- Posted by Chadkirk
- On 28th June 2019
With the sun FINALLY making an appearance for what feels like the first time this year, it is important we remind our HGV drivers on how to look after themselves and their vehicles in the summer months and the risks associated with driving in the hot weather.
Of course, that’s if the sun stays around for longer than three days!
Dehydration is one of the biggest risks for drivers when out on the road as it can cause you to lose concentration. Make sure you carry lots of water in the cab at all times, especially on a long trip as you may need several litres. Health authorities recommend people to drink at least 2 litres a day, but in the hot weather, you may need more. Try and avoid caffeinated drinks as these can make you dehydrated.
It’s important you protect yourself from the sun. You may think because you’re sat in a vehicle you can’t burn your skin, however trucker arm is a real thing and sunburn can be very severe so make sure you wear sun cream.
Wearing sunglasses and using your visors is also recommended to protect your eyes and to ensure your visibility is not affected.
Drivers need to be aware of the affects the sun can have on them. A hot, stuffy lorry cab can cause drowsiness which can ultimately lead to a loss in alertness, making fresh air extremely important. This can be as simple as using the air conditioning system, putting the windows down or getting out of the truck when taking your tacho breaks.
Plan your route
When driving in hot climates it is always worthwhile planning ahead. Summer time inevitably means more people on the road, maybe going on holiday, and therefore more congestion. Plan your journey to try and avoid the heavier traffic routes.
With the sun staying out for a longer period of time during the summer months, it can make it more difficult for you to see east in the morning and west in the evening. Make sure your windscreen is clear as any dirt or scratches diffract bright light which can obscure your vision.
Check the fluid levels
Hot weather puts heavy demand on a vehicle’s components. Checking your engine oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and brake fluid is important to make sure they’re all at the recommended levels
Check your tyres
Although HGV drivers should check their tyres before every shift, you may need to make additional checks during the summer. Believe it or not, even in the British weather, temperatures can reach a level that begins to affect the performance of your tyres as well as causing a potential risk for them to blow out or even catch fire.
It’s also important to note under-inflated tyres are more likely to fail when hot, so checking your tyre tread depth is even more critical.
The summer can make driving a far more enjoyable job, however, in cases of extreme heat, it can also make it difficult and dangerous. You must consider the complications with driving on the road during a heatwave to stay safe. Try and make use of some of these tips.