Winter Blues

Myrna Chartrand : Myrna was born and raised in Oak Point, Manitoba.
Posted By Myrna Chartrand : Myrna was born and raised in Oak Point, Manitoba. On 2020-03-10 07:04:28

The only words I have to describe my current situation are to say that I have a case of the
"winter blues." Not only do I dislike the winter but Pinky 2.0 (my truck) is not a fan either. My truck developed this "quirk" at the tail end of the winter last year but like with a lot of things, I turned a blind eye to it then it was Spring and all was well with the world again. This quirk came back again this winter, though, and I have to say it's certainly an inconvenience. Pinky 2.0 works just fine at -14 degrees Celsius, but at -15 and colder, it loses power. No one can seem to figure out why and by the time it gets to a shop, "Surprise," its warm and all is right with the world once
again. It's annoying, but yet I deal with it and sympathize because quite frankly, some days when it's colder than -15 degrees, I don't feel like working either.

Dwelling on the winter gets me to thinking of the hard lessons I had to learn about winter driving.
In my very first winter driving experience, I skidded a set of trailer tires to the point you could
stick your fist in the holes in the tires. I had never given even one moment's thought to the fact
that brakes could freeze. It was made abundantly clear to me at that very minute that I had
learned something new that day, and I wouldn't let that happen again. That was 10 years ago
, and I have not done it since.

One bad experience that I had was getting "whited out," and I ended up in the median of the
Interstate. This taught me that I don't need to be a hero and to shut it down if I don't feel
comfortable. I was scared as all get out, and thankfully for my guardian angel, no one was hurt, nor was there damage to the load or equipment. To this day, I still get that panicky feeling when
the passing lane has just enough snow on it to cause that snow cloud that surrounds me when
the wind blows in just the right direction. As I get older, and maybe a bit wiser, I feel like I'm
more apt to shut things down early when I feel it's more of a hazard for me to be on the road.
With everyone being on social media these days, I'm also afraid that if I ever go in the ditch, it
will literally be 0.5 seconds before the picture of my truck is plastered all over the internet with
many unpleasant comments following it. With Pinky 2.0 being so noticeable, I'm sure it wouldn't
take long for someone to tag me in the post. Believe me when I say that this is a definite fear of

The last hard lesson I learned was not so much about not understanding as it was just not
taking the time to be prepared. Sometimes it's not alright to just live in the moment. One must
look ahead to the days coming to see what they have to offer. I filled up with fuel in Kansas on
the way home one time, and it was a lovely day with good weather all the way back. I didn't
even think to look at the weather that was in store for that evening or the days to come. I got to
work a couple of days later and wouldn't you know it, my fuel gelled. Well darn it, was all I could
think, and I knew it was my fault for not looking ahead and either topping off with number one
diesel or at very least, adding fuel conditioner. From that point on, every day of the winter I
always look ahead to what the temperatures are going to be along the path of my trip. I do not
want to get stranded ever again due to my carelessness. Keeping in mind, it's still possible to get bad fuel even if you are diligent about your fuel and additives.

Here's a point I think many can relate to and gives us a moment to think of the things that we or
others take for granted. When you're at home, and you need to use the bathroom, I'm sure
you're not too far away, nor do you have to put on an extra layer of clothes just to use it. One
cannot explain how good that feels when you have been in a position of having to put on an
extra layer of clothes plus shoes to traipse a half-mile through a blizzard just to get to the
bathroom in the truck stop. On top of this, if the parking lot is slippery, you now have to do the
parking lot shuffle, so you don't slip and fall. This is one of my big worries because at the
moment I may be freezing to death as I walk towards the truck stop, but if I slip and fall, I'm
betting I may get warm after all when I quickly find out I don't need to finish the walk to the truck
stop to empty my bladder.

