Truck Drivers In Cold Weather

Topic 10335 | Page 1

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Beth S.'s Comment
member avatar

I live in Texas. I lived out of it for a whole 5 months in the midst of a very mild Jersey winter and have been skiing multiple times when I was much younger. That's the extent of my cold weather experience. When I looked at going to colleges, I looked at UW. One of my mother's arguments was that I'd freeze to death, and I told her I'm sure I'd learn to wear a coat after the first bout or 2 of hypothermia. I figure I'll probably be better off buying a coat once I get somewhere that has cold weather because unless I go buy a Carhartt coat, nobody down here actually carries proper working cold weather gear.

I have no idea what to do in cold weather. I have no idea what kind of clothes you need or what kind of precautions might be necessary.

So, what do I need to keep from freezing my tooshie off?

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Michael S.'s Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Layers, and a hat, as already mentioned.

I'd like to add this: head, hands, and feet. If any one is cold, you'll feel cold. Colder than if you were wearing a thin coat. If you expose any of these parts of your body to cold air, you'll feel chilled right away. A good hat, good mittens or gloves, and boots that insulate your feet from the ground are worth the time to find. You'll also want clothes that keep you dry. So layers that wick away perspiration are great. Synthetic fibers near your skin, wool on top of that. Avoid pure cotton - cotton poly is okay but still a poor choice.

Let's recap:

Layers, consisting of wicking fabrics near skin, working to warm outer layers.

Wool good, cotton bad.

Keep your extremities, hands, feet, head, warm.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Beth is worried about the coming winter:

So, what do I need to keep from freezing my tooshie off?

I grew up in Southern California. It snowed there about every 20 years. Then I moved to Michigan. Two things I learned:

1. Go to Walmart (a northern one) now and you'll see the jackets - you are right, they will be heavier than the ones in a Texas WM. Those are the ones to get. You will be better off with layers of lighter jackets. Get a wool style cap.

2. In the spring in Michigan, when it warms up to 50°, it's picnic weather! I kid you not. You get used to it.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

One thing to remember. Unless you're a flatbedder or heavy haul driver like Old School and Pat for example, you won't be spending a crazy amount of time out in the elements. You'll need a good overcoat as mentioned and gloves, boots and hat but don't get so crazy that you wind up like the little brother in A Christmas Story lol.

Layers always serve you best that are made from moisture wicking fibers and the top layer being something waterproof and provides good protection from the wind. Buying online will save you tons so you don't break the bank and companies like Columbia and North Face specialize in cold weather gear that is comfortable but functional and not too bulky.

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

In addition to the above, you'll want good gloves, either tough work gloves with insulation or insulating liners for regular leather gloves, especially if you are a flatbedder. That's usually the only part of me that gets cold when loading / unloading in very cold weather.

I also highly recommend good insulated coveralls if you're flatbedding. I only had to use mine a handful of times last year, but I was really glad I had them when it was below zero and I was outside for a couple hours loading and unloading. Stayed nice and warm.

One last suggestion: pick up a half dozen cans of Sterno and stow them under your bunk. If you get stuck in a blizzard somewhere remote and your truck won't start and your APU doesn't work, you can heat the bunk area enough to stay alive for a few days with those. Don't forget matches or a lighter to get the first one going.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Ryan L.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

You need a good pair of insulated boots, good gloves, and the best part is a good Carhartt jacket. My Carhartt jacket is rated to -40 degrees. That is the best coat I have ever had and it will last for years.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Beth is worried about the coming winter:

So, what do I need to keep from freezing my tooshie off?

I grew up in Southern California. It snowed there about every 20 years. Then I moved to Michigan. Two things I learned:

1. Go to Walmart (a northern one) now and you'll see the jackets - you are right, they will be heavier than the ones in a Texas WM. Those are the ones to get. You will be better off with layers of lighter jackets. Get a wool style cap.

2. In the spring in Michigan, when it warms up to 50°, it's picnic weather! I kid you not. You get used to it.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Michael S.'s Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!

Layers, and a hat, as already mentioned.

I'd like to add this: head, hands, and feet. If any one is cold, you'll feel cold. Colder than if you were wearing a thin coat. If you expose any of these parts of your body to cold air, you'll feel chilled right away. A good hat, good mittens or gloves, and boots that insulate your feet from the ground are worth the time to find. You'll also want clothes that keep you dry. So layers that wick away perspiration are great. Synthetic fibers near your skin, wool on top of that. Avoid pure cotton - cotton poly is okay but still a poor choice.

Let's recap:

Layers, consisting of wicking fabrics near skin, working to warm outer layers.

Wool good, cotton bad.

Keep your extremities, hands, feet, head, warm.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Sounds like Mike's been there! I'll add that for boots, these are expensive, so buy (ankle high) boots good for all year, and get some insulating socks for now, lighter socks later for the summer.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

One thing to remember. Unless you're a flatbedder or heavy haul driver like Old School and Pat for example, you won't be spending a crazy amount of time out in the elements. You'll need a good overcoat as mentioned and gloves, boots and hat but don't get so crazy that you wind up like the little brother in A Christmas Story lol.

Layers always serve you best that are made from moisture wicking fibers and the top layer being something waterproof and provides good protection from the wind. Buying online will save you tons so you don't break the bank and companies like Columbia and North Face specialize in cold weather gear that is comfortable but functional and not too bulky.

Dennis R. (Greatest Drive's Comment
member avatar

Not outdoors much,as a driver,but do need to pack long johns and food supplies,in case the truck breaks down. Hard to drive,with lots of layers,of heavy clothing.

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

In addition to the above, you'll want good gloves, either tough work gloves with insulation or insulating liners for regular leather gloves, especially if you are a flatbedder. That's usually the only part of me that gets cold when loading / unloading in very cold weather.

I also highly recommend good insulated coveralls if you're flatbedding. I only had to use mine a handful of times last year, but I was really glad I had them when it was below zero and I was outside for a couple hours loading and unloading. Stayed nice and warm.

One last suggestion: pick up a half dozen cans of Sterno and stow them under your bunk. If you get stuck in a blizzard somewhere remote and your truck won't start and your APU doesn't work, you can heat the bunk area enough to stay alive for a few days with those. Don't forget matches or a lighter to get the first one going.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Todd W.'s Comment
member avatar

I could also add a raincoat to the cold weather gear. Growing up and living my life in Northern California and parts north .I can assure you that wet clothing, even the good stuff will suck the warmth right out of you.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Bud gets scary:

(Enough Sterno) to stay alive for a few days

shocked.png

Usually you'll be "rescued" within a few hours.

Dave D. (Armyman)'s Comment
member avatar

Depending on where you'll be, you might want TWO coats. A HEAVY coat for UP NORTH, and a "lighter" coat for the Midwestern states and south.

You do NOT want to be sweating in a heavy coat.

One other thing to understand about the Midwest. Don't like the weather? Don't worry, it'll change.

Dave

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