The sun is out, the snow is melting, the temperatures are rising … spring is certainly a welcome sight after the brutal weather we’ve endured.
But the spring thaw brings with its own headaches: Potholes and road hazards. Not only that, this is also the time of year road construction pops up all the nation’s highways.
Put these together and the result is numerous frustrating obstacles for truckers to navigate. From beat up roads that need construction to actual zones lined with orange barrels, flaggers and restricted lanes, this time of year can be a frustrating one.
But if you keep a few things in mind, you can make sure the spring and early summer months don’t raise your blood pressure too much.
Be prepared: Spring weather can be crazy. Make sure you’re truck is ready for whatever is thrown at it with good pre-trip checks — how are the tires and wiper blades, to name a couple checkpoints?
Also, prepare yourself for long construction slowdowns by checking websites like the Ohio Department of Transportations’ OHGO site to see what workzones are scheduled along your route.
Expect the unexpected: Despite being prepared and knowing what’s in your path, it is inevitable accidents or bad potholes will be in your path. As a professional truck driver, make sure you set a good example and drive carefully, slow down and respect the signs and other drivers.
The stats say many accidents result from irresponsible driving maneuvers: Tailgating, cutting people off and even road rage. Not only can you keep yourself out of these accidents by keeping your cool, you might influence others to relax and drive in a calm manner.
People may not always notice your excellent driving skills, but they’ll surely notice the bad ones.
Trust yourself: Trying to cruise through constricted driving lanes on a highway with cars passing by is never easy. But this is why you put in all of those hours of training. Trust the skills you’ve developed, know your boundaries and give working crews their space. If you need extra practice, make sure you get it. You don’t want to be sorry later.
As with most road safety, the key to driving during the spring and summer months is paying attention and being safe. Make sure you are prepared for what the road is going to throw at you and stay alert. Slow down, pay attention to traffic signs and flaggers and keep your eyes open for potholes or other road hazards.
Adhering to these rules will keep you and your truck safe for the long haul.
If you happen to have tire issues after battling the spring potholes, North Dixie Truck and Trailer, Inc. has access to National Brand Tires. Call our parts department at 419-222-8785, visit our shop at 2050 N. Dixie Highway or check out our website northdixietruck.com.