Truckers face hazards that many people don’t pay much attention to: smoke and fumes. Diesel smoke and carbon monoxide from idling engines is a hazard drivers face year-round, but with cooler temperatures and many drivers electing to sleep in the sleeper with the engine running, the risk these hazards pose increases during the winter season.
All drivers should install a carbon monoxide detector in their sleeper cab – even if they are operating a company truck. Carbon monoxide is odourless and puts you to sleep: if you are exposed to the gas while you are sleeping, you are unlikely to wake up and save yourself. Make sure your truck’s exhaust system is operating properly and use auxiliary equipment like APUs and bunk heaters when possible.
Pay attention to diesel fumes and exhaust leaks too. Diesel fumes are being investigated for their carcinogenic effects on the human body, so do what you can to keep your exposure to a minimum. Clean air is always the safest air, so if you smell exhaust in the cab, get the system inspected by a technician immediately.