Driving in the heat can create dangerous situations for truck drivers. Drivers need to take specific precautions before hitting the road in extreme heat. With the incoming heatwave, dubbed as a “heat dome” by the National Weather Service, drivers need to be aware of how to safely drive in these weather conditions. Follow our 6 safety tips for truck driving in hot weather.
Every truck driver needs to complete a pre-trip inspection before driving, especially in hot weather.
Heat can have a huge effect on your tires. As the temperature increases, so does the air pressure in your tires. During the hottest months of the year, it is important to frequently check your tire pressure. Frequently checking on your tires can save you from a blowout. To get an accurate measurement, wait for your tires to cool down before checking the pressure. The heat and friction from the road cause your tires to warm up, which will cause a rise in tire pressure.
Also, don’t be afraid to take a break every couple of hours to let your tires cool down. While traveling in the summer months, you may want to give yourself some extra time to stop and check on your tires.
Protect your Engine
Not only should you protect yourself from the heat this summer, but you should also protect your engine. One way to keep your engine from overheating is to frequently check the engine oil. The oil keeps the engine cool and keeps the parts running smoothly. Engine coolant is just as important as engine oil. Coolant helps prevent the engine from overheating in extremely hot temperatures. Keep an eye on the coolant temperature gauge while driving. If the gauge goes above the safe temperature, pull over and see what is going on. Failing to assess the situation could lead to engine failure.
Also, make sure to check for leaks in the hoses. A cracked hose could lead to engine failure
Cold and hot weather affect your semi truck’s brakes. When you brake, you create a significant amount of friction and your brakes become extremely hot. When you add in hot weather, your brakes have an even higher chance of failing. To avoid your brakes failing, brake gradually to decrease the amount of heat. Also, regularly check your brake pads to ensure they are working properly.
Tips to Protect Yourself from Hot Weather
It’s just as important to protect yourself during extremely hot weather. Follow these tips to keep yourself cool and safe during these hot months.
Stock Up on Water
As the temperature increases, you need to increase your water intake. Make sure to always have water in your truck. You never know when you might get stuck in traffic or break down on the side of the road.
Many truck drivers forget this step. Even when you are in your truck, you are still exposed to the harmful UVA rays from the sun. Make sure to put sunscreen on before hitting the road.
Wear Light-Colored Clothes
Light-colored clothing reflects light and dark-colored clothing absorbs it. Wearing light-colored, loose-fitting clothes help you stay cooler and more comfortable on the road.
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Check out our blog 6 Safety Tips for Truck Drivers While Driving in the Rain.