It’s that time of year again! You know, the time of year when you start to sweat profusely after standing outside for only a few minutes. Mid-June heat can be brutal. That’s why it is crucial to ensure that you and your tank truck are prepared for summer weather and all that it can bring! Before venturing off into the extreme heat, here are a few pre-trip inspections that every tank truck driver should take note of.
Make sure you check your tanker’s:
It is paramount to check your tire mounting and air pressure. You should inspect your tires every two hours OR every 100 miles when driving in extreme heat.
Air pressure naturally increases as the temperature increases. It might be tempting to let air out when you see the air pressure increase. Don’t do this because it will become too low once the tires inevitably cool off. If your tires become too hot to touch, stay stopped until they cool off. This will prevent blowing a tire or even the possibility of your tires catching on fire.
Pro tip: A burning tire should be cooled with water.
2. Engine Oil
Engine oil keeps the engine cool, and also lubricates it. You should always make sure there is enough in your tanker. Bonus points if you have an oil temperature gauge—this helps you ensure the temperature is within the proper range while you are driving.
3. Engine Coolant
Before getting on the road, make sure your tanker’s engine cooling system has enough water and antifreeze. (Antifreeze helps your engine in the winter and summer!) When driving, check the water temperature and/or coolant temperature gauge every now and then to make sure it remains in the normal range. If the gauge goes above the highest safe temperature, there is probably something wrong, and could lead to engine failure and possibly a fire. Stop driving as soon as possible to investigate the issue.
NEVER remove the radiator cap or any part of the pressurized system until the system has cooled. Boiling water or steam could spray and cause fatal burns.
Don’t forget—it is just as important to take care of yourself as it is your tanker! Here’s some tips to beat the heat as you’re out on the road this summer:
4. Stay Hydrated
It’s easy to forget to drink water while on the road, but it’s extremely important in order to stay properly hydrated – especially during the hottest months of the year. Keeping a large jug of iced water next to you while you’re driving will serve as a constant reminder and make it practical for you to drink water throughout the day.
5. Wear Sun Protection
Wearing sunscreen at the pool is common sense. Wearing sun screen to drive a tank truck, on the other hand, may not cross your mind. But if you spend long hours on the road during daylight hours, applying sun screen is a good idea. While it’s unlikely to get a gnarly sun burn, deeply penetrating UVA rays from the sun can still be harmful and damaging to your skin and health.
A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found those who had spent the most time driving a car each week were more likely to develop skin cancers on the left sides of their bodies and faces — the side exposed to more sunlight while driving. In patients with malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, 74 percent of the tumors were found on the left sides, compared with 26 percent on the right.
6. Beware of more traffic
During the summertime, roads tend to be a lot more crowded. Kids are out of school, a lot more people have time off work, and families are take more vacations. Heavier traffic can present more dangers for for tank truck drivers, so pay extra close attention to other vehicles on the road and possible sudden slow downs.
Follow these tips to beat the heat this summer as you drive your tanker truck! In the meantime, check out some of our high quality tank trucks to ensure you stay safe on the road. We manufacture tanker trucks that last longer, saving you downtime and money. We also provide service centers around the country to provide help when you need it most!