November 24, 2016
Source: FleetOwner.com

Snow, ice and freezing temperatures not only make the roads hazardous for hauling freight during the winter months but can damage equipment and retard fuel economy, too. Here are some tips on how to minimize such winter weather risks. 

Everyone knows operating tractor-trailers during the winter comes with some big risks. But did you know that, on average 467 fatalities are associated with icy driving conditions annually, or that 23% of all vehicle crashes every year – some 1.3 million – are caused in part by inclement weather, such as rain, sleet, snow, fog, and wind? (Those weather-related findings are courtesy Federal Highway Administration research, by the way).

On top of that, cold weather can cause diesel fuel to thicken into “gel” or get waterlogged, potentially damaging a truck’s fuel system and engine. Colder temperatures also affect fuel economy, too, by increasing tire rolling resistance and reducing aerodynamic efficiency, to name just two impacts.

“As winter approaches, we want to equip fleets and their drivers with the best information available for increasing safety on America’s congested and frequently traveled roads,” noted Dean Croke, VP of analytics at Omnitracs, LLC. “With fewer daylight hours and compromised road conditions, seasonal weather creates many challenges for truck drivers.”

Croke breaks down his winter operation advice down into two groups, one focused on drivers and one on equipment. For drivers:

Slow down and be cautious in adverse weather such as rain, sleet, snow, fog and wind.
Always buckle up; safety belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45%, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Keep extra water and non-perishable food in the cab; dehydration and malnourishment can cause weakness, dizziness, confusion, sluggishness, fainting and more, according to […]