Summer is officially here, and that means driving conditions will change for your drivers. To help your drivers stay safe while driving in the heat and traffic of summer, we offer some tips for you as the fleet manager to pass along:
One, beware the sun
Although the tanned “trucker’s arm” is kind of a running joke, sun exposure is not…and you don’t have to roll down the window to be vulnerable to the sun’s rays. Research shows harmful UVA rays can penetrate some windows. Suggest that your drivers wear sunscreen even while driving. That way they’re protected when they stop for a break too. Or they can wear sun blocking clothes, or simply long sleeves. See other sun protection tips for truckers here.
Two, be wary of more traffic, tourists, construction and critters
Warn your drivers to increase their awareness level during the summer months, because more people are on the road, and not all of those extra drivers know where they’re going because they’re on vacation. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), we have nearly twice as many automotive deaths during the summer than during the rest of the year combined.
Construction also increases as road crews take advantage of consistently warm weather, so drivers must be extra wary of those roadside dangers as well.
And animals seem to be more numerous during the summer, as they go about their warm-weather business. Remind drivers to keep an eye out for deer, elk and other larger animals that can do serious damage to a rig or other vehicle.
Three, water, water, water
When you’re just driving down the road for hours at a time, you might not think about your water intake. But your drivers must stay hydrated during the summer months, even if that means more bathroom breaks. The only way to prevent dehydration is to keep up the fluid intake throughout the day. You could get each of your drivers a cooler stocked with cool water and sports drinks as a reminder, then encourage them to track their liquid intake throughout the day, with a daily log or even a smartphone app.
Four, keep up with maintenance
Severe summer heat can cause issues with tires and brakes. Make sure tires are properly inflated because under-inflated tires are more likely to blow in the summer heat. (And properly inflated tires will help with gas mileage, a bonus in the summer when gas prices go up!) Heat can also affect brake performance, so step on top of brake checks and maintenance. Also make sure all fluids are filled, including the washer fluid, as summer driving means summer bugs—all over your drivers’ windshields, affecting visibility.
Five, keep it clean
Finally, keep up with the fleet washing both inside and out. Summer brings dust (and bugs, as we just mentioned). Work out a summer schedule with your mobile fleet washing vendor to make sure your trucks and your brand stay spic and span despite the dust and dirt. Also be mindful of the insides of your drivers’ cabs. Summer heat can make a slightly dirty cab stink like a filthy one.
What Does Uber Freight Mean for You?
Uber Freight’s on the scene, offering self-employed drivers a way to get more gigs. Should you care? Yes, if it becomes more appealing to go freelance than stay employed. Learn more…
6 Reasons to Outsource Your Fleet Washing…
…even if you have your own wash bay. Six really? Yes, six, including cleaner rigs, lower costs and better brand. Read more…