Removing Ice and Snow Buildup on Trucks Safely

During the winter months, it’s not uncommon to see snow and ice on the tops of commercial vehicles, including straight trucks, intermodal containers, large trucks, trailers and buses. 

While this may appear harmless, snow and ice that accumulates on vehicles not only creates a safety hazard for commercial drivers, but other motorists as well. In fact, when snow and ice falls off a truck’s trailer on the road, the following can occur: 

1. Snow blows off the trailer roof and impairs the visibility of the commercial driver or other motorist. 2. Ice falls from the vehicle and causes injury or property damage to other motorists. 

Because of these risk factors, it’s important for commercial fleets to remove snow and ice from vehicles to ensure safe roadways for all motorists. While it may be tempting for you to simply climb on top of your truck and remove snow and ice manually, this should be avoided as it creates major safety concerns. 

The following are some safe workplace controls to consider when it comes to removing ice and snow buildup: 

  1. Use snow and ice removal devices, which are commonly found at distribution centers and other locations where commercial vehicles commonly stop. To remove ice and snow, drivers drive under the device, which adjusts to the height of the truck via a nearby control panel. Then, when the device is resting on the roof of the truck, drivers simply need to pull forward to ensure a clean roof.
  2. Use a portable snow removal tool. These devices are lightweight roof rakes that drivers can use at ground level. What’s more, these devices can help drivers clean their roofs if they are on the road when a storm hits. 

Removing snow and ice from your fleets is an important practice to improve road safety and reduce the likelihood of insurance claims or civil litigation.