With winter coming on, it is time to start keeping track of road conditions across the country. One good way is through the Internet. There are a variety of sites available that you can check from home before you leave with a load, or on the road if you have a laptop with you. Here's just a few of the sites that are available:
www.weather.com is the Internet site for The Weather Channel. It offers complete weather around the country, as well as by highway. This is a good site for planning your trip, as they offer forecasts in addition to current conditions.
www.dogpile.com is a combination site. It's a search engine that offers weather listings in a unique format. The site presents you with a map of the country and you simply choose the state you wish to check the weather, and click for a complete list of current weather conditions in several cities around the state.
www.randmcnally.com/construction/index.htm by Rand McNally (the map people), offers long-term construction information as well as weather. This site allows you to search for weather information by state, or for all states along a specific interstate route. The road construction page allows you to search for construction information by state and type of road.
rwa.metronetworks.com/rwadirect. html offers current road conditions throughout the country. This includes the latest pass information for the northwest as well as weather-related information for most other states.
Most of the trucking sites (such as layover. com) offer links to weather-related sites. Many personal websites also offer links to weather sites. Among these, www.truckers.com/road.htm offers one of the most complete lists of state sites I've seen.
Here's a brief world wide web refresher course. Remember, almost all sites start with http://. This is normally followed by www (World Wide Web), and finally by the name of the site. A page name and designator may also follow the name. For example: http://www. mysite.com/mypage.htm. To use the addresses in this article, type in the http:// and then the address given. So, www.truckers.com/road.htm would be put on your browser's address box as http://www.truckers. com/road.htm. Note, however, that rwa.metronetworks.com/rwadirect. html lacks the www., and would be found as http://rwa.metronetworks.com/rwadirect.html.
'Till next time, be safe. LL
This Month's Sites
Assembled by the Washington State Department of Transportation, traffic. wsdot.wa.gov/sno-info provides a wealth of information for the driver who is concerned about road conditions in that state. The Washington State Mountain Pass Road Report updates road conditions every four hours, and provides pictures of certain roadways that reload every 30 seconds. The sight also has links to DOT pages in all of the remaining 49 states.
www.public.usit.net/rrichesi (a.k.a. "The Packratt's Large Car Lounge") is OOIDA member Randy Richesin's home page. With 15 years of trucking experience behind him, the Packratt has put together a collection of interesting personal insights and links to other trucking and truckers' home pages.
www.homeroad.com is maintained by a trucker's wife who found support on the Internet when her husband went out on the road. She wanted to create a place for others to go for support. In founder Kim Thomas's own words, "HOMEROAD was made for all families of drivers. I ask for your articles and input." This site should be a definite stop on your tour of the web.
members.aol.com/mystcmmnt/jus-truckin.html is my own personal page. The next time someone comments on how unsafe those big trucks are, send them to this page for a look at the real statistics on trucking safety. You'll also find a link at the bottom of the page to the WEB TRUCKSTOP TRUCKING RING. Just click one of the links on the ring to quickly find another trucking website.
Have a site of your own, or want to recommend a site for this column?
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