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Knowing When to Pull It Over and Just Stop Driving in Winter!

by Mike Simons
(Trenton, SC, USA)

Snow is piling up; traveling is treacherous

Snow is piling up; traveling is treacherous

Snow is piling up; traveling is treacherous
With snow falling, know when to park your truck

Hello drivers. Today is March 5, 2015. I'm currently parked at the Pilot Travel Center in Corbin, KY. It looked rough out here in the parking lot as I emerged from my shower time. The blowing snow had already started to fall while I was inside.

I checked to see what the conditions would be like based on what I saw here. A member of management shared with me that other drivers had said it was rough coming up. It wasn't a pretty picture as I walked back out to my tractor.

The weather app I use had 3 advisories, one of which was a Winter Storm Warning. This is what was reported, in part.

"Precautionary/Preparedness actions
A Winter Storm Warning for heavy snow and sleet means severe winter weather conditions are expected. Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in an emergency. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency."

"Snow of this magnitude will make travel difficult to treacherous."

Merriam Webster Dictionary defines treacherous, partially, as
*providing insecure footing or support (treacherous quicksand)
*marked by hidden dangers, hazards, or perils
*very dangerous and difficult to deal with

There comes a point in knowing when you need to stop based on current conditions or what you know is happening further down the road. Here in the travel center, fuel island traffic is moving very slowly. Other rigs are simply parked and not moving, as they are in a safe and legal parking location. Perhaps they are questioning if it's prudent to move at all.

Right now, new snow accumulations of 2-3 inches are expected with a total of 3-7 inches before it ends sometime this afternoon. The high is expected to be only 25F and a low of 3F tonight.

There are trucks behind me, just parked and perhaps waiting it out.

I'm unable to move, even with almost 42,000 pounds in my van. My wheels spin, even with the differentials locked. So I've advised my company and they understand. They've asked for me to keep them posted. And if I would be able to get moving from here, what would it be like out there on the interstate?

There's nothing wrong with stopping when the conditions warrant it. Sometimes, you may need to make that decision that your load is not worth your life and pull it over. The fastest way to cool off that hot load is in a ditch...or over the side of Jellico (where I'm headed), or whatever mountainous area you may be traveling. I know you've probably heard that expression before, but it warrants some merit based on what we all know.

Winter isn't over just yet. I know that we all look forward to better driving conditions in some areas very soon! Time and patience will be our reward in due time.

In the meantime though, imagine the dismay for your loved ones to receive a phone call or visit from law enforcement or company officials that you were killed in a driving accident. Is that what you want? I don't believe you would.

Right now, I'm safe and secure, I have more than enough supplies in my truck to sustain me, the tractor has fuel and a bunk warmer and everything is going to be just fine. I would encourage you to make an evaluation of what you need should you be placed in the position where I am right now. I know what you are going through as I'm out here too.

But here's what you can do. Please peruse this site; Vicki and I are here to help you save those hard-earned dollars that you work so hard to get. But we want you to stay safe too.

Thanks for reading. We wish you safe travels and lots of money-saving opportunities on the road!

Comments for Knowing When to Pull It Over and Just Stop Driving in Winter!

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Mar 06, 2015
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Thanks for the tip
by: Anonymous

Thanks so much for the Google 511 tip. We will put it to good use. My husband doesn't have hot spot capability right now to check conditions online so I do that at home and call him with information. The depth of that information depends greatly on what state you're looking at. Some are better than others. Google 511 sounds like a great alternative.

Mar 06, 2015
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Excellent tip!
by: Vicki

Thank you, tanker team, for your Google 511 idea!

Mar 06, 2015
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Road Conditions
by: Anonymous

My husband and I are a tanker team and we have been through all 5 winter storms back to back this year. One thing I do before starting on the road in the morning and even throughout the day if we know there is weather ahead is to Google 511 then the state abbreviation. Most states have a map of their entire state with description conditions for each road. If they are describing black ice on our route, we know we cannot move until they treat the roads. Hopefully this will help in the decision to drive or to park it.

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