As truckers traverse the nation's highways and byways throughout the winter, they will inevitably run into problem areas where the season's weather makes it harder to do their jobs. For many pro haulers, this is a tale as old as time, but it's still important to be ready for snow, ice, high winds and more coming together to impede your progress.
The following items should help you to be better prepared for what's to come:
1) A small shovel
Especially when you park overnight, you may find that snow has accumulated and made it difficult to get moving again, according to Keep Trucking Safe. A small shovel, preferably one that can be folded to take up minimal space, will go a long way here.
2) Extra meds
Many truckers rely on a handful of medications to stay healthy on the road, and if you find yourself stuck for even a few hours, let alone a few days, it helps to have some extra doses on hand, Keep Trucking Safe said. Make sure nothing is past its expiration date, and stow these medicines safely.
3) Water and nonperishable food
Along similar lines, you'll want to have some extra snacks and plenty of water on hand in the event you're stuck on the side of the road for awhile, Keep Trucking Safe further cautioned. You'll have to eat or replace the food in your emergency kit every couple of weeks or so, but you will also be wise to keep an eye on the last time you put new water in your cab.
4) Recovery straps and chains
Much like packing a shovel or some sand or kitty litter, you should also have something you can use to help pull your truck out of a tough spot, according to Team Run Smart. This is a good idea at any time of year, but it's particularly important in winter.
5) A hand-cranked flashlight and radio
You never know when you'll get stuck, and therefore you might not always remember to have packed fresh batteries, Team Run Smart noted. For that reason, having crank-powered items like a flashlight and radio will help keep you safe and informed even when the situation is dire.
6) Hand warmers
These items can be crucial to keeping your extremities warm when you are stuck for hours or days at a time and don't want to run the engine or rely on a space heater, according to the Murphy-Hoffman Company. They're also just nice to have on bitterly cold days when you have to spend more time outside.
7) Light sticks and flares
You'll need to keep yourself visible if you're stuck on a stretch of road without street lights or with dense trees along it, the Murphy-Hoffman Company added. High-intensity glow sticks and flares are the best way to do that.
8) Stuff to keep you warm
Finally, if you're going to be stuck for a long period of time, some more layers of clothes, thick socks, gloves, a winter cap and heavy blankets are a must, the Murphy-Hoffman Company warned. That way, no matter what you do to pass the time, you'll stay comfortable.
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