Summer is a busy season for truck drivers. People take advantage of the beautiful weather to move all over the States. Companies aim to ship out as much as they can, fill the quotas, and get the work done before the season changes. But, for those whose office is a truck cab, it’s much more than just driving from point A to point B. Truck driving in summer entails countless hours on the road, combating traffic and inexperienced drivers, and threading the unpredictable weather. It’s a demanding job, whether you’re only starting a career as a truck driver or you’re a veteran with decades of experience. Fortunately, there are ways to make it easier, and that’s exactly why we’re here today.
Reliability is the key component for safe truck driving in summer. Therefore, your machine must be in top shape before you hit the road. You need to make sure everything is impeccable, both from a mechanical and aesthetic standpoint.
The former will give you much-needed peace of mind and security that you’ll do your job and do it safely. So, do a complete checkup a few days before the journey. Ensure everything works as intended so you can head out without worries. And, even if it doesn’t, you’ll have enough time to get it fixed. However, this is the easy part of the preparation.
The latter concerns one much more sophisticated machine – your body. You need to rely on it, too, to endure hours on the road and scorching summer sun. Therefore, you must prepare with care for the challenges of a long trip.
Taking care of yourself
Once your truck is road-ready, it’s time to prepare yourself for the journey. For this, you want to take a few pages from moving truck drivers’ playbooks. As summer is their busiest season, they don’t only have to prepare themselves and their trucks. They must also ensure their clients are ready for what lies ahead. Fortunately, moving truck drivers’ tips for customers perfectly reflect everything you’ll need to make this summer trip easier. So, let’s see what they are.
#1 – Do your research
Knowledge is the basis of every successful undertaking. Truck driving in summer isn’t an exception to this rule. In fact, for you, it’s even more important since you spend more time on the road than an average person. Therefore, you need to stay informed to minimize the risks and maximize safety. Great starting points are:
· Researching the best routes;
· Road conditions;
· Weather forecasts.
#2 – Get a good night sleep
Something as simple as a good night’s sleep can have a whole myriad of positive effects. It helps you improve some key abilities necessary for safe truck driving in summer, such as:
· Reaction time.
On the other hand, sleep deprivation impairs them and can lead to a state similar to drunkenness. Therefore, being well-rested is one of the best things you can do for yourself before the journey.
#3 – Hydration, hydration, hydration!
Similar to sleep deprivation, dehydration, too, can have loads of adverse effects. Short-term ones, such as confusion, dizziness, or sleepiness, can lead to accidents with fatal outcomes. But, even if they don’t, they can leave lasting consequences such as urinary tract infections and even kidney failure. Fortunately, preventing all of the above is all too easy. Just keep the bottle of water within reach, and take a sip every once in a while.
#4 – Stock up on refreshments
A long trip can get a bit dull if the only refreshment you have is water. But then again, no one said it has to be the only one. To boost your mood and energy levels, be sure to stock up on things like:
· Various sweets for a quick energy spike. Fresh fruit works even better;
· Salty snacks to keep your jaw occupied, without taking your eyes off the road. Yes, homemade sandwiches do fall into this category!
· Nothing spells “refreshing” like a vitamin bomb made of freshly squeezed fruit. So, make some the day before and pack your portable fridge chock-full of it.
#5 – Combating the Sun: The right way
The AC in your truck provides much-needed relief from the heat. However, it does next to nothing against harmful UV light. Therefore, it takes a few extra precautions to avoid it. To best protect yourself, you should:
· Have a broad-spectrum sunscreen with high SPF handy. Apply it before the trip, and don’t forget to re-apply every three to four hours;
· Your eyes need protection, too. Sunglasses with anti-reflective coating are your best choice;
· A hat is a welcome addition and complements the glasses perfectly. And, we’re not talking in terms of style (only).
Next – clothing. The AC in your truck offers a welcome reprieve from the heat. While it doesn’t keep you from sweating, a choice of clothing can mitigate some of the negative effects. Light fabrics, such as cotton or linen, are a godsend and definitely your best option. And, if they’re light colors, you’ll feel much, well – lighter! That said, avoid synthetics at all costs, as these have precisely the opposite effect and will make you feel overheated.
Responsible driver = good driver
Summer means busy roads. Everyone’s driving for or from their vacation, and not every driver is a professional like you. Quite the contrary, the vast majority barely have any experience, especially with long trips. Therefore, it falls upon you to keep yourself and others safe. Truck drivers are the backbone of America’s industry, and as such, you’re the one who can set an example. Now, we know this seems like quite the burden to bear. But, in reality, it isn’t. If you choose to use our tips for truck driving in summer, it already means you’re a responsible driver. So, all you need to do is keep up the good work!
Brandon Emmanuel was a moving truck driver for close to three decades. After retiring, he took up blogging to put his experience to good use and help fellow truckers on their travels.