With winter rapidly closing in, haulage firms should be starting to take precautions against the inevitable frosty conditions.
A number of features, such as fleet tracking, adequate driver qualifications and regular maintenance can help to improve safety on the roads, but we have compiled a number of practices which will help keep HGV drivers and other road users safe in treacherous conditions.
Ideally, if there is snow on the ground then you want to avoid driving at all costs. However, if it canÃÂt be avoided, ensure that you make sure all windows are thoroughly defrosted. ThereÃÂs no sense in increasing the number of blind spots you will already have.
When driving in snow it is vital that you get your speed right, especially when driving a HGV as your momentum is much higher than that of a car and given the frosty conditions, itÃÂs a potential recipe for catastrophe. If your haulage company has invested in HGV tracking systems
, then they will be able to advise you on your speed given the current weather conditions.
Stay in a higher gear for better control. Also when you move off do so in a higher gear rather than first. If you do find yourself in a skid, take your feet off the pedals and turn into it. Only use the brake if you find you cannot control the vehicle. In regards to stopping distance? Double or triple it in frosty conditions to be sure.
Stick to main roads if at all possible. They are more likely to be gritted. When you leave a main road, drive slowly and purposefully.
When it comes to bends and downhill slopes, make sure you slow down well before them. If you have a SatNav or truck tracking system, then you should be well informed of any upcoming manoeuvres. When going downhill, make sure to maintain your speed, and donÃÂt let it build up too much or you could risk losing control.
To keep safe on the roads this winter, be aware of your surroundings and donÃÂt take any risks.