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Protect yourself in cold weather

by Vicki Simons

I encourage every trucker: Protect yourself in cold weather.

As I write this, it is about 9:30 on Monday evening, January 6, 2014. The temperature in our area of South Carolina has dropped about 40° F through the course of the day. Tonight's low may or may not meet the minimum temperature on record for this date. It is cold!

I cannot recall being in a place so cold since my husband Mike and I were team driving and we parked overnight in Newton, Kansas, waking up to 8° F weather. The temperature in the area of Kentucky where my sister lives is already at -2° F! Some places in the country are even colder!

There are a couple of measures you can take to protect yourself:
* bundle up before you go outside your truck (wear appropriate winter clothing so you won't get chilled or get frostbite); and
* take care of the temperature inside your truck, whether by a bunk warmer, APU, other in-truck heater, shore power or idling (but be aware of anti-idling laws).

Make sure that you eat good food so that you can keep up your strength as you deal with difficulties in very cold temperatures. Stay hydrated with water (not tea, coffee or soda).

When you step out of your truck, make sure to go down backwards, maintaining 3 points of contact at all times so that you will not slip and fall.

Finally, let someone in your home support team know where you are before you go to sleep. Give them the peace of mind regarding your safety.

Stay safe!

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