Big truck drivers battle against high winds

Big truck drivers battle against high winds

Curt Shaurette said even after driving big trucks for the last 26 years, he had concerns driving in high winds Wednesday morning.

“(It was) rough, very rough. Having a light semi truck and the speed — it wasn’t a good combination for changing lanes,” said Shaurette.

Shaurette said it was a nerve-racking ride until he made it to the Pine Cone truck stop. He was especially weary to get back on the road after seeing fellow truck drivers overturned on the highway.

“I know it happens that fast and you have no control. All you can do is hold on,” Shaurette said.

The worry over safety also caused a local truck driving school to shut down their “on the road” training for the day.

“We don’t want to be out there with inexperienced people, so it’s easy for us to get off the road,” Jerry Klabacka said.

Klabacka owns the Diesel Driving School in Sun Prairie, and says he took the rough conditions as an opportunity to teach aspiring drivers they should always use caution.

“The wind requires people to be cautious, to use good judgment and safety is always the overriding concern for both trucks or heavy equipment,” Klabacka said.

Klabacka warned big truck drivers aren’t the only one’s at risk. Other drivers should be alert when semis are faced against the elements.

“Wind gusts will force them to move maybe several feet to the left or right, and you have to be aware of that,” Klabacka said.

He also mentioned truck drivers have the pressure of making their shipment deadline and sometimes have to choose between getting the job done on time or taking extra caution. Klabacka said he suggests the latter.