It’s that time of year again. You know, the second week of March where we all lose an hour sleep on Monday morning? So much for springing forward… it feels more like stumbling forward to me. As you probably know, Daylight Saving Time (DST) can take a huge toll on truck drivers because many of them are still at work when the clocks advance from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. in the morning. There are other ways that this time change can affect you as a driver, so continue reading for our guide to Daylight Saving Time for truckers.
Daylight Saving Time for Truckers: Sleep
Losing an hour of sleep may seem trivial to some people, but this time of year is especially tough on truck drivers. They work long hours and they are directly exposed to sunlight during their shifts, which makes it hard to adjust to significant changes in the sunrise and sunset. The loss of an hour of sleep has the potential to disrupt your circadian rhythm, and this is can be incredibly damaging for truck drivers. Getting less sleep while dealing with irregular schedules and start times only worsens your potential for exhaustion and burnout. With this mental and physical fatigue comes an increased risk of accidents due to slowed cognition and reduced reaction times.
Daylight Saving Time for Truckers: Safety Tips
Planning is very important when considering Daylight Saving Time for truckers. Don’t forget to mark your calendars so that you are ready for the time change when it comes. The last thing you want is for it to sneak up on you. Adjusting your sleep schedule accordingly is also critical if you want to avoid fatigue and stay alert. Other drivers are also getting used to the time change, so alertness is key for drivers during this time. You should also take time review your work schedule so you don’t miss any deadlines during the time change. Also keep in mind that some states don’t recognize daylight savings, such as Arizona. It could be one time in Colorado and a totally different time just over the state line.
Daylight Saving Time for Truckers: Electronic Logging Devices
Ah yes, onto the fun part: driver logs. Most Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs), or e-logs, are designed to automatically adjust to Daylight Saving Time. This being said, you still have to follow the Hours of Service (HOS) regulations set by the Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). That’s a lot of acronyms, I know, but it basically means that springing forward doesn’t go towards your required 10-hour break. The “extra” hour should be counted with the number of hours you are actually on duty.
For example, if you drive from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., your log should show that you worked seven hours because the clock advanced an hour during your shift. If you start your 10-hour break at 11 p.m. on Saturday, it would normally be completed at 9 a.m. on Sunday. Instead, you would actually have to wait until 10 a.m. to finish your break because of Daylight Saving Time.
We suggest that you set your clocks an hour ahead before you go to bed on Saturday night. Even though most electronic clocks adjust automatically, be sure to double check them. This is especially important for anyone who uses their mobile phone as their alarm clock in the morning!
Even though it’s only an hour, Daylight Saving Time for truckers can directly affect your work and your ability to drive safely. That’s why it’s important to be prepared and plan for how you’ll adjust to your new schedule. Be sure to review your pickup times, delivery times, and your Estimated Times of Arrival (ETAs) to avoid any confusion. Drive safely!
There are so many rules and regulations in the trucking industry, but who exactly is laying down the law? If you’re not familiar, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is in charge of regulating the trucking industry as a whole. Many people don’t know what they do, so the question still remains. Who regulates the trucking industry?
The FMCSA was created in 2000 as an agency under the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). They have a variety of tasks including developing the standards for testing commercial drivers, collecting safety data, regulating compliance, and more. In order to enforce the policies and regulations in place, the FMCSA works with state and local governments. They strive to reduce the number of injuries and accidents involving large commercial vehicles on the road. The FMCSA works with somewhere around four million CDL drivers. Crazy right? How can they regulate four million drivers? The answer is very carefully, and with lots of training and compliance programs.
Any regulation that the FMCSA issues is automatically documented by the Federal Register and is added to the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The Federal Register is published every business day and includes proposed issues as well as final regulations of the government’s agencies. Basically, it’s a daily newsletter with updates from the different government agencies. This means that every time the FMCSA amends or creates a new regulation, all agencies know about it, keeping them in the loop in terms of enforcement. FMCSA regulations include things such as oil spill prevention and response plans to grain inspection to firearm use. There are even regulations for the amount of sleep or down-time truckers should get! They have to make sure that they are always covering all their bases in order to keep the number of injuries and accidents as low as possible. If you ever want to know what they’re up to, you can search the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations to learn more here.
