Well, the weather patterns this year seem to have taken an unusual turn! Some regions are facing the worst drought in decades, while others are at risk of flooding. Due to these conditions, it is crucial for us to pay close attention to the weather and changing road conditions.

Before starting your drive for the day, check the weather forecast along your entire route. Don’t just focus on the starting and ending points, but also gather information for as many locations along the way as possible. For instance, if you’re departing from Calgary and heading towards Vancouver, check the weather conditions for both cities, as well as places like Field, Sicamous, Golden, Chase, Salmon Arm, Kamloops, Link Lake, Coquihalla Summit, and Hope. Also, be attentive to any weather watches or advisories issued along your route. If heavy rain is expected, exercise extra caution, particularly during the first 5 or 10 minutes after the rain starts. During this period, the road surface tends to be the most slippery as rainwater lifts any oil or vehicular fluids that may have dripped onto the road but haven’t been washed away yet. When encountering heavy rain, be aware that your tires may start to hydroplane. Hydroplaning happens when the tires are unable to disperse the water on the road surface, causing the vehicle to essentially float along the highway. To make matters worse, drivers often don’t realize they are hydroplaning until they attempt to turn the steering wheel or apply the brakes with no response. The best course of action when hydroplaning is to allow the truck to naturally slow down until traction is regained. It’s worth noting that hydroplaning is nearly impossible at speeds below 70 km/h unless you have racing tires with no tread whatsoever.

Don Taylor has been a professional driver since March 1985.  In 1994 he made the jump to driving tractor trailers, and has accumulated over 3.5 million miles, including over 4 years of driving turnpike doubles in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.  He is currently hauling flat decks across North America.