Truck Driving in Summer: Stay Safe with These Tips
Summer in America has officially started. Meteorologically, it begins on 21 June and will end on 22 September. During these 80 days, college dudes get back home, and grade-schoolers wrap up their classrooms. It has also become common for professors, students, and teachers to hunt for summer jobs. As the temperature rises when the sun shines brightly, so does the side hustle of truck driving increases.
According to the US Census Department, there are around 3.5 million truck drivers today. This makes truck driving the largest occupation on the mainland. Most Americans are drawn to it because they get paid while exploring different places in the country. It also offers higher pay and job security. Among side hustlers, truck driving in summer allows them to prepare for a retirement backup plan or second career.
Most experts say that this year will be a different summer for truckers. After the social distancing and lockdown measures enforced by the government last year, expect increased traffic on the road. Truck drivers should also watch out for road construction notices. They should also monitor announcements for severe weather conditions daily. As an ounce of prevention, stay safe with these tips when truck driving in summer.
Safety Truck Driving Tips During Summer
Be Aware of Crowded Roads
During summer, families take vacations and lots of people take time off from work. Roads tend to be a lot more crowded among summer destinations and tourist spots. Semi-truck drivers have to be more aware of heavy traffic as they present more dangers to truck driving. Watch roadsides where vacationers commonly pull off and stop. Don’t forget to check the lane before pulling back into traffic as children run around or vehicle doors open by surprise. Also, keep an eye for bikes and motorcycles that frequently come out during summer.
Change Your Windshield Wipers
As the sun shines brightly, they melt the rubber part of your truck’s windshield wipers. Make it a habit to check and replace the windshield wipers as needed. You will need to drive your truck safe when you get caught up in sudden rain.
Make Sure Your Air Conditioning Unit is Working Properly
The safest thing to do before driving a semi-truck during summer is to check if the air conditioning is functioning properly. Without it, you may be subjected to extreme heat inside the truck, which is very dangerous.
Check Your Brakes Regularly
In whatever season of the year, truck drivers should check their brakes regularly for safety. The higher temperature in the summer months often results in loss of friction as the brake parts fail to absorb more heat.
Check Tire Inflation
It is important to keep the tires of your semi-truck running cool during the summer months. This is by keeping the right amount of pressure to avoid blowing up. The proper level of tire pressure on your truck is commonly found inside the driver’s door jamb or in the manufacturer’s manual. Visually checking the tires for irregular wear and low treads can also keep you safe while driving.
Dispose of Heat Hazards
The heat of the summer can cause items to explode or melt inside your truck. Aerosols, batteries, fluids, lighters are some heat hazards you need to dispose of from your trucks. Experts also recommend never leaving bottled mineral waters inside the truck when they park in a sun-exposed area.
Don’t Forget Your Oil Change
Keeping a regular oil change interval is as important as preventative maintenance. Clean oil is especially important during the summer season. The lubricant helps the parts of your semi-truck to move safely. They also prevent overheating.
Don’t Forget to Use Sun Gears
Spending several hours driving a semi-truck during summer means a lot of heat exposure. For the health and safety of drivers, wearing long sleeves and sunglasses can protect them. Sunglasses are not only cool accessories. They protect the eyes from the glare of the sun that may cause accidents and visibility impairment.
Keep Your Semi-Truck Hydrated
Truck drivers should always keep an eye on their temperature gauges. Especially during summer, if the temperature gauge ticks out of control, you’ll need to do something quickly. Overheating can cause serious semi-truck breakdowns.
The first thing you may need to do is turn off the truck and put the heater on. It will take away some of the heat from the engine and save it from failure. Find a reliable mechanic to help you troubleshoot the problem.
The best way to keep your semi hydrated is to do a regular inspection of your radiator daily. Inspect the coolant system and make sure that they are in good shape. Check for any signs of blisters and cracks on the belts, hoses, and pressure cap. See to it that the coolant, fluids, oil, and water are at the proper level. Bring extra coolant, fluids, oil, and water during your trip.
Slow Your Truck Down During Long Trips
The hot summer weather puts a higher load on your haul due to dryness and expansion. There is also more friction between the wheels and the road. So, the safest way to maneuver a truck during the hot season is to drive within the speed limit. This is to have more control while driving. It also reduces the wear and tear of your truck.
Stay Healthy and Hydrated
The best tip to keep you safe while driving a big rig during the hot summer season is to keep your body healthy and hydrated. Ample rest and a healthy diet can make you more alert on the road. Munching junk foods and sweets can make you feel drowsy. Stay hydrated by keeping a couple of bottled water next to you while driving.
Use a Sun Shield on the Windshield
Truck drivers should add an extra layer of protection against extreme summer heat. To protect the interior of a semi-truck, use a sun shield on the windshield. It keeps the heat lower inside and shades the dashboard against the harsh rays of the sun.
Don’t let the blazing sun hinder your trucking business this summer. Enjoy short and long trips while earning money and staying safe on the road.
You may also want to read these article:
- Safety Tips You Should Know Before Driving Your Dump Truck
- Truck Driving Hazards And How To Avoid Them
- 8 Most Dangerous Places for Truck Driving in the United States