Winter is inevitable. That’s a fact truckers live by. Snow, ice, sleet, and ice are a part of the lifestyle that comes with trucking just as much as hurricanes and tornadoes.
Season’s first blizzard is here and sub-zero temperatures can kill in minutes
Two feet or more of snow is expected to fall Nov. 10 and 11 in the “Frozen Tundra” of North Dakota and Minnesota. Zero visibility and slick roadways make for a dangerous trek across the states. Already drivers and trucks are getting stuck and sliding into each other.
So what do you do when you’re stuck in an area with unsafe conditions? Here are some tips on staying safe and not getting involved in an incident.
- Always have survival gear rated for the worst possible conditions you could possibly encounter. Below zero sleeping bags, overalls, and multiple sets of clothes to layer up will keep you warm if you are stranded. Also have a few days, if not a week, of non-perishable, no heat needed food and water in your truck.
- Have flares, fuzees, and high output LED lights ready to mark your location in case you get stuck on a rodaway. Even those U.S. Coast Guard flare guns are useful, just keep them stowed in accordance with regulations.
- If you get stuck, don’t panic and stay inside your vehicle. As soon as you open that door, the air temperature inside will drop fast. Staying warm is the first priority. Hand warmers and other non-toxic heat sources can help keep you warm in case of an emergency.
- If all possible, get as far out of the lane of travel as you can. I know it sounds weird, but you don’t want to be near the road if you can’t see what is around you. A truck being blown around by high winds could clip your vehicle, causing injuries.
- Carry a power bank for your phone, and force close all unnecessary apps to conserve power. Your phone is your life line. It is your way to communicate with the outside world, and a GPS device to tell others your precise location.
- Keep hand tools and extra snow chains. Yes, snow chains are expensive, but one extra set wouldn’t break the bank. Keep it in its bag under the bunk or in a side box. A folding trench shovel alongside it could help clear snow and remove a stubborn obstruction.
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