Training and Registration
The FMCSA also offers training programs. In fact, their training center reaches over 20,000 professionals every year! That’s a large outreach! They have training modules available for new applicants that walk them through the process of applying for a new registration with USDOT. If you are already working with the federal government then you don’t need to worry about this step! However, if you are a new driver, learning a little more about registration could be beneficial to you. There are six steps in the registration process according to the FMCSA website, and they are as follows:
Determine FMCSA registration needs/requirements
Complete FMCSA application process
Determine state notification/registration requirements
Begin a new entrant Safety Assurance Program
Obtain permanent USDOT registration
Maintain/Update USDOT number and Operating Authority
The FMCSA also has a ton of safety programs in place. These programs not only help keep truckers in line, but they collect data that will allow FMCSA to implement new rules. The most widely known program that they have is on compliance, safety and accountability. This program allows them to hold drivers responsible for the part they play in keeping the roads safe. Another safety component that they operate is the Safety Measurement System. This system collects data from different carriers and uses it to keep collision and violation data up-to-date. They also have a Pre-employment Screening Program, which allows the FMCSA to make smart hiring decisions. It gives them access to a driver’s crash records, inspection records, etc. in order to hire the best and safest drivers possible. While this seems like a lot of programs, that isn’t even all of them! The FMCSA is unparalleled in their attention to detail and commitment to keeping the roads safe for everyone. So, who regulates the trucking industry? The FMCSA, but more importantly their rules and regulations.
Now you no longer have to wonder who regulates the trucking industry! Do you have questions or comments about FMCSA? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
Life on the road can be quite an adventure, but professional truck driving requires much more than just transporting cargo. There are several characteristics that employers look for when hiring truck drivers. Recognizing and refining these skills can help you become a better candidate for the job. Do you think you have what it takes? If you’re seriously interested in pursuing a career in the trucking industry, check out our top traits of a great truck driver.
Traits of a Great Truck Driver
I know what you’re thinking. It may seem obvious, but having an outstanding driving record is one of the most important traits of a great truck driver. A clean driving record assures potential employers and clients that you are a dependable driver who is capable of safely delivering their cargo. Skilled drivers also lower the costs of vehicle operation and are much cheaper to insure, which increases your chances of getting hired significantly.
Having excellent communication skills is essential to being a great trucker. As a driver you act as a representative of your company, so you need to have outstanding people skills. You must be engaging, polite, and honest in order to build and maintain lasting relationships with clients. Positive interactions with your clients will increase their satisfaction with your work, gain their trust, and keep them coming back!
You cannot be a successful truck driver without being reliable. You must work quickly and effectively while on the job to establish trust with your employers and your clients. If you break this trust, it could be very hard to gain it back. There are a lot of people relying on you to get the job done, so remember to always meet your deadlines in a safe and timely manner. If your quality of work is consistent when it comes to completing assignments, more jobs will follow!
Whether you’re in rush-hour traffic or waiting for your truck to be unloaded, losing your temper could cause a lot of problems for you, your coworkers, and for other drivers. That’s why patience is one of the most important traits of a great truck driver. Learning how to manage road rage and stay calm in any situation could save you and your fellow drivers from getting into avoidable accidents. Remember that you are bigger than most of the other vehicles on the road, so you have to keep your cool. Being patient can also help you maintain better interpersonal relationships with your clients, coworkers, and your superiors.
As a truck driver, you must be fully aware of your surroundings at all times. This means paying close attention to your own vehicle, other drivers, the conditions of the road, and any obstructions that may be in your way. Without this attention to detail, you could cause accidents and potentially damage your cargo. Getting enough rest is absolutely crucial in order to stay alert and avoid exhaustion or highway hypnosis during a long haul, so make sure you’re getting enough sleep!
When your rig is your office, you can’t really pop over to the human resources department whenever you need support. That’s why trucking companies are always looking for intelligent, self-reliant drivers who can handle the responsibility of working alone. Truck driving requires a lot of problem-solving. Whether it’s an issue with your truck, your cargo, or your route, you have to be able to adjust to the situation on your own.
Do you have the traits of a great truck driver? If you think you have what it takes, apply today!
Did we miss any top truck traits? Share them with us in the comments below.
