These are just some tips I’ve come to know from years of driving in the mountains in heavy snow conditions. They pretty much apply when weather conditions have deteriorated during snowstorms. They are a little different from the regular safe driving techniques the company teaches, but they work. I have lived by them for over 30 years.
When you pull in, back out in the same tracks. You didn’t get stuck on the ride in, so you will not be likely to get stuck if you back out staying in the same tracks.
Do not try to turn around. While the company teaches you to back first under normal conditions, you are way more likely to get stuck when you get out of your tracks trying to turn around. Carefully back out following your tracks you made going in.
Don’t be afraid to walk a package in, you’ve all ready wasted the time getting to the stop. Take the extra minutes to walk the package in instead of trying to drive it there. You are much less likely to get stuck parking on the road, than parking in the driveway.
Use your emergency brake on downhill runs. If you set your e-brake halfway you will not lock up your steering wheels causing you to lose control. Practice using the e-brake in slippery conditions to get a better feel for how your brakes respond. You always need to steer. Using the e-brake slows you down without losing your ability to steer.
When in doubt, chain up! Chaining up is not the last resort it is the first. If you think you might need chains, put them on. It’s much easier to chain up when you pick the time and place than to try to chain up after you are stuck. I put chains on early even if conditions are just marginal. They prevent you from having that surprise slide away that not only raises your blood pressure, but can cost you years of safe driving. Again, when in doubt, chain up!
If it’s really bad, give up. My suggestion here is not to recommend you quit early just because you want to, but if conditions are severe, and deteriorating I suggest you contact your center, and tell them you are at grave risk of getting stuck, or having an accident. The company came up with, “emergency conditions”, just for this situation. Don’t be a fool and wreck the truck, or worse yet spend the night in it, just because you think you can be a hero. You can be a hero tomorrow when conditions allow it. Use your judgment wisely.
Remember that they are not out there. You are. Tell them what you need to do, don’t ask. You are the professional out there in the field, not them.