Must-follow Tips For Winter Flatbed Driving

Must-follow Tips For Winter Flatbed Driving

Severe winter weather can be a major obstacle for flatbed drivers. The chill of freezing temperatures is nothing compared to the difficulty of driving on icy or snowy roads and making it through heavy snowfall. Drivers are not only faced with complicated driving conditions, but it’s also very likely you’ll have to get out in the frigid weather to retarp or inspect your load every three hours  or 150 miles. Safety is always top of mind for Blue Max Transport drivers, but there are a few specialty tips to consider for flatbed driving through the winter.

Flatbed Driving Winter Tips

Flatbed drivers must recognize the precautions they take, especially in winter driving conditions, not only to keep them safe, but it also has a huge positive impact on other drivers and helps keep the load protected.

Prepare for possible emergency situations. There are a number of situations that can occur while a flatbed driver is hauling a load during the winter months. To prepare for the many possibilities, drivers should equip their trucks with blankets, a bag of salt, flashlight, food and water, windshield scraper, jumper cables, and any other tools helpful for navigating winter conditions in your region.

Drive for conditions, not the speed limit sign. Even if the speed limit allows for a faster rate of travel, it does not mean you have to drive that fast.  Keep your speed relative to the conditions you are currently driving and allow for plenty of space in front and around you. Conditions can change quickly, so you need to give yourself time and distance to change lanes or ease into a complete stop.

Be cautious of black ice. A thin layer of ice can form very quickly. The transparent danger can look like the road is wet, but in reality, it’s a very dangerous hazard. Black ice is just another reason flatbed drivers should keep their speed low and stay alert.

Dress for winter. Your travels will call for you to stop and inspect your load securement every three hours or 150 miles, whichever comes first. Wear waterproof clothing and boots to stay warm and dry throughout the entirety of your haul. Winter weather doesn’t just bring snow. You may also face freezing rain and sleet, so dressing appropriately will keep you comfortable.

Prepare for less daylight. The days become much shorter during the winter months and you may be forced to load or unload in the dark.  Using headlamps, flashlights and rear tractor work lights can will help keep you on schedule and prevent accidents or injuries.

Understand how freezing temperatures affect your flatbed truck. Cold temperatures are torture to the air andrake lines. Keep spare air and brake tubing in your toolbox at all times. The frigid weather can cause the hose to crack, so having more on hand will keep you safe and help you make the delivery on time.

Blue Max Transport flatbed drivers are recognized for their hard work and attention to safety. Understanding the dangers that lurk on the road during the winter months helps us know how we should adjust our driving to meet the conditions and keep ourselves and other motorists safe.

Blue Max Transport, Inc. is a leading southeast regional flatbed transportation company.  We work with only the best flatbed truckers who put safety and customer service above all, and are always looking for talented, professional, southeast-based flatbed drivers.  Whether you are a veteran flatbed driver or someone with only 6 months flatbed experience, give us a call to discuss our opportunities or complete an online application here.