Working Through the Heat

By: Autria Godfrey
By: Autria Godfrey

August 2, 2006

While many people were able to escape the heat by going to work,
for some, their jobs put them out in it.

This heat is something that is on everyone's minds, but more so for those who are forced to work in it day after day. The men at Quick Lane garage drink over 10 gallons of water a day and unfortunately it's still taking a toll on their bodies and their work.

"We've got one of those fans with the water running through it, so I get in front of that. And every once and a while I go take some water out of the sink and just dump it over my head," Quick Lane technician, Kenny Taylor said.

For these men, being out in the extreme temperatures is all part of the days work, and just like the temperature, that work is only increasing.

"A lot of folks are coming in thinking their air conditioners aren't working as well as they should when they really are. When it's 100 degrees or 120 degrees inside the car, a lot of folks don't realize they keep their air conditioners pulling outside air," Quick Lane Manager, Tom Powell, said.

In addition to the air conditioning concerns, the heat also takes a toll on rubber equipment like belts and hoses, and as the cars keep coming, the guys are falling behind.

"We're nowhere near the pace that we usually are, we don't quit but we definitely slow down," Taylor continued.

Until they can pick that pace up again, they find creative ways to beat the heat.

"A couple of guys by the end of the day haven't felt very good. We've been passing out the old traditional salt tablets and drinking lots of water. Yesterday afternoon I ran and got them all Frosties and they loved that," Powell added.

In terms of car air-conditioners, workers said that at best, you can expect your air conditioner in your car to lower the outside temp by about 30 degrees. So don't expect too much in extreme temperatures like these.

Another area that the Quick Lane employees said car owners should be concerned about are their tires. Tires that aren't inflated to the recommended pressure tend to run hotter, and when you couple that with the hot pavement, you're destined for a blowout.

AAA Mid-Atlantic said they received about 7,500 roadside assistance calls yesterday, and the calls just continue to pour in.

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