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Some Winter Tips for Flatbed Truckers (2023 Update)

Some Winter Tips for Flatbed Truckers (2023 Update)

It’s winter time, and for flatbed drivers, harsh winter weather may be a big obstacle. The chill of freezing temperatures is nothing compared with the challenge of driving and making it through heavy snowfall on frozen or snowy highways.

Not only are drivers faced with complicated driving conditions, but they also very likely to have to get out in the cold weather every few hours or few hundred miles to reset or check the load.

Flatbed truck drivers have even more to take into account when tarping loads as the weather gets colder. Cold weather, snow, and ice can all make damage on tarps, and for flatbed trucking, these conditions can prove dangerous especially to drivers. Here are several safety tips for flatbeds that this winter will help you and your flatbed tarp stay intact.

Warm Flatbed Tarps Before Use

When they are cold, flatbed tarps are difficult to deal with. When stretched over a load, the material becomes rigid and brittle, rendering it vulnerable to cracking. Warm tarps are much simpler to operate with.

If you're going to pick up a load and that you're going to need to use a tarp, stick it in your truck cab to drive to your destination. Your truck's interior will keep the tarp warm and ready to use.

It's also important to note that tarps can break quickly and get ruined if you want to fold them when they're still cold after loading. Once you unload your semi, try to find a place to warm up your flatbed tarp before you fold it.

Must-Have Gear for Winter Hauls

Imagine shivering on a wintry roadside or wrestling with tarps while icy rain stings your skin. In those moments, what crucial tools would save the day? Besides keeping warm with hats and gloves, there's gear every trucker should have ready to turn tough situations around.

Heavy-Duty Tool Box

Every flatbed driver needs a reliable toolbox for emergencies. Consider having a second one for winter to stash tarps, bungee cords, and extra tools. It might seem excessive, but it can be a game-changer in an emergency.

Work Lights

Winter brings shorter days, meaning more nighttime hauling. Equip yourself with an assortment of work lights to stay safe while handling heavy cargo after dark.

Trailer Stabilizer Dolly

Icy roads make parking risky, especially for flatbed drivers. A trailer stabilizer dolly can steady your vehicle on uneven, icy freight yards, ensuring safer stops.

Air Brake Tubing

Freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on air brake hoses, leading to unsafe driving conditions. Keep ample air brake tubing handy for any urgent brake repairs.

Beacon Lights

Visibility is critical in winter conditions. Having beacon lights on hand allows you to strategically illuminate your truck, ensuring you're seen, especially during snowstorms or low visibility weather.

Cover yourself as well, not only the load!

Flatbed truckers usually carry construction equipment and other heavy materials. In the middle of winter, they're out in the snow, on top of the ice filled loads, and in the rain, struggling to tie their loads down as fast as possible. Hence personal protection should be also a priority when working in such harsh conditions. Below are some useful hints on what to wear during winter conditions:

Latex Gloves

Wear them under your colder time of year gloves or under your standard work gloves. Latex gloves will be keeping your hands from getting cold and wet.

Wear shorts when raining

In the event that it is pouring hard in some cases your most ideal alternative is to wear as little as could really be expected. Wet jeans can overload you perilously (especially when climbing) and the moistness can sink into your skin and make you cold.

Wool Socks and Face Masks

Wool socks always keep your feet dry. Sometimes you will need several socks to do as such. Wet socks can make you slip when climbing and can make you get colder quicker.

As soon as it gets cold, put a face mask on. These days it is especially normal to have a face mask on, so you will not get weird looks when on the road. Face masks protect your lungs before everything.

Take breaks

It takes significantly more to secure a heap in the colder time of year regardless of what you do. You will most likely find that you will move quicker in the event that you enjoy a reprieve each 15-20 minutes and go inside to heat up your hands, drink something and put on something else if you get wet.

Some safety driving tips for the end

At the end of the day, the whole trucking experience will heavily depend on you, the trucker, and your ability to cope up with extreme weathers, to fight fatigue, and be able to deliver in time. Below are some key points to easy up the long hauling:

Be arranged and alert:

You never understand what will occur out on the streets. Indeed, even the most secure drivers can be trapped in risky circumstances as a result of capricious climate or the conduct of different drivers out and about. Essential tools you need to have include:

- Canned food and a can opener
- A flashlight
- Plenty of water
- Jumper Cables
- A tire repair kit and flares
- Keep your fuel tanks topped off
- Keep your cell phone charged
- Keeping your truck keys on a retractable clip can save your life if you drop them in deep snow.

Watch out for the “Black Ice”

All flatbed drivers ought to be watching out for dark ice. This straightforward, meager layer of ice structures close to freezing levels.

From the start, it may seem as though the street is simply wet. Nonetheless, if the climate is drifting around freezing, there's a decent possibility that it's a fix of ice. Know about temperature changes so you realize how to change your driving practices when you spot what resembles it very well may be ice out and about.

These are just few tips you should keep in mind when on the roads. Follow us for more weekly tips!

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