It’s easy to anticipate trouble when rain, snow or ice are threatening the safety of your route. But one of the biggest dangers on the road is a little more deceptive. High winds can topple a semi on the road, so talk to your diesel mechanic to ensure your truck is ready for the challenge.
One of the most critical steps in protecting your semi from the potential damage of high winds is to ask your diesel mechanic to ensure all your doors are latching properly and that your trailer is equipped to handle your cargo. Here are several other tips for handling high winds:
Watch the Weather Forecast: The biggest thing you can do to handle high winds is simply to be aware that they may be an issue on your route. With this in mind, you’ll be more watchful of other signs that the wind may be picking up.
Inspect Your Truck and Trailer: Before beginning your route, check to be sure that doors are working properly and that there isn’t anything unsecured that may become a problem on your semi in a windy setting. Routine truck and trailer maintenance set you up for a successful journey, ensuring there are fewer surprise truck repairs before you head out and fewer disruptions while on the road.
Take Another Route: It may be necessary to adjust or delay your route for safety. The wind often settles at night, which may make your route safely passable.
Know Your Trailer: You should consider not only whether you are driving an empty trailer, but also the sail area of your trailer.
Watch for Signs: Even if you haven’t been watching the weather, there are indicators that the wind is picking up. Look for road signs that are being pushed to one side, trees that are swaying dramatically and debris being blown across the road.
Slow or Stop: When it doubt, it’s best to slow down or even pull over to a location out of the direct influence of the wind. This is true whether you’re dealing with wind, other kinds of weather, construction or road hazards. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Know Your Plan: A firm grip on the wheel is always a good start, but be prepared that your semi will pull the direction the wind is blowing. If you notice that your truck is being impacted by the wind, turn on your hazards to warn other drivers, move to the right lane and slow down. High winds are just one of the many weather-related challenges your diesel mechanic can help you address with regular maintenance. Contact us at Gray Diesel & Equipment Services to learn more about ways to protect your semi, and if your route takes you near Lincoln, Nebraska, or Lexington, South Carolina, stop in and say hello!