Commercial truck drivers offer winter weather advice

Commercial truck drivers offer winter weather advice

AMARILLO - No matter how severe the weather, deliveries must be made and commercial truck drivers are on the road.

"Visibility was probably about 300 feet, if that," California-bound trucker Ian Gentry said.

"I hit ice today and I went sliding like 2 or 3 times already," Georgia-bound trucker Darrell Kachadorian.

Most truck drivers say they always keep tabs on the weather forecast for at least 300 miles into their route, something they recommend everyone do. But Saturday's and Sunday's conditions still took them by surprise. "I really don't come over here a lot, but I really wasn't expecting this time of year," Gentry said.

"This is very odd for right now. I ain't ever seen it snow up here before Thanksgiving," Kachadorian said.

Several Amarillo truck stops were backed up for hours Sunday night. Several of the drivers said they were actually planning on staying the night in anticipation of all the snow and ice refreezing overnight.

"There's going to be some of that black ice out there, some of that slush is going to freeze back up again. It's going to get really treacherous on some of the roadways,"Texas Department of Transportation Spokesperson Paul Braun said.

TxDOT's famous rule "don't crowd the plow" holds true for any large vehicles.

Truckers say what stresses them out most in winter weather is being crowded by smaller cars. "When you pass us, give us plenty of room before you get over, like a half a mile to a mile tops," Kachadorian said.

Truckers say to never attempt a long road trip without a good night's rest, because you need to be alert, especially with slick road conditions.

Of course if you don't absolutely have to get out and drive Sunday night or early Monday morning, TxDOT is advising you don't.