How Truckers and Pilot Car Drivers Can Beat the Summer Heat

Pilot car drivers and truckers need to stay hydrated when transporting their oversize truckload

Heat waves throughout the country are easily bringing temperatures over 100 degrees, which are no doubt affecting truckers, pilot car drivers, and your oversize truckload moves. This can put you and any traveling companions (like pets) at risk.

Here are some ways for truckers and pilot car drivers to stay healthy during these summer heat waves:
  1. When you’re on the road, opt for lightweight, light-colored, loose-fit clothing to help keep you cool.
  2. Don’t try to be tough and sweat it out. Use air-conditioning as needed.
  3. Make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Be aware that caffeine can dehydrate you, so avoid drinks with caffeine. Water is always best. Drinking water every fifteen minutes will help you avoid dehydration.
High temperatures can lead to heat exhaustion and even heat stroke.

Be aware of these symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke from WebMD.* If you suspect either you or someone else is suffering from heat stroke, call 911 immediately.

  • Symptoms of heat exhaustion: excessive thirst, headache, fatigue, moist cool skin, profuse sweating, dizziness or lightheadedness, rapid heartbeat, dark urine, muscle cramps, and nausea and vomiting.
  • If you have symptoms of heat exhaustion: get to the nearest cool place, drink lots of water, remove any tight or unnecessary clothing, use fans, ice towels or other cooling measures. Seek the help of a medical professional. If cooling measures are not providing relief, it can lead to heat stroke.
  • Symptoms of heat stroke: throbbing headache, no sweating even in the heat, dizziness, rapid shallow breathing, hot dry skin, reddened skin, muscle cramping or weakness, rapid heartbeat whether strong or weak, confusion or disorientation, staggering, seizures or unconsciousness. Heat stroke can kill, or cause damage to your brain and organs. Call 911 immediately if you or anyone else are experiencing symptoms.
If you’re traveling with a pet:

Some trucks (not pilot cars) carry pets. If you have your furry friend with you, be aware that they can also suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Make sure to use air conditioning as needed to keep your pet cool. Because dogs have fur, they get hot quickly and do not sweat like we do. Always keep this in mind when adjusting the temperature.Some truckers have pets with them

Keep in mind that although a commercial truck does not heat up as quickly as a regular vehicle, leaving pets in vehicles while you run inside to get something to eat or drink, or use the bathroom can put pets at risk. Do not leave pets in vehicles unattended, especially during high heat indexes.

Here are some things you can do to keep your pet cool:
  • Have a water bowl available for your pet and if possible, add ice to it.
  • Do not rely on a mechanical fan to keep your pet cool. Dogs sweat through their feet and so fans are not as effective for them.
Be sure to watch for these signs of heatstroke, as stated by the Humane Society, including:
  • Heavy panting and profuse salivation
  • A dark red or purple tongue
  • Glazed eyes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • A rapid heartrate
  • Lethargy
  • Dizziness and lack of coordination
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Seizure or unconsciousness
If your pet displays any of these signs of heatstroke be sure to:

Move your pet into a cooler area, apply ice packs or towels to his/her head, neck and chest or run cool but not cold water over him/her. Have your pet drink small amounts of cool water at a time or lick ice cubes. Take your pet directly to the veterinarian.

Integrity Pilot Car Services provides pilot car escorts for over dimensional loads including: superloads, high pole, wide loads and long loads. Call Integrity Pilot Car Services to escort your next truck load at (757) 618-4899.


*This article is intended to spread awareness of heat exhaustion and heat stroke and is not meant to be medical advice. Please contact a medical professional for more information on heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Integrity Pilot Cars supplies pilot cars, overload permits and escorts for oversize loads including superloads, wide loads, High-poles and long loads. We have locations in Virginia Beach and Stuart, Virginia, and are licensed for nationwide loads. Integrity Pilot Cars can provide same day local city permits for all Hampton Roads Cities including Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News and Suffolk.

Call Integrity Pilot Cars for your oversize load needs (757) 618-4899.



Top photo courtesy of by tuelekza