Summer Trucking – The Heat is On
Depending on the area of the U.S. that you frequently drive, you either look forward to the summer months or they are less than ideal conditions to work in. For those that have to endure higher temperatures or even triple digits we’ve got a few things to remember and some tips to stay cool.
The truck itself needs renewed attention in the summer months as heat impacts many parts of the vehicle. Below are just a few of the things to keep in mind as you head into the warmer temps.
· Tire pressure rises with the temperature so it’s important to keep an eye on those PSI levels to prevent blow outs going down the road.
· Make sure the coolant in your engine is topped off
· Regularly check the engine oil to prevent overheating and damage
The only thing more important than keeping the truck cool and safe is keeping your body resistant to the heat as well. Check out the following tips and learn more here.
· Hydration, hydration, hydration. This is the easiest way to keep cool and healthy in the summer months
· Ice packs can also be a creative solution to staying cool. Keeping a few in a cooler in your cab through out to day to apply to the back of your neck and other areas can bring a much-needed relief
· Keep a towel or a blanket handy if you have leather seats to keep from having to blast your air conditioning to cool them down
· Speaking of A/C, use it sparingly but use it when you need it. There are also portable fans that you can buy to keep in the cab to keep air flowing and cool overnight.
One common threat to all drivers is heat stroke. Know the signs and symptoms so that you can react accordingly and take certain precautions whether it is yourself or another driver that ends up experiencing it.
Watch out for:
· Disorientation, agitation, or confusion.
· Sluggishness or fatigue.
· Hot, dry skin that is flushed but not sweaty.
· A high body temperature.
· Loss of consciousness.
If you or someone around you begins to experience this, act immediately by calling 911. The operators will assess the condition over the phone and send someone to that location. During that time, remove yourself or that person from the heat immediately and take off excess clothing to make sure as much skin gets cool air as possible. Find anything cool like ice or cold water and be sure to drink or consume it while also applying it to the skin. Damp towels, fans, air conditioning is all beneficial and effective in this situation. Avoid drinking or giving the person sugary or caffeinated drinks as this will worsen their condition.
There is much more that you can do to keep yourself protected from the sun such as wide brim hats and cooling rags but in order to successfully stay cool is to prepare ahead of time. This will be the key ingredients to ensuring a safe summer on the road.