Before the trip, snow and ice must be swept off the roof
Snow and ice piling up on truck roofs is a tedious consequence of winter. Drivers have to remove the dangerous roof loads before the start of a trip, so that these don’t become a safety hazard.
Continual snowstorms, rain and temperatures below freezing don’t just cause icy conditions on the roads. Truck tarpaulins and roofs are also affected: mounds of snow and sheets of ice can fall off over the course of a journey, which puts other road users at risk. For this reason, vehicles need to be checked before the start of a trip, whereby the driver must verify that the body of the vehicle and the roof of the driver’s cab are free of foreign objects. If the driver doesn’t remove snow and sheets of ice, he or she is liable if they cause an accident.
Remove dangerous roof loads
The safest solution comes in the form of snow clearing stations, available at service and petrol stations and truck stops. These stations have working platforms, designed specifically for removing snow and ice. They are stable, contain secure steps and a slip-resistant floor covering, and provide protection on all sides against falling. Snow brushes or brooms are ideal for clearing away snow.
Roof safety air bags also offer a practical solution, whereby air bags are fixed to the middle of the long side of the tarpaulin roof. They are pumped up using the on-board air supply, creating a slope which allows the snow and ice to slide off.
However, if these types of technical facilities aren’t available, the driver can climb up onto the loading area and push against the inside of the tarpaulin with a long broomstick or plank, so that the mounds of snow and ice sheets fall off. A drawback of this method is that the driver can’t see the roof, and on occasion might not succeed in clearing the entire area.
Why not just climb onto the roof? That’s a no-no. As is balancing precariously on a ladder. However, there are ladders that are specifically designed for trucks which can be secured to the vehicle, thus providing the driver with sufficient protection. They can be folded together compactly and are easy to store in the truck.