Truck driving in the rain is not for the faint of heart, yet anyone operating heavy duty equipment with a regular load is bound to experience it at one point or another. Slick roads not only affect response time but can change the way your equipment operates.
Here are 3 expert tips for truckers from truckers for best practices when driving in the rain. Let’s all stay safe out on the roads regardless of the weather!
Tips for Truck Driving in the Rain:
Hydroplaning is more likely to occur closer to the start of a rainstorm as fuel and oil on the highways is brought to the surface creating a slicker than normal area of effect.
To avoid hydroplaning, keep your speed down during the first twenty minutes of rain until the moisture has soaked into the asphalt, often maintaining speeds below the speed limit.
HAVE A LARGE WORK-SPACE:
While some people’s work spaces are their offices or desks, a truck driver’s work space is the open road. In poor conditions you want to leave an additional cushion of space between yourself and the next vehicle. Should the unexpected occur you will have more reaction time.
With rain such simple tasks as braking and slowing can become mechanically more complex. This is especially important when operating heavy duty equipment. Keeping that large work-space around your vehicle will make sure you have ample time to respond.
The more accustomed we are to performing a task the easier it sometimes becomes to put less thought into it, muscle memory and habits running on auto-pilot. When trucking in the rain it is imperative to remain alert. Be on the lookout for large puddles that can hide unwanted rubber or debris. Pay attention to the performance of your vehicle and how the rain and moisture may be affecting it.
Regardless of how good of a truck driver you are other vehicles may not be as comfortable driving in the rain. Be aware of those vehicles around you and drive with a heightened sense of safety while rain and storms persist, remembering that used semi-trucks can operate differently in extreme temperatures or weather conditions.
We hope these tips will help you to stay safe regardless of weather conditions out on the road and welcome comments from those truckers who have their own list of tips that they’ve used over the years! By maintaining your vehicle, tires, brakes and engine and remembering these tips you’ll be sure to avoid potentially catastrophic accidents while driving on the highways in weather of any condition!