The Essential Winter Checklist for Truckers

With snowstorms shutting truck drivers down across the country this week, it’s probably a good idea to revisit what items are most important to keep in the truck during the winter months.

From snowstorms in Nebraska turning highways into parking lots, to slick, icy roads in Texas, to power outages in Oklahoma, this winter is already turning out to be a brutal one. Make sure you have some of these supplies on hand to ensure you stay safe and warm as the season continues to grow colder.

Truck Supplies:

  • Windshield Scraper – every driver knows that ice accumulates easily on a cold windshield, make sure to have a sturdy scraper on hand to ensure maximum visibility once you hit the road.
  • Snow Chains – Many drivers believe that if the weather is bad enough for chains, it’s time to pull over. Use your best judgement, and make sure you know how to properly use the chains before you set out on your next snowy run. Find some tips on how to properly install and use snow chains here.
  • Jumper Cables – Useful for every season, but especially during freezing months where a working truck could mean the difference between life of death.
  • Heavy Duty Bungee Cords – Some bungee cords are superior to others. Make sure to keep some good quality bungees that are capable of withstanding freezing weather on hand just in case.
  • Kitty Litter/Salt – Both of these items can be useful for traction, and might be just what you need to get out of a slippery situation.
  • Half-full tank – This one can be tricky, but keeping the fuel tank at least half full at all times during the winter months is a good idea. You never know when a blizzard might hit, and if it does, you’ll be thankful to have fuel.

Human Supplies:

  • Heavy Duty Winter Clothes – A no-brainer. Make sure you always have extra warm jackets, gloves, hats, socks, and even waterproof boots when you hit the road during the winter. That way, you’ll always have protective, dry clothes ready to go if needed.
  • Heavy Duty Knee Pads – Useful for semi truck maintenance such as changing tires, refilling fluids, and checking truck equipment. Don’t skimp on these – if your kneepads can’t withstand the weather or are too thin, you just might feel the consequences later.
  • Extra Blankets – Just like with extra warm clothes, extra blankets may just save you from frostbite if you ever find yourself in an unfortunate situation. Don’t forget one for your furry co-pilot if you have one!
  • Flashlights – Not just any flashlight, a good one. A flashlight that can perform well in any weather might just help you fix something on your truck, find something in a dark cab, or even aid in flagging down some help.
  • Extra Food and Water – Have some emergency food and water stored in the truck in case you ever need to hunker down. Don’t forget extra food and water for your furry co-pilot if you have one!

Do you have anything to add to the list or any tips for winter driving? Stay safe out there, drivers!