Making it Home Safe: 4 Winter Weather Driving Tips from a Veteran Storey Driver
Norman Jones has been a truck driver for 20 years. He’s been with Storey for 13 of them, where he joined in 2003. As a recent top mileage leader for the company, he knows a thing or two about driving in winter weather. And he was nice enough to share some of the lessons he’s learned from his many years of winter-weather driving experience.
Take Extra Precautions
Norman says the first thing he does before every drive is to do a detailed pre-trip inspection of his vehicle, to make sure it’s fit to get the job done. Then, as he’s driving, he takes extra precautions, especially when there’s icy weather. “Always slow down. Always watch out for other people,” he says.
Rely on Your Instincts
“It’s the driver’s choice on whether they really want to drive in bad weather or not,” says Norman. “If your gut tells you it's unsafe, don't push your luck. Use caution. No load out there is worth my life.” If the weather is bad, Norman will usually find a place to pull over for a bit, until the road is clear. “It's just the way I've always done it and probably the way I'll do it until the day I retire. As far as advice for other drivers, follow your instincts. So far, mine haven't lied to me.”
Make It Home Safe
Norman’s only plan when driving in winter weather is to get the job done and make it home safe. In the 20 years he’s been driving, he’s never used snow tires. To him, if the weather is bad enough for tire chains, then it’s not worth losing his load or risking his life. He simply chooses to wait it out until he feels the roads are safe once again.
Norman says to bring two or three changes of clothes, just in case. And he advises not to ever leave home without groceries, because there may be times when there’s no place to get food.
And he always checks the weather before his trips. While he’s away, he also relies on his wife to notify him if he’s driving into bad weather. “There are places you’re not able to tell what the weather is like until once you’re there in it.” So, weatherwise, he relies on his wife’s help, while safety-wise, he relies on God, his own instincts, and communication with Storey Trucking’s experienced dispatch team, he says.
Given his experience, Norman knows a thing or two about driving in rough weather. For a dispatcher’s take on safe driving precautions, be sure to read our previous post featuring Storey’s Wayne Hawk.
To learn more about driving with Storey Trucking, visit our Drivers page.