As the leaves on the trees start turning colors and the weather gets colder, it’s time to start preparing ourselves for winter. While that may include pulling out decorations and favorite recipes for some, for truck drivers it means finding the best ways to stay safe and healthy while out on the road.
With the ongoing pandemic, prepping for winter drives may look a little differently than years past.
Here are 5 tips for staying healthy on the road this winter:
Make Food in Your Truck
One way to limit your exposure to other people and maintain a safe distance while out on the road is to make food in your truck. You can pack a portable grill, stove, Instant Pot or slow cooker to give you tasty home-cooked meals on the road. Pre-washed fruits and vegetables, whole pieces of fruit that are easy to clean, grilling meat, nuts and beans are all great items to pack to have healthy food options, as well as limit the amount of people you see.
Equip Yourself with Disinfectant
While many people may be turning to staying indoors through the winter, truck drivers don’t have that luxury. Keep disinfectant wipes and spray to clean out your cab regularly, as well as your door handles, gas pumps and anything else you need to touch.
Keeping hand sanitizer in an easily-accessible area is a good strategy to make sure you are never too far away from being able to wipe down a surface or sanitize your hands.
Understand Effective Mask Wearing
Wearing a mask has become a staple to help spread Covid-19, but not all masks are created equal. A recent study out of Duke University detailed which masks are most successful. Poorly-performing masks include bandanas, handkerchiefs, fleece balaclavas and neck gaiters. Surgical masks and homemade cloth masks performed better.
Here are a few ways to save yourself from some shivers:
- Run your heater: You can either run your truck heater or invest in a portable space heater to stay extra cozy when you’re getting ready for bed or taking a break.
- Keep a heavy-duty sleeping bag on hand: A properly-insulated sleeping bag can make a huge difference in getting a good night’s rest.
- Invest in a 12V mattress pad: No one likes to have a cold and restless night’s sleep. A 12V mattress pad can be plugged into a lighter socket so you don’t have to idle your engine all night.
- Have a stash of hand and foot warmers: Whether you are driving or taking a break, having hand and foot warmers readily at your disposal will give you that extra warmth as needed.
Pack Emergency Kit
Whether your routes take you through heavy duty snow, rough winds or just colder weather, you want to be prepared for whatever comes your way. One way to ensure you don’t get stranded in undesirable weather is to have an emergency kit always on hand.
Items to get in your emergency kit include:
- Winter gear (winter boots, thick coat, big socks, gloves, hat)
- Thermal blanket
- Ice scraper
- Bottled water
- Nonperishable food
- Jumper cables
- First aid kit
Preparing for winter is more than just making sure you have a solid pair of gloves and a warm coat. Flu season is quickly approaching and the ongoing pandemic keeps rolling on. The best way to stay healthy this winter is to equip yourself with materials to protect yourself from germs and to keep you safe and warm inside your truck.