taillights of the vehicle ahead, it proves that you are too close.
Treat your diesel
When the weather is very cold, diesel gels. Once the diesel has gelled, your semi-trailer will not be able to run. Therefore, adding anti-gel additives to the tank is a good choice. Anti-gel additives need to be added before adding oil to facilitate mixing.
Watch out for black ice
Black ice is a thin layer of transparent ice that is formed when the temperature is close to freezing point. Driving on black ice would be a terrible disaster. It looks like wet ground, but in fact it has frozen, and vehicles are prone to skidding when driving on it. When you know that the temperature is close to freezing, check whether there is ice on the rearview mirror and windshield of the vehicle.
Park to the designated location
If the weather is bad, it seems a good idea to stop temporarily, but please don’t stop on the shoulder. Because visibility is low in snowy days and other vehicles cannot see you, it is likely that they will hit your semi-trailer. If you need to park, exit the highway and find a designated parking area.