The heat wave is here once more, and we’ve been thinking a lot about how to stay cool during these hotter weeks of the year. Given that drivers spend much of their day out in the scorching sun, including at docks and freight yards, we’d like to share some helpful ways to manage the heat while out on duty that doesn’t just involve cranking the A/C:
- Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
This might come across as a no-brainer, but after many hours behind the wheel, time can sometimes get ahead of you. It can be easy to forget to have a cold drink on standby, and soon enough, you’re dealing with dehydration symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, and difficulty focusing. Ensure you always have extra water bottles in reach while driving to avoid feeling like a hot mess.
- Protect Against “Trucker’s Arm”
Due to longer hours spent on the road, truck drivers often develop sunburns on their left arms during the summer, referred to as “Trucker’s Arm”. While windshields and certain types of windows can act as a guard from the sun’s strong UV rays, the protection level is usually small. Wear sunscreen or a long-sleeve shirt to properly block out those nasty burns.
- Dress Light, Eat Light
Clothes made from cotton or linen are your best bet for extended time out in the heat. Keep extra breathable sets of clothing with you as well, for maximum comfort on your journeys when things get a bit too sweaty. And instead of wolfing down a greasy meal that’ll make you feel groggy and bloated in the hot weather, opt for a light, healthy lunch or snack like fruits and vegetables to keep you feeling sturdy.
- Take Care of Your Truck
As temperatures rise, the pavement underneath your truck starts to absorb more heat, which can lead to problems down below for your equipment. High heat increases the chances of incidents like tire blowouts, overheated engines, and reduced friction and stopping power in your brakes. To stay vigilant, make sure you’re doing your regular inspections during your trip, checking for loose engine belts and coolant hoses, and keeping an eye on your truck’s fluid levels.
- Mind Your Speed
Summer brings out more people than any other season. This means that roads will be more congested, more pedestrians will be out and about, and more construction zones will be active. Be mindful of your surroundings, and avoid driving at higher speeds, as this increases the chances of damaging your truck, putting extra stress on your tires, and overheating your engine. Take breaks where you can to re-hydrate and let you and your vehicle have some cool down time!