Trucking, Winter

7 clothing tips for truckers to stay warm in the winter

Generally speaking, those who work in the trucking industry can stay warm pretty easily. Almost all trucks on the road have a heating unit and can maintain a comfortable temperature while truckers are driving from point A to point B.

That said, truckers can’t always stay in their trucks. Depending on where you work and specific circumstances, all truck drivers will spend some time outside of their vehicle. In the winter months, this can be excruciating. But there are things you can do about it.

Here are 7 things you can do to ensure a warm winter as a truck driver

1. Know your fabrics. The type of fabric that you wear makes a big difference. If you wear cotton, you’ll lose insulation value as soon as it becomes wet — this makes it a better middle layer than inner or outer layer. Wool, silk, and most synthetics, on the other hand, retain their insulation even when wet. These should be used for outer layers.

2. Wear at least three layers of clothing. An inner layer of wool, silk, or synthetic to wick moisture away from the body, a middle layer of wool or synthetic to provide insulation even when wet, and an outer wind and rain protection layer that allows some ventilation to prevent overheating.

3. Wear a hat or hood. Up to 40% of body heat can be lost when the head is left exposed. Wearing a hat or a hood is one of the most important things you can to do stay warm.

4. Wear insulated boots or another suitable type of footwear. If necessary, wear thicker than normal socks on cold days.

5. Keep a change of dry clothing available in case work clothes become wet or unusable.

6. Avoid wearing tight clothing other than the wicking layer. Loose clothing will allow for ventilation of heat away from the body.

7. Be aware of the wetting effects of perspiration. You’d normally think that you’re trying trap heat and get your body as warm as possible. This can backfire at times. If your body isn’t properly wicked or vented, trapped sweat can actually cause you to become colder and is often a bigger issue than rain or snow.

Live Streaming Trucker

This live-streaming trucker crashed when a four-wheeler entered his lane

Trucking isn’t like any other profession. Truckers don’t get to go into an office and sit behind a desk for eight hours — they have to risk their lives on the road, rain or shine.

And with that comes a certain level of danger. According to Dolman Law, somewhere between 300,000 and 400,000 crashes involving large trucks happen per year. Around 4,600 of these are fatal.

I say this to make the point that trucking is not a walk through the park. Yes, you’re simply sitting behind the wheel for hours and hours each day, but one small incident can have serious consequences. This trucker/Twitch live streamer learned that the hard way.

OTR_Penguin, a truck driver, swerved away from a four-wheeler in the wrong lane and crashed his truck

On December 14th, a popular eSports account re-posted a video of a trucker who crashed his truck. That truck driver was OTR_Penguin, who actually live streams during much of the time that he’s on the road. The driver had posted the video to Twitch a day early.

And it may pay off to post this clip.

In the video, OTR_Penguin can be seen driving normally on what looks like a two-lane expressway. With a double-solid line, there wasn’t much need for concern from the driver. Unfortunately, most of the time that CDL drivers get into crashes, it’s not their fault. That held true here.

A pickup truck is seen entering the frame and appears to be a bit too far toward the middle of the road. They continue to drift into the opposite lane to the point where the semi-truck driver has no choice but to move out of the way, where he catches some grass and begins to shift into the grassy knoll. The truck hits a couple of trees before eventually tipping into its side.

Some have been quick to blame the truck driver.

This simply does not make sense. Semi-trucks are not only longer than most trucks but they’re less maneuverable — you can’t just swerve over and return to your original position too quickly without risking a crash. Momentum is not on their side. All things considered, the driver in this scenario handled things pretty well.

Some companies do keep cameras in their trucks, but if this one doesn’t, it’s a good thing he was live streaming.