There has been plenty of attention payed to keeping your truck drivers safe during the winter months but summer truck driving can be just as dangerous and challenging as winter driving.
Every summer coincides with an increase of traffic on the roads. In the UK, we have also already experienced surprisingly high temperatures during the early part of summer 2017.
In this truckers news story we take a look at keeping your drivers safe this summer, no matter whether they are driving a scaffold truck, driving haulage routes or loading or unloading your freight.
Pre-trip vehicle checks
We begin at the start of the day by reminding our truck drivers to carry out their daily pre-trip vehicle checks. During summer, this means checking tire pressures. This check is important because higher temperatures and under-inflated tires significantly increase the risk of blowouts.
Brakes should also be checked as hot temperatures can cause brake fading and a loss of friction. This happens when brake components cannot absorb any more heat.
Trucker’s arm may have your truck drivers being the but of a joke or two, but there is a serious side to your drivers being exposed to dangerous UV rays. There are several ways to defend against sun exposure, which can lead to skin cancer and premature skin ageing:
- Sunscreen – Apply a factor 15 or higher sunscreen to your arm and face.
- Sun sleeve – There are many variants of these that will cover just the arm or the arm and hand as well.
- Window film – Dark tints may not be allowed but special clear window films can be applied to block UV rays. The 3M Crystalline Automotive Film is an example and this reflects up to 60% of solar energy and up to 97% of the heat produced by infrared rays.
- Sunglasses – Your eyes are just as susceptible to UV rays, so your drivers should wear sunglasses with polarised lenses that filter glare.
Practice defensive driving techniques
There more more drivers on the road during summer, compared to any other season. Your truck drivers need to drive more defensively because of this, as we all know that car drivers do not appreciate the challenges of driving trucks.
Your truck drivers should signal in plenty of time to allow other road users to be aware of their lane changes and this is particularly important as trucks have more blind spots, compared to trucks.
Drivers should also remember the 3 points of contact rule during summer. This means ensuring that both hands and one foot are always in contact with the truck when entering or exiting the truck cabin. It is a good practice to dry hands first as sweaty hands increase the likelihood of a fall.
It is important to stay hydrated during summer driving shifts and doing so will keeps energy levels up and helps to maintain concentration. It is a good idea to drink around 2 litres of water throughout the day.
Truck drivers should avoid drinking lots of caffeine heavy drinks and soda, as these may increase the chances of experiencing dehydration.
Your drivers should also consider making small dietary changes in order to consume more electrolytes that help to maintain hydration. Certain fruit and vegetables contain electrolytes, such as cucumbers, strawberries, mangoes, honey and bananas.
As you can see, it isn’t too hard to put in place a few good practices that help will keep your drivers safe this summer.