This summer is a scorcher with some parts of the country seeing weekly triple digit temperatures as the norm. Keeping yourself cool while also maintaining your truck’s health is of utmost importance. Just like cars, trucks can suffer from breakdowns when operating in extreme heat. So, what can you do to keep yourself and your truck cool in the face of heat waves?
Keep Yourself Cool
According to a study conducted by the Department of Earth and Crime Sciences of San Francisco University, cab temperatures can rise to 29 degrees in just 20 minutes and 43 degrees in 60 minutes. This kind of temperature can be unsafe for a trucker and, with most states now posting limits on idling, owner-operators and carriers should consider installing an anti-idling system for air conditioning. The cheaper option, of course, would be to find somewhere airconditioned to escape to, but that option isn’t always available especially in more remote areas.
Stay hydrated with plenty of water (as opposed to caffeinated beverages, which can exacerbate dehydration) and have a small cooler nearby to keep your liquids cold. And, be sure to use sunscreen and cover your arms so that you don’t end up with sunburns. Trucker’s tans never have and never will be cool.
Keep Your Truck In Tip Top Shape
Your truck has numerous components that are well-known for breaking down in high temperatures, most notably your brakes, tires, engine oil and coolant.
Let’s Talk Belts.
Loose engine belts can severely impact the water pump and the fan’s performance, which could potentially put the engine at risk of overheating.
Keep An Eye On Your Brakes.
In extremely high temperatures, brake fluid can often overheat, which can cause a subsequent loss of brake power. Check your brakes and brake pads often in the summer to make sure they’re in good shape. Rather than using your brakes when traveling downhill, consider downshifting to help take the stress of your brakes.
Engine Oil And Coolants.
Ensure coolant and engine oil levels are adequate for your trip as low levels can cause engine overheating. Regularly monitor your coolant gauges and, if they rise above normal levels, stop and identify the problem before an engine failure occurs.
Take Care Of Your Tires.
Air pressure increases with temperature, which means tires that start at proper psi in the morning may be too high in the afternoon heat -- and, at a high risk of blowing out.
Further to that, if your tire pressure is too high, it can change the shape of your tire’s footprint, thus resulting in decreased fuel economy, irregular wear patterns, and reduced tread life.