Hot Weather Trucking: How to Stay Safe in the Heat
Hot Weather Trucking and Truck Function
Rising temperatures can also wreak havoc on your truck. From your brakes, to tires, to engine oil and engine coolant, there are a few precautions you can take before heading out on your journey to make sure it’s a smooth one.
When temperatures get too hot, brakes can fade, or the components can reach a point where no additional heat can be absorbed, causing lost friction.
When you apply the brakes, heat is transferred to the brake fluid. If you don’t give the brakes adequate time to cool, the brake fluid can actually boil, causing the brake pedal to reach the floor with no braking power.
Check your brakes frequently during a trip in hot weather. If you have a heavy load and have a long descent downhill, consider shifting down a gear or two to take some of the stress off the brakes.
Check brake pads to make sure they are in good shape and check brake fluid to make sure it isn’t old or contains contaminants.
Engine Oil & Coolant
Before a long, hot trip, check your coolant level. A low level could lead to engine overheating which could add more rest time to your trip than wanted.
It may also be smart to replace engine oil in the hot weather. Switching to a higher viscosity oil could also help protect your engine during high temperatures.
Hot weather trucking can cause tires to wear out faster. You may experience more flat tires due to air loss, or tire blowouts because heat wears down on the integrity of the tire.
To prevent tire troubles and overheating, make sure you have the proper air pressure in tires to help regulate the tires’ temperature.
Protect Yourself from the Sun
The sun can be deadly, but it can also cause some unwanted side effects. If you’re traveling for long bouts of time, be sure to wear sunscreen to prevent burns (especially on nice days when their windows are down).
Keep plenty of water around to keep you hydrated and to help you stay cool during long trips.
Expect more traffic, Longer Trips
In the summertime, many children and teachers are out of school, families are taking off work for vacations, and more road construction is taking place.
All of these factors can lead to increased traffic and congestion. Traffic isn’t just annoying, it’s costly.
According to the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), traffic congestion in America creates a $78 billion annual drain on the U.S. economy, in the form of 4.2 billion lost hours and 2.9 billion gallons of wasted fuel.
That means shippers, receivers, and drivers alike can expect longer transit times in the hot weather months, especially routes to the beach or toward recreational areas.
It’s not just winter that brings harsh weather conditions. Another major factor that affects drivers in the hot weather months is severe weather.
Along with high temperatures come thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and dry spells. Heavy rain, lightning, and wind can slow transit time significantly. Rain brings flooding and decreased visibility, lightning and wind can mean downed trees and power lines, and many bridges impose wind restrictions to keep tractor trailers and other large vehicles safe.
Radar weather apps and real-time weather alerts can help you plan your routes around potential severe weather threats.
Staying Cool While Hot Weather Trucking
Staying cool and safe is a top priority when hauling in hot, hot heat. We hope our tips were useful and help those that aren’t behind the wheel day to day to understand the process of hot weather trucking.