10 TIPS FOR SUMMER TOW TRUCK DRIVINGRemaining Cool and Safe in the Heat
Whether you’re a fan of warm weather or you prefer to stay inside where it’s air-conditioned, you can’t deny that summer is HERE! Today is the first day of Summer and the temperatures have been soaring and the sun is blazing. And for tow truck drivers, the change in season means a new set of risks to look out for – roadwork, traffic, weather, sunlight, and heat, to name a few. So, how can a tow truck driver prepare for the new hazards and risks?
Check out the following summer tow truck driving tips.
1. Be mindful of construction and roadwork.
Summer is prime time for construction, which can mean closed lanes, delays, detours, and traffic. Be extra careful as you navigate through the work zones, which might resemble a maze of pylons more than a road. Pay attention to all road signs and obey them. Slow down, take it easy, and watch for construction workers. The side of the road is their workplace, just like it’s yours.
And don’t forget that fines are often raised for traffic violations occurring in a work zone.
2. Be prepared for heavy traffic.
There are a few reasons that traffic could be rough during summer months. People are going on vacation with their families, road-tripping to their destination. Construction causes delays. Teenagers are out of school.
Remember your defensive driving skills. Don’t follow the car in front of you too closely and avoid rear-end collisions. Try to check traffic conditions ahead of your trip to find the best way to arrive safely at your destination.
3. Have your tow truck maintained.
It’s a good idea to have your tow truck or wrecker checked before summer. Take your tow truck to a trusted mechanic and ask them to get your vehicle ready for the heat. They should check the entire cooling system, engine coolant, belts and hoses, the electrical system, the brakes, the battery…yeah, it sounds like a lot, but your truck needs to be ready for the extreme temperatures you could be facing. Preventive maintenance is key.
4. Don’t forget sunscreen.
Towing involves a lot of work outside under the sun as you work to load disabled vehicles onto your tow truck or wrecker. Make sure to apply sunscreen and keep reapplying throughout the day. The sun can cause painful sunburns, of course, but it can also cause skin cancer – and sunburns and cancer are not good for your health. It might seem like a hassle, but applying sunscreen of at least SPF 30 can help you protect your skin.
5. Stay hydrated.
Dehydration can be very serious, and it’s all-too-easy to get dehydrated in the summer heat. Make sure to have water with you at all times, and pack extra in case you need it. The goal is to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Make sure to sip on the water even if you aren’t extremely thirsty. Also, make sure you know the signs of heat-related illnesses. Heatstroke occurs when the body can no longer cool itself off, and it can be very serious. Headaches, muscle cramps, and light-headedness can all be signs of heat stroke. If you start feeling sick, try to go somewhere cool so your body can recuperate.
6. Wear sunglasses.
It’s important to protect your eyes from the sunlight. And sunlight can make it difficult to see – glare and reflections can be blinding and scary. Early morning and evening can be tricky times of the day. You don’t want to miss a hazard simply because you’re squinting into the sun, so grab a pair of UV-blocking sunglasses and wear them.
7. Make sure your tires are properly inflated.
Heat can cause tire blowouts. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and have a safe tire pressure – underinflated tires can also cause blowouts, which are terrifying. Be aware of how your truck is driving and keep an eye on those tires. Driving generates heat, and the heightened temperatures of summer can push that heat so much that the rubber of your tires can weaken.
8. Watch the weather.
Summer can bring some pretty severe weather, including storms, floods, thunder, and lightning. Be aware of the weather forecast and remember that conditions can change very quickly. Heed any weather emergency warnings and don’t underestimate Mother Nature. Storms and flash floods are not to be trifled with.
9. Check your brakes.
Make sure the weather isn’t wreaking havoc on your brakes. If the brake components can’t take any more heat, they lose friction. Anyways, be sure your brakes are safe – have them checked by a trusted mechanic. Have any issues or problems properly repaired, and don’t drive a tow truck or wrecker with iffy brakes.
10. Review what to do if you’re involved in a car accident.
It’s scary to imagine being involved in an accident, but take some time to review what you need to do as a tow truck driver in the event of a wreck. It’s really important that you record all relevant information of those involved in the crash, take photos of all cars (if it’s safe to do so), and write down your recollection of what happened as soon as possible.
Article Courtesy of Tow Truck Insurance Rates
Photos courtesy of Adobe Stock