Smoking is often used as a stress reliever, especially for truck drivers who are on the road constantly. Deciding when and how to quit smoking while driving can be extremely difficult. Often, it doesn’t even seem like an option, but have no fear! There are absolutely ways that you too can quit smoking.
While there are many ways to quit smoking, we have compiled a list of five tips for how to quit smoking while driving.
If you are really serious about quitting, have a set plan. For example, establishing a “quit day” can really help you hold yourself accountable. The American Cancer Society recommends picking a meaningless date and setting it as your designated quit day. You want to pick something that isn’t immediate but also isn’t too far away. Setting a date too far in the future will give you too much time to go back on your decision. In addition to setting a date, knowing how you plan to quit will help give you a sense of calm instead of worrying about how. Are you going to use nicotine patches? Gum? Maybe try working out more? There are endless possibilities, but picking a method or two up-front can really help take the guess work out of how to quit smoking while driving.
2. Eliminate Potential Triggers
There are many things around you that could potentially be a trigger to have a cigarette. Sometimes it’s the sight of seeing your pack of cigarettes lying on the dash. Other times, it might be one of your buddies having a quick smoke after dinner. It is important to understand that eliminating triggers is one of your best bets. While it may not be fun to ask your friend to go smoke somewhere else, it’ll really help you curb your urges. According to the American Lung Association, cleaning out your living space (your cab) can also help reduce your triggers. If you can’t see your old ashtray, lighter or pack of cigs, you are far less likely to have the urge to light up.
3. Have an Accountability Partner
Surrounding yourself with people who do not smoke is one of the best things you can do for yourself. As mentioned above, telling your smoker friends that you can’t be around them when they’re smoking can be particularly difficult. However, it can really help you quit. An accountability partner is someone who will provide you with support and guidance to keep you on the right path – someone you can share your goals and your struggles with. Choosing a good accountability partner can really help you stick to your goals, and keep you responsible for your actions. In terms of driving, choosing a partner who can be available to take your phone calls when you’re on a particularly stressful run can be very important. You want to choose someone who can guide you through the ups and the downs of quitting smoking. Also, be sure to utilize resources out there for truck drivers, such as the Rigs Without Cigs program.
4. Keep Yourself Busy
The most common cause of relapse is boredom or having too much free time to think about smoking. Keeping yourself busy is a crucial step for how to quit smoking while driving. Find something else to do while you are driving, such as chewing on flavored toothpicks. The downtime when you’re not driving will also be difficult. There are many things you can do to keep yourself busy such as exercising – maybe do some laps around a truck stop, chewing gum, and playing games on your phone, just to name a few!
5. Be Patient with Yourself
Everybody makes mistakes, and it’s okay for you to make some too! Quitting smoking is no easy feat, but with the right mindset, it is absolutely doable. Your urge to smoke won’t disappear overnight just because you decided to quit. When you feel the urge, try to do something to keep your mind on other things, like reading a book or playing a game. According to the American Lung Association, urges will be the most intense during the first 7-10 days especially. After that, the first few months will probably be quite difficult as well, but over time your urge to have a cigarette will fade. If you crack and have one puff or one cigarette, it isn’t the end of the world. It definitely doesn’t mean that you have to give up on quitting!
So, what’s the BEST advice on how to quit smoking while driving?
There is no one best piece of advice. Every person is different, and every driver will be on his or her own journey towards being smoke-free. It is important to find what works best for you and stick with it!
Do you have any tips on how to quit smoking while driving? Share them with us in the comments below!
Before I start my trucker talk rant, I want to preface the entire blog post by introducing myself. My name is Lenay, and I am a writer and podcast co-host here at AllTruckJobs. I was born and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. For those of you not familiar with this little corner of the world, let me fill you in. First of all, Lancaster is notorious for having a large Plain community (but no, I’m not Amish), hearty Pennsylvania Dutch food – think whoopie pies, mashed potatoes, chicken pot pie – and very conservative culture. Secondly, I didn’t realize until I moved away and came back, but we talk kind of funny. So, no matter how hard I try to fight my roots, sometimes I use phrases that are not only grammatically incorrect, but other people don’t know what I’m saying. I feel this experience is similar to that of a truck driver. Trucker lingo is unique, and people outside of the industry don’t always understand it. So, we’ll delve into my weird trucker talk phrase, and then explore some others.
With that said, here at work, I am constantly using the phrase “drive truck.”
