There is no denying it: we are into the heart of summertime. Triple digit temperatures have been recorded in many parts of the country, and it won’t be going away anytime soon. But when you are a long haul truck driver, you can’t shut down when the temperatures climb. So at Fleet Oil and Truck Supply, we thought we’d give you a few reminders to keep you and your truck operating well this summer.
First, Let’s Talk About You
Just like in a car, temperatures inside the cab of a truck can rise quickly. In fact, according to Trinity Logistics, the temperatures inside an enclosed vehicle can rise 29 degrees in just 20 minutes. After an hour, it can rise 43 degrees. That is a huge swing, and one that could be life-threatening if you are not prepared. Most states now have limits on idling your truck, which means truckers who do not have an anti-idling system for air conditioning should consider getting one, or find a place where you can get out of the heat for a needed break.
First of all, a trucker’s tan is not good for your health, considering the information we now have on skin cancer. So use sunscreen while driving, as you know, you can still get a sunburn from rays coming in through the windows. So think about applying sunscreen to your arms and face every few hours. Think about it: a sunburn in a hot truck on long days in the summertime doesn’t sounds like much fun.
Have that water bottle close by--it is important to stay hydrated while on the road. When you are drinking water it will help you stay focused, and cold water will bring your body temperature down as well, to make you more comfortable.
Get a travel fan-- you can find 12 volt fans that will move the air around when you are driving the long stretches and help keep you cool.
Find a shady spot--if you need to be parked for a break, try to find the shadiest spot you can. The temperature inside your cab will go down and you’ll be more comfortable when you get back on the road.
Hat’s on to this--Trucker hats are an important part of your wardrobe, and for a good reason. They protect you from the sun and provide ventilation to keep you cool.
Now About Your Rig
So you are taking care of yourself, but you need your rig to be running well in the summer heat. Your truck can suffer in the heat, particularly your brakes, tires, engine oil and coolant.
Make it a point to check and service your rig’s air conditioning unit. If you have a loose A/C belt, that can prevent the unit from working at the most inopportune time.
Your brakes can “brake fade” when the temperatures are hot. Brake fluid heats up when you apply the brakes, but when the temperatures are extremely hot, they can overheat to the point of boiling, which causes you to lose brake power. So you need to check your brakes, brake pads and brake fluid to make sure they are in good working order.
Engine oil and coolants can be compromised by the heat, so check your levels.
Is your engine oil topped off? It not only lubricates the components but also cools the engine. Be sure and look at your gauges and if they are outside of normal range, you can fix the problem before an engine failure happens.
Let’s Talk Tires--air pressure increases with temperature. So your tire pressure may be perfect in the morning, but the psi may be too high in the afternoon heat.
Belt it Up--engine belts need to be checked, because loose belts can negatively impact the water pump and performance of the fan, making your rig at risk of overheating.
Let’s Keep it Cool--trailer refrigeration units face increased demand and workload in the summertime. Batteries can also be depleted sooner rather than later in the hot summer months.
At Fleet Oil and Truck Supply, we want to be sure you have everything you need to keep you rolling down the highway. Contact us and let our expert staff help you with your trucking needs..and stay cool this summer!