Sub Zero

Sub Zero temperatures have hit many parts of the country. People are treating it as some sort of natural diasaster. To me, and those of us in northeast Wisconsin, it is called winter. It doesn't mean that the world is coming to an end. Hades really didn't freeze over. It just means that you have to deal with it. 

Sub zero temperatures are a part of life up here. Sure, winter temperarures can rise into the thirties. That just means that the snowmobile trails might get closed. The next week it could be -20. Prepare for it and deal with it. I am not opposed to fuel additives, but don't use them myself. When weather gets cold, I make sure to buy my fuel as far north as I can. If you are coming up to Wisconsin from Florida, don't fuel up in Florida. Buy enough fuel to get north of I40. Put some fuel in there. Leave room to fuel in the north. 

When it is -20, things don't move as easily as they do when it is 30. That includes me. I try to move more deliberately in the extreme cold. Last week, I had a double drop and hook when the temperature was close to zero. Lines and hoses can be stiff when the temperature is that low. Landing gear can be hard to crank. Don't be afraid to take a little break. The simple task of lowering or raising landing gear in the extreme cold becomes a physical challenge. Forcing an airline or pigtail cord in these temps can cause them to break. The same thing is true for us. Don't force yourself beyond exhaustion. Take a break and then finish the job.

Be deliberate. Don't hurry because you're cold. While everything is more difficult in sub zero weather, hurrying can cause bigger issues. For instance fifth wheels are prone to not working properly. You may think that you have a trailer hitched properly and a mere tug test may hole. Then you can drop the trailer after a sharp turn. Visually check. If you have trouble getting under a trailer, turn it a little bit and check. Cranking landing gear from normal position is hard. Cranking it from the ground is harder. 

Falling is not good when you're my age. Falling in sub zero temperatures is worse. Don't rush because you're cold. "I've fallen and I can't get up." is a much more dangerous event in sub zero temperatures, especially if no one can see you.

Sub zero temperatures are a pain. It is not as if I enjoy them. It is that I have learned to deal with them. I try not to do stupid stuff. You know - Don't lick the flagpole. Really don't let your skin touch metal objects. Some of your skin may stick to that object when you pull your hand away. Wear your gloves. Extreme cold happens Prepare for it and then deal with it.

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Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark of Kewaunee, WI has been driving a truck for 24 years. He has been an owner operator for 11 years.

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