Extreme summer heat is hard on both the driver and his truck. While your AC keeps things comfortable in your cab, the heat can still get to you when you’re outside working under your truck next to the hot pavement, or securing your load to your trailer. Getting through a hot summer means taking good care of yourself and your truck. As providers of commercial or owner operator truck insurance in Tennessee, we want to share these three hot weather tips:
Keep Yourself Hydrated
In hot weather, your blood acts like the coolant in an engine. It’s cooled at the skin through evaporating perspiration and then flows through the rest of your body, keeping your internal organs cool. When you get dehydrated, your blood volume drops and its thickness increases. This impedes its ability to cool your body. It’s like using thick syrup as an engine coolant. Drink plenty of water. Sugary drinks don’t work.
Take Good Care of Your Commercial or Owner Operator Truck
Tires are severely stressed in hot weather, which is why blowouts often happen in the summer. The constant flexing of under inflated tires generate a lot of heat within the rubber. Add to this the heat coming from sun-baked pavement, and you have the recipe for a blowout as the rubber separates from the tire’s internal belting. The rubber can also catch on fire. Maintain proper air pressure and check your tire mounting.
Make sure your engine has enough coolant with the correct mix of water and antifreeze. Don’t allow your engine oil to get low because it keeps the engine parts cool in addition to providing lubrication. Keep an eye on your gauges while driving.
Beware of Heat Exhaustion
When working on your truck, securing loads, or loading/unloading cargo from your trailer, pay attention to any symptoms of heat exhaustion. It will make you feel weak and dizzy and your skin clammy. Shrugging it off and soldiering on will only cause heat stroke to set in, which is fatal. If your 500 horse power tractor engine isn’t invulnerable to heat, neither are you.
At the first signs of heat exhaustion, get to a shaded and air-conditioned place. Drink cool liquids. Note that once you experience heat exhaustion, you become more susceptible to it later.
For information on commercial or owner operator truck insurance in Tennessee, please feel free to contact us.