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Driving fleet trucks is no easy task, so follow these tips to help ensure your safety on the road!

Driving a truck may be one of the most critical and dangerous jobs in the world. Successful truck driving requires caution, expertise, and stress management skills. As a profession that regularly makes the “ten most dangerous jobs” lists, trucking is not easy, though it is a very rewarding career. With that being said, here are a few safety tips to use when driving fleet trucks.

Take Care Of The Driver

One of the most essential tips for any truck driver is to make sure you are taking good care of yourself. Ensuring that you are alert, quick to react, and comfortable can mean the difference between success and disaster. Make sure that you’re getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and getting enough exercise between hauls to help maintain your body and mind. When you’re cooped up in a truck for long drives, having the backlog of rest and exercise can be a massive help to ensuring you stay comfortable.

Adjust For Bad Weather

In the winter especially, you must adjust your driving to prevent accidents. In general, it’s recommended that you slow your speed by ⅓ on wet roads and by ½ on icy and snowy ones. Additionally, in these poor weather conditions, be sure to signal for longer to allow others on the road to be aware of your intentions.

Watch Speed On Curves

When a curve is taken too fast, fleet trucks can be prone to topple due to its top-heavy nature. Slowing at curves can prevent accidents and prevent cargo damage. It’s important to note that often the posted speed warnings for curves are aimed at cars and smaller vehicles, truckers should take note and proceed at a speed lower than posted.

Load Wisely

When you are not working with a full truck (and even if you are) ensuring that your cargo is evenly distributed can help ensure that you are running in a more fuel-efficient and economical way. By keeping cargo stacks low, you’ll ensure that the drag on the truck isn’t as powerful.

Practice Good Maintenance

Every morning, or whenever you choose to start, you must do a routine check to ensure that your truck is in good working order. Mirrors, horns, fluid levels, lights, and breaks should all be checked regularly and kept in perfect working order. Ensuring that you’re up to date in your maintenance can help make your truck last longer and run safer.

Watch Your Blind Spots

Every truck has its blind spots. While most motorists know about these no-zones, there are those who will approach them for a variety of reasons. Despite the frustration, it is essential always to exercise caution when changing lanes and turning.

Baltimore Freightliner-Western for all Your Trucking Needs

Whether you are looking to upgrade your fleet to tow trucks or simply interested in the latest trucking technology, you can rely on Baltimore Freightliner-Western Star. We have provided top-notch service for the trucking industry for 30 years and would love to assist you in buying a new top-of-the-line truck, finding the specialty parts you need, or repairing your truck. Give us a call toll-free at 800-832-7278 or locally at 410-685-4474, or contact us online. To find out more about what we are up to, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

The post Safety Tips for Driving Fleet Trucks appeared first on Baltimore Freightliner-Western Star.

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For smaller loads, a Less than Truckload shipping method is a good option!

Truck drivers are responsible for transporting all different types of goods from one destination to another. Just as there are different types of freight trucks, there are also different types of freight. There are several different ways to package and ship products to make the process easier. Here are the four most common modes of shipping freight.

Less Than Truckload (LTL)

This is one of the most popular methods of shipping freight because it’s a more economical option. It is typically used to transport smaller items that range anywhere from 100 to 20,000 pounds. Freight is shared and shipped with other LTL items to help save time and money. These shipments may touch several trucks and transportation hubs.

Volume LTL

Volume LTL is the same thing as LTL, however the items being shipped are bigger. It becomes volume LTL when the shipment has more than 6 standard pallets, is over 6,000 pounds, or takes up more than 12 feet on a trailer. Freight only needs to meet one of these requirements to count as volume LTL, so you want to be extra careful when weighing and sizing everything. If you ship using regular LTL when it should be volume LTL, there can be potential penalty charges.

Truckload

This is probably the method of shipping freight that most people assume is used all of the time. A truckload is simply a truck full of freight that is going to the same destination. The weight generally ranges from 5,000 to 45,000 pounds. This is a better option for packages that require a lot of space and also helps to speed up delivery times because no load transfers are necessary.

Expedited

We have all had to choose the expedited shipping option at one point or another when ordering items online. This essentially means that the shipment is being rushed. An expedited shipping method when it comes to freight is one where there are no stops made. This is ideal for shipments that are on a restricted time frame because it is prioritized.

Baltimore Freightliner-Western for all Your Trucking Needs!

Whether you are looking to upgrade your fleet to tow trucks or simply interested in the latest trucking technology, you can rely on Baltimore Freightliner-Western Star. We have provided top-notch service for the trucking industry for 30 years and would love to assist you in buying a new top-of-the-line truck, finding the specialty parts you need, or repairing your truck. Give us a call toll-free at 800-832-