When the Wind Blows: 5 Tips for Driving in Windy Conditions

Rain, ice, snow and road debris are just a few of the things we adjust for on the road simply because we can see them. But for truckers, there is an unseen foe awaiting them at any given time: the wind.

Wind affects everything it touches from the trees, to your hair, to the fifty three foot trailer you’re pulling at sixty five miles per hour. The difference is that your trailer acts as a wind sail, and places you at far greater risk for overturning in comparison to cars, motorcycles, or even small box trucks. Is your trailer empty? Your risk during windy conditions just went up substantially! Wind speeds of 40mph or greater are extremely risky, and wind speeds of 60mph or greater turn your empty trailer into a parachute.windy_conditions

Here are some tips for truck drivers facing high-speed wind conditions:

  1. Know your weight. Being mindful of the weight you’re pulling. The balance of the load is going to make a big difference in your decision making and overall handling of the tractor.
  2. Know the risk. Checking wind speed and direction before you hit the road is vitally important to route planning and avoiding any potential hazard. Headwinds, tailwinds, and crosswinds all have different effects. Learn them!
  3. Take an alternate route. Simply put: if a safer route exists in high wind conditions, use it.
  4. Be aware of your terrain. Plan accordingly if you’re in an area where wind may cause trees or rocks to fall.
  5. No pressure. Dispatch doesn’t have to get the load safely to and from its destination, you do. If the trip isn’t safe, park it.

For more safe driving tips, visit transforce.com/blog.