Preparing Vehicles and Drivers for Hot Weather Conditions

People in the haulage industry are well aware of the physical demands those who drive HGVs for a living undergo. They endure long hours spent sitting behind the wheel, few chances to pull over and stretch their legs and strained eyes from focusing intently on the open road, all to ensure an on-time delivery. Work in this field already takes a toll on the body – the last thing hauliers need is extreme temperatures.
Yet extreme temperatures can be an unfortunate reality, especially if your vehicle isn’t equipped with air conditioning. And during the hot summer months, with UK temperatures ranging anywhere from 18C to 33C, this can often be debilitating. If you’re one of the unlucky few who have to try to beat the heat with only an open window, read on.

Keeping Your Cool

Although sweating may be unavoidable in exceptionally hot weather, there are some steps you can take to help you survive the heat as you journey from delivery to delivery. Work toward incorporating these cheats into your cab to help you chill out on days when it may seem impossible.

• Make sure you’re dressed appropriately for high temperatures – loose fitting clothing is an excellent choice, while anything tight or heavy will increase your discomfort and make you hotter. It also doesn’t hurt to bring a fresh set of clothes you can change into – this will help you feeling fresh and clean longer! • Keep a cooler filled with ice in your cab for chilled drinks on the go. • Travel early or late as frequently as possible. Dusk and dawn tend to be the coolest hours, so this is the best time to be on the road. Save pit stops for the middle of the day.

Cooling Your Keep

You’ll also want to make sure that your vehicle is properly prepared for warm summer weather.

• Pay close attention to the coolant level and make sure that it remains high enough. Consider storing an extra bottle in your cab. Coolant is used to stabilise the engine’s temperature while in motion – and this is especially important during the hottest time of the year. • Get a sun shield and use it on your windscreen when you’re parked – this will lower the temperature of the inside of your cab (and keep you cooler when you get back in). • Regularly check the pressure of your tyres to make sure they haven’t become under-inflated (when this happens, friction between the tyre and the ground can increase and cause them to wear down faster).

No matter the physical burdens that may accompany long drives, hauliers everywhere know the importance of being reliable with their delivery work. Driving in uncomfortable situations – and especially in uncomfortable temperatures – is something they’re used to and often must do to make sure they get to their destination on time. But that doesn’t mean they have to suffer silently. Hopefully these tips and tricks can help cool our dedicated drivers down.

Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching delivery work with available drivers. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.