The freezing and thawing cycle that truck drivers experience in Minnesota is nothing new. It’s just one of those quirks of living in the upper Midwest! Have you thought about the effects of this cycle on your trips though? There are some obvious effects, but there are also some you may not expect:
Black Ice. The most obvious result of the freeze/thaw cycle is the ice that reforms over the road ways. Though most winter temperatures stay stable, the weeks surrounding the end of the winter season see days with more sunlight and temperatures above freezing. Of course, the warmth never lasts long, and as the above freezing day surrenders to the cold of the night, what was wet pavement slowly becomes icy. These fluctuations contribute to the worst type of ice: black ice. The slight bit of snow melt that refreezes overnight creates this tricky-to-spot hazard. Black ice is one of the most dreaded obstacles for recreational and professional drivers alike.
Potholes. Everyone is familiar with these nuisances. Potholes are created when snow and ice melt and the water seeps under the pavement through cracks cause by the daily wear of traffic. When freezing temperatures reappear at night, the water below the pavement turns to ice and expands, which forces the pavement to rise. As traffic continues over this raised section and temperatures reach above freezing, a small hole forms under the pavement and repeated pressure causes the pavement to break. This is the very beginning of a pothole. Some DOTs describe the freeze/thaw cycle of late winter and spring as “pothole season” because of the large number that form during this time.
Irritation. In addition to dealing with obstacles on the road, some people may experience Seasonal Affective Disorder or some variation of it. This is in full swing right around when the freeze/thaw cycle occurs, causing a seasonal funk for many. This can be due to the lack of sun, or the teasing days of sun followed by bitter cold temperatures. It’s enough to make anyone irritable! Biologically, a lack of sunlight can upset your circadian rhythm, drop your serotonin levels, and/or disrupt your melatonin levels, all factors that play into your mood.
Truck drivers are out every day throughout the year dealing with these challenges, along with other drivers that may not know how to handle them as well. Bay & Bay Transportation believes professional truck drivers should be compensated fairly and treated like family. After all, drivers have helped us become the successful business we are today!