I have somewhat determined a cure for these "winter blues," and that is to run Texas all winter!
Texas is my happy place. It's where my truck runs at it's best, and it's where I keep up with my
exercises. I have mostly given up on my workouts because A) it's tough to get motivated when it's snowy, windy, icy etc. and B) it's easier to make excuses than exercise because I don't even have to go outside to generate excuses. When I run that way, I have my set places I like to stop at, and I develop a bit of a routine. Routine and long haul trucking don't often tend to go hand in hand, but on these trips, it's as close as I feel I'll ever get. Unfortunately, though, I'm not the only one who wants to break away to Texas to cure the blues, so it's often difficult to get these runs steadily. I keep telling myself once winter is over, I'll get back at my "routine," and like my truck, all will be well in the world once more.

Previous Blogs

Bella Coola by Glen Mallard

Hole in One by Dave Madill

On The Wrong Road by John Maywood

Wildlife by Colin Black

On the Road Again by Myrna Chartrand...

Cooking Class by Scott Casey

Know Your Limits by Ed Murdoch...

2020 Vision by Greg Evasiuk...


With 35 years of combined publishing experience, you will see this unique and much improved trucking magazine called Pro Trucker Driver's Choice Magazine

Getting Started

Lawful Torture

Little Star

It's Now Or Never

Winter Blues


The First Time

Let's Block the Road!

In the Face of History

Human Trafficing

Nature’s Child

Distracted Driving


The Virus

"What do you look forward to?"

“Fuel Tanks”

You want me to go where?

From Zero to Hero to Zero

ELD’s and Speed Limiters – Are They Really Safe?

The Dream (July 2005)

The Lonesome Camaraderie of the Transportation Industry

Strange Times

Lockdown Toilets

Life goes on

The Czech Invasion.

A Steep Learning Curve

Fools Casting Calls

We Are All In This Together

How to get Time Off

A New Year

Added Benefits of Trucking

An ill Wind

Loving the Road

Insecure Loads


All Things Shiny and New


The Good Ol’ Days

Cold Trip


A Moment’s Distraction

Have or Have not

Music and Me

Travels With Ringo

Distracted Driver


ELDs, Roads and Covid

Female of The Species

The Switch

Flood of 60

Crimes Against Humanity

Training Hours

In the Truck’s Clutches

Attitude & Altitude

Wide Open Spaces (and closed in places)

Trucking is a Trade

A night to remember

Loading Heavy Equipment


Truck Routes

Then and Now

Attitude & Altitude

A Girl Just Wants to Have Fun…

The Weekend!


How I Write

In The Beginning Part 3

Tires and Unions

Stay Safe

My Rant…


I learned a New Trick

It ain’t the years - it’s the miles.

It’s Time, Gentlemen, Time


The Brain

Blind Man's Buff

Editor's Note

The Flitting


What I Did This Summer



Show Ready


Big Rig Weekends

Love and Trucking

Books and Covers

Like a Boss

It's a Wonderful World

Common Sense By Glen “The duck” Millard

Dad meets a “Bear.”

All Experience isn’t Good Experience…

The Weather Outside is Frightful…

Common Sense

Bad Breaks and Good Luck

Driving Through My Memories for January/February 2023


Time to Reset!

Halcyon Days of Trucking

All Experience…

The Piggy Bus Encounter

Sports and Life Lessons

Winter Storms

Humboldt Tragedy_MELT program

Driving Through My Memories

On The Road Again

Wait Over Weight

I Write

Elliot Lake

The Good (?) Old Trucks

Canadian and Proud of it

Six Cans for Buffalo Joe

Monkeys and Peanuts

Safety First

30? 60? 90? Late Pay

Nothing New


Has anything changed?

Holidays - Then Back To The Grind.

Old Trucker Troubles

Loose Moose

Some of the Trucks I've Seen

The Last Ride

Cold Load Home

Make it a Holiday

Winter Wonderland Trucking

Thinning the Herd

Just Be There…

And to All, a Good Night!

Dumb and Dumber

Helping Out in a Clutch

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.

Driver Retention Matters_ New Volvo VNL


Tires and Trouble

Idle time

Dinner on the Road

Load Security

Tourist Trucking

The Last Ride