You need to get a CDL in order to drive truck.
Can you drive truck if you have sleep apnea?
My uncle drives truck.
So, my use of the phrase “drive truck” started a debate between my coworkers. Is the phrase “drive truck” simply trucker talk in Lancaster, or does it expand beyond that? Or, maybe it’s just my inner redneck coming out. I took to Facebook and created a poll.
Trucker Talk Facebook Poll: Do You Drive Truck or Are You a Truck Driver?
Well, it turns out that in my poll, more people definitely voted for “I am a truck driver” vs. “I drive truck.” However, the people who did vote for “I drive truck,” weren’t all from Pennsylvania. There were quite a few Ohioans on the list. Furthermore, I was surprised to find a few people from Utah, South Dakota, and other places out west. Maybe they are transplants from Lancaster, or maybe this is just one of those phrases that truckers use. Aside from my poll, I also did some research online. I discovered some very interesting results in my search. For example, the phrase “drive truck” also has a very dirty connotation that has nothing to do with truck driving. However, I’ll spare you the details. Most importantly, I discovered that other people are wondering the same thing as me. Consequently, through all of my investigating, I learned two things.
Only use this phrase when talking to or about people in the trucking industry.
Thankfully, I’m not the only one who says “drive truck.”
“Drive truck” is one of many phrases related to the trucking industry. Therefore, let’s delve into some other things you’ll hear during trucker talk.
Trucker Talk: Top Phrases Truckers Use
Want to hear more from Lenay? Tune into an episode of AllTruckJobs’ trucking podcast, Big Rig Banter!
Have you ever looked down at your speedometer and wondered where the last 100 miles went? Well, you are not alone. Highway hypnosis, or white line fever, is a common problem for many long-distance drivers. Luckily, there are many ways that you can avoid highway hypnosis by combatting fatigue and staying alert.
What is Highway Hypnosis?
Highway hypnosis is a trance-like mental state in which a person can drive a vehicle normally for long distances without any recollection of doing so. It is an example of automaticity, which is the ability to perform actions without conscious thought. Though some people dispute how dangerous driving on ‘auto-pilot’ can be, most experts agree that it results in slower reaction and preventable accidents.
12 Tips for Avoiding Highway Hypnosis and Staying Focused
Concentrating on your driving is essential when it comes to preventing highway hypnosis. Here are twelve tips to help you stay alert during a long haul.
Not only is water a better alternative to sugary drinks, but it has many other health benefits too. Drinking water regularly can help increase your brain functioning and energy levels, improve your heart health, prevent headaches, and even better your complexion. The cool temperature of water also lowers your body temperature, which keeps you alert and lessens your risk of getting highway hypnosis.
Moderate your caffeine
Being told to drink less coffee in your line of work may sound crazy but hear me out. As great as the boost from coffee is, it’s very short-lived. Coffee is also a diuretic, so it will make you have to go to the bathroom even more frequently than drinking water will. To avoid this, limit your intake of coffee and switch to some healthier alternatives.
Eat healthy snacks
We all have to deal with the mountain of junk food staring back at us at every gas station, but it’s important to resist the urge to buy 10 bags of Cheetos every time you stop. While fast foods and snacks are easy, they contain large amounts of sugar, salt, and fat. These ingredients will tire you out quickly, so try switching to healthier foods that will give you energy for hours at a time.
As simple as it sounds, chewing gum is a great way to keep your mind alert during long drives. One way to ensure you don’t get highway hypnosis is to grab a few different flavors and switch between them every time you feel yourself losing focus. Be sure to stick to sugar-free gum to prevent cavities though!
Use eye drops
Your eyes are incredibly important, so don’t forget to blink every now and again! Make sure to keep a bottle of eye drops in your rig to prevent your eyes from drying out. If you wear contacts, remember to bring an extra pair and some solution in case you need to change them throughout your trip.
Open the windows or use the AC
The toastier your cab is, the more likely it is to lull you into a trance. To avoid this, crack your windows on a cold day or blast the air conditioning during the summer. The sudden rush of cold air will shock your senses and prevent you from getting highway hypnosis or falling asleep at the wheel.
