The holiday season is finally here! Snow is falling and stockings are hanging–but drivers are still rolling. As we cross friends and family off our shopping lists, a lot of us struggle to find gift ideas for truck drivers. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are some holiday gift ideas any driver would love to unwrap.
1. Slow Cooker
Who says you have to be at home to enjoy a home-cooked meal? Slow cookers give drivers the ability to cook a warm, hearty meal wherever the road may take them. During those long hauls, slow cookers fill the cab with delicious smells and give them something to look forward to when they pull over for the night. Bonus: we’ve got some driver-approved recipes right here.
2. Polarized Sunglasses
A good pair of sunglasses goes a long way with drivers. Glare can come from anywhere, whether it’s the bright sun or another driver’s headlights. Having a nice pair of polarized sunglasses cuts down on glare and keeps drivers safe on the road. Remember, drivers will wear them for hours at a time, so find a pair that balances comfort and style.
3. Media Subscriptions
Even miles away from home, drivers love a good binge session of TV shows and movies. Consider buying your driver a subscription to a popular video streaming service, like Netflix or Hulu, to enjoy during their off hours. Your gift could also keep them entertained during the day, with a subscription to Audible for audiobooks or Spotify and Sirius XM for music.
4. New Bedding
Everyone loves the feeling of going to bed with fresh sheets. Drivers are no different. A new set of sheets, comforters and pillow cases will brighten their days and boost their motivation. Plus, it may even help your driver sleep better at night–and who doesn’t love the gift of a good night’s sleep?
5. DIY Gifts
If you’d prefer not to buy a gift, any driver would love a homemade keepsake to keep in the cab. You could make a miniature scrapbook, paint a coffee mug, put together a recipe book or make a personalized keychain. The options are truly endless. As long as it’s easy to stow in the cab and comes directly from you, your driver will love it.
What Not to Get
We’d hate to see you buy a gift that your driver can’t use. This time of year, we see a lot of people who want to gift mini fridges or heaters. These are all great ideas–and that’s why we included them in the cab of every Dynamic Transit truck.
Although it may seem difficult to come up with gift ideas, drivers are an easy bunch to shop for once you know how your gift could improve their day-to-day life. We hope these ideas help you get started. Happy shopping!
3 Reasons Right Now is the Best Time to be a Truck Driver
As national media outlets have picked up the driver shortage again, there is a fresh batch of folks wondering, “Should I become a truck driver?” To anybody who is asking themselves that question, the current American economy is nodding its head, “Yes.”
Here are three good reasons why now is the time learn how to become a truck driver.
Drivers have a choice of employer.
The demand for drivers is at an all-time high and it will only get higher. Every trucking company is searching for good drivers, which means they are providing better pay and benefits than ever before. This allows drivers to “shop around” and find the trucking company that best meets their needs. Whether a driver is looking for performance bonuses, great equipment or the best work environment, the options are nearly endless for drivers today.
Freight demand is high.
As mentioned above, the demand for freight is high right now as Americans are feeling a little ease to spend more. More dollars flowing into stores means more goods are flowing out. If you’re wondering if there’s employment in driving, absolutely there is. Drivers are running as many miles as legally possible, increasing their take home amounts too.
Dynamic has new pay increases.
And speaking of take home amounts, Dynamic announced a new pay increase that went into effect at the beginning of the summer. For drivers with hazmat and tanker endorsements, Dynamic’s starting pay is now 55 cpm. An additional $.05 per mile is available when hauling under the placard. Drivers who do not have their hazmat or tanker endorsements yet have no need to worry. Dynamic Transit will cover the cost of the endorsements.
For the person wondering if truck driving is worth it, the answer should be a resounding yes. To talk with one of Dynamic Transit’s recruiters, please call (618)876-3000 or send a message online.
As we move into the dog days of summer, the miles are stretching longer as the highways reach further into the horizon. The appeal of sunny days has lost its luster as the hot temperatures make the cab stuffy and the ride uncomfortable. This time of year can be brutal on even the best over the road drivers. It’s easy for OTR drivers to lose motivation on a long haul.
The Tough Get Going
Many companies offer truck driver rewards programs to try to keep their truckers going. While those rewards may be helpful for some, they’re usually not enough to be an only source of motivation for a driver. Let’s explore some of the ways you can stay motivated and keep going.
Step 1: Find what motivates you.
Have you asked yourself lately, “Should I quit my truck driving job?” There are days when that’s an easier question to answer than others. However, if that’s one of the first things you ask yourself when you wake up, it’s time to do some soul searching.
Why did you start trucking? What’s your favorite part of the job? Are you going to find those points in another line of work? If you’re answering no to the last question, it’s time to proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Set goals.
No, not counting how many fence posts you pass in a mile. Setting a real goal that you can work towards helps keep you focused when the days are long. Financial and fitness goals are great places to start, because you can set short-term goals to see quick results.
Step 3: Measure results.
Whether it is losing weight or figuring out how to make more money as a truck driver, set small goals that are easy to measure to ensure your success. Instead of counting pounds to start with, count how many laps you can walk around the truck while you’re fueling or waiting instead. If you want to earn more dollars, stay out on a longer run while the late summer hours are good.
Step 4: Try something new.
Many of us fall off our goals or feel stuck in a rut, because we’re bored. Don’t be afraid to shake it up. Ask your dispatcher for new routes that can add more miles to your paycheck while seeing another part of the country. Experiment with new recipes that are healthier options than the prepared foods that are the usual fare. Stepping out of routine can be uncomfortable at first, but it’s usually a shift that can lead to a better place.
If you’re feeling the doldrums of late summer, give these steps a try before throwing in the towel on your trucking job. Communicate with your dispatchers and driver managers to find solutions and remember you’re a part of the Dynamic family.
Parking a semi-truck in a safe place has been on the trucking industry’s radar for years now, thank you in large part to Hope Rivenburg, a widow who has pushed for safe truck parking since her husband’s murder. Truck driver Jason Rivenburg couldn’t find a safe place to shut down for the night at a truck stop and was forced to pull onto the side of a road. He was shot and killed that night for less than $30. The law to assess safe parking conditions for truck drivers, Jason’s Law, was passed in 2014 and was back in the news this spring as lawmakers continue to look for solutions.
Last week, we talked about the updates to personal conveyance rules, a much-needed change that goes hand in hand with providing for safe parking as protected by Jason’s Law. The PC update allows a trucker to move or keep going for safe parking on their own time.
But what does that look like when parking without a truck stop? What about when a driver asks, “Where can I park my trailer?” Here are three tips to assist with finding a safe place to park a truck for the night.
Before you put those wheels in motion, take a look at your route for the day. It’s good to know where you want to end the day, then plan a back-up about 50 miles closer in case a dock delay or slow traffic slows your drive down.
Use your resources.
Safe truck parking? Yes, there’s an app for that. Large truck stops, such as Pilot and Flying J, also have apps that allow drivers to reserve or prepay for parking spots at their locations. Hop on the CB to talk to other truckers about availability when it’s time to start looking. Call your dispatcher or driver manager for assistance.
Avoid trouble spots.
This goes well with planning ahead. When you’ve set your schedule, leave early or late to avoid dense traffic areas at heavy times. An American Transportation Research Institute Article found that most truckers are looking for a place between 4-11 pm, so if you haven’t reserved one with an app or already know an out of the way place on your route, take your break on the off hours if possible.
The Federal Highway Administration, under the Jason’s Law survey, found that there are about 3 million truck drivers on the road every day and only 300,000 parking spaces to fit them. The competition is fierce out there, but our drivers’ safety is of utmost importance. Practice safety, trust your instincts and plan ahead as best you can.