It’s that time of year again. As we enter into ‘true winter’, the roads start to ice up, the air gets colder and the roads start to become more dangerous. We’ve even had a few flakes of snow already this year! All of this makes driving in general a hazardous pursuit, but it’s even more so for a HGV driver carrying a heavy load. And since our goal isn’t just to get you to pass your test, but to deliver safely too, we have a few tips to keep you driving safe this winter.
The first thing you need to do is give your HGV some winter prep. If you’ve not had your vehicle checked over in a while, then you should book it for a health check and general MOT. Make sure you test your brakes to ensure they’re working properly and stopping quickly enough, and be sure to check all of your bulbs and fluid levels (particularly anti-freeze). Once you’re sure that the inner workings are in tip-top shape, you just need to do some pre-journey checks every time you go out. Make sure your windscreen wipers are in good condition with no damage, that your tyres are fully inflated and you always have more than half a tank of petrol.
Once you have your HGV sorted, it’s time to prepare yourself. Grab yourself a nice big bag and pack yourself an emergency kit. Think through any emergency situation you could get into, from sitting in traffic caused by bad weather for 12+ hours to getting stuck in a snow drift. A few things you should include are:
Remember, this list doesn’t include everything – just the essentials. Think about the kinds of things you would need included, and chuck them in the bag. When you’re done, put it safely in your cab. This bag will live in there until the weather thaws and you don’t need the precaution anymore.
Now that you and your vehicle are both ready, it’s time to drive. The best way to stay safe on the roads in winter is generally to be careful, be aware and don’t do anything rushed or rash. There isn’t a magic formula that will keep you safe – it’s common sense and experience. That said, you should also remember:
At The HGV Training Centre, we don’t want to just get you through a test. We want to make sure you’re the best driver you can be, come rain, shine or snow. And part of that is instilling the fact that safe driving is 90% precaution and 10% quick thinking, so always plan ahead for the weather, and teach yourself as much as possible about the weather conditions you’re facing and how to handle them. We help aspiring drivers learn all of this and more through our training courses. If you’d like to find out more, just get in touch with the team today.
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