What Truckers Need to Know About Dealing with Severe Weather

Any commercial truck driver can encounter hazardous weather. If you’re driving a local route in Arizona, for instance, you may encounter a serious dust storm. But if you’re an over the road (OTR) trucker, you need to be prepared for a wide range of severe weather hazards—from freezing rain and intense cold to dust storms and extreme heat.

Freezing Rain

Freezing rain is extremely hazardous for drivers of all vehicles. Don’t underestimate the risk of driving over a patch of black ice. If you’re driving through rain in a wintry area, keep a close eye on the temperature outdoors. If the temperature drops to freezing or below, start looking for a safe place to pull over and wait out the weather.

Dust Storms

It’s always good practice to check the local weather reports before you start driving for the day. But dust storms can be unpredictable. If a dust storm forms, pull over in a safe place as soon as possible. Keep your windows closed and wait it out.

Strong Wind

Strong wind is more dangerous for big rig drivers than for the average passenger car driver. Be particularly cautious of strong wind if you’re on a highway with open scenery to either side, as there is nothing to block the wind. Reduce your speed and start looking for a truck stop. If possible, park between two van trailers to shield your cab from the wind. This can help you stay warmer if you’re in a cold climate.

Extreme Heat

Winter weather isn’t the only thing that drivers need to worry about. In extreme heat, the rubber on the tires can deteriorate and the high engine temperature can inflict motor damage. You don’t want to break down in the middle of the desert, so try to structure your work day so that you’re resting during the hottest part of the day.

At Yuma Truck Driving School, you’ll learn everything you need to prepare for a life on the road. We offer training programs for beginners as well as refresher courses. Call our school in Yuma, AZ at (888) 647-3239.


Truck Stop Showers: A Guide for New Drivers

Personal hygiene is something that the average American takes for granted. But when you’re out on the road for days at a time, it can get a little trickier. It’s important to become familiar with truck stop shower facilities and to use them frequently. Truck drivers should always strive to present a professional image, especially as they are often the only representative of a trucking company that a client might interact with in person.

Hygiene Items

Truck stops generally issue a towel and washcloth to each person who purchases a shower. Some of them may issue a paper bath mat and a small bar of soap. However, you should always bring your own soap, just in case. Other items you should bring include:

  • Shower shoes
  • Razor/shave cream
  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Hair dryer (sometimes a facility will have these available)
  • Deodorant
  • Lotion

Pack all of your hygiene items and your change of clothes into a water-resistant duffel bag. If you’re using one of the truck stop’s towels, follow their instructions for returning it afterward. Some of them may prefer that you leave the towel in the shower unit, while others want you to drop it in a hamper outside.

Shower Credits

Depending on the truck stop and the region, it may cost between $7 and $10 to rent the shower facilities. The costs can quickly add up, so take advantage of the shower credits offered by most of the larger truck stops. Each time you purchase a minimum amount of fuel, you’ll be issued a shower credit that you can use for a complimentary shower. If you aren’t going to use it right away, write down the name of the truck stop and expiration date of the credit so you’ll remember to use it later.

You can get the inside scoop on life as a professional truck driver when you attend an open house event at Yuma Truck Driving School. While you’re here, be sure to ask us about financial assistance. Aspiring drivers in Arizona can call (888) 647-3239.