Truck driving in wet weather is very common in the UK, truck drivers require adequate protection from the rain so choosing the correct wet weather clothing to keep dry is essential. In this article, we take a look at the different types of wet weather clothing plus provide useful tips that will help truck drivers remain comfortable after the heavens have opened.
Preparing for Wet Weather Truck Driving
Preparation for a day’s truck driving is very important, unlike most jobs a truck driver needs to establish weather conditions before leaving the yard so that he or she can ensure they have the correct protective equipment and clothing necessary to protect them during their shift.
Without the correct wet weather clothing, a driver will get wet and damp, this can have a devastating effect on the driver’s health and wellbeing as well as impact their driving capabilities.
Driving in damp clothing will almost certainly cause a truck driver to catch a cold, but a driver remaining damp for a whole shift could cause severe flu symptoms, and would not be recommended
Tips for Trucking in Wet Weather
- Check the weather forecast – Using the internet check the forecast for all the areas of your route during the day or night.
- Prepare for the worst – carry sufficient wet weather clothing in your cab that will keep you dry from the top of your head right the way down to the bottoms of your feet.
- Spare dry clothing – Always carry a spare dry set of clothing store them in your truck cab in a polythene bag, if a driver should get caught in the rain these dry clothes could prevent you from becoming ill.
- Drying towel – A simple bath towel or hand towel kept in your truck will allow you to dry yourself should you become wet, simple but effective.
- Hot Drinks – When trucking in wet weather you can remain dry using the correct wet weather clothing, but becoming cold in damp conditions can also make a driver feel unwell, have plenty of hot drinks during your working day to ensure you remain warm on the inside as well as dry on the outside.
- Slow Down – Time schedules in wet weather will be difficult to keep, the safety of the driver, the truck, and the load is important to work at a safe pace for the weather conditions you encounter when trucking.
- Torrential Rain – If you arrive at a delivery destination in torrential rain, ask if you can delay unloading until the rain eases, a simple 15-minute delay could allow you to take a rest break and make the unloading procedure much easier when the rain has eased.
- Remove Wet Clothing – When a delivery has been completed remove all your wet weather gear, try to shake off as much water from the clothing before storing it till it’s required again.
- Storing Wet Weather Clothing – The most difficult decision when using wet weather clothing is where to store it once it has become wet, if stored inside the cab it will dry with the cab’s heater but also cause windows to steam up which can be dangerous. If you do need to store your clothing in the cab, try to place it on the passenger’s side of the vehicle and lower the passenger’s window slightly so the moisture can get out, a popular place to store wet weather clothing is in the lift up side box storage compartment on modern trucks this will keep the moisture out of your truck cab. Keep all your wet weather gear in one place so that it is easy to access when required, when your wet weather clothing is wet do not store it in a polythene bag it could go moldy a plastic open-top box is best, make a few vent holes in the sides to ensure the clothing dries out when not in use.
- Don’t Be Rushed – When you arrive at a delivery destination in the rain, take your time to put on all your wet weather gear before making the delivery, do not be bullied by forklift drivers or site foremen into unloading before you are fully protected.
Wet Weather Clothing Head to Foot
Starting from your head down you need to achieve maximum rain protection, the water needs to run from your head to your body, to your legs, to your feet, and end up running onto the ground without getting you the driver wet. Let’s take a look at some great clothing options that will achieve this protection.
Head Wet Weather Protection
The head is the trickiest part of the body to keep dry, most delivery sites will require you to wear a hard hat that would be too big for a coat hood to cover, in some cases a light collar hood will fit under the hard hat, simply adjust the hard hat to be slightly larger.
If you can only use the hard hat for protection, try to keep your head upright as much as possible so that the water runs off it onto your waterproof coat or jacket.
Scan Safety Helmet With Rain Gutter
A scan safety helmet is a great option for maximum protection in the rain, it features a rain gutter that will divert the rain running down the helmet to the peak, this creates water flow away from your kneck line and diverts rainwater onto your raincoat or jacket helping you to stay dry under your wet weather clothing.
Upper Body Wet Weather Clothing
The upper body is the widest area to protect from rain, achieving a totally waterproof layer to the upper body will ensure maximum protection in wet weather.
Portwest RT30 Waterproof Coat
The Portwest waterproof coat provides superb protection in wet weather, the coat features a hood in the collar which is light enough to fit snuggly under a hard hat, also it has a storm flap preventing water from penetrating through the zip, there are waterproof taped seams too that ensure maximum weather protection.
Hands Wet Weather Protection
A truck driver’s hands are vital for working and driving an HGV truck. Protecting your hands in wet weather is very important especially if your job involves long periods of work in the rain.
