Written by Mark Winters, Assistant Transportation Manager – Safety

Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and that holds especially true with winter-driving preparation.

Using the Smith System as a reference, here are some basic fundamental needs for winter preparedness and safety.

1. Keep Tabs on Weather & Plan Your Trip Accordingly

This one seems obvious, but monitoring the weather regularly should be a part of every driver’s routine. Not only does it allow for planning the entire trip, but it also enables you to communicate in a timely fashion to dispatch in the event of unexpected delays. Fortunately, this is easy to do; smartphone apps allow us to access weather from anywhere.

Did you know that our DTI team has the capability to check the weather radar off the Samsara back-office program? DTI personnel can use this function to see what the current weather conditions are for any specific area.

2. Pack Extra Equipment & Essentials

Winter weather or not, having extra equipment is always a good idea. You never know when a breakdown is going to happen.

Recommended items are extra food and water, chains, bungee straps, waterproof gloves, reflective vest, flashlight, kneeling pad, boots, warm clothes, extra blankets, extra washer fluids, and deicer and anti-gel.

3. Make Sure to Include ALL Systems While Doing Inspections

Double-check before you leave on your load that things such as the defroster and heater are working properly.

It is also imperative during adverse weather conditions to make sure wipers, wiper motors, lights, brakes, and taillights are working correctly and are clean, so they are visible.

Make sure the washer fluid is full, drain moisture from the air tanks, and clean windows and mirrors before departure.

4. Be Safe In & Out of Your Truck

You made it to your destination safely and survived the winter storm. Now it is time to step outside the truck. Have you prepared yourself for your safety?

Spare spikes along with your 3-points-of-contact will help prevent slipping off of icy cab steps. Slow your roll when it comes to walking outside the truck; one misstep due to a rush mentality could lead to an unexpected injury leaving you sidelined for days or weeks. Use your spare spikes at all times when conditions warrant them.

Dot Transportation, Inc. (DTI) Prioritizes Your Safety

As Smith System says, “Expect the unexpected.” Proper preparation for adverse weather will help you plan for the unexpected. Stay safe and be SAFETY DRIVEN.

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