As summer trucks on, every day brings us further into hurricane season. Keeping our carriers safe before, during, and after a hurricane is at the forefront of our minds, and it all boils down to being prepared and staying informed.
Since we are only at the beginning of hurricane season, we’ve pulled together some hurricane safety tips for all the truck drivers out there…
Stay Informed – It’s good practice to check weather and road conditions before any route, but that’s especially true around hurricane season. Storms can change course rapidly, and you don’t want to get caught by surprise by flooded roads hiding deep holes, debris, or downed power lines beneath the water.
Check Your Truck – You want your truck to be in good working condition without any potential issues before you potentially venture into a storm.
Stock Up on Supplies – The most important thing is that drivers stay safe during hurricane season, and the first step to being safe in hurricane season is being prepared ahead of time. While drivers usually keep their cabs stocked with emergency supplies, here are some items you may not already have in your truck that you may need, according to Express Freight Finance:
• Extra road flares
• Battery-operated lanterns or flashlights
• Hand-crank USB chargers for mobile devices
• Extra energy bars/ non-perishable goods
• Multiple changes of clothes
• Extra batteries
• Rubber boots and rain gear
Take Things Slow – Driving a truck requires a higher level of safety in any weather, but any time there are poor road conditions, it’s recommended to slow down. Curves, ramps, and turns only compound risk during high winds and rain.
Be Prepared for Wind – Before the hurricane even hits, you’re likely going to see the wind pick up in the area. Strong wind is dangerous for truck drivers because it can pull and sometimes even flip a tractor-trailer. Strong wind gusts can damage a trailer even if it’s parked!
Avoid Flooded Roads – Hurricanes can blow even heavy debris for miles, cover deep holes, or hide downed power lines, so keep an eye on the road for any hazards up ahead. If you can’t see the road or you’re unsure, don’t just plow through it and continue onward.
When in Doubt, Just Pull Over – If you’re on the road and winds start to pick up too much for comfort, the best thing you can do is pull over and park your truck.
Be Flexible – Hurricanes can increase in strength or change course quickly, so be prepared for schedule delays and changes. Patience is key when your trucking route is being impacted by a hurricane.
Stay a Step Ahead – If you’re checking weather and road conditions regularly, then you should know about any storms with enough time to protect your equipment and fleet assets from storm damage. Move as many assets as possible to high ground to mitigate damage from flooding. Park trailers as closely together as possible, with empty trailers tightly placed between the loaded trailers, to lessen the chances they’ll be blown around by high winds. Also, fill up your fuel tanks ahead of time so you can evacuate, if necessary, get back to work quickly, or deliver supplies once the storm has passed.
Hurricanes can seriously damage not only homes, roadways, and communities, but they also affect the logistics industry by damaging shipments and equipment, washing out roads, creating route changes, and increasing prices due to fuel costs rising.
According to DAT Freight and Analytics, “supply and demand follow a predictable pattern before and after hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean. Before hurricanes and or storms make landfall, inbound demand spikes as supplies are positioned in advance, capacity evaporates as carriers seek safer ground, and outbound demand surges as shippers look to move freight out of harm’s way. Then the reverse happens post-landfall.”
Hawkeye Transportation Services is your logistics partner for all seasons. We are dedicated to keeping our customers informed and our drivers safe. CONTACT US today to find out how the Hawkeye team can help keep you rolling.