Winter Weather Makes Difficult Driving Conditions for Semi-Truck Drivers

M-32 in Johannesburg remained closed Wednesday night after a serious crash involving a semi-truck.

It’s one of several reported crashes on Wednesday involving semis.

Continuing our team weather coverage, 9 and 10’s Megan Atwood and photojournalist John Harrington show us how difficult it can be for semi-truck drivers in winter weather.

Slick roads and white out spots make for bad driving conditions for everyone on the roads, including semi-truck drivers.

“It’s just a matter of taking it slow because everybody is basically in your way and you just have to go slow,” begins Ryan Wimmer.

Ryan Wimmer lives to have his hands on a steering wheel. He’s worked as a truck driver for the past four years. So this is not his first go around with dangerous winter weather.

“The majority of it comes from just getting out here and doing it. You know, I was nervous the first year I drove through the winter but now it’s second nature,” Wimmer continues on.

Driving safe and slow is the number one concern, especially when he isn’t carrying a load on his trailer.

“When you’re loaded and you’ve got traction, I can start off and go a lot faster. And when I’m empty, obviously you’re going to be spinning your tires a lot more often,” Wimmer says.

Northern Logistics hauls a little bit of everything, from items like toys, to raw materials, to car parts. Making deliveries on time is important.

Wimmer says, “If you miss a shipment or you don’t make a shipment, you’ll shut down a line for sometimes 6 to 8 hours. And in the winter time, it happens sometimes and it’s unavoidable.”

But it’s safety first, and that should be the rule for other drivers on the road too.

“When It’s wintery like today and the white outs, its best to just not be by a truck, because a lot of snow is going to blow up from my tires and make it even worse,” Wimmer concludes.

Michael Curtis is a driver who spends a lot of time on highways. He says, “I just stay away from them. Slow down a little bit if I have to and just give them space. They can’t see if you’re right up behind them.”