Winter brings about a whole new set of dynamics to those of us living in the north. While it gives us fun times on the ice rink, or the ski hill, it doesn’t bring as much fun to our drives. Not only do we need to be more careful on the road, greater care and attention needs to be given to our trucks to keep them running throughout these cold months.
Winter Driving Conditions
Black ice, blizzards, and ice storms, oh my! These are just a few of the lovely elements Mother Nature can throw at us on any given day while we are on the road.
Be aware of special Winter and Seasonal Conditions
When out on the road be sure to be prepared as certain provinces require drivers to carry tire chains. BC requires chains to be carried Oct 1 through April 30. If travelling to BC you will also need to be aware of any seasonal load restrictions that may occur at different times of the year. If you want to know more about winter driving in BC, check out our blog here. Newfoundland and Labrador also require that drivers use chains during snowy and icy conditions. All other provinces allow the use of chains should conditions require it. Quebec is more specific on who and when chains can be used- “Tire chains may be used, from 15 October to 1 May, on the tires of any emergency vehicle, any farm tractor, or any other road vehicle used for snow removal and winter maintenance”.
Tips for a Safe Journey
No matter where you are planning your journey, here are some tips that are good where ever you find yourself.
Before hitting the road:
- Check windshield washer fluid levels and windshield wipers.
- Clear top of truck of large chunks of snow- including the tops of trailers.
- Check to make sure all running lights work.
- Carry an emergency kit.
- Look for reflection off the highway: this may indicate black ice.
- Steer gently on curves when conditions are slippery- sudden moves can cause you to jackknife.
- Don’t use cruise control on poor roads.
- Don’t pass snow plows.
- Avoid braking hard or accelerating quickly: this along with sudden gear changes can cause skidding and make a driver lose control.
Pro Tip: Braking distance on ice is ten times longer than that of a tractor trailer on dry road.
Winter Truck Maintenance
During the winter, a truck can become a little bit of a prima donna with all the extra care and attention that it requires to start and stay efficient on the road. Sign up for our newsletter to get a free downloadable checklist to keep your truck happy and healthy this winter!
Good luck to all driver’s braving Canada’s cold winter condition this snowy season. Here’s to staying safe on the road so that we can enjoy all the other winter activities we Canadians are so famously good at!
Ontario Ministry of Transportation
Avoid Winter Mishaps by Being Proactive