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Stay Cool: Tips for Managing the Summer Heat in Your HGV

Summer days are something we look forward to every year in the UK. We don’t get a lot of opportunities to enjoy the sun shining over here, so when the temperature soars, we all want to take full advantage. If you’re working as an HGV driver, you’ll have an excellent opportunity to soak up more vitamin D on the open road.

However, life behind the wheel can get a little complicated when the heat rises too. From increased risk of dehydration to headaches caused by glare, there are a few issues you’ll need to learn to avoid. Since 2022 is set to be hotter than ever, it’s worth planning early.

Here are some of the top tips you can use to keep yourself as comfortable as possible when you’re on the road.

1. Refill Your Hydration Station Regularly

One of the biggest threats facing HGV drivers when they’re out in the summer months, is the risk of dehydration. When you’re focused on getting a job done, it’s easy to forget about topping up with regular drinks of water throughout the day. If you’re feeling sluggish in the sun, you may even drink more coffee. Since caffeine is a diuretic, this can make the symptoms of dehydration arrive even faster.

The best way to stay healthy is to commit to topping up your hydration supplies as often as possible. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times, and refill it on your breaks. Need a little motivation to make sure you drink enough? Consider getting a reusable water bottle which helps you to track how much water you’re chugging. If you do start to feel the effects of dehydration, pull over for a break.

2. Dress the Part in Summer

The chances are you will have a specific uniform you need to wear when working as a professional HGV driver. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative with your outfit. Consider asking whether it’s OK to take your jacket off when you’re behind the wheel to help keep yourself cool. Many firms will even have different uniforms available for certain months of the year. You might be able to switch from trousers to shorts during the summer, or switch your shoes to something a little more breathable. You could also wear a branded cap or hat to help keep the sun off your head, and the extra light out of your eyes. If you’re not sure what your options are, discuss your outfit choices with your boss. Keep in mind that looser clothing can often be a lot more appealing in summer, as it helps the air to circulate.

3. Make the HGV Summer Ready

Just as you might need to take extra precautions with your vehicle during the winter to keep it safe on the roads, you might also need to do the same in the summer months. Before you start doing your part to supply festival and overcome food shortages in the UK, give your HGV a check over. Make sure the tyres are stable and durable, to avoid blow-outs. It’s also helpful to make sure all of the accessories in your HGV are working as they should be. Having a working air conditioner is a must-have during the hotter days of the years. You can also consider using a sun shade when you park your HGV for a while, to stop the dashboard from overheating. If you’re concerned about the air conditioning in your HGV, you could consider investing in a USB plug-in fan to help keep you cool. It might also be worth making space in your cabin for a cooler
where you can store extra bottles of water.

4. Prepare for Glare

Glare can be a real nightmare when you’re spending hours behind the wheel of an HGV. Too much of it can cause headaches and distractions, making your time on the road more dangerous. With that in mind, think about wearing sunglasses or tinted glasses more often to protect your eyes, and make sure they block out UV light. You can consider asking your boss about tinted covers for your windows if you’re worried about the glare getting to you too much. Wearing a hat can also help to deflect some of the light in your cabin, so you can focus on the road ahead more clearly. When the heat and the light seem to getting to you, it’s important to take some time out on the side of the road. Don’t continue driving if you don’t feel you can see clearly.

5. Give Yourself Some Air

A refreshing breeze goes a long way during the hotter months of the year. The easiest way to keep yourself cool is to simply roll down the window. This can be a more cost-effective option than using the air conditioning. However, you’ll want to make sure you’re not exposing yourself to a lot of distracting noise or pollution. Rolling the window down on the motorway can also make your HGV a little less aerodynamic, which could mean you use more fuel. This could mean it’s better to simply crank the AC at certain times. Try to evaluate the situation carefully when you feel you need a breeze. For a more refreshing experience, consider adding a little of the cold water from your bottle to the back of your neck and hair when you’re on your break. This will quickly cool you down when the AC is on.

6. Know When to Take a Break

Finally, it’s important to know when to take your breaks – no matter what time of year you’re going to be driving. Remember, as tempting as it might be to continue driving during your designated break times so you can reach your destination faster, we all need a rest sometimes. Keep a close eye on how you feel as you’re driving, and don’t be afraid to pull over if you start to feel woozy or uncomfortable. Forgetting to take breaks will put you at risk of greater levels of fatigue, which can be particularly dangerous when the heat of the sun makes you want to take a quick nap.

Ready to tackle the challenges and reap the rewards of HGV driving at all times of the year? Contact the LGV Training Company today to start your path to a new career.

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