Water can cause damage to a driver’s hands if not protected correctly a driver could suffer eczema or dermatitis as the condition is sometimes called.
Truck driver gloves will provide a barrier against water, dirt, and some chemicals that will protect a truck driver’s hands.
Ansio Work Gloves
These general use work gloves will provide suitable hand protection from wet weather.
The gloves have the palms and fingers dipped in polyurethane which provides a barrier to moisture but also provides good grip allowing truck drivers to handle things safely without slipping.
Legs Wet Weather Clothing Protection
Waterproofing your legs is important, all the rain that has run off your hard hat onto your coat will now flow onto your leg area. Ensuring your legs remain waterproof will also ensure the rainwater is flowing away from you the truck driver keeping you fully protected from bad weather conditions.
Expert Workwear Waterproof Over Trousers
The expert workwear waterproof over trousers have an elasticated waist so they are easy to put on and remove, the trousers also have 2 side pockets which have storm flaps providing extra protection but allow you to access your under trouser pockets if necessary.
Footwear Wet Weather Protection
Keeping your feet dry is is very important after all the rainwater that has run from your head and body is likely to end up on your feet! depending on which type of job you do will determine the best type of footwear to provide waterproof protection for your feet.
Below we take a look at different types of protection that will provide rain protection for your feet.
Amblers Waterproof Safety Boots
Amblers are great waterproof safety boots that are perfect for general trucking duties, they incorporate a waterproof lining plus an extra waterproof galosh that will keep any rainwater penetrating your feet. The boot has a high design that will tuck under your waterproof trousers allowing the rain to flow onto them and then to the ground.
V12 Tomahawk Waterproof Rigger Boots
The V12 Tomahawk rigger boots are a great choice for truck drivers who deliver to construction sites or quarries. The boots are heavy-duty and can be slipped on and off easily, the boots are triple stitched and have a waterproof breathable lining, built from the finest materials these rigger boots will protect your feet and keep them dry providing long-lasting waterproof protection.
Dunlop Promastor Safety Wellingtons
Wellington boots are a great way to keep your feet dry, the Dunlop Promastor safety boots have a steel toe cap and midsole making them perfect for farm deliveries or dairy deliveries. The Dunlop safety boots are easy to pull on and take off which enables a truck driver to put more suitable footwear for driving on after completing deliveries in the rain.
When a Rainy Truck Driving Day Ends
Looking after wet weather clothing is essential to ensure it is in good condition to use next time it is raining.
It is good practice to take your wet weather clothing home after a rainy shift to air it out properly perhaps in an airing cupboard or a warm room.
Keeping your wet weather gear clean is also important particularly the bottoms of waterproof overtrousers that may become muddy. If mud and dirt are left on the clothing it will rot the material and lose its waterproof capabilities it can even become threadbare and holes may appear.
Waterproof clothing will last much longer and provide much more protection if it is looked after properly, but always remember once it is cleaned and aired out so it is dry again, make sure you take it back to work and place it in your truck cab ready for the next rainy day.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is not a good idea to put waterproof clothing into a washing machine with detergent, the heat of the water and the detergents used will break down the fibre composition in the material, also the heat of the water could strip the fabric of its waterproof coating, simply wipe your waterproof clothing with a damp cloth or use a specialised cleaning solution designed for waterproof clothing.
If a waterproof coat is leaking it is possible to re-waterproof the coat with a waterproofing spray, this process is simple but effective in waterproofing clothing but follow any product instructions carefully to ensure maximum water protection.
Mountval Textile Shield is the best spray on fabric waterproofer for wet weather garments.
Mountval Textile Shield has been designed to restore the water-repellency of wet weather clothing and maintains the garments breathability. It is extremely easy to use, just spray on and leave to dry. You use it once you feel that the water-repellency of your garment has worn off. It has a pleasant smell as it is solvent free. Spray on waterproofer is handy if your garments are too sensitive to apply a wash-in waterproofer.
In conclusion, making deliveries in wet weather requires quality wet weather clothing that will channel rainwater from your head all the way to the ground without getting you wet inside your wet weather gear.
Preparing for wet days is important ensuring you have all the wet weather clothing required to keep you dry.
Wet clothing should not be stored in a polythene bag as it will go moldy and start to rot.
Truck drivers should keep a spare set of dry clothing in their truck cab just in case they get caught out in the rain.
Keeping dry will prevent cold and flu symptoms which could force you to take time off work.
During wet days slow down, have plenty of hot drinks throughout your shift, and don’t be rushed when you get to a delivery site, ensure all protective wet weather gear is on before making the delivery to ensure you stay as dry as possible.