It’s hurricane season again, and as a truck driver you know what that means: white knuckle driving in high winds and schedule delays.
For big rig operators carrying LTL or lighter loads your trailer and rig can get pushed like a sailboat in a storm.
Even with full loads and heavy trucks, these are still no match to the wrath of such strong forces of nature and the best way to stay safe in this kind of situation is to prepare.
Getting Ready For The Storm
During the hurricane season, the best thing to do is to be prepared before the storm hits. This means making sure that the drivers have ample supplies to help them through the emergency.
Items including bottled water, flashlights, batteries, non-perishable food, rain gears, and other items should all be kept in the trucks at all times. These essential items are not only helpful during the hurricane season but it can also be used all year round.
Keep Yourself Updated
Update yourself with local news reports to monitor how strong the hurricane is, where it’s heading and where it is currently in. In this way, you’ll know if the areas you are heading to or passing through will be hit. You’d also be informed where emergency services are in case you need them.
Get Ahead Of The Storm
By monitoring the news and weather updates, you should have days to prepare before it hits your area. In the meanwhile, don’t just wait for it to come. You can protect your equipment and other assets before it gets damaged by the hurricane.
Do your best to prepare your facilities. You can’t relocate them but you can relocate some of your assets. It’s best to move your tractors, trailers, trucks, and assets to higher ground to anticipate possible flooding. Lessen the chance of having your empty trailers blown away by high winds by parking them closely to other fully loaded trailers.
Make sure to fill up on fuel so your vehicles are ready immediately after the storm. Often than not, fuel prices increase and are more difficult to find during the storm. With a filled tank, you can immediately get back to delivering supplies immediately after the storm.
It’s best not to accept any jobs when the storm is about to hit. If you get freight from ports, it is more likely that the cargo is safe there than inside your heavy-duty truck.
Before the storm, it’s also best to do precautions that aid in keeping yourself and your family safe. Your life is worth more than any freight in the world.
Safety While On The Road
Sometimes, you get into the situation where you’re already on the road when the storm hits. In this case, you should be extra watchful and vigilant. Winds are very dangerous for trucks on the road especially when you’re on an elevated road or bridge. A hurricane has so much power that it can topple even if your trailer is fully loaded.
After the storm, watch out for floods and don’t ever risk driving through deep standing water. The road may be completely washed away although it’s not visible.
Also, watch out for power lines or open gas lines. These can easily cause injuries and fires. Always give way to law enforcement, the military or rescue vehicles.
Surviving hurricanes is more likely when you don’t panic and prepare beforehand. It’s always best to stay in a safe place and do not risk driving your truck no matter how heavy duty it is.