Hot Highway Habits: Tips for Professional Truck Drivers This Summer
As a professional truck driver, driving safely in the summer requires adopting a few good habits. The roads are heavily traveled during this time, and the heat can do a number on you and your vehicle. Local agencies and trucking companies near you would agree that the following can help protect you:
Prolonged periods of heat can make you dehydrated and irritable, especially after long hours of driving. Try a new seat that provides cooling and/or has ventilation and heat-dispersing materials. Also, make sure your safety belt harness fits over your waist and shoulders properly. Freight transportation is safer when you’re more comfortable. Also, make sure you have working air conditioning and set it to a comfortable temperature before you get moving.
Protect Yourself from the Sun
Ultraviolet light can penetrate glass, so you are exposed even while inside your truck. If you spend a great deal of time outside loading and unloading the truck and handling deliveries, it’s also important to:
- Use sunscreen: When you’re driving with the sun on one side, you might get a trucker’s arm tan or possibly a sunburn. Reduce your risk of painful burns and skin cancer by applying sunscreen.
- Wear sunglasses: Polarized sunglasses can protect your eyes from sun glare and help you drive more safely, especially during the early morning or late evening when sunlight reflects off the road.
- Stay hydrated: A busy workday can make you forget to drink water. Just regular water will do; it can boost your energy, mental clarity, and general well-being. Air conditioning isn’t enough to prevent dehydration.
Tend to Your Truck
Extreme heat can increase brake and tire wear. Maintain your vehicle accordingly by performing your Pre-Trip Inspection; improperly inflated tires can lead to blowouts and major accidents. Also, watch the engine temperature. Engines can overheat more easily on extremely hot days and while climbing hills. Check your truck frequently for any signs of mechanical issues.
Watch the Weather Forecast
Summer weather can be extremely unpredictable. A clear day can quickly turn bad when there are severe thunderstorms around. Blinding rain, slick roads, and high winds can put your truck at risk. Check forecasts and weather reports to track potential storms heading your way or on your path. This can help you plan accordingly or wait out a storm.
Watch for Other Vehicles
Truck Drivers have a duty to protect occupants of smaller vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, and RVs, as well as pedestrians. It’s therefore important to be careful when changing lanes or turning. Use your signals and sound alerts whenever necessary.
If you run a shipping or trucking logistics company, your Drivers’ safety and the quality of equipment in your inventory are critical. ShipEX is committed to helping your business be productive while prioritizing safety. To modernize your fleet and improve the handling of temperature sensitive and dry freight, contact one of the most trusted truckload companies today on the web or via email or fax. (You are going to add our contact info here, correct?)