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Driving a Truck in Winter Road Conditions recently published a list of "Canada's 30 Best-Selling Vehicles in 2015," and 4 of the top 10 vehicles were pick-up trucks. It is pretty obvious that Canadians are passionate about their trucks, and they are useful to have for a variety of tasks.

Pick-up trucks are also good for navigating snowy and/or icy roads. However, during the worst part of the winter, please remember that having 4-wheel drive does not make either you or your truck invincible.

Tips for Driving a Truck in Winter Weather

When temperatures are consistently below 7 degrees Celsius, it's time to start taking extra precautions when you are out and about. If you're driving a big, heavy truck, you do have some advantages, but there are other measures that you should take in order to stay as safe as possible on the road.

    • Switch your tires. Your truck may be either rear-wheel drive (RWD) or 4-wheel drive (4WD). And while 4WD is typically viewed as better to have when the weather is inclement, 4WD has no impact on your ability to stop your vehicle quickly in the event of an emergency. Winter tires, on the other hand, can shorten your stopping distance by as much as 40%.
    • Carefully add weight to the cargo box. Pickup trucks are designed to carry heavy loads, so it won't deliver optimal performance if the bed is completely empty. In a pick-up with no cargo, only about 30-35% of the vehicle's weight is on the rear wheels. In this condition, the rear wheels cannot gain enough grip on slippery surfaces, and your tires may spin under acceleration. Putting bags of sand or cat litter in your cargo box will help you to maintain steadier traction.


  • Don't overload your truck. While adding just enough weight in the back will improve the performance of your pick-up, adding too much weight will cause a different kind of problem. If you're carrying enough cargo to make the back of the truck weigh significantly more than the front, your rear end may swing out dangerously when you take a sharp turn.
  • Avoid sudden manoeuvres. Whenever you are driving in adverse weather, use caution. Keep your eyes on the road and your speed in check. The truth is, even in a pick-up truck, you can never be 100% certain of how much traction you actually have. Just take things slowly and steadily, making safe arrival to your destination the top priority.

As a pick-up truck driver, reminding yourself of basic safety procedures is important. You may feel incredibly safe in your truck, but you should avoid getting overly confident when driving conditions are potentially hazardous.

Finding the Right Financing

Whether you're in the market for a new or used car or truck, Canada Auto Loan can help you get auto loan approval, even if your credit rating is less than perfect. We will connect you with a dealer in your area who is able to work with your credit situation, so you can get back on the road quickly.

Just fill out our fast, secure and obligation-free application to get started today. Whether you're in Halifax or Vancouver, or anywhere in between, we have a dealer in our network who can assist you with your purchase.