Gearing Up For Winter Driving
As the season changes from fall to winter, so must our approach to driving. With hazardous and unpredictable driving conditions, winter can be a challenging time for anyone who sets out behind the wheel – especially those in the transportation industry. During this time of year, drivers should employ increased safety measures, stock additional supplies and ensure they are properly protected.
Inspect Your Rig
Winter weather is hard on your vehicle and its engine. In order to prevent major problems, prepare your truck for winter conditions.
- Have a mechanic inspect the ignition and heating and cooling systems to ensure your rig is winter-worthy.
- A fully charged battery is needed for cold weather starts.
- Check or service your brakes to ensure even braking.
- Install high quality, matching winter tires as they will give you the best traction on winter roads and increase fuel efficiency. Visit Transport Canada’s Winter Tire Safety Tips for more on winter tires.
- Diesel fuel gels when it gets really cold and if this happens, your truck won’t run. Put an anti-gel additive in your tanks when driving in cold weather conditions.
- Make sure that all lights work and that headlights are cleaned and aimed properly.
- Put on windshield wipers designed for winter use and fill up on winter washer fluid.
Inclement weather can occur without warning, especially when driving over long distances. Make sure you and your truck are equipped with the right gear in case you get caught in a snowstorm:
- Windshield Scraper
- Extra windshield washer fluid
- Bungee cords & chains
- A bag of salt or sand
- Reflective vest
- A hat, warm gloves and boots
Winter driving can be treacherous regardless if this is your first for fortieth snowy season. Keep the following winter driver tips in mind as you set out on the road this winter.
- Watch for black ice. Black ice is a thin layer of transparent ice that forms when the temperature is close to freezing. If you see vehicles swerve for no apparent reason, black ice is a likely cause.
- Drop your speed to match driving condition. If the road seems icy or visibility is declining, slow down to a safe speed. The way your truck or other vehicles move on snow or ice is unpredictable.
- Don’t follow too close. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you as you don’t know when other drivers will suddenly brake or serve from unfavorable conditions.
- Observe Tire Spray. If you see a lot of water spray off other vehicle tires, the road is definitely wet. If the tire spray is relatively less, it means that the roadway has started to freeze, and you need to exercise additional caution.
As winter driving conditions are more likely to cause accidents, it is essential that you are properly protected. Trucks and buses operating between Saskatchewan and other jurisdictions must adhere to the Saskatchewan International Registration Plan (IRP) vehicle registration system. IRP carriers can now carry their IRP cab cards and IFTA licenses in electronic format. The use of electronic images for this documentation is accepted by all IRP jurisdictions in Canada and the United States. It is recommended that the document is saved on an electronic device as a file such as PDF and must be accessible at all times.
For more information on registration procedures and insurance coverages for IRP carriers, contact the experts at Farrell Agencies (1-306-783-4477). They have people who specialize in IRP fleet assistance and can assist with applications, form completion and submission and IRP payments.