5 Cool Tips For Those Hot Summer Trucking Days
It may appear that for flatbed and CDL drivers, the summer season is a walk in the park, as it is for the rest of the world. Winter's hazardous, icy road conditions are far gone, and spring thunderstorms are no longer a daily concern.
But once the weather starts to heat up, and those hot summer days take charge, it can easily turn into one of the toughest times to be on the road. With increased traffic, harsh weather and loads of road construction works it can easily add time to your routes and affect deliveries.
Here are five tips to help your summer trucking journeys go more smoothly.
BEWARE THE WEATHER
Do not underestimate summer, and carry on with the practice you already have for checking winter and spring weather conditions ahead. Choose the most accurate weather forecast news and let checking for the conditions in your passing areas be your daily routine.
Pop-up thunderstorms are common throughout this season, and they can strike without notice, putting you in a dangerous situation if you are unprepared. You and your vehicle can also both be worn out by extreme heat.
The safest way to beware of the weather on the go, Is to tune in on a local radio station known for providing accurate weather forecast alerts. It is a good idea as well, to put weather alerts on your phone but of course only pay attention to them when you are not driving.
WATCH OUT FOR HARDHATS
Always, with no exception, drive carefully while passing through construction zones.
Summer time is go time for road constructions projects especially, so the possibility of encountering quite a few on your route is huge.
It may seem tempting to rush through these zones in order to make up for the time you lost due to increased traffic or bad weather but take a minute to consider that poor vehicle operation, speeding and inattentive driving is responsible for 3 work zone fatalities per day in the US, which adds up to over 40.000 injuries per year.
You can always use an app to keep track of traffic conditions, and many of them will suggest alternative routes to save you time. Choose a provider that uses cameras along interstates and roads to offer real time view of traffic conditions.
SPF IS YOUR BFF
The sun may seem like its five inches away from your face in the summer. Flatbed and CDL truck drivers, for example, may spend a whole day and sundown traveling into a July sunset, depending on the time of day and route. "Trucker's Arm" is a genuine phrase, and while it may sound amusing, prolonged sun exposure to the same place can be really harmful.
Because harmful UV rays can pass through windows, have sunscreen and a good pair of sunglasses on hand to protect your eyes and skin. As recommended by The American Academy of Dermatologists during the peak of summer days always use an SPF of no less than 30.
DRINK MORE WATER
Nothing better than reaching for an ice cold water on a hot summer day. And, nothing healthier.
High temperatures will drain you energy and may cause exhaustion and dehydration more quickly than you believe.
Drink more water as the best method to keep ahead of this. Even if you don’t feel like you need it, drink your fluids regularly. Paying attention to your body’s needs, take regular breaks when needed. Keep some ice packs in your cabin in a cooler, they may come in handy for a moment’s notice to cool you down or even use them if you’re having back aches while driving.
TRUCK CHECK UP
While a weather event is less likely to cause an accident during the summer, excessive heat can be brutal to your truck. High temperatures can cause your engine to overheat and many of your vehicle's components to break down more quickly.
If the weather forecast predicts exceptionally high temperatures, make sure your truck has enough coolant and the AC is functioning properly. You surely do not want to be stuck in a blistering hot truck with only a window to keep you cool.
Check the air pressure in your tires as well, since high temperatures might cause them to blow out more readily. Your brakes can also degrade in the hot sun, so check them as often as you can.
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