Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Winter Driving Tips for Medium-Duty Trucks

With winter storm Nemo having just dumped an awful lot of snow on the Northeast, we figured it was a good time to release our Winter Driving for Medium-Duty Trucks lesson. (Of course, a better time would’ve been two months ago!) Medium-duty trucks are often called into extra service in the days before and after a big snow storm, as food and supplies fly off the shelves. And like the worried customers, drivers may themselves be distracted by thoughts of their own families. That means winter driving tips for medium-duty trucks will help keep their minds sharp and focused on the task.

If there’s a sudden storm approaching, and when the leaves start to turn each autumn, you should assign this winter driving course for medium-duty trucks. There are many angles to this course beyond the obvious, “slow down!” Indeed, driver managers, dispatchers and maintenance people could stand to watch this course to know what your men and women on the road will face when flakes fly.

When the flakes fly, medium-duty trucks are often called upon to do heavy-duty work.

When the flakes fly, medium-duty trucks are often called upon to do heavy-duty work.


Winter Driving Tips for Medium-Duty Trucks

The course has three primary points over its 25 chapters. “Twenty-five chapters?” you’re thinking. “Isn’t that a lot?” It is, but there’s a LOT to cover about driving in the winter.

  1. Winter pre-trip vehicle inspection
  2. Engine issues and fuel
  3. Driving tactics

Winter Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspections

Cold weather puts a lot of stress on the vehicle. A driver can put himself in a safer position by doing a quick check of the medium-duty truck before they head out. We cover specifics about the additional needs of air brakes, cleaning off lights and reflectors, potential dangers of the exhaust system, tires, and the fuel system and other liquid levels.

Medium-Duty Truck Engine that Won’t Start

Sometimes the cold just makes it near impossible to get the engine started. But there are tips and techniques your driver can learn to put themselves in a good position. And if the engine still doesn’t start, there are tips to troubleshoot the problem. For example, if when cranking the engine, you don’t see vapor or smoke from the exhaust, then no fuel is getting to the starter. You should check the fuel and fuel lines.

Driving a Medium-Duty Truck on Snow and Ice

The truck is running and equipped for bad weather. The lesson covers tactics for dealing with poor visibility, slick traction and black ice, and braking and turning. The lesson also teaches drivers how to avoid skids, and what to do if they find themselves in one.

Finally, the winter driving tips for medium-duty trucks also covers things like using tire chains, and parking.

Related Lessons

Night Driving Tips: The days get shorter and weather gets nastier during the winter. Make sure your drivers have ways to cope with the reduced light, increased fatigue and other issues that come with night driving.

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