One of the challenges of driving OTR is switching between two or more different climates. Sometimes you will find yourself freezing but headed to a state where the temperatures are nice and warm. These changes can be quite a shock to your immune system, so here’s how to handle them.
The Impact of Extreme Weather on OTR Drivers
First things first, let’s talk about the impact of extreme weather on OTR drivers. It’s no secret that extreme weather conditions can be downright dangerous, causing everything from icy roads to heat-related issues. So, it’s important to be aware of these potential challenges and develop a proactive approach.
1. Stay Informed Before Hitting the Road
- Checking weather forecasts beforehand can help make you more aware of the conditions that await you. Always make sure to check the weather of each state you’ll be driving through, to prepare for the changes. If the weather changes between each state are drastic, this will help you plan your breaks. Weather apps can be very helpful since they will alert you of upcoming rain, storms, and other changes.
2. Prepare Your Truck for the Conditions
- Performing PTIs is incredibly important, which is probably something you’re already well aware of. Make sure your tires are in good shape, your brakes are working properly, and your cooling system is functioning well. Check out your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC) to ensure it’s working properly since they will be crucial while transitioning from one climate to another. Furthermore, you will want to make sure you are prepared for the cold and everything that comes with it. Ice, snow, and mud are accidents waiting to happen, so be extra cautious and check out our tips.
3. Pack Weather-Appropriate Gear
- Taking care of your truck in climate change is important, but taking care of your own health is just as important. In order to take care of your health, make sure to pack layers of warm clothes, that can be easily changed when you’re approaching warmer temperatures. Remember to also carry rain gear, as well as sun protection.
4. Know the Signs of Weather-Related Health Issues
- Educate yourself on the signs of weather-related health issues, such as heatstroke or hypothermia. Knowing these signs can help you take timely action if needed. You can find our advice on how to act if you encounter a medical emergency on the road here.
5. Communicate with Dispatch
- Keep open lines of communication with your dispatch team. If you encounter severe weather conditions, inform them promptly, and work together to adjust your route or schedule if necessary.
6. Emergency Preparedness
- Equip your truck with emergency essentials, including a first aid kit, non-perishable food items, and a flashlight. Being prepared for unexpected situations is key to staying safe on the road.
Handling extreme climate changes when driving OTR requires a combination of preparedness, adaptability, and caution. By staying informed, maintaining your truck, and prioritizing safety, you can navigate through any weather conditions that come your way. Remember, your safety and the safety of others on the road are always our top priority. Super Ego wishes you safe travels.
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