Summer Trucking Preparations

While it is common knowledge that trucks must be prepared for cold weather and poor conditions, it is equally important that trucks be prepared for the heat of summer. High temperatures can put strain on the mechanical components, and hot asphalt can increase the risks of blowouts and tire damage. To prevent mechanical failures and costly repairs, it is important to properly prepare trucks prior to summer usage. Summer Trucking Maintenance Preparations To ensure that the tires are safe for use in hot conditions, the tire pressure should be checked when temperatures begin to rise, and on a regular basis throughout the summer. Tires typically lose about one psi per month, but may lose more when temperatures shift dramatically. Underinflated tires have a higher chance of catastrophic blowouts, especially if the outside temperature exceeds 90 degrees. Underinflated and overinflated tires also decrease fuel efficiency and wear out faster. Mechanical Systems Prior to operating a truck during the summer, it is important that all fluids be topped off and all systems receive proper maintenance. Belts should be checked and replaced as needed, and any recommended maintenance based on mileage should be completed. Air conditioning should be inspected prior to the season to ensure functionality, as a failed air conditioning unit can pose health risks for the driver. Refrigerated Trucks High temperatures put additional strain on refrigeration units, so it is imperative to test cooled compartments regularly and perform maintenance as needed. Refrigeration failures during the heat of summer can be costly for trucking companies, both in terms of repairs and damaged shipments. Refrigeration failures can also impact customer relations when deliveries fail to be delivered on time and in good condition. Summer Trucking Cleaning Preparations Removing leftover residues from winter sand and salt can help to improve the efficiency of vehicles and prevent costly corrosion repairs down the road. When cleaning trucks in preparation for the summer, it is important to ensure that hidden places on the truck are cleaned as well as the outside. The radiator, undercarriage, and other hard to reach areas may harbor sand and chemical build-ups that can damage systems. Driver Summer Preparations Truck drivers should also be sure to properly prepare for summer by staying hydrated and taking precautions. Drivers that are exposed to the sun for long periods of time when making deliveries should wear protective clothing and sunscreen. Drivers should also be sure to rest in cooled areas when necessary to prevent against heat stroke. Truck drivers that are operating while overheated or dehydrated not only put themselves and the delivery in danger, but also pose a risk to other drivers.     Sources:

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