How to Drive a Townsend Truck in Inclement Weather

Driving a truck is a lot different from driving a car. Your truck is bigger and heavier, which means it's slower off the start and it takes longer to slow down or stop. It maneuvers like a cow, so you can't make the quick, sharp motions you could in a car. That means you have to respond to potential accidents a lot differently from the way you might when you're in your own car. With the fall weather coming, we're getting closer to the months you'll be driving in inclement weather. Wet roads, snowy roads, and fog all make for hazardous driving conditions, so it's important to make sure you follow these important driving safety tips.

1. Perform a pre-trip vehicle inspection.

road-923273_640.jpgWe've talked in the past about how important it is to perform a pre-trip vehicle inspection, making sure that all parts of your vehicle are functioning properly and are not worn or broken. Your safety, as well as the safety of the other drivers on the road, depend on everything working properly. And if drivers and their foremen can pass a complete DOT inspection, they'll receive a $300 gas card from Townsend.

2. Steering to avoid a collision.

Avoiding a collision in your truck is a different matter than doing it in your car.. For one thing, since trucks are more top heavy, jerking the wheel too hard can cause you to flip over. You also want to make sure of the following:
  • Do not apply the brakes while you're turning. Your wheels could lock up and send you into a skid.
  • Don't turn any more than you need in order to clear whatever you're trying to avoid. You can roll your vehicle over.
  • Be prepared to counter steer after you clear an obstacle. If you're not prepared for it, you won't be able to do it quickly enough should the need arise.

3. Leaving the road.

Sometimes the only way to avoid a collision is to leave the road. You certainly can't just swerve into the left lane to avoid it, because there could be another car over there, or it may be the oncoming traffic lane. So if you have to leave the road to avoid a collision, do the following:
  • Avoid braking or you could go into a skid.
  • Keep one set of wheels on the pavement so you can maintain control
  • Stay on the shoulder until you're able to come to a complete stop.
  • If you need to get back onto the road, turn sharply enough to do it quickly; don't ease back onto the road.

4. Practice proper emergency braking.

How you brake in inclement weather will depend on your vehicle's braking capability or system. If you have an ABS system, you'll want to brake one way, if you don't, you'll need to do it another way. Just remember, emergency braking doesn't mean slamming on the brakes as hard as you can.

If you have ABS, don't slam on the brakes, but do apply them all the way and keep them fully applied. You may hear noises from the brakes, but that's okay. It's the system working. You can even make slight steering movements while you're braking.

If you don't have ABS, apply the brakes as hard as you can without locking them up. Release them if you feel them lock up, and apply them more slowly when you feel the wheels start rolling. This is especially important on slick, wet surfaces.

Now that kids are going back to school and the weather is going to get wetter and colder, you need to practice safe, defensive driving. Make sure your vehicle is working properly, drive at safe speeds, follow at safe distances. Remember to keep your head and don't overreact if you ever have to avoid a collision.

Photo credit: StockSnap (, Creative Commons 0)
Posted: 8/22/2018 1:00:00 PM by