WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News, Weather, Sports

Truck drivers: 'Wind is very dangerous when it comes to 18 wheelers'


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Long before Thursday night's storms, strong winds were blowing across the Bluegrass. And tractor trailer drivers tell us strong winds make their jobs even harder.

From Maryland through Kentucky to Wisconsin, Andy Ellis, who is a trucker of 18 years, has seen it all.

"Going from wind and rain to snow and ice," said Ellis. "It's kind of a shock to your system and driving abilities. You've got to adopt to each changing situation instantly."

Recently drivers have been able to see what weather conditions they're dealing with out on the roads like snow. But now they're driving in strong winds which you can't see.

"They blow the trucks right over the side, so wind is a very dangerous thing when it comes to 18 wheelers," said Curtis Bell, another truck driver of 17 years.

High winds can be just as dangerous for truck drivers as the winter weather.

"The heavier you are, the better chance that you'll stay up right, and you won't get blown or tipped over," said Bell.

Being as tall and wide as they are, they catch most if not all the wind.

"We have a lot more area for the wind to push against, so weight does hold us down, but we still feel it," said Ellis. "It still rocks us and pushes us. And if we're not fully loaded, it can shove us sideways and make us weave in the road and maybe go off on the shoulder a little bit if we hit a wind gust."

The winter isn't great for anyone on the roads. But truck drivers tell us they don't look forward to spring either because of the threat of severe weather.

"More chances of tornadoes and activity, so you just have to keep your weather channel on and your ears wide open," said Bell.

A lot of times they have to truck on anyways with two hands on the wheel and an eye on the sky.

"Just because we're big doesn't mean we hold the ground," said Ellis.

Chief Meteorologist Chris Bailey says wind gusts of more than 60mph have been recorded in the state Thursday night.


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