“I got a heat wave
Burning in my heart
I can’t keep from crying
Tearing me apart” – Martha and the Vandellas
It’s that time of year, and we can all relate to that burning feeling of the scorching summer sun that will almost make you cry! With Summer in full swing and temperatures soaring, we’ve compiled a list of helpful tips to help you beat the heat and stay safe out there on the road.
Pay Attention to Warning Signs
While you may bask in the glory of your climate-controlled cab with an awesome AC unit, heat-related medical conditions, such as heat exhaustion, heat stroke, dehydration, muscle fatigue, and overall lethargy can come on very quickly when you have to spend an extended period of time out in the stifling heat with a high heat index, especially if you perform strenuous work in these conditions. It is crucial to recognize the first signs of these conditions to prevent suffering further injury that could land you in the ER.
- Heat Exhaustion – Symptoms include heavy sweating, nausea or vomiting, feeling faint, and muscle cramps
- Heat Stroke – Symptoms include a fever over 103º, confusion and disorientation, hot, dry skin, rapid pulse, and is a medical emergency
- Dehydration – Symptoms include dry mouth, increased thirst, lethargy, and dizziness
- Prevention is key to avoid these dangerous situations that can cause life-threatening injuries.
Water and Fluids
Water reigns supreme when it comes to combatting dehydration, but what if you don’t like consuming water in order to avoid multiple bathroom stops or just plain don’t like water? Alternatives include fruits and vegetables that contain water, natural fruit-infused beverages, or flavored sparkling waters. And before you reach for that extra cup of coffee, caffeine is a known dehydrator that can also leave you crashing after the caffeine wears off. It’s best to avoid sodas and juices high in sugar as well as sugar-containing sports drinks. There are numerous sugar-free sports drinks that also provide the electrolytes you need. We recommend water, but whatever beverage you choose, make sure you consume adequate amounts throughout the day.
Clothing and Skin Care
It’s more difficult for the body to regulate body temperature when constricted by heavy, tight-fitting clothing. By choosing appropriate clothing, you will not only feel cooler, you will also be more comfortable on those long hauls.
- Clothing – Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Cotton is a great fabric choice that allows air flow.
- Shoes – Avoid shoes made of rubber or leather and go for breathable, canvas sneakers.
- Accessories – Sunglasses and brimmed hats protect you from the sun’s harsh rays.
- Skin Care – Don’t forget the most integral part of your outfit – your skin! Apply higher SPF sunscreens to keep from getting that “trucker’s arm.”
Smaller is better. Being in the heat on a stomach full of heavy foods can zap your energy. Eat smaller, yet more frequent food portions and include healthy, energy-providing snacks such as salt-free nuts or seeds, dried fruit, veggie chips, sugar-free energy bars, or plain popcorn.
Please contact us at [email protected] for help with your chassis needs, and we at Hercules wish you a safe and happy summer!