June marks the official start of summer. Barbecues, pool parties, and various outdoor activities are about to become much more popular. This will bring more people out of their homes and onto the roads. It will also increase the need for particular items.
Summer is a busy time of year for truckload carriers. The affordances of warmer temperatures and longer days also bring a set of challenges for truck drivers.
The good news is that there are measures that can be taken to mitigate these challenges. Summer might have some hurdles for truckload carriers, but they can be cleared.
Here are some tips to make your summer deliveries easier, safer, and more enjoyable.
1. Watch the Weather
Summer is often associated with nasty weather. Frequent rain, thunderstorms, and tornadoes are a very real possibility in certain parts of the country. These weather systems can often pop up quickly and create terrible driving conditions. You don’t want to be caught off guard by a dangerous weather system.
Rain storms with heavy wind can create very dangerous situations for truckload carriers. There might not be much you can do to prepare for a tornado, but you can work to avoid the area if the possibility is predicted. Stay on top of the weather forecast along your routes. Even a few minutes can make all the difference for your safety if a dangerous storm rolls through.
2. Stay Hydrated
There’s a lot to pay attention to when you are driving a truck. It can be very easy to focus on navigating the road — avoiding other drivers, finding the correct route, adhering to speed limits and other road signs — and forget to pay attention to your personal needs.
One main consideration to keep in mind is that of hydration. Summer is hot. You’re going to be in the sun for a large portion of the day. Staying hydrated is an essential need to address. Keep your truck stocked with backup bottles of water so you never run out. Dehydration can leave you fatigued and dizzy. These are very bad symptoms to experience while driving an extremely heavy vehicle at high speeds.
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3. Expect Heavier Traffic
There are going to be more people on the road than normal. Families go for more vacations over the summer. People enjoy a multitude of various outdoor activities and this means they are going to need to drive in order to do them. This means truckload carriers will need to deal with more traffic.
Along with this, road construction is frequently done in the summer. Expect longer delays. Getting yourself ready to deal with these factors will also help you stay calm as you sit in traffic. It’s natural to be annoyed by heavy traffic. However, this can be mitigated if you know what you’re getting yourself into.
4. Maintain Basic Truck Maintenance
High temperatures will put extra stress on your truck. Keep an eye on the basic functions and considerations for your truck. Check your coolant and oil levels every time you fill up your gas tank. Frequently check the pressure of your tires since they tend to lose pressure quicker in the heat.
These small maintenance considerations can be the difference between a functioning vehicle and breaking down on the side of the road.
5. Guard Against the Sun
The sun rises much earlier and sets much later in the summer. Prolonged sun exposure can have a variety of negative effects. Protecting yourself will not only help avoid short-term negative effects like sunburn, but it can help with long-term effects like skin cancer and damage to your eyes.
Wear sunscreen every day. This includes days where the sun is blocked out by a layer of clouds. You can still get a sunburn even when you can’t see the sun. Driving a truck with a sunburn can be painful and annoying. You should also wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. Bright days might not seem like much at first, but years of exposure will harm your eyes.
6. Drive During Non-Peak Hours
One good way to avoid succumbing to these negative situations is to avoid them altogether. Driving during non-peak hours will help you to avoid heavy traffic. And because these times are generally in the early morning or the evening, it will help you to avoid the harsh effects of the sun.
And if you can’t avoid driving during the day, you should at least try to avoid driving during the hottest time of day when the sun is at its strongest. This is generally between 10am and 2pm.
Protecting yourself will give a truckload carrier the best chance at being happy and healthy in their position for a long time.