Winter Driving: Trucker’s Best Tips Ever

winter trucking accident

Winter driving tips are everywhere, but this could save your life, so don’t tune out!

It’s that time of year again! Fun in the snow and ice throughout much of America and in other parts of the Northern Hemisphere.

Typically, I would write a nice little 5 or 10 point winter driving tip list to help make the road a safer place for our Knights of the Highways, but most of those are just BS anyway.


While reading through my feed on Quora this morning, I came across the best winter driving tip that I’ve ever read and had to share it with everyone.

This is courtesy of an outstanding driver and my favorite fellow Quoran, Rick Klugman.

Rick has been an OTR driver since 1990, has written over 85 answers directly related to the trucking industry, and his answers have received over 5 million views. To me, he’s a pretty big deal.


Winter Driving in Icy Conditions

Without further delay, here is Rick’s answer. (I added the underlining for emphasis).

How do I avoid problems driving a large body job or tractor trailer on ice?


Don’t drive on it. I know that’s not practical.

There’s two things I fear out here. Fog, and black ice. Nothing will make your butthole slap shut quicker than hearing the engine suddenly tach up but you’re not going any faster.

When it comes to ice, you can’t drive slowly enough and you only get one chance to get it right.

When starting out on ice, lock in your power divider and go with a lower gear.

On a ten speed I’d go with 2nd or 3rd.

The reason being, you want as little torque as possible in those situations so the drives don’t break loose.


winter driving


If you’re running down the road and she does tach up, get off the fuel and stay off the brakes.

It should go without saying that you shouldn’t be running with your cruise control or Jake brake on in bad weather.

Imagine hitting a patch of black ice with them on.

On second thought, I’d rather not. But, since you brought it up.

The cruise is on and she suddenly tachs up. Before you can say, “Oh, shit! Holy Mother of God!”, the drives will start kicking out from under the trailer.

So, what do you do? You tap on the brake, the Jake kicks in and oops, too late.

You’ve just compounded the problem and as you’re sitting in the median, you’re rehearsing your speech to the boss explaining how you got there.

Other than that, if you’re making a turn such as at an intersection, make sure the unit is straight before grabbing for the next gear.


While that is really 4 winter driving tips rolled into 1, you get the point!


Winter Driving In Icy or Potentially Icy Conditions Re-Cap:

Drive more slowly than usual.

Don’t run with your cruise control or Jake Brake on

If you hit an icy patch, focus on steering and don’t apply brakes or gas.

Shift gears only once the unit is totally through a turn.


Stay safe and warm out there!


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