If your delivery work involves the transportation of livestock then there are some key points you’ll need to look out for as the weather gets hot this summer. Carrying out delivery work in the summer heat can be challenging enough, but when you are carrying livestock it becomes even more necessary to ensure that you take precautions to keep your vehicle and your load as cool as possible.
Here are my tips for keeping your load healthy when undertaking delivery work during the hottest periods of the season.
Before You Load
Before you load your vehicle make sure that the environment is suitable for the transportation of animals in the heat. Things to check include:
• Make sure that all animals will have access to water during the journey
• Ensure there is adequate ventilation in all areas
• Consider reducing your normal load by at least 30 per cent to increase the air movement around the livestock – this is particularly important in the hottest areas such as the upper deck and the section at the front
• If possible, increase the head height of the livestock area for better air circulation
• Use a light coloured trailer which will not absorb as much heat as a dark one
• Plan your journey so as to avoid any potential stops such as road works or high congestion areas
• Make sure the livestock is well hydrated before you load them (consider using electrolytes to improve hydration) as many animals will not drink during transit
• Avoid handling the livestock as much as possible during loading or in transit
Once you’ve loaded your trailer for livestock delivery work there are a number of precautions you can take to ensure the welfare of your load.
• Avoid any unnecessary stopping
• If you must stop, ensure the stop is brief and that you park your vehicle in the shade with the fan ventilation on
• Check on the animals regularly, look for any signs of heat fatigue or distress
• Consider spraying the vehicle with water to cool it down
Try to Drive During Cooler Periods
One of the most effective ways to improve the welfare of livestock during delivery work in the hot weather is to make sure that your journeys are carried out during the coolest parts of the day.
The optimum way of achieving this is to drive livestock at night, but it is also preferable to drive in the early morning and early evening when the sun is not so hot. The time of day best avoided when the weather is hot, is from 11am to 4pm.
It is a good idea to check the weather forecast for your entire route before you travel. Some forecasts will include specific information for livestock hauliers.
Follow these simple guidelines, and exercise some basic common sense, and you and your cargo will arrive at your destination feeling as comfortable and healthy as possible, even in the hot summer weather.
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