How Extreme Heat Impacts Trucking

With triple-digit temperatures in the Western States beginning as early as June, excessive heat warnings have been constant with what appears to be no end in sight. Heat in the summer months is expected but this summer has already shown record-breaking temperatures never experience in a large part of the Western region. Streets are buckling, signage is melting, and the trucking industry is suffering. In short, the dog days of summer are here until Fall.

4 Fleet Tips for Triple Digit Temps

1. Breakdowns Breakdowns can be a challenge but none more than when a mechanical failure comes during a heatwave. And if the malfunction is in a refrigeration vehicle or unit, it can be disastrous. While regular maintenance can prepare you for the possibility of disruption, it is not always failproof. • Compile a list of mechanics along the route will be a relief if support is needed. • Keep your tires in good condition and the air level suited for hot weather. Anticipate more wear and tear on the hot roadways. • Check coolant and oil levels. A higher-level viscosity oil can help protect your engine from overheating. • Check brakes and brake fluid often. brake fluid can fade or even boil in extreme heat causing decreased friction or complete braking failure.

2. Traffic Congestion Summer means schools are out, vacations are in progress and construction is rampant. Prepare for long periods spent in the heat of the cab especially in areas where traffic is heaviest. • Make sure AC is checked and functioning before you hit the road and use it! The temps of a standing cab can reach deadly levels in as little as 30 minutes. • Take blankets to put on seats, plenty of hydration, and sunscreen to prevent unanticipated burns. • Be aware of other drivers and the possibility of road rage. Maintain calm and avoid giving way to frustration through anger.

3. Hurricanes and Lightening Along with extreme heat, summer brings hurricanes and thunderstorms, high winds, rain and flooding as well as fires. Drivers could be confronted with downed trees and powerlines and flooded roadways, smokey conditions, and even fire. Heatwaves can also cause power surges or outages. • Stay on top of the weather forecast on your route. • Maintain alternative routes in case the main is closed. • Keep your mobile battery powered up and your cloud-based system at the ready • Maintain a backup generator for emergencies and peace of mind.

4. Don’t Forget the Shop Any fleet manager will know that the heat affects more than the cab of the trucks. Pay attention to the crew in the shop. While trucks are being prepared for the extreme heat on the road, those temps have already impacted the mechanics and managers in the shop. Pay attention to AC and hydration there too and make sure the team inside the shop is as comfortable as the team inside the trucks. In response to the heat so far this summer, Idaho Trucking Association has communicated safety considerations and precautions for hydration and rest-time to all members.

Everybody’s been running their business as usual. At the same time, people have been taking precautions because of the heat — Allen Hodges, President Idaho Trucking Association

In a Transport Topics article published earlier this month, Greg Dubuque, president of both Liberty Linehaul West Inc. and the California Trucking Association, emphasized the importance of thorough pre-trip inspections as well as functioning anti-idle devices and coolant hoses. He also recommended drivers consider how they park their trucks at rest stops to maximize the shade. Positioning a truck facing West will minimize exposure to the hot sun rising.

For D&D trucking and transportation, road safety and the safety of our drivers are everything. We make it a priority to be prepared for any kind of extreme weather be it heat, snow, wind and rain. Understanding the potential risks, obstacles and challenges are vital in making the right decision before and after our drivers get on the road. We are also focused on how to keep the shop as cool as possible during the summer months. A healthy culture is critical, and making sure our entire team knows we care about their safety and comfort is a priority.

If you are a truck driver looking for consistent work and great work culture, D&D trucking could be the perfect fit. If you are an experienced over-the-road driver (2 years +), certified, and verifiable, you will receive up to ¢.49 per mile, with a guarantee pay of $1200.00 weekly, terms and conditions apply.

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