This is about the time of year we start seeing blog posts explaining basic winter driving tips. Those posts are absolutely necessary, but they are also overdone. We wanted to do something a bit different. So rather than reminding you to slow down and use chains when necessary (we've discussed those tips in the past) we decided to talk about things truckers experience in the winter that have nothing to do with driving. We call them winter 'hacks'.
A hack is a different way of doing something outside of the norm. Given the kinds of challenges truckers face during the winter months, there are plenty of hacks out there to make their lives easier. Below are just a few for you to consider.
Stay Away from Cotton
Truckers know enough to dress in layers in order to stay warm during the winter. But did you know that cotton is a not a good winter choice? Cotton holds moisture better than almost every other fabric on the market. This only serves to make you feel cold outside as a result of trapped perspiration. The best material for you to wear during the winter is wool.
Use Heat Packs Outside
If you are a truck driver who spends a lot of time outside, you may want to get a hold of some heat packs you can put in your boots and gloves. These are ideal for flatbed truckers who may have to spend quite a bit of time securing their loads and supervising the loading and unloading. They're also a great help when you have to stop to put chains on.
Heat packs are inexpensive and air-activated. So as soon as you take one of the packages, it starts to work. Slip one in each glove to keep your hands toasty warm, one in each boat, and even one in your wool knit cap if your upper body tends to get cold.
Keep Your Batteries Up Front
Cold weather doesn't play very nicely with your cell phone and tablet batteries. In fact, any batteries you use to power your electronic devices are subject to reduced life in cold weather. You are better off keeping your batteries up near the front of the cab where they are likely to stay warmer. More importantly, don't store your electronic devices on the floor of the sleeper. The cold air underneath the truck will suck the life out of them more quickly than anything else.
We all know that winter weather makes truck driving more difficult from a safety standard. But it also affects driver comfort. Employing these three hacks should make life on the road more comfortable until temperatures start to climb again next spring. As always, be safe out there. Be aware of all the challenges of winter driving so that you make it home to your family.