Despite the weather being a bit fluid at the moment, the fact is that we are coming into summer at long last. We’ve already had some record high temperatures, and even the thunderstorms they’re broken up with are sticky and humid. For HGV drivers, stuck in their cabs for hours at a time, the heat can get unbearable or even dangerous. So for all of those HGV drivers out on the roads this summer, we have a few tips to help you beat the heat and stay cool while you’re driving.
OK, so it’s important to stay hydrated all year round really, but during the summer months, it’s especially important. When you get hot, your body will react by sweating, which means you are losing more water than usual. So you need to make sure you stay topped up. The CDC actually has some great advice on this – they say you should think of your body like an air conditioner:
“Whenever your body heats up from physical activity or the hot weather outside, your internal air conditioner turns on and you start to sweat. And remember, now that your air conditioner is using coolant (your sweat), it’s important to refill the tank – by drinking lots of H2O.”
Of course, you don’t have to just drink water – you can keep your fluid intake up with almost any liquid (besides alcohol), but water is the most freely available and refreshing option for more people.
Cut Down The Sweat
For most people, the heat isn’t always the worst part of the summer. The majority of the suffering comes from the sweat-inducing humidity levels, which makes us feel clammy, uncomfortable and drain us of fluids and energy. It also means we keep getting hotter – because while sweating is the body’s way of keeping cool, if sweat is left on the skin in the heat it will warm up, and simply become a film of warm water encasing your skin. So if you want to stay cool and comfortable during your driving, you need to work out how to cut down on the sweat even in high humidity. You could do this by wearing breathable, thin materials (like sports or gym tops), or applying deodorant a couple of times a day (and at night) so that it works more effectively.
DIY Air Con
While most HGVs will come with air con built it, it’s not always the most effective, and sometimes it doesn’t even work at all. When it does, it can be an expensive drain on your fuel to run 24/7. So if you want a quick alternative to a dodgy air con unit, try a DIY trick instead. Our favourite involves grabbing one of those small fans that plug into your cigarette lighter and clips to the dashboard. The night before you’re due to drive, fill a water bottle and pop it in the freezer. The next morning, pull it out and put it behind your dashboard fan. This will cool the air behind the fan, which will draw it in and push it at your face – instant air con!
For a professional driver, learning how to cope with all of the different seasons while stuck in, what is essentially a tin box, is an incredibly important thing from both a comfort and a safety perspective. If you have any other tips or tricks for keeping cool during the summer, we would love to hear them. Just get in touch with us today.