The Southwest United States is experiencing record high temperatures right now, but the heat wave is being felt all across the country in the nation’s trucking industry. Here are 4 ways the heat can affect your fleet and ideas for how to combat it.
- Breakdowns: blown tires and refrigeration unit malfunctions are commonly due to increased road temperatures. Regular maintenance is important, but especially under harsh conditions like this. All drivers should carry a list of maintenance vendors along the route in case of a breakdown.
- Blackouts: heat waves can cause power surges and brown- or blackouts. Be ready with backup generators in case the network goes down and prep drivers with what-if scenarios if they are unable to contact you. Adopting a cloud-based system will alleviate the need to have consistent power.
- Blockages: summer means hurricane season. Those high winds and rain can mean debris or flooding that makes some roads impossible. Having 2-3 back up routes and keeping half a mind on the weather isn’t a bad idea.
- Burnout: a truck’s cab can become like a brick oven, especially in the temperatures we’re seeing in the Southwest. Even with air conditioning and a well-insulated truck, temperatures can break 100°F in no time at all. Extended periods of time in that kind of heat can cause short- as well as long-term effects on truckers’ physical and mental well being.
Road safety is always a top concern in our industry. Being prepared for extreme weather conditions and understanding the risks can help to circumvent inconvenient as well as potentially dangerous situations.