Winter driving is dangerous, especially for new drivers. When there’s ice on the road, drivers have to react faster when they brake. If there’s snow, drivers need to be even more vigilant on the road because other semi-truck drivers and passenger drivers are struggling just as much. But the winter weather conditions aren’t always bad news. In fact, if you’re handling routes that cut through Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas, the frozen ground can make your job easier.
Cut down on expenses with heavier loads because of the frozen road rules.
Most state and county roads can only handle so much weight because the ground isn’t reinforced. Heavy trucks can jostle loosely packed dirt and damage the road. An asphalt county road next to a creek, for example, will have a tighter weight restriction than a concrete road in the middle of an open plain.
But now that the temperature has consistently dropped below its winter threshold some of the northern states, the roads can handle heavier weights. That means you can organize shipments across fewer trucks. Heavier weights carry their own set of dangers, however, especially when the roads are frozen. So follow these tips to safely get the most of the seasonal rule:
1. Always check for updates.
Frozen road rules are pretty consistent in the north, but there’s always a chance that a stretch of warmer days will change the rules. So check the rules and the geographic boundaries every time you send someone out.
2. Inspect the tires and brakes more thoroughly.
Heavy loads reduce cars’ response times. So does ice and snow. Make sure your trucks get a bit more attention than usual to reduce the risk that the truck will slide or get stuck.
3. Keep the routes short.
Shorter routes on easier on drivers, especially in difficult conditions. But the routes need to be short, anyway. Once you cross out of the zone where heavier loads are allowed, you have to split it up with another truck. So have drivers transport heavy goods from a far north starting point to a warehouse right on the southern edge.
Balancing driver safety and profit is challenging, especially in the winter. But safe driving can reduce expenses and help achieve both. Go to J.E.B. Insurance Services, LLC, to find tips to keep your drivers safe and reduce your insurance premiums. And if your provider isn’t giving you incentives for safe driving, contact one of our agents. We provide commercial truck insurance in the states of Florida, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska.