It's a Team's Life
Winter brings a lot more problems than winter driving. How to handle all of this very necessary stuff and not go NUTS in the winter. There are winter shoes for warmth and winter shoes for rain, there are gloves, hats, scarves, big coats, and for some coveralls. To top all of that there are winter shirts, winter PJ's, slippers, and extra blankets, and possible a small floor electric heater.
Where to put all of this stuff is the problem and our "tiny house" does not get larger in the winter. The key is to have less that will do more and get through these months. Start with where to put the coats, scarves, and gloves. Use hooks that will can be placed high, either stick on or those that will fit over a door and have several. The high ones are for the coats and the lower ones can be used for clothing. Keep the gloves and hats in a coat pocket and a scarf can be kept looped around the neck of a coat. Keep the coats hung up on upper hooks. If possible place a hook high above the passenger seat and keep the drivers coat hung there. Easy to get when stopping and no need to open the sleeper curtains and bother our partner.
Shoes stay near the passenger door and if they have been through the snow let them puddle on the floor mat then clean up with a paper towel. Push the shoes up under the dash so they are out of the way of the next person getting into the truck. If the coats are wet when they come into the truck drape them over the steering wheel so that they drip onto the floor. Wear shoes that are multipurpose that will keep your feet warm and dry. Think about size as well, as cool as tall boots are how much room do they take up? There are some really cool boots that are small, warm, and will keep your feet dry. Think about how often you are in deep snow and decide what you need to wear. Look at the space for shoes when they are put away or if no place to put them how many times should shoes be tripped over? With two people in the truck shoes take up a lot of room. If we want to wear moon boots to stay warm an idea is to keep them in a side box and only wear when needed which is not usually all of the time for those that run the lower 48.
Look at the size of the coat and reconsider the long super warm coats. Will a shorter jacket work? Consider layers when getting outside instead of having one large coat. Warmer thicker socks instead of big shoes. Inside of the truck layers work very well as we can start our day in below zero temps and end up in 70-degree weather by the end of the day.
When confronted with ice having a good set of shoe chains in the door pocket is a must. The last thing any of us need is to fall and break something and not be able to drive. Shoe chains can be ordered or I have also seen them at the large outdoor type stores. They are relatively inexpensive and they take up little room.
The small electric heater can come in very handy when a water line freezes or when is subzero temps with 50 mile an hour winds. In our sleeper when the weather gets that cold and we are parked we open the cupboard doors under the sink and place the heater so that the heat is directed at the plumbing. We also have a small computer fan under the passenger side bench seat that will circulate the heat around the water lines. During the winter, we top off our water every chance we get to help keep it from freezing. We have had our water lines freeze once and after that we have started using this method and we have not had our water freeze again.
We keep extra blankets folded flat under the mattress for just in case everything goes wrong and we have no heater and the truck will not start. This has never happened but it could if everything went wrong. When we are not running I still get up early and I will go to the front of the truck which is often a winter wonderland as the sleeper curtains have been closed. I wear a light jacket, grab a blanket for my legs, and I set the little floor heater where is will warm up the cab. I find this time to be very peaceful and a great way to start the day as I work on my computer and watch the sunrise.
With a little planning winter "stuff" can be tamed into a semblance of working order. Count down the days till summer and all of this stuff can be removed from the truck and put away.
Bob & Linda Caffee
Saint Louis MO
Expediters since January 2005
Expediting 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.