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It’s no secret that winter roads are more dangerous, and you should use extra caution during the chilly months, especially when carrying a large load. Winter driving in any kind of precipitation is treacherous, and the likelihood that visibility will be low – be it due to snow, fog, or rain – is much, much higher. Since our primary goal is getting not just to get you through your HGV training, but to get you and your cargo safely to your destination, we’d like to introduce you to a few things the smart driver does to prepare for a season of chilly, treacherous jobs.

winter hgv driving


Prepare your vehicle

It’s always a good idea to keep your truck in good repair, but in the wintertime, it’s absolutely vital. Take extra precautions. How are your wiper blades, fluids, and lights? Have your brakes been looked at recently? How about your tires? Make sure to schedule a regular maintenance check before the winter season starts, and check the vehicle yourself before each trip.
hgv driver vehicle check

Before you leave, make sure you clear ice and snow away from vital parts of the truck. Can you see clearly through the windows? Are the lights unobscured? Schedule regular stops to check that you still have clear windows and lights, and adhere to them. Keep an eye on your gas tank, too – and make sure that you’re never below half a tank.


Prepare yourself.

Take a sturdy bag, and think of the situations you might need protecting from in the winter. Fill it with things like a change of warm clothes, a raincoat, and gloves. A flashlight with extra batteries will be a lifesaver if you’re trapped on the road at night, and a blanket and some protein bars or other nonperishable food will keep you warm and fed. Throw in a bottle with water, a first aid kit, an extra windshield scraper to remove ice from your windows.

HGV driver emergency kit

This list isn’t exhaustive – think about what you might need in an emergency situation, and add it to your kit. This bag is now going to live in your truck as part of your winter loadout. We don’t want the worst to happen, but if it does, you’ll be prepared.


Practice smart driving.

This is the tricky part. There’s no magic secret to driving safely on snowy or icy roads, but there are a few rules you can follow and drive safely in the winter. First of all…slower is the key. Everything in this winter season needs to be moving more slowly, including you. Traction is not going to be great on roads slicked with rain or snow, so you need to start slower and reduce your speed in general. Avoid sudden stops, and brake gradually, giving yourself more space in front and behind. And keep an eye out for black ice – if ice is building up on your antennae or the top corners of your windshield, the conditions are perfect for black ice to start forming.

Are you a smart driver? Hopefully a little smarter now. We all want to do our jobs, but in icy weather, it’s our job to make sure we come home from those jobs to our loved ones. Remember – intelligently weathering a disaster is 90% precaution and 10% quick thinking, so always plan ahead for emergencies – and educate yourself as much as possible on the weather conditions you’re facing.


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