As winter weather sets in for most of the country, please take precautions to keep not only you and your equipment safe, but also others on the road. Please review and execute ten useful tips which will help you get your loads delivered safely this winter and bring you home safely to your family and loved ones.
Monitor the Weather
Knowing ahead of time that a storm is brewing is key to staying safe.  If a blizzard or wintery mix is predicted in your area, you can set into motion your plan of action for pickups and drop offs. Stay tuned to the radio, radar maps, or the Weather Channel for information on real-time road conditions.
Plan Your Tripadversedriving
Before getting on the road, take the time to plan and map out your route according to the weather. Take into consideration that some roads may be closed or too rough to navigate. Plan alternate routes, safe parking places and pick-up and delivery times accordingly. Make sure to have a few alternate safe stops planned in case road conditions deteriorate.
Check Equipment Pre-trip and Mid-trip
It is vital to check your equipment before you hit the road, especially when winter weather strikes. Check that all lights are working properly, air is drained from the truck and trailer tanks to avoid frozen brake lines, and tire pressures to prevent a flat tire.
Have Extra Equipment/Supplies on Board
Be prepared for adverse conditions by having a few important items on board. Make sure to have:
•    chains (the right size)
•    bungees, flashlight, cell phone
•    waterproof gloves, reflective vest,
•    boots with good traction, warm clothing
•    food and water
•    extra washer fluid
Slow Down and Maintain a Safe Following Distance
Put the posted speed limits into context. If roads are covered in snow or ice, it might not be safe or feasible to maintain the normal speed limit. Slow down and only go as fast as you are reasonably able to. Make sure there is enough cushion space between you and the car ahead of you. This leaves you with options and adequate reaction time if your brakes aren’t working as quickly as they should.
Know What to do if You Lose Traction
There’s no fool-proof method for not losing traction in bad weather. If you do lose traction, never use the clutch or engine brake as this could make the situation worse. Gently let your foot off the pedal and steer in the direction that the back end of the vehicle is going, which should allow you to then gain back control.
Stay Focused and Know You and Your Vehicle’s Limitations
Reduce distractions inside the vehicle and avoid taking your eyes off the road and hands off the wheel. Remain calm and focused and avoid quick movements or evasive maneuvers. There may come a point in which the weather simply makes the roads too unsafe to travel. If your feel unsafe with adverse driving conditions, communicate immediately to your Fleet Manager and get off the road.