With winter setting in and the holiday season upon us, owner-operators and fleet owners are experiencing a big spike in delivery orders. Both weather and traffic will be treacherous, and the pressure to make deliveries is high. For these reasons we have put together a list of truck driving tips for the holiday season.
Inspect You Vehicle Before Making A Long Haul
Of our truck driving tips for the holiday season, this one is probably the most important. It should be fairly explanatory, but once the holiday season is in full swing, the impulse will be to just hop in the seat and make the currently delivery, so you can move onto the next one. Drivers should ensure windshield wipers are working, that the tire pressure is right, and that fluids have been topped off. If everything is in working order, then you can hit the road knowing your vehicle is in working order, in case you meet with some unforeseen delays.
Keep An Emergency Kit In Your Cab
No one wants to be stranded, but icy roads and snowstorms are part of the job during holiday deliveries. Before hitting the road, put together a kit containing a few bottle so water, a battery powered radio, an extra blanket, a flashlight, some road flares, chains, jumper cables, and anything else to help you out of a quick jam. You do not have to prepare for every contingency, but at least keep the staples so you can help yourself – or a fellow driver – out in an emergency.
Plan Alternate Truck Driving Routes
If there are two major constants when driving during the holiday season, they are that 1) weather forecasts are not always accurate, and 2) less experienced drivers, combined with the holiday rush, will cause accidents and traffic jams. If you are headed toward inclement weather or bad traffic, check to see if there are alternate routes to bypass any hazards which may delay you on your trip.
Stay Alert When Driving This Holiday Season
Situational awareness is key when making deliveries, and the need to remain alert only increases during the holiday season. Look out for cars and other vehicles, pedestrians trying to cross the street, and winter construction. Also, make sure you are well-rested. Truck driving is not easy, and trying to push through to your second or third wind will only decrease your awareness and response time. If you are getting tired, pull over and take a nap. Make sure you are not driving on an empty stomach, either. Caffeine is a wonderful thing, but your brain needs actual nutrients from food to make decisions and respond to changes on the road.
All of us at Express Freight Finance wish you happy and safe driving this holiday season. We know the workload will be heavy, as always, but by using our truck driving tips, you and your deliveries should make it to your destinations on time, and in one piece.