Fuel for Thought

Snow Laden Trees

Clearances

By Greg Huggins
Posted Dec 23rd 2016 11:20AM

While this time of year has many people thinking of gifts, tinsel, garland and Christmas trees, don’t forget about other trees.

This time of the year is also a time to remember roadside trees. Most of the year you may use many of the same roads and you can get used to going the same way each time you go back to a certain area. Winter brings on a few more obstacles.

When the snow begins to fall in an area you will be traveling, keep in mind that snow laden branches will hang a little lower with the extra weight of the snow that accumulates on the branches. A road you would normally not have any trouble using may now have lower clearances due to the lower hanging branches. Always be mindful of tree lined roads in the winter once the snow starts to fall.

Another hazard can be freezing rain. While it may make the trees sparkle in the sunlight and be pretty to look at, keep in mind this will have the same effect as snow covered trees. Weighing down branches that are just waiting for the driver running his or her usual route to pass under and damage the roof of your cab and/or trailer. If you do hit one of these lower hanging branches, it may not just be your truck that gets the damage either. Other cars and trucks can be hit by the broken branches causing further damage, increasing your liability. Hitting parked cars with broken branches is bad enough, but if it hits fellow motorists using the road around you, it can cause serious crashes. Knocking down these branches can also cause them to land on power lines and cause them to break which you could also be liable for repairing.

Speaking of power lines, they too can get weighted down with snow and ice causing them to hang lower as well. Not only can downed power lines be an expensive repair, it can also create a dangerous situation for those in the area around the breakage.

Don’t forget also to be mindful of the roadway. Packed snow and ice on the roadway will raise your already high profile vehicle a little higher, bringing you closer to lower hanging branches and powerlines.

As you travel this winter, be mindful of your height and the impact snow and ice can have regarding your clearances.

Have a safe winter so you can enjoy the spring and summer.

See you down the road,

Greg

1 Comment

  • teamcaffee - December 24
    In other words look up! Something I have trouble doing. It is pretty amazing how easily a tree branch can poke a hole in the box.

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