Winter is here with a vengeance, and winter driving adds another level of danger to an already tough job. Here’s some tips to help keep commercial truck drivers out of harm’s way this winter:
- Keep an eye on the tire pressure -- PSI is reduced in cold weather. The inflation pressure in tires generally drops by 1 to 2 PSI for every 10 degrees the temperature lowers. The tire footprint changes when the tires is under-inflated - definitely not a good thing when searching for traction in wintry conditions. We recommend always using a high-quality, accurate tire gauge and checking tires at a minimum of once a week. And always when they are cold.
- Check the overall condition of your tires – Adequate tread depth and the right type of tire are critical for successfully navigating compromised road conditions.
The traction performance on this fuel efficient tire is outstanding on wet and snow covered roads. Long wear and dependable traction are achieved by a deep 28/32nds of tread depth.
We want our loyal customers to know, however, that we are not discontinuing the older, yet very popular, RLB1 open shoulder drive tire. Here's a story about one of our owner operator customers who depends on his RLB1 tires to haul grain out of muddy Midwest farms.
If a closed shoulder drive tire is more appropriate for your application, check out our very popular RLB400; it receives rave reviews for traction and long wear. The RLB400 features an extra deep tread and solid shoulder ribs for superior handling and maximum traction.
- Keep a minimum of one extra fuel filter in a warm place in the truck.
- Leave double the amount of space between vehicles when the roads are dealing with wintry conditions.
- Keep a mini fridge full of supplies in case you have to pull over or get stuck behind a bad accident.
- Don’t overreact when skidding -- Don't counter-steer, and don't try to correct a swerving truck by hitting the throttle. It doesn’t matter the direction that you are skidding, always point your steering wheel where you want to go. The truck is always going to follow your steer tires. It doesn't matter if it's a 90-degree slide, if your steer tires are heading that way, that's where the truck will go.
- Keep it clean – Wash your truck regularly. When calcium chloride is sprayed on the road, it gets everywhere -- in the wiring harnesses, everywhere. Get all that off your truck and the wiring immediately.
Sliding off the road can cause lost hours and extra expenses. Getting involved in an accident can be an outright nightmare. Please be safe this winter; our nation depends on the brave men and women in the trucking industry.