Sunday, March 29, 2015

Vacation Season

Many owner/operators take January and February off.  Not all of us, but many choose to not drive this time of the year because factories, production, and construction slows down.  The weather plays a large role in the slow down.  The weather is also a large reason not to venture out on the roads.  This time of the year, it can be deadly out there.  With icy roads, snowy towns, and closed highways, trucking is difficult this time of the year.

Most of the southern routes are even getting hit hard this year. The southern routes are even more dangerous than the northern routes when they are covered in ice.  Most of the southern states are not equipped as well as their northern counterparts to handle the ice and snow because it is such a seldom occurrence.

Not all owner/operators are able to take the winter months off due to various reasons.  I've worked my share of winter months including working several years in the northern mid-west through all of the ice and snow.  While it does present a few challenges, most of them can be overcome with good preparations.  Snow and ice are completely different when it comes to how your vehicle handles on them.

Snow pack is actually better for vehicle handling than a summer road after a rain shower.  The worst condition to drive in is one with low visibility.  If you can't see, you can't drive.  It doesn't matter what the road conditions are if there is poor visibility, however poor visibility combined with snow covered roads is very bad.

Poor visibility combined with icy roads is about as deadly as it gets.  On icy roads, you can't stop, control your vehicle, and you especially can't safely drive anywhere.  Most of the time if there is a pile up of vehicles on the highway, it is because of a combination of poor road conditions and poor visibility.

Most people take their vacations in the summer or fall.  Truckers tend to take their vacations right after Christmas up until March.  One way the powers that be have tried to control truckers taking this time off is to require that you drive in ice and snow in order to maintain your insurance.  This is almost impossible for an insurance company to mandate as they can't know if you've driven in ice or snow, but technically, if you are driving somewhere and the temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, there's some ice nearby and you've driven in it.

The winter months are also an opportunity for those starting in trucking to grab some really high paying freight because the veterans who have already earned their money won't be so apt to be heading out to haul anything.  This opens the door to higher rates depending on the needs of the customer. 

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