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Winter Driving Tips

Winter Driving Safety Tips for Truck Drivers

PGT Trucking’s commitment to safety is part of our corporate culture and allows us to remain one of the safest flatbed carriers in the industry. PGT provides driver orientation and training to new hires and supports its drivers as they safely transport their payloads. All drivers are assigned a Safe Operations Manager who can provide them assistance and guidance throughout their day. Additionally, drivers can reach out to their Fleet Manager for any questions or concerns. Winter driving brings special considerations to safety due to the increased chance of rapidly changing weather and declining road conditions.

Winter Weather Safety

While drivers spend the majority of their work time behind the wheel, being careful outside of the truck is very important. 

  • Wear proper footwear with good traction to help navigate the snow and ice.

  • Make sure you are using three points of contact when entering and exiting the cab of your truck and when climbing on and off the trailer.

  • Be mindful of slippery conditions in parking lots and terminals. 

  • Dress appropriately for the conditions and carry extra warm clothing and outerwear.

Maintain your truck in cold weather conditions

  • Carry at least 1 bottle of anti-gel and antifreeze in your truck at all times.

  • When parking a unit for more than 12hrs, please execute the following:

1.       If it is 21 degrees or warmer - Normal weekend procedures.

2.       If it is between 11-20 degrees - Truck must be plugged in and started every 24hrs.  Run the tractor for 30-45 minutes, then shut down.

3.       If it is 10 degrees or colder - Truck must be plugged in and started every 12hrs. Run the tractor for 30-45 minutes, then shut down.

  • When the temperature has the potential to dip below 20 degrees, anti-gel must be added to the fuel:

1.      Artic Flo anti-gel bottles can be obtained at any PGT shop or PGT authorized facility. 

2.       PGT trucks need one 16-ounce bottle of Artic FLo per tank added prior to filling up. For other brands of anti-gel, please read the label.

  • Check coolant systems daily to ensure the correct amount of antifreeze is present.

Winter Road Conditions 

Route Planning

  • Know the weather conditions across your entire route.

  • Determine if you can safely meet expected pick-up and delivery requirements.

  • Allow extra time if you believe the weather may delay your transit.

  • If you do not feel safe in the current weather environment - don’t go! But, immediately notify your Fleet Manager.

Driving 

  • Utilize the Smith System, especially in adverse conditions:

Key 1.  Aim High In Steering®

Key 2. Get The Big Picture®

Key 3. Keep Your Eyes Moving®

Key 4. Leave Yourself An Out®

Key 5. Make Sure They See You®

  • Snow, Slush and Ice Covered Roads

    1. Be aware that traction is decreased and stopping distance is increased.

    2. Reduce your speed to ⅔ of the speed limit or lower.

    3. Use slow, deliberate, and methodical movements, especially when braking and accelerating.

    4. Do not use cruise control.

    5. Double your follow distance to 15 to 20 seconds.

    6. Ice is not always visible, so use these tips to help determine when the roads are icy:

      1. If the temperature is below freezing and the roads appear wet, there is a high likelihood of ice.

      2. If the road looks wet, but you don’t see any spray coming off the tires of the vehicles around you, then the roads are most likely frozen and icy.

      3. If ice starts to form on the back of your mirrors, then the road is freezing over too.

    7. If you are concerned that the conditions are too dangerous to continue, call your Fleet Manager and stop the truck at the next safe location.

Parking

  • When not parking at a PGT company terminal or other approved agent terminal, the truck must be placed in a safe location approved by your Fleet Manager.

    1. Leave yourself an out so that you do not get snowed in or plowed in

    2. Packed snow on the shoulder may appear to be solid and part of the roadway, but it could be a false shoulder, placing you in danger. 

    3. Only park on solid, stable sites that you have confirmed are safe. 

    4. Only park where you are authorized to do so.

  •  If in danger of being stuck, contact your Fleet Manager. 

PGT Trucking’s ongoing commitment to safety helps ensure we maintain our reputation as one of the safest trucking companies for all employees.