It's a Team's Life
Each year we drive it gets easier anticipating winter in some ways and in others the anticipation is still the pits. The first year I became a team driver I watched the weather constantly and if I even saw a hint of snow in the area a load was going we turned it down. Somehow in all of my reasoning I forgot to include the fact that most areas use snow removal equipment! I am not nearly as anal as I was about this issue of weather watching. Snow still bothers me but not something I am going to lose sleep over. Ice still really intimidates me but you take each situation as it hits you. Some situations you can drive through others it is best to wait till the road clears up. One thing that is always in my mind is we make our living with our truck and if something happens to it our income also stops. Our truck is one of most precious possessions and we need to keep it safe and on the road.
We do not worry about having to chain. I really prefer to have to chain as it slows everyone down. To tell the truth the sound of the chains remind my of Christmas jingles as I slowly drive along! Putting the chains on and off is really a pretty muddy/wet job so Bob always puts on his coveralls. My job is to move the truck and hold the flashlight for him as he lays out the chains.
When I am driving along and I see a snow flake I immediately really start concentrating on the road and road spray from vehicles passing us. If the roads look wet and no road spray am I driving on ice? As soon as I safely can I check the traction of the road. I also usually go ahead and turn on the CB at a low volume to listen for any updates from other drivers on road conditions or a problem on down the road. I also decrease my following distance and take the cruise off if I was using it.
I learned a lesson the hard way in an icy parking lot a few years back. I pulled in and stopped on ice with hot tires. The tires melted through the ice and made a deep pocket and the tires could not get enough traction to pull us out. We had to get the chains out and put them in front of the tires to grab hold of so we could get out of the hole! Now if I have to park on ice I stop the truck let it rest for a few minutes then pull forward a bit and I repeat this a couple times.
We are hoping for a mild winter and to stay south! So far that has not worked well for us but all winter we will continue to hope for this!
Bob & Linda Caffee
Leased to: FedEx Custom Critical
Saint Louis MO
Expediters 5 years been out here on the road ten years
isn't just trucking, it's a lifestyle;
Expediting isn't just a lifestyle, it's an adventure;
Expediting isn't just an adventure, it's a job;
Expediting isn't just a job, it's a business.