Scorching Summer Highway Habits
Updated: Jun 10
Memorial day has passed, and while it’s not quite yet the summer when technically speaking, the summer season is definitely upon us. With that in mind, there are a few things to remember as the weather gets warmer.
First things first, ensure that your vehicle is ready for the hot conditions by ensuring your drivers are completing Pre-Trip Inspections every day.
Remind your drivers that when checking the tires on their vehicle, they need to be sure to inspect the tire tread depths, tread separations and tire pressure. When the weather gets hot, remind your drivers to check the tires at every duty status change or every few hours or 150 miles whichever comes first.
Precautions while driving in the heat:
-Tar on the road tends to rise to the surface in hot conditions, these “bleed” spots on the surface of the pavement will be very slippery.
Driving slowly to prevent overheating
-Driving at high speeds will create more heat for the tires and engine. In extremely hot conditions, such as desert conditions, the heat may continue to rise to a dangerous point. The constantly rising heat increases the changes of engine failure, tire failure or even fire.
Be sure your drivers are checking all vehicle fluids every day and your maintenance staff it maintaining the proper preventative maintenance intervals are strictly adhered to. Ensure all lubrication points are properly greases and all axle hubs are lubricated and sealed from leaks.
Inspecting the engine belts, it is important that the driver inspects the belts tightness on the pulley and inspect the over all condition of the belts. In addition to inspecting the belts, a driver should check the fan for damaged, missing, or cracked fan louvers.
Additionally, remind the drivers to keep an eye on the engine coolant. It is alway best practice to check this and add coolant during the Pre-Trip inspection.
Last but not least, instruct your drivers to keep and eye on the air brake system. Inspect the hoses and air lines, especially in the area of the steering axles and trailer connection points. Look for any evidence of chafing, crack though the outer reinforcement ply. All brake lines are equally important. Ensure both drivers and maintenance technicians are regularly inspecting all brake pushrod travel to ensure it is within the safety limits.