Boy…it’s a steamy one out there today!
Hot weather takes its toll on us, both physically and mentally. There are two things people begin to worry about here in the Midwest when the mercury starts to rise. First, will the power go out and take my air conditioner with it, and then…when will our neighbors go insane from the heat. Of the two, the first one is my personal paranoia, the second is more of regional thing.
In summer months, you hear a lot about people that work outside and the health risks, especially when temperatures get into the 90’s. However, often forgotten are people like our chauffeurs, who – while not necessarily performing physically demanding tasks outdoors in the heat – are not always able to scurry indoors to cool off when necessary.
Due in part to the nature of our business, it is possible that a chauffeur must stay in his or her vehicle for extended periods waiting for their next client. Of course, all of our vehicles have air conditioning, but because gas prices keep soaring to ridiculous levels, it becomes impractical to run the vehicle while waiting. In most places, waiting takes place in large open spaces paved with asphalt (airport staging area, hotel or business parking lot), while wearing a black suit. This increases the threat of heat related fatigue or illness, which is why we encourage chauffeurs working with O’Hare-Midway Limousine Service to take precautionary steps when we expect heat be an issue.
Some of the easiest ways for chauffeurs to stay cool are obvious; parking in shade whenever possible and using nearby public buildings (library, mall) in between trips we reduce exposure to the elements. More subtle but commonly known solutions like substituting water for coffee, wearing more lightweight clothing, and eating healthier will help reduce the effects of extremely hot days.
For our clients, OML promotes a policy of cooling off the vehicle before arrive at a pickup point for our clients. This sounds like common sense, but when you’re driving and 8-passenger stretch limousine, common sense can sometimes bang heads with reality. After all…it takes a while to cool off a passenger sedan. It can take three times longer to cool off a giant limo, so the chauffeur needs to be diligent in keeping the vehicle’s internal temperature from getting too ” out-of-control.
AC service is vital, and O’Hare-Midway starts checking cars in early spring – during our weekly safety inspections – for possible AC issues. Addressing it early means problems are caught while the weather is tolerable, and while the heat is being used a majority of the time.
In the end, chauffeur and vehicle need to be ready to go when and where the client needs it. We can’t predict the future, but we DO know that Chicago gets hot in the summer, and if we don’t plan ahead, a lot of people will be left “out in the cold”.