Sometimes you feel a cold so deep in your bones that you just cannot get rid of. That kind of cold is something truck drivers are familiar with. Winter can be a brutal time of year that has truck drivers on the hunt for new ways to get and stay warm until spring makes its way back. We want to help, if we can.
Over the years, our drivers have shared their tips for staying warm with one another. We thought it might be helpful to share some of those tips in a blog post that truckers from all over the country could read and benefit from. Those tips are listed below. As you read, keep this in mind: nothing is more important than your own health and safety.
Make Your Bed Properly
Whether you run a heater at night or not, feeling cold when you are trying to sleep is not unusual. What many truckers do not know is a fundamental rule of sleeping in winter weather, a rule that every avid camper knows: to stay warm, you need twice as much under you as you do on top.
It is fine when you are making up your bed to throw on a sleeping bag and a couple of extra blankets. But what are you putting underneath you? The general rule is to have twice as much insulating material underneath as above. So if your sleeping bag and blankets give you 3 to 4 inches on top, you will need 6 to 8 inches of insulating material underneath. The more you have underneath you, the warmer you will be.
Dress in Layers
Layering your clothes will keep you warmer for a number of reasons. First, body heat gets trapped between the individual layers of clothing to create a natural barrier against the cold. Next, layered clothing works to draw moisture away from your body so that perspiration doesn’t make you cold. And finally, dressing in layers allows you to remove a layer when you are warm and put another on when you’re cold.
Bear in mind that dressing in layers is especially important whenever you spend time outdoors. The last thing you want to do is wear a big, bulky winter coat that causes you to sweat while you’re outside the truck, only to take it off and be cold in the cab.
Use a Mattress Pad
Another tip for staying warm while you sleep is to use a 12V mattress pad that plugs into a socket in your cab. Such mattress pads don’t draw enough current to risk draining your batteries overnight, as long as those batteries are in good condition. If you are running on older batteries nearing the end of their life cycle, you may need to run the engine for little bit on the coldest nights.
Turn off the Fan
If you tend to run the heater as you prepare for bed each night, remember to turn off the fan just before you retire. Otherwise you will awaken to cold air blowing around the cab. That will only make you cold the minute you get out from underneath the covers. That’s no way to start the day.
Better yet, use a space heater at trucks stop with external power outlets available. A space heater will keep you toasty warm without you having to idle your engine to run the truck heater. Small but effective space heaters are pretty inexpensive these days.
Winter has arrived. We encourage truck drivers to do their best stay warm, safe, and healthy until spring breaks next March.