Fix your posture
Truck driving can be very taxing on your body, so try your best to correct your posture before you develop any bad habits. Reclining or hunching forward will cause your eyes to get heavy, and you’ll want nothing more than to relax. So, remember to sit upright with your back supported; this will maximize your blood flow and help you stay alert.
Crank up the music
This may seem like a given, but we have a few guidelines when it comes to this strategy. While you may be a closeted Chopin enthusiast, be sure to keep your collection out of the cab and stick to something more upbeat. Don’t be afraid to practice your karaoke skills either, as this will keep your mind engaged with what’s going on. If you’re really having trouble staying alert, try putting on a song that you hate. As crazy as this sounds, the irritation that comes from listening to crappy music may keep your mind from wandering.
Download an audiobook or standup routine
If music isn’t cutting it, try downloading an audiobook or a standup routine. It’s a great way to keep your mind engaged without taking your eyes off the road. Plus, you’ll be using your time to learn something new or at least have a good laugh.
These oils don’t just smell nice, they can actually help to stimulate your brain’s nervous system when you use them correctly. Grapefruit, cedarwood, peppermint, and rosemary are just a few suggestions that will help prevent highway hypnosis while making your cab smell great!
If you feel yourself zoning out or getting drowsy, start to read everything you see on the road out loud. This includes road signs, license plates, bumper stickers – you name it. I know this sounds silly, but it actually makes you more aware of your surroundings so you’re not simply staring ahead. While this strategy can be very helpful, don’t let it distract you from what you’re doing. Keep your eyes on what’s near the road and not anything too far off in the distance.
While these tips are all great temporary fixes, none of them are quite as important as letting your body and your mind rest. Before you set out every morning, be sure to get enough sleep the night before. This means at least six hours but try to shoot for eight! Throughout the day, take advantage of truck stops and gas stations if you start to feel spacey. Even something as simple as taking a walk or a quick nap can do wonders. Hard work is important but giving yourself time to recuperate is even more so. Never pass up on self-care!
Whether you’re on an assignment or looking for a new job, follow these tips for highway hypnosis prevention. If we missed any, don’t forget to let us know in the comments. Have a safe trip!
Normally we’d start a blog like this by saying “the trucking conference season is right around the corner.” However, with an industry so big, there’s never really an off-season when it comes to trucking conferences. Lucky for you, there are amazing conferences where you can network, check out the future of trucking, and spend time with others within your industry. This tight-knit community gets together all around the U.S. to celebrate this amazing industry. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the best trucking conferences of 2019 that you should consider attending.
Best Trucking Conferences of 2019
Great American Trucking Show – August 22-24 – Dallas, Texas
Of course, we had to kick off with the one show that you’ll be sure to see us at! GATS is one of the largest trucking conferences in the U.S. and is always a great time when the AllTruckJobs and BigRigBanter teams head to the Lone Star state. Whether you’re checking out the healthcare pavilion that provides free health exams or checking out the trucker talent show featuring some amazing acts, this three-day conference is a wonderful time. When it comes to the best trucking conferences of 2019, GATS is the place to be. P.S. don’t forget to stop by our booth this year!
Mid-American Trucking Show – March 22 – 24 – Louisville, KY
Not to be outdone by GATS, the Mid-American trucking show is widely considered the largest trucking conference in the country. It’s no wonder that people flock from over 50 different countries to see over 1,000 different exhibits. MATS stands out when it comes to the best trucking conferences of 2019 simply because of the sheer size of it. Averaging over 70,000 attendees, you’ll need a GPS to find your way around the 1,000,000 square feet of exhibits. Alsom you’ll want to stay up on the latest trends or ogle at some of the most beautiful trucks on the market.
The Work Truck Show – March 5 – 8 – Indianapolis, IN
The Work Truck Show is one of the best trucking conferences of 2019 because it’s geared towards company leaders looking to make their company more efficient. The event’s professional educational sessions are designed to address their specific challenges. The trade show floor is filled with products that boost productivity and efficiency. This year they’re partnering with Green Truck Summit and Fleet Technical Summit to draw more attendees and provide more information and tips for leaders to implement into their company.
Tentstreet – April 25 – 26 – Las Vegas, NV
We couldn’t talk about the best trucking conferences of 2019 without mentioning Tentstreet. Also, this conference is great if you want some private consulting when it comes to new technologies or growth opportunities. Expect personalized 1:1 training, a preview into new and unreleased services, access to vendors, interactive panel discussions, endless opportunities to connect, and a lot of fun. Also, did I mention that it’s in Las Vegas? Combine a desire to grow your company with the wonderful atmosphere at this amazing conference.
