Being a truck driver is hard work when you think about all the factors that go into driving a big rig. When you throw natural disasters like flooding or tornadoes into the mix everything else just gets a little more complicated.

With the amount of tornadoes on the rise in the U.S., it’s more important than ever that drivers know how to use the trucking industry safety rules to be prepared for dangerous weather on the road.

How are tornadoes created?

As a rotation of warm and moist air forms at ground level, the possibility of a twister is increased. However, before a tornado can be created, a thunderstorm called a supercell has to be formed. With four different categories of supercells, a classic supercell is best known for stirring up trouble across the great plains of America.  

Once the wind speeds are up to 250 miles an hour, a tornado can cause a mile wide tunnel of damage. That’s why it is important for truck drivers to be aware of the weather at all times while on the road.

Not just for the driver’s peace of mind, but also to get company trucks inspected before attempting to go out into any weather related dangers, such as heavy rain, high winds or high temperatures.

What to do in the event of a tornado

What to look for:

Anytime a truck driver is on the road, they should be aware of the weather around them and follow trucking industry safety protocols. With that responsibility comes time to determine how severe the storm is coming your way. In other words, is it safe to drive an 18-wheeler in this weather or not?

Therefore, you need to know what certain terms mean, such as tornado watch or tornado warning. Just remember, those two terms are not the same.

For instance, a ‘tornado watch’ means that weather conditions are able to produce a tornado, but a ‘tornado warning’ means that a tornado has been confirmed by a storm spotter or radar monitor.

Where to go:

No matter what kind of deadline you are on, truck drivers have to be safe before they can get out on the road. No truck drivers should be traveling in dangerous weather conditions, such as tornadoes.

However, tornadoes have been known to be unpredictable. In the event that you come across a twister, it’s imperative that you find shelter!

If shelter is not available to you, look for nearby structures or a low-lying ditch and try to stay covered. The idea is to get as low as you possibly can to stay out of the way of the wind and any debris that can be picked up by a tornado.

DO NOT stop under bridges or tunnels, just like a tornado, bridges and tunnels can make a funnel of wind that can put you into danger.

Who to contact:

At the very top of the list is your employer! Imagine if you knew you had a worker directly in the middle of a tornado warning and you had no idea what was going on. It’s always a good idea to give your employer updates as the storm progresses.

People to contact for help are:

Our hope at TransWood is that our company drivers and others in our industry use these trucking industry safety tornado tips to stay safe during this crazy tornado season! We will make it through this together!


TransWood is committed to protecting the health, safety and security of our employees and independent contractors while minimizing the impact of our operations on the public and the environment where we operate. Please, contact TransWood so we can start serving your hauling freight needs.  

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