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UPS driver fed up with trucks that don't have A/C

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Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 6:34 pm | Updated: 9:03 pm, Thu May 16, 2013.

SARASOTA - Summer is around the corner, but already temperatures are beginning to rise.  One group not happy about that is UPS drivers, since most of their trucks don't have A/C.

"Its very hot," said Jennifer Sams about the temperature inside the ups truck she drives daily.  "The trucks are brown of course, and white topped, which makes like a greenhouse and there is absolutely no air in there maybe a fan.  But some of them don't even have that."

And she says driving around in the hot truck is beginning to affect her health.  "I've been in the ER 3 times, and its been heat exhaustion.  They have to have heat up in these trucks in New York so I think it should be mandatory to have A/C here since we're at the other end of the spectrum," said Sams.

So we took Sams' concerns to UPS.

"No one in the delivery industry uses A/C in those trucks because the doors are open all day long and the air moving in and out so it will make AC very ineffective," said Dan McMackin a UPS representative.

And he says there are things the driver can do to stay cool.  "Training is really key to avoiding a situation like that.  The first step is hydration, the second step is focus on wellness in your every day life, so diet does add additional factors to the heat."

But Sams says she's taking those steps and they haven't been working.  "I have a cooler full of drinks that Im drinking constantly, Im trying to do everything I can and the last time this happened to me I felt like this could kill me," said Sams.

According to general practitioner Dr. Ed Carlastorm, those concerns are legitimate.  "Worst case scenario is someone is unable to get out of the sun they could have organ failure and die," said Carlastorm.

Dr. Carlastorm says even while staying hydrated there is a danger.  "Your body can't maintain a normal temperature once it gets up to about 105, 106, it doesn't have the ability to bring your temperature back down."

But despite the danger, Sams says her and other drivers complaints have gone unanswered.  "There won't be air in them in your lifetime Jen, thats exactly what they said to me."

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8 comments:

  • Coolman posted at 3:44 pm on Mon, Jul 15, 2013.

    Coolman Posts: 1

    I work for a company called CoolShirts Systems. We manufacture personal Heat Stress Prevention & Recovery Products that could be benefit anyone in these types of conditions. They range from a cool “pad” to personal garments that both connect to a cooler with 40 degree water running through it. Another option is a portable system that weighs only 4 pounds full. We also have heat sensor alarms that can be worn on the neck to alert when your body is reaching unsafe heat levels. Good luck to you all and stay COOL! roy@coolshirt.com

     
  • Themasterjas posted at 8:44 pm on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

    Themasterjas Posts: 1

    Wow during the summer i would love new york weather out here in vegas during the summer when its 120 outside all day hmmm just wonder what we deal with in the truck over 160

     
  • Will Titus posted at 6:47 pm on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

    Will Titus Posts: 2

    Stop publicly whining. Get in better shape. Drink lots of water, and nothing but water. I drove package car for over 28 years and never had a heat related illness. I would rather ups spend the money on wages and benefits rather than a/c for package cars. Maybe she needs a career change. Go to work for FedEx and make less money and pay for your health insurance. They have a/c.

     
  • Will Titus posted at 6:40 pm on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

    Will Titus Posts: 2

    She needs to condition herself better. Stop whining publicly. You make the rest of us look bad. You say you have "a cooler full of drinks". This is probably your first mistake. Probably high sugar content. You should be drinking water. Lots of water. And nothing else. I drove package car for over 28 years in Kansas (it is very hot and humid here, too) and never had a heat related illness. I would rather ups spend the money on wages and benefits, rather than a/c for package cars. Maybe she needs to consider a career change.

     
  • OfcWolfe posted at 6:16 pm on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

    OfcWolfe Posts: 1

    I am speaking for my husband, He is a driver also. I understand there have never been AC in the trucks but after reading this, the reason because the doors are open all the time. Wouldnt that go the same as for heat also?

     
  • MoLoKAHomom posted at 1:55 pm on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

    MoLoKAHomom Posts: 1

    Weight does MATTER if she wasnt so overweight the heat would not bother her as much. Sadly she smokes too, so between being over weight and smoking Im sure the heat will be just one factor in her death . And she can always quit her job and go find a job with a comfy chair and AC and make A LOT Less $$ an hour. Suck it up Jennifer you do not have it as bad as you think

     
  • rambler posted at 9:09 pm on Thu, Apr 18, 2013.

    rambler Posts: 1

    It doesnt matter how good of shape you're in this Florida heat is brutal as a fellow driver I understand what she's trying to do but I doubt it will ever happen

     
  • Mern posted at 8:34 pm on Thu, Apr 18, 2013.

    Mern Posts: 1

    Just want to let UPS know that all FedEx trucks have A/C I drove for 25 years and those trucks do get very hot but we have a bulk door between the cab and the back of the truck ,so we close the bulk door and stay cool in the front of cab.