Automotive

9 Summer tips for HGV drivers

Even in peak summer, the UK does not get as hot as some countries. It can, however, get more than hot enough for the heat to become a challenge. With that in mind, here are five summer tips for HGV drivers.

Dress for the heat 

If your employer doesn’t adjust their uniform for hot conditions, then raise it with them as a health-and-safety issue. Likewise, if your employer doesn’t provide you with a peaked or brimmed hat, bring one yourself. Sunglasses can also be a good idea.

If it’s really hot, you might want to use sweatbands on your head and wrists. You’ll probably still need to wear socks but invest in socks with moisture-wicking properties. These are often sold in sports shops. Alternatively, go for pure cotton. Bring plenty of spares so you can change your socks more than once a day if you wish.

Use standard sun protection 

You can get sunburned through glass, particularly when it’s only single-paned glass. Use the same sun-protection as you would if you were out in the open. That means keeping yourself covered as much as you can stand and use sun-protection products on exposed skin. Your lips are particularly delicate so it’s worth investing in a good lip-balm with high SPF.

Be aware of how warm weather affects your HGV 

In addition to standard maintenance, there are some warm-weather-specific precautions you should take.

Be very careful with tyre pressure 

It’s common knowledge that tyres deflate quickly in cold weather. The reverse of this is that they can literally explode in hot weather. It’s, therefore, crucial to ensure that your tyres stay at exactly the right pressure. Tyres that are under- or over-pressured are at greater risk of exploding.

Watch out for brake fade 

Brakes operate by friction. Friction produces heat. When this is combined with hot temperatures, it can lead to brakes not working as expected. You can minimise this issue by refreshing your brake fluid and brake pads regularly. Even so, you should aim to slow down by decelerating rather than braking.

Take care of your coolants 

Make sure you check your radiator coolant when the engine is completely cool. This is the only way to see for sure how full it is. Also, check your fan and, if you have it, your air conditioning.

Remember your fire equipment 

You should have this with you at any time of year but it’s particularly important in summer.

Keep cool and fresh in your cab 

If you have air-con use it. A little extra fuel is a small price to pay for helping a driver to stay alert in hot weather. If you don’t have air-con, use a fan. Consider putting a blanket down over leather seating and adding a cover to your steering wheel and possibly gearstick. These can make them cooler to touch.

Bring an ample supply of drinking water and remember that water can be sprayed onto your skin. You want a bottle with a spray that creates a fine mist. The idea is to refresh your skin (and mind) without soaking yourself.

Make the most of your breaks. If possible, get out of the cab and move. If temperatures mean this is not safe, move as much as you can within your cab and practice deep breathing. You may also find it helpful to use audio to keep you both alert and calm. Roads can get very busy in summer and it helps to have a clear head to deal with them.

Leave plenty of time for your journey 

Summer is peak time for holidays, short breaks, day-trips and roadworks. All of these can make the roads very busy and hence travel very slow. At the same time, summer can also throw curveballs and have days of horrendous weather. These can make driving conditions very difficult and so it helps to have time on your side.

Author Bio:- Walker Movements are specialists in quality second-hand, used trucks and trailers and are global leaders in the trucking industry. Walker Movements have a true passion for the industry and make it their mission to answer any question customers can throw at them.

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