Trip Planning

Download Trip Planning Brochure [PDF 310 KB]

Every day, B.C. workers risk being injured or killed while driving on the job. Driving in winter can put you at even greater risk. The best defense? A thorough travel plan before you hit the road.

Plan your trip. Prepare yourself. Prepare your vehicle.

 

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

If winter conditions are hazardous, postpone your trip if you can. If you must drive – plan and prepare for your trip.

Get in the Know

Plan your route – Map your entire route from point A to B on your GPS, including rest areas, pullouts and back-up routes.

  • Talk to your supervisor, dispatcher and other drivers to get details on terrain and road conditions.
  • Follow the written working alone procedures.
  • Set up a check-in schedule especially if you will be out of contact periodically.
  • Go to DriveBC.ca for current highway conditions and highway cams. Or call toll-free 1-800-550-4997 for 24-hour B.C. road information.

Working at home - open notebook, copy space on display

Check the weather – Look up what the weather conditions will be at the start and end of your trip – and everything in-between. Check the radio or TV, talk to the other drivers around you, and visit weather.gc.ca for B.C. weather alerts.

Follow the company winter weather policy – Among other details, the written policy should address when drivers are required to exercise caution during hazardous winter conditions that can affect visibility or traction. In addition, the policy should describe:

  • When drivers need to reduce speed.
  • Instruction on when to stop driving when conditions become hazardous.
  • Directions on when drivers can resume driving.

Get Yourself Ready

Wear comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict your movement. Have warm and waterproof items on hand (winter boots, coat, gloves, hat) for when you have to leave your truck. Bring multiple pairs of work gloves. Along with a waterproof mat to kneel on. Ensure that you have a clean high-visibility vest that is compliant with current regulations.

Follow the company emergency procedures. If you get stuck or stranded, don’t panic. Stay with your vehicle for safety and warmth if it is safe to do so. Call for help. If you can’t make a call out, your missed check-in will alert help for you. Bring enough food, water and any other necessary supplies to last 24 hours in case you are stuck. Exercise caution when outside the vehicle, and be especially careful of moving vehicles.

Education

Carriers have a responsibility to educate drivers who work under their Safety Certificate. Ask if you require education on how to recognize and respond to winter driving conditions.

Winterize Your Ride

Winterizing your ride to prepare for the harsh elements and ensuring that it is properly maintained and meets prescribed standards is essential. Give your vehicle a check-up before the start of the winter driving season. Make sure to include the following as part of your pre-trip inspection:

  • Check the tires to ensure the tire tread depth meets or exceeds the legal minimum of 3.5 mm (5/32”) and tire pressure is correct for the cold weather (pressure drops in cold weather).
  • Carry chains. Make sure your chains fit your tires and you know how and have the tools to put them on. Commercial vehicles in B.C. must carry chains from October 1 to March 31.
  • Make sure the battery, brakes, lights, fuses, cooling/heating systems, exhaust and electrical systems, belts, and hoses are in top shape.
  • Ensure you winter wiper blades are in good condition and your wiper fluid reservoir is full of cold-weather windshield washing fluid.
  • Treat your diesel with an anti-gel additive. Diesel gels when it gets really cold and your truck won’t run. Remember to put the anti-gel additive in your tanks BEFORE you fuel so that it mixes.
  • Charge your cell phone. Keep a phone charger on hand as cell phone batteries can freeze in cold weather.

Put together a Winter Survival Kit

 

Recommended items:

  • non-perishable food
  • blankets and/or sleeping bag
  • shovel and tire traction mat
  • windshield scraper
  • snow brush
  • wheel wrench and jack
  • sand, kitty litter, or a suitable traction device
  • fuel line antifreeze
  • If you’re travelling outside urban areas, ensure your kit also contains: sleeping bag, candles, empty can for melting snow.
  • flares, and matches or a lighter
  • flashlight and extra batteries
  • battery jumper cables
  • extra gloves, clothing and winter footwear
  • two litres of water per day
  • lock de-icer
  • emergency signage
  • traffic cones and/or suitable markers


Remember – A SAFE TRIP BEGINS WITH A PLAN.
Do it for yourself, and your family.
Know before you go.

Download Trip Planning Brochure [PDF 310 KB]