By Elspeth Mizner
ERIE, Pa. (Erie News Now) — While upcoming inclement weather may lead people to choose to stay home and off the roads, others may not have that option. Truck and bus drivers must transport cargo and people safely no matter the conditions.
Jeff Hollenbeck, the Director of Operations for Barnhart Trucking explained, “Our drivers are over the roads so it’s not just Erie weather, it’s western weather, it’s southern weather and it’s any conditions, high winds, so they go through a pretty extensive training to know that they meet our criteria and we putting safe drivers on the road around other motorists.”
From carrying cargo to transporting people, drivers have to get from point A to point B, even in harsh conditions.
Darryl Rogers, the Maintenance Facility Supervisor for Coach USA explained “We are large, 45 foot coach buses that carry up to 56 passengers and you have to understand, those are the most precious pieces of cargo you can have, so yeah the drivers will take extra care especially when there’s inclement weather outside.”
Although, the journey is important, drivers agree the safety of drivers and passengers are the number one priority. “Every driver along with everyone in our company has top work authority, so anytime they don’t feel safe, it’s the call to find a rest area, truck stop or just a safe parking lot until the weather passes.”
There are a few things other drivers on the road can to to help truck and bus drivers out. “The biggest safety issue we see is safe distance, even if roads are dry these trucks don’t stop as quick as normal cars do is when we add adverse weather conditions, stopping distance and not crowding trucks and being concerned about their blind spots on the trucks play a serious role”, said Hollenbeck.
Officials at Coach USA said they always monitor road conditions before they send their drivers out. “We rely on the 511 system in New York and Pennsylvania highways if any of them get closed or anything like that, so that’s one of them and one of the other ways is of course is that guy who is going to get behind the wheel, if he says there is a half an inch of ice on the ground, we are not going to send that guy right out we are just going to rely on mother nature.”