Summer is just around the corner, which brings a completely new set of issues, healthy habits, and tactics for a truck driver. In order to stay safe and healthy during the summer trucking, it’s essential that you get used to some effective practices. This doesn’t only include driving per se, but the way you treat yourself as well. And, obviously, make sure that your truck is in pristine condition.
Just because you’ll be inside a truck doesn’t mean that you’ll be safe from the sun. While the sun shining through the driver’s side window may feel good, there are serious risks associated with this, including sunburn and tanning lines (the left side of your body is the one that will take the most damage). Also, remember that being exposed to the sun for a long time could cause skin cancer. That’s why, even when you’re inside the cabin of your truck, you need to use sunscreen. Hats, sunglasses and long-sleeved shirts can also help protect you from damaging UV rays.
Even if you are in an air-conditioned truck, you can still become dehydrated. Being hydrated will keep you awake and focused. When you become dehydrated, you can often feel slow and exhausted, or even nauseated. Make sure you have two bottles of water to drink at least for your summer trucking hauls. It’s advisable to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day, especially during the summer.
Be careful with other drivers
In the summer months, there are more people on the road than in any other season, and the number increases during the weekends, which is when families take advantage to go to the beaches and pools. All of these drivers will be on the roads they may not be familiar with, which can often lead to erratic and dangerous driving with increased traffic. And, for truck drivers, this means that roads will be much less safe. To reduce the possibility of an accident, always stay alert when driving your truck (paying special attention to blind spots) and be aware of what’s going on all the time.
Be cautious in construction areas
During summer, more road works are carried out than at any other time. It’s always important to be careful in a construction area due to the dangers it poses. In addition, fines for speeding and other violations often double or triple in those areas.
Keep your tires properly inflated
Tire blowouts are very frequent in extreme heat. For example, tires with a low pressure are more susceptible to explode due to heat. Make sure all the tires on your truck are in good condition and inflated correctly before leaving for a haul. It’s paramount to check your tires throughout the year, not just for summer trucking.
Check the brakes
High summer temperatures can cause brake wear or loss of friction because the components can no longer absorb additional heat. Therefore, always check the brakes of your truck to ensure they are working properly. Just like with tires, keep this in mind all year round.
Pay attention to the weather
Summer can bring more rain than normal and extreme heat waves. Slippery roads can be a nightmare for summer trucking. That said, check the weather forecast regularly for the destination you’re heading for as well as the surrounding areas and routes you have to take. This way, you’ll always be prepared for what awaits you on your haul.
Summer trucking comes with its own challenges just like winter trucking. We at Bottomley Enterprises urge you to take good care of yourself and your truck during this warm (and potentially rainy and stormy) period. Interested in joining our team of truck drivers? Then feel free to fill out the driver’s application on our website. You can also follow us on Facebook for more trucking news and updates.