Why trucking companies should prioritize safety in the wintertime

Being a trucker in the winter comes with its fair share of dangers, but for many, that is only amplified in the wintertime.

One factor that has always been significant during the winter season is, of course, the weather. Depending on where you’re driving throughout the United States, you may not even be allowed on the road due to adverse weather conditions.

However, there is also an additional factor, outside of weather conditions, that can affect your assets. According to the SensiGuard Supply Chain Intelligence Center, in the winter holidays between 2014 and 2018, there was a 20% increase in cargo theft compared to the rest of the year.

So, in this article, we’ll break down what you can do to help limit potential asset loss due to both weather and holiday season cargo theft. 

Preparing for driving in the winter

Driving in the winter is already a tough task in a regular 4-wheel vehicle, and that task only gets more difficult when you add an additional 14 wheels into the equation. 

First of all, it’s important to be proactive with safety this time of year, as drivers not only need to care for themselves but also regular folks they share the road with. 

The first thing truckers must do is plan ahead of time, as it's widely considered the most important aspect of driving in the wintertime. 

Planning ahead includes a multitude of things, but you’ll want to start with checking weather forecasts. While experienced drivers may feel like they’re well acquainted with the areas they drive through. It’s always important to double-check. 

For those of you who may not have access to a smartphone, you can always listen to forecasts on your radio or utilize your CB radio to ask around. 

Additionally, make sure you and your truck are prepared to take on the tough conditions. Supplies such as bags of sand or salt, tire chains, snow scrapers, flashlights, rain clothes, gloves, and windshield fluid, will come in handy at some point. 

While accidents can be tough to avoid because of their spontaneity, it’s crucial to drive with extra precaution in the winter in order to avoid them.

Paying attention to every aspect of your driving is paramount to avoiding incidents in the winter. Things like slowing down, keeping a firm grip on the wheel, and allowing space between you and other vehicles can go a long way. 

Subsequently, you should also try your best to avoid driving at night. Driving with little-to-no lighting makes driving in the winter insanely brutal. Of course, it isn’t always easy to avoid such situations when you’re dealing with shippers and receivers, but avoiding black ice and other hazardous weather conditions are much more difficult at night. 

Mitigating cargo theft

As we previously mentioned, from 2014 to 2018, cargo theft throughout the winter holidays has increased by 20 percent.

This makes it essential to secure your fleet during this time of year, especially when you consider that the average cost of assets lost is just over $270,000. However, depending on what you’re hauling, that cost can go up exponentially, even reaching millions.

One way to effectively mitigate cargo can be with cameras. Installing cameras throughout your fleet does many things, but primarily, it can prevent potential thieves from stealing.

While serving as a measure for deterring cargo theft is great, it can also play a crucial role in finding thieves in the event that they succeed. Once your cameras catch thieves in the act, you can easily access the footage and turn it over to the authorities. 

When it comes to safety and protecting your assets, strategically-placed cameras are a must-have and can be a great help in returning your assets to you. 

Another piece of modern technology that can play a massive role in fighting cargo theft are tail light trackers. Hidden in plain sight, they’re effective at finding your assets when they’re stolen.

It’s important to remember that thieves don’t always steal individual cargo, they’ve often also taken trailers altogether. By installing tail light trackers, you’ll have a much better chance of finding your trailer, as you can track it down yourself.

That’s what makes tail light trackers so great because they work and look just like a regular tail light, thieves have no reason to be suspicious of them. So with the tracker still attached, you should be able to locate your assets in no time. 

Finding cameras and tail light trackers isn’t so difficult either. UTECH’s GPSTab, a safety and compliance solution for the trucking industry, has a plethora of safety technology that can help secure your fleet.

Among its wide variety of products, GPSTab offers AI-enhanced cameras and tail light trackers, which can also be accessed through its admin portal. Using the admin portal, users can track their assets and download camera footage when necessary. 

To learn more, visit gpstab.com.

What do you think? Have additional safety suggestions? Let us know in the comments or on social media!