The commercial trucking industry is always expanding and changing, creating exciting opportunities and challenges for drivers of all types. If you reside in California and are itching to feel the freedom of the open road while gaining valuable job experience, our trucking schools in Fresno and Modesto are here and ready to help! Truck Nation School is here to serve as your trusted resource for the best education and training in the industry, helping new drivers from orientation through job placement and beyond. Our CDL classes are tailored to be thorough, delivering hands-on learning for students to take their test with full confidence. We strive to lead the industry with our truck driving school’s record for success, and we’re always looking to provide the most modern instruction.
One thing that does not change in the trucking field is the weather. This aspect of driving can create many dangers that often catch unprepared drivers unaware. Today, we’ll continue to highlight a few bad-weather driving tips to help you brush up on the best techniques. California is home to ranging weather patterns, making it important for drivers of all types to stay safe.
Wet conditions can reduce your vehicle’s ability to retain traction with the road. While everyone understands this, it is important to stress moderation when starting and stopping. It can be all-too-easy to pop the clutch and feed too much gas, causing your tires to spin rapidly instead of making firm contact. While it may not feel too dangerous to slip a little bit at the green light in town, steep mountain passes can prove troublesome for automobiles of all sizes.
If you have questions or concerns about working in winter driving conditions, our commercial driving school is here and happy to assist with refresher courses, career counseling, and more!
Brake Lightly, Too!
Slick conditions can easily be underestimated once traffic is moving along. Interstate travel often hums along in the wintertime, as drivers are able to take advantage of long stretches with little speed interruptions. When drivers see brake lights in snowy conditions, it is recommended to practice extreme caution. Motorcycles, semi trucks, and vehicles in between perform best with gradual changes, letting your foot slowly off the gas. The less brakes you use, the better. Go through your gears smoothly, taking care not to lurch or stall at any point.
Many drivers inexperienced in snowy conditions make the mistake of braking hard when they feel a tire slip. Experience is key for most motorists, learning the limits of their vehicle for future success. If you pass through Mammoth Lakes, keep in mind that the mountain receives roughly 400 inches of snowfall per year!
Focus On the Road
Today’s roadways are now covered with signs, directions, and other helpful pieces of information to provide a safe, informed experience for drivers. New and experienced truckers alike need to keep a keen eye on all road signs, following their directions to anticipate upcoming dangers. If a warning sign cautions you to slow down to 45 miles per hour through a tight curve, we recommend staying within the guidelines!
Our trucking school also gives California drivers advice and education for safe driving in adverse conditions. Wet surfaces can cause vehicles traveling over 35 mph to hydroplane, losing connection with the road and creating a danger for everyone in close proximity. Black ice can also develop during the winter months, a clear, thin glaze of ice that is normally invisible to unaware drivers. Drivers who encounter this terrifying surface need to remain calm and try to pass over the ice as smoothly as possible to avoid over-correcting and crashing. Keep an eye out for future hazards, including unsafe conditions, vehicles on the side of the road, and unsafe drivers.
Keep an Eye On Bridges
Twos areas that can prove hazardous for vehicles of all sizes are bridges and overpasses. These structural elements are vital for connecting roads across spans and over busy thoroughfares, and do not benefit from the same thermal benefits as roadways backed by soil. Asphalt and concrete slabs on a deck are limited in terms of reinforcement, restricting Caltrans’ ability to implement safety measures such as salt, sand, and melting agents. That black ice that we mentioned earlier is most often found on bridges.
Approach all elevated road spans with caution. Beyond the weight restrictions indicated on upcoming road signs, you can also expect a warning sign to indicate ice dangers. Keep the wheel steady, and try to minimize any changes, such as gassing, braking, or turning. Over time, drivers begin to understand how these dangers affect their vehicle and rely on past training to override any anxious reactions. Trucks carrying a full load can lose their traction, so be sure to keep an eye out for bridges!
Truck driving can be a long and rewarding career for motivated individuals that take the proper precautions and safety protocols. Safe driving habits are essential, making it vital for you, as a new driver, to seek out the best education and training. When you’re ready to excel in this exciting industry, be sure to reach out to our trucking schools in Fresno or Modesto. Both of our commercial driving schools are able to provide comprehensive education and hands-on training to give drivers the skills needed to thrive. We offer flexible classes to meet your busy lifestyle, full-service training, and extensive career counseling. Contact us today to learn more, and be sure to drive safely out there!