There’s much to love about this time of year: the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, getting together with friends and family during time off and the extra reminders to be thankful. But, as you know, trucking during the winter also means dealing with frigid temperatures and dangerous road conditions. Turning the heat on in your truck can only do so much to keep you warm, especially in the event that you run into an emergency situation. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared and know how to stay warm. Here are some of our favorite tips for beating the cold and staying warm this winter while you’re out on the road:
Dress in layers
Dressing in layers is extremely important in the wintertime. It’s not about piling on as many clothes as you can – each layer has a purpose. Choose form-fitting, breathable and comfortable clothing for your base layer. You’ll want something made out of synthetic materials that is designed to wick moisture away from your skin. Think of the middle layer as insulation. It’s another barrier between your body and the cold weather. Fleece and down can be good for this, but if you know you’ll be working in damp conditions, consider wool or synthetic options. Your outer layer should be both breathable and waterproof. Water resistant items might be less expensive, but they won’t do a great job protecting you from rain or wet snow. As you’re choosing layers, don’t forget about your legs. Opt for high-quality thermals as your base layer, insulated pants made from fleece or wool for your middle layer and shell pants as your outer layer to keep your legs and ankles dry.
Protect your head
Did you know that heat escapes more quickly from your head than other areas of your body? Make sure you’ve got a winter hat, scarf and/or headband to help protect your head and ears from the cold.
Purchase a cold-weather sleeping bag
A well-made insulated sleeping bag can do wonders for your comfort at night. Choose a sleeping bag that’s specifically rated for colder temperatures. We like the “mummy” shaped sleeping bags the best, because they minimize the amount of space your body has to keep warm inside the bag. These types of bags also cinch around the face to keep your head warm and even create a pillow effect for comfort.
Use rechargeable warmers
You’re probably familiar with hand and foot warmers, but let’s be honest – those things don’t usually last very long before you have to toss them. Instead of disposable warmers, we recommend using rechargeable ones. You can easily carry these in your pocket or boot like normal, but then you can recharge them while you’re driving. Rechargeable heated socks are also a great option. These can usually run 3-10 hours on a single charge.
Invest in a portable heater
Consider investing in a bunk heater or APU unit to stay warm if you don’t already have one.
Extras are important
Space is limited in your truck – we get that. However, you’ll be grateful you packed an extra set of warm clothes, gloves, and a hat when you need them. If you get wet loading or unloading your truck, or if you get stuck somewhere, these extra items will come in handy.
It’s also extremely important to ensure your emergency kit is ready for winter. In addition to extra warm clothing, pack a few days of non-perishable food and water in case you become stranded. Keep in mind that plastic water bottles can sometimes burst when frozen. Consider insulating your bottled water in a small cooler or even by sticking them in wool socks. You’ll also want to make sure to have other winter emergency necessities like an ice scraper and shovel, bag of salt or sand, flashlight, and tow chains.
Your safety is our priority at Red Classic, which is why it’s so important to us that our drivers stay safe, dry and warm this winter. If you’re interested in learning more about what a Red Classic career can do for you, reach out to us today!