Whether you’re a solo truck driver or working as part of a team, your rig remains as a constant companion. While the summer makes traveling across the country an even more beautiful trip, the hot weather will place stress on your vehicle. To ensure your rig functions normally during this hot season, follow these steps.
What Are Some Summer Safety Tips for Semi-Trucks?
1. Commit to a Consistent Maintenance Schedule
As you learned when you first became a truck driver, pre- and post-trip inspections will help keep your rig running smoothly. These inspections will allow you to catch issues while they’re still minor, preventing costly and time consuming on-the-road breakdowns.
2. Check Your Tires
The summer’s heat will affect tire pressure, as the rubber flexes when the vehicle is in motion. Checks should be done when the tires are cool to the touch and after more than three hours of remaining idle. Their inflation levels may need to be adjusted.
During your checks, make sure the valve caps are tightly closed, so no air escapes.
When tire pressure is maladjusted, it can wear out the treads prematurely, which affects traction and braking.
Abnormal tire pressure can also cause increased vibrations throughout your rig, which can destabilize the battery.
3. Be Aware of Your Cooling System
Cooling problems will become common during the summer months. During pre- and post-trip checks, inspect your cooling system. This includes your pump, hoses, and radiator.
The coolant also needs to be inspected for rust and contaminants. Use test strips—also known as refractometers—for the ratio of water to coolant. If you need to replenish your coolant, follow the manufacturer’s suggestions, as different coolants shouldn’t intermix.
4. Be Watchful of Your Speed
While you may be concerned with making your deliveries, slowing down slightly during the summer will keep you safe and still allow you to arrive at your destination on time.
During the summer, the black asphalt absorbs the sunlight, which makes the tar melt slightly and rises to the surface. This makes traction and braking more difficult because the road is somewhat more slippery than you’re accustomed to. By taking it easier on the road, your journey will be much safer.
Before you get out on the road this summer, you’ll need your CDL to become a professional truck driver. Hamrick School has over 40 years of experience helping people transition into new careers as truckers. Their convenient day and night schedule will allow you to come to class on your own time. To find out more about their financial aid program, reach out to them at (330) 239-2229. For more information on their veterans’ services, visit their website.
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