Iowa 80 Truckstop Trucker’s Jamboree – July 11 – 13 – Walcott, IA
The best trucking conferences of 2019 aren’t always in a big indoor arena. In fact, this meet-up is at the biggest truck stop in the country! This is mostly meant to celebrate truckers and invite them for a few days of networking and just hanging out with fellow industry professionals. However, there are also exhibitors, and this is also a great way for trucking companies to start recruiting.
Accelerate! Conference and Expo – Sept 30 – Oct 2 – Dallas, TX
This conference is dedicated to women in trucking and is one of the best trucking conferences of 2019. The number of women in the industry are growing. This conference is meant to highlight and encourage women to help the industry expand. You’ll be able to participate in workshops and visit hundreds of vendors as well!
What trucking conferences are you looking forward to this year? Let us know below!
In the ever-changing world we live in, the trucking industry could also be changing… for the better! So, how can the trucking industry go green? Green trucking initiatives are growing increasingly popular. Much of this popularity is because of the Federal Phase 2, Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards that the federal government is updating and revising. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) are the federal departments that publish these standards. In a nutshell, these departments set standards for emissions by tractor-trailers, vocational vehicles and heavy-duty pickup trucks or vans. Now you drivers might be thinking, “How does this affect me?” That’s what we will explore in this blog post!
Why is there a Phase 2 and what does it do?
The Phase 2 rule builds on Phase 1 which was introduced in 2011 and took effect between 2014-2018. Part of the hype around Phase 2 is that it introduces new controls on trailers as well as glider vehicles. It has a few HUGE benefits such as reducing carbon dioxide emissions, which is a common problem in the environment today. It also reduces the cost of transportation and helps expand innovation in clean energy.
Another interesting fact about Phase 2 is that it not only builds on a lot of the benefits from Phase 1, but it actually can help pave the way for the future of trucking. Phase 2 has a lot of standards that are based on current technology as well as technology that isn’t fully developed yet. For example, future technology could create advances in engines, extended idle reduction, etc. Pretty cool right? We think so.
How can the trucking industry go green, and how will it affect you?
How can the trucking industry go green? You’ll see more environmental changes this year.
It is easy to read about changes to the trucking industry, say “Yeah, alright” and then move on with your life. However, it is important that you acknowledge that one day, potentially soon, some of these changes will affect you personally. For example, Paccar Inc. (a.k.a. the company that owns Kenworth, Peterbilt, and even some international truck brands)’s CEO Ron Armstrong has made statements regarding the trucking industry moving towards more efficient and clean energy. At the 2019 American Truck Dealers Show, Armstrong made a statement saying: “The future of the industry is very dynamic, with technology accelerating the pace of change. Now more than ever, we need to innovate to stay relevant,” as published by ttnews.com.
So, how can the trucking industry go green? Technology. New technologies and improvements will be introduced into the industry including more alternative fuel sources, more aerodynamic truck structures, LED headlights, and hybrid-powered trucks, just to name a few. Many different prototypes of energy efficient trucks are being tested right now including electric, hydrogen, and hybrid. In fact, Kenworth and Toyota are collaborating on prototypes of trucks that are powered by a hybrid combination of hydrogen power and electric power. These trucks won’t be on the market for a while. However, this is a big step in the right direction for the industry.
Lighting up the Green Trucking Movement
LED lights are becoming more and more popular for truck manufacturers both inside and outside the truck. How can some lightbulbs help the trucking industry go green? LED lights are more powerful than normal light bulbs. They also last a lot longer and use far less energy than traditional bulbs. A lot of manufacturers are making lines of lights for trucks, and a lot of them are now switching over to the more energy efficient side of production – LED. As mentioned, LED lights last a lot longer than traditional light bulbs, about 50,000+ hours compared to 1,200 hours. That’s a big difference, especially in terms of the cost of replacing the bulbs. While LEDs are more expensive up-front, their long lifespans make it the more cost-efficient option. It’s no wonder trucking companies are making the switches both inside and outside the cabs!
Fueling the Zero-Emissions Craze
For a few years now, Zero-Emissions standards have been on the rise. Some states like California and Colorado have openly been in support of the growing ZEV (zero-emissions vehicle) movement, especially Colorado. The governor signed an order to help transition passenger vehicles so that they’re running on renewable energy by the year 2040. That seems a long way off, but good things often take time. Colorado even offers a $5,000 tax credit to those that own a passenger electric vehicle. Pretty cool right?
There are also a lot of ways for fleets to improve their efficiency and reduce not only their costs but their carbon footprint at the same time. The North American Council for Freight Efficiency has put together a list of 85 different technologies that can help improve efficiency, so be on the lookout for some of these changes being made inside your cab!
How Can the Trucking Industry Go Green with Your Help?
While there are a lot of BIG changes coming with the green trucking initiatives, there are some small things that you can do in order to help the environment yourself.
Don’t litter. – For a lot of people, this seems like a no-brainer. However, littering still happens more often than you would think. Although some states have fines in place for littering, it doesn’t stop anyone from throwing their trash out their window on the interstate or dropping a candy wrapper a few feet from a trashcan and leaving it there. The next time you’re tempted to throw something out (that isn’t biodegradable), stop. Think about how it is just as easy to hold on to that bottle or wrapper until you get to a trashcan or recycling bin.
Recycle when you can. – Having a cold, refreshing soda on the road can be one of the best feelings after a long day. Plastics are one of the most problematic disposable products these days. They can cause harm to animals and insects that are important for the ecosystem, as well as the earth itself. This is because plastics don’t naturally breakdown. Therefore, if you can hold on to your bottles or bags until you get to a recycling can, you are doing the earth a big favor.
How can the trucking industry go green? These are just a few examples. Share your ideas with us in the comments below!
We know it’s tough to be cautious about your health and diet on the road. With limited time, space, and options, it’s no wonder many truckers will resort to fast food and energy drinks to sustain sustenance on the road. Fitness is an incredibly important aspect trucking, so it’s important that you’re watching what you eat. Unfortunately, unhealthy eating on the road can have drastic consequences. Studies have shown that almost half of all truckers suffer from at least some form of health risk involving obesity (hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes). While many will view this just as “the trucker lifestyle,” healthy eating on the road can put thousands of more miles on your life expectancy so you can keep on truckin’ for days to come. Below are just a handful of healthy snacks for truckers you can find at many gas stations and almost all supermarkets.
8 Healthy Snacks For Truckers
Fresh or Dried Fruit – This is perfect for all you sweet tooth’s out there. Instead of picking up a candy bar filled with trans fats or sugars. Fruit contains less sugar and fat while still satisfying that sweetness you’ve been craving. Fruit also contains Vitamin C and Fiber, which will keep your body functioning all throughout your journey. Dried fruit also lasts quite a while and will take up less room in your rig. Although it loses some nutrients through the drying process, it’s still a great alternative to candy. Fruit is a great way to get that burst of energy you need in the morning as well! When it comes to healthy snacks for truckers, this sweet treat is a great one!
Sunflower Seeds – These little guys pack quite a nutritious punch. Containing a smorgasbord of vitamins and nutrients like Vitamin B, Vitamin E, and Magnesium, sunflower seeds can be eaten alone for a quick boost of energy or added to other things like salads, chicken, or trail mix. Other seeds to consider are pumpkin and flax seeds. These healthy snacks for truckers are easy to pack and great for on-the-go.
Hard Boiled Eggs – These will most likely need to be prepared at home, but hard-boiled eggs are high in protein, but low in calories. Although they contain a lot of cholesterol, you can eat them in moderation. These guys can lower your risk of heart attack and kick-start your metabolism. Did you know you can even hard-boil an egg in the microwave? If you’ve got one installed in your rig, you’ve got access to hard-boiled eggs whenever you want!
String Cheese – Perfect for on the road. String Cheese is a perfect snack to go. Although we don’t condone eating and driving, the portability of this snack couples well with its high calcium content and low calories. You won’t want to keep these baking on your dashboard in the sun, but they’re a great breakfast snack to kickstart your morning. When it comes to healthy snacks for truckers, you need the calcium to keep you in top shape, and this is an easy way to get it!
Peanut Butter – For a while peanut butter got a bad rap. Many thought that its fat content outweighed its benefits. However, research has shown that while it does contain fats, many of these are “good fats.” Spread it on crackers or assorted veggies and it’s a great protein-filled snack for your travels.
Beef Jerky – Be careful when choosing this snack. Many brands pack their product full of sodium and preservatives. Look for brands labeled “low sodium” or “natural ingredients. If eaten in moderation, beef jerky is a great source of protein for long haulers, however, too much sodium can raise your blood pressure.
Smoothies – Either prep these before your trip or grab some premade smoothie options at your local supermarket. Be wary of the amount of sugar and preservatives in premade smoothies. If you have time, it’s best to whip some up yourself, adding fruits, vegetables, and even protein powder for an extra boost. Put down the sugary sodas or energy drinks and pick up something that won’t give you that midday crash. Healthy snacks for truckers come in all forms, including a nutritious drink. A smoothie is the perfect way to get the energy you need to get through those long hauls.
Low-Calorie Gum – This might seem like an odd choice, but gum actually has a variety of health benefits. Chewing gum suppresses hunger and will curb your urge to snack on something unhealthy. It also provides a quick burst of energy that will keep you awake during those long hauls. Many also switch to chewing gum when trying to quit smoking.
What are some of your favorite healthy snacks for truckers while on the road? Comment your favorite recipes or munchies below!
Winter winds bring all sorts of new obstacles to the road. From sneaky patches of black ice to skidding highway cars—us, truckers need to be prepared for whatever Old Man Winter throws our way. With the goal of bringing you the top winter driving tips for truckers and tools for maximizing driving comfort, your friends at AllTruckJobs put together some winter driving tips for truckers to help you keep on truckin’ this winter. Let’s give them a look!
Winter Driving Tips For Truckers
Make sure you cash in on your nighttime ZZZ’s. While this is always important, a good night’s rest is especially important when there’s snow and ice because you need to be fully aware of your truck and surroundings, or at least, more so than usual. One of the best winter driving tips for truckers we can provide is getting a good night’s rest.
Prepare like an Eagle Scout.
Pack items like:
Food and water
A bag of kitty litter
An extra tank of gas
Preparation is key when it comes to winter driving tips for truckers. You never want to be left without a particular item, so if you have the room, you should always pack heavier than lighter.
Do a pre-road inspection. Check out your truck before you hit the road. Do your windshield wipers work properly? Are your lights working? Is your radio getting a clear signal? Check all of your important items from fluids to tires. There’s a lot that goes into prepping your rig for the winter, so you want to make sure you have everything in order before you hit the road. Besides making sure your truck’s basic gadgets are in working order, make sure your exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow or ice. This could cause a deadly accumulation of carbon monoxide, and that is the last thing we’d want to happen.
On the Road
Slow down. A slower speed gives you more time to react in the case of an accident, or an animal darting out into the road. Accelerate and decelerate slowly. This will help with tire traction and will also help avoid skidding. Many winter driving tips for truckers are all about patience and attentiveness. With tricky conditions, paying attention to the road is the most important aspect of winter driving.
Give yourself plenty of space. It’s not a race to drop your load off, especially in icy winter conditions. By maintaining a safe following distance, it’s easier to view the road in scope. Big rigs are much harder to stop than traditional four-wheelers, so you want to give other cars on the road enough room so you can safely stop immediately if necessary.
Hold your steering wheel firmly. Bumps and ice on the road can cause you to lose control of your truck instantly if you’re not gripping the wheel properly, so be sure to keep a steady set of hands on the wheel to prevent an accident.
Use extra caution when approaching bridges. You may be asking yourself, why is this important? Well, bridges are usually the first place to freeze during a storm, mostly due to the proximity to water and gusts of wind.
Don’t push your luck. If you’re having trouble seeing or just have a bad gut feeling, trust it. Don’t put yourself and others in danger for the sake of hauling freight. Look to weather reports and radio warnings for tips. At the end of the day, your own personal safety is much more important than dropping your load off on time.
Pro Tip: It is much better to explain why a load was late than why you wrecked your truck.
Ideally, these winter driving tips for truckers will ensure that you remain safe on the road. If you have any other tips for your fellow truckers, feel free to comment below. Stay warm, stay safe, and stay truckin’.