Most people love kicking off their snow boots and banishing their gloves and scarves to the closet as soon as the sun starts shining. No matter how excited you are for summer, the hot and humid days still have the potential to get you down. As a truck driver, you need to gain some summer smarts and find ways to beat the heat. Below are some great tips that drivers should follow during the summer months.
Whether you are driving long or short hauls, you need sunscreen! We promise that the sun is stronger than you, so don’t try to act tough and not wear any. If you are delivering short hauls all day and find yourself climbing in and out of your rig, make sure that all exposed parts of your body have sunscreen applied to them. If you are use to driving large distances, be mindful that you may feel cool from the A/C while getting burned. A trucker’s tan is a real thing. Always apply sunscreen to your arms, neck, chest, and face. You might think your left arm getting burned from sitting out of the window isn’t a big deal, but skin damage is skin damage. The absolute best method is to keep the time that you are exposed to the sun’s rays as low as possible. If you can stay out of the sun, do so even if you are wearing sunscreen. When you are looking at which sunscreen to purchase, don’t get overwhelmed by the level of variety. Choose one with a high SPF, preferably 30 or above and apply it liberally.
The hotter it is, the more you are going to sweat. Those fluids need to be replaced so that you don’t get sick. Avoid drinks with caffeine in the summer and keep in mind that no beverage should replace water. We recommend that you fill up a large bottle and drink from it periodically throughout the day. You should be drinking water before you actually feel thirsty. Allowing yourself to become dehydrated can be extremely dangerous. Symptoms of dehydration include dizziness, rapid heartbeat, confusion, irritability, low energy, and fainting. Also, if you have a pet on the road with you, make sure that they are also eating and drinking enough.
It is important that you keep a close eye on your rig throughout the summer because extreme temperatures can cause a lot of damage. High temperatures can cause brakes and tires to wear out faster. Tires can be expensive to replace and many truckers have experienced tire blowouts in the summer due to dry rot. Dry rotting occurs when the oils in the rubber evaporate from the heat, causing cracks and weak spots. Make sure to inspect your tires closely each day before running the truck. Another thing that commonly goes wrong is the engine overheating. Fluids in the truck heat up and your rig cannot cool itself down. Do some research and get advice on what elements should be checked regularly in the summertime in order to prevent unnecessary breakdowns.
According to a study conducted by the Department of Earth and Crime Sciences of San Francisco University, the temperature in an enclosed vehicle can raise 29 degrees in 20 minutes. We have all seen the news stories about animals and children who faced severe injury or death from being left unattended in a hot car. Don’t expose yourself or your pet to these kinds of temperatures. If you need to leave your rig, even for a short period of time, take your pet with you! Many truckers spend a lot of time in their rigs when they are not driving. If you are in a no-idle zone, you could overheat quickly without an anti-idling system for air conditioning. Consider getting one of these and also pay close attention to your own body. If you feel too hot, go somewhere to cool down.
The summer months are when most families go on vacations. Expect more traffic during this time of year. Keep yourself updated on traffic conditions and take detours when possible if roads are congested. Also try to remain patient. Screaming at the traffic will not make it move any faster, so keep your head screwed on straight.
If you are hot, dampen a rag or towel and drape it around your neck to regulate your body temperature. Also keep in mind that the clothes that you wear will have an affect on how hot you feel. Cotton is the best fiber to wear in the summer months because it is natural, lightweight, and breathable. Avoid synthetic materials because those will hold in heat and moisture and will retain body odor.
Invest in a good pair of polarized sunglasses to avoid sun glare. Not only can the glare damage your eyes, but it can also be dangerous because you might miss road hazards or signs. Squinting is not the long-term solution.
Hottest States in the Summer:
Click HERE to view a great article about items that you should not leave in a hot vehicle
Stay comfortable and healthy this summer by following these tips and tricks. Listen to your body and look out for the complications that may arise with your rig. Most importantly, enjoy the beautiful days and soak up a little bit of that vitamin D.
From all of us at Truck Mart,
Have a wonderful summer!
Thanks for reading!
Truck Mart LLC
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