By Jena Williams

Fall is here and winter weather is on its way. Prepare by inspecting your chains for wear and damage. Lay each one out for inspection, and then practice chaining the tires. Make sure you have practiced chaining all the trucks you may drive. You do not want to learn the tricks or read the instructions while sitting on the side of a busy road during a winter storm.

Take a moment to review the Washington Department of Transportation’s Minimum Chaining Requirements: http://www.wsp.wa.gov/traveler/docs/cvd/chain_reqs.pdf

This is also a good time to make sure your cab is stocked with essentials in case you are stuck for a few days. Consider non-perishable food like protein bars. Do you carry extra medication in your cab? How about warm clothes? Extra water?

Once upon a time, we had the phone numbers of our nearest and dearest committed to memory. Not too long ago, I locked my keys AND my cell phone in my car. Even though a good Samaritan was there to offer me her cell phone, I had trouble coming up with phone numbers to call. Good grief! I really can’t survive without that phone, my brain is in there.

Today is the perfect time to memorize the numbers of those closest to you. Also, write them down in a couple of places where you can find them if your phone is lost, stolen or simply locked in your vehicle.

Here are links to safety training materials for cold and icy weather:

A truck driver’s winter survival kit: http://www.keeptruckingsafe.org/safetymaterials/90792011.pdf

More severe weather training:

http://www.keeptruckingsafe.org/hazardpreventiontools.html#severeweather

Is there anything else you do to prep yourself or your rig for the winter elements? Please share your ideas with us in the comments below.

Stay safe this winter!