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Truck & Trailer Winter Advice

December 18th, 2009

aide automotive would like to promote Roadtransports top 10 tips for commercial vehicle operators to avoid being stranded.

1. Use the Highways Agency and Met Office websites for primary reference and get regular feedback from any drivers already out in affected areas.

2. Transport managers should make alternative plans to get trucks moving, and if a truck is stranded keep customers informed of vehicle movements.

3. Make sure drivers are well armed with night-out stuff or at least have the basics: a torch, food and drink, and a mobile phone. A truck’s night-heater should ward off the cold but blankets are also important.

4. Get drivers to do a thorough check of their vehicle, checking all light bulbs, topping up washer fluid and de-icer/scraper and making sure tyres are properly inflated.

5. Truck drivers need to double their usual stopping distance from the vehicle in front; don’t be afraid to travel slower.

6. When you are trying to slow the truck down, employ the engine brake and/or retarder before the service brakes. This will slow the vehicle before applying the brakes. Most trucks will have ABS but that is no guarantee of stopping inside the usual stopping distance for a truck. Articulated truck drivers should avoid braking procedures on corners – a sure way to jack-knife.

7. Take your time. Keep to the main roads; they are more likely to have been gritted. On motorways and dual carriageways use the clearest lane and keep away from slush and ice.

8. Don’t use the cruise control – this is no time for efficient running. Keep the truck in high gear as it will slow the vehicle more quickly once you take your foot off the accelerator.

9. Concentrate. Avoid, if possible, poorly lit roads and shortcuts through country lanes. There is a greater risk of ice where the road changes elevation or is exposed to the elements, where it passes under a bridge, and where the sun is blocked out and the surface doesn’t melt.

10. Tune into the local radio station – its traffic updates will be more regular, comprehensive, and up to date compared with national radio.

aide automotive promote various products that could help with the tips above:

Air Alert is an excellent product to identify low tyre pressures.

Brake Light Check makes it easy for the driver to check his or hers lights.

Using BrakeCheck on a commercial vehicle inspection sheet will keep brakes working to the VOSA standard.

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