Skid Control and Recovery Tips for Flatbed Drivers


Every good P&S Transportation driver knows that operating a CMV safely involves a wide range of knowledge which spans from carrying proper paper work, to abiding by hours of service laws, to proper freight securement, and managing time wisely for on-time deliveries.  But the skills don’t stop there.  Learning how to control and recover from a skid is an essential skill for every truck driver.  Below we will discuss this specific aspect of being the best professional truck driver you can be.

If Your Back Wheels Skid

Back wheel skids occur most often when the truck accelerates or decelerates too quickly.  This can be due to driver mistake, or slippery conditions.  These are the skids that result in a jackknife.  You can stop a back wheel skid by taking your foot OFF OF THE PEDAL.  DO NOT BRAKE.  Keeping your wheels rolling is essential to maintaining traction, but you must reduce your forward speed until you regain control of the truck.

If Your Front Wheels Skid

The majority of front wheel skids occur when driving too fast for conditions, although they can also be caused by worn tires or uneven cargo loading.  The best way to recover from a front wheel skid is to STOP THE TRUCK AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE, WITHOUT A HARD BRAKING INCIDENT.  Hard braking during a front wheel skid will worsen the skid and can lead to cargo shifts, or other wheels skidding in a chain reaction.

If Your Drive Wheels Skid

During a drive wheel skid, AVOID BRAKING, in order to let the rear wheels regain traction.  If you are on ice, push the clutch in.  As your truck slows, turn the wheel quickly.  Your truck will start to turn sideways, at which point you should turn the wheel in the direction you want to go.  Once your truck straightens, countersteer quickly to avoid skidding in the other direction.  This skid recovery is about directional forward motion and the ability to change it.

P&S Transportation drivers, we would love to hear your thoughts below on how you recover from skids, and how you operate your truck safely on a daily basis.