Topic

THE ROAD

WET WEATHER

The stopping distance in wet weather can be double the distance required in dry weather.

Wet roads reduce tyre grip and can make the surface even more slippery. Give yourself plenty of time and room for slowing down and stopping. Keep well back from other vehicles. Advisory signs are set by the police and should be adhered to when they are shown.

When overtaking

Take particular care when overtaking.  Water can form a layer between the road and the tyre resulting in a loss of contact with the road. This is known as aquaplaning.

WIND

Try to avoid routes where you would have to negotiate high and exposed places when it is very windy. You may need to alter your route or rest stops.

The type of vehicle you are driving will need to be taken into consideration.  empty double deck trailers will be more susceptible to windy conditions that low loaders carrying heavy machinery.

Overtaking

Cyclists and motorcyclists may become unbalanced by your vehicle passing too close. Plan ahead and give them plenty of room. Remember that your large vehicle can cause a vacuum which will suck the rider towards it.

The noise and close proximity of your vehicle can also startle them, which could cause them to swerve suddenly.

REMEMBER

You must always check the nearside mirror during and after overtaking a motorcyclist.

Make sure that the rider is still in control and that your vehicle hasn’t caused buffeting.

SNOW & ICE

If your vehicle becomes stuck in deep snow, engage the diff-lock  to regain forward traction.  if a diff-lock is not fitted to your vehicle use the highest gear to improve traction.

Road markings and traffic signs can be obscured by snow. Take extra care at junctions

Falling snow can reduce visibility dramatically, always use dipped headlights and reduce your speed to account for the weather conditions

Allow ten times the normal stopping distances on icy roads

In cold weather drain your air tanks on a regular basis

WHAT IS A DIFF LOCK?

The differential gears in the drive axle allow the drive wheels to rotate at different speeds, which is very important to enable you to negotiate corners and bends safely.

The ‘diff-lock’ effectively locks the driven wheels together, so that power is transmitted equally to both. This is very useful in slippery or muddy conditions where otherwise the drive wheels can spin at different speeds and result in a loss of traction.

DRAINING AIR TANKS

Some Vehicles produce a lot of water in their air tank systems.

Any of the reservoirs in a brake system can accumulate moisture, and this moisture can turn to ice when it gets cold or below freezing outside

FOG

When driving in fog you MUST use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced, generally when you cannot see for more than 100 metres (328 feet).

You may also use front or rear fog lights but you MUST switch them off when visibility improves.

Keep a safe distance behind the vehicle in front. Rear lights can give a false sense of security

Be able to pull up well within the distance you can see clearly. This is particularly important on motorways and dual carriageways, as vehicles are travelling faster

Use your windscreen wipers and demisters

Check your mirrors before you slow down. Then use your brakes so that your brake lights warn drivers behind you that you are slowing down

Stop in the correct position at a junction with limited visibility and listen for traffic. When you are sure it is safe to emerge, do so positively and do not hesitate in a position that puts you directly in the path of approaching vehicles.

PARKING AT NIGHT

Vehicles exceeding 1525 kg unladen weight, may not be parked without lights on a road (or lay-by) directly next to a road with a speed limit of 30 mph (48 km/h) or more

Trailers, and all vehicles with projecting loads, MUST NOT be left on a road at night without lights.

 

BUILDING SITES

You should take all possible precautions to prevent any mud being deposited on the road as this is a hazard to other road users. It is also an offence for which you could be prosecuted.

Prior to leaving the building site check for debris that may have been lodged in between your tyres which can be a major cause of punctures.

If you get stuck in mud engage the diff lock to help get the vehicle moving but remember to turn it off.

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