Winter Safety for Truck Drivers
As winter quickly approaches and we’re buttoning up to stay as warm as we can, flatbed truckers face the challenge of securing and tarping outside in the cold temperatures, ice, and snow. Whether you’re brand new to the industry, or you’ve got multiple years under your belt, this time of year poses many risks that can range from a nuisance to a serious danger. Even if your truck is ready for winter conditions, it’s important to make sure you protect your own health as well.
Here are some important tips for drivers looking to stay safe and healthy this winter, recommended by senior drivers and medical professionals alike.
Dress in Layers
A crucial part of keeping yourself safe this winter is layers! Look for moisture-wicking base layers, thick sweaters, insulating thermals, and a weather-proof outer layer to top it off. Don’t forget to add on a warm hat, gloves, and some waterproof boots.
Stay Warm with Food and Drink
Wintry weather can sometimes mask your normal body signals. Try drinking some warm water, hot coffee, or tea, or eating a warm meal before you start your work to increase your stamina and prepare for freezing conditions. If you’re looking for some healthy recipes for truckers, check out our driver cookbooks!
This meal was made by a Melton driver with appliances that are stored on the truck.
Take Frequent Breaks
Make sure to take regular breaks inside your truck every 15-20 minutes to warm up. Staying too cold for too long can have serious effects on your health and can cause you to get sick or injured. You can also use this time to check your gear and change out any clothing that gets wet.
Invest in Quality Gear
Winter comes every year, and though weather patterns might vary depending on where the road takes you, you’ll never regret purchasing some high-quality gear along the way. Brands like Carhartt, Patagonia, and Backcountry have some highly reviewed gear for those who work outdoors. You can swing through many outdoor stores to pick up what you need, or even order on Amazon. We also have an assortment of winter gear on our online GEAR shop – check out some of our new items below!
Use Proper Lighting
Winter days are shorter, and low visibility can be a significant hazard for outdoor workers. If you’re caught outside after dark, be sure you have proper lighting, such as reflective vests or LED headlamps to stay visible to others and ensure you aren’t at risk of slipping in rough weather.
Being active while you work is going to help you generate body heat, but it’s important to remember not to stand still or maintain one position for extended periods. Even jumping in place helps keep the blood flowing!
Stay Up to Date on Weather Conditions
Local news channels will normally provide a 7-day forecast on their website, but you can also download apps that will track your location for you and provide weather updates as you go. This will ensure you’re aware of dangerous conditions and can take necessary precautions ahead of time.
Know the Signs of Cold-Related Illness
Familiarizing yourself early with the symptoms of certain illnesses like frostbite and hypothermia can save your life! If you notice numbness, tingling, or pale skin, it’s time to seek shelter and warm up immediately. Never hesitate to seek medical attention if needed – your safety is more important than a deadline!
Winter doesn’t have to be a dreaded season for flatbed drivers. By following these tips, you can stay safe, warm, and productive while on the job. Remember that your health and well-being should be a top priority, though, so take the necessary steps to protect yourself from the challenges winter can bring.