The season of snow storms and ice-covered roads is over.
That doesn’t mean road and weather conditions are now perfect. There are still obstacles truck drivers need to consider while working during the summer months.
We turned to Driver Trainer, Matt Brauer, to learn about his summer safety tips for truck drivers while they’re driving and working outside. Matt’s advice comes from many years of experience being a Tanker driver for Schneider.
Truck driver summer safety tips – Driving
1. Check the weather when you trip plan
Keep in mind where you are and where you’re heading. Check for major storms, chances of tornadoes and heavy flooding. Have a contingency plan for any inclement weather.
Read more about Truck driving in heavy rain.
2. Look for construction zones
Look at each state you’ll be driving through’s DOT website. If you find areas under construction, trip plan so you aren’t driving through them during rush hour. Or, find a new route if possible.
For more trip planning tips, check out our Truck driver trip planning tips.
3. Check over your truck
While doing your pre-trip inspection, check the coolant level of the engine and make sure your AC is working properly.
4. Take care of yourself
Hot temperatures equal a greater chance of dehydration. Have plenty of water with you in the truck, get plenty of sleep and focus on eating healthy foods.
Learn more about How to be a healthy truck driver.
5. Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses
Invest in a good pair of sunglasses and wear them to protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays.
6. Practice patience
With summer comes more people traveling, which means heavier traffic. Take in account at least an extra hour each day for unforeseen traffic back-ups. Communicate with your leader if your ETA changes.
Truck driver summer safety tips – Working outside
1. If working in the sun, wear sunscreen
It is important to protect your skin, just like your eyes, from the sun’s rays, especially for drivers who are getting out of their truck more frequently. Try to buy sunscreen that is at least SPF 30.
2. Take as many breaks as needed
While unloading, stop to hydrate and give your body a rest, even if it means it will take an extra hour to finish the unload.
3. Exercise your ‘Stop Work Authority’ right if necessary
Nothing we haul is worth hurting ourselves. If you are feeling ill due to the heat, stop what you’re doing and contact your leader.
4. Stock-up on electrolyte powder packs
If you’re feeling dehydrated and lethargic after a live unload, mix a single serve electrolyte mix supplement pack with a bottle of water. Brands like Gatorade can be found at most grocery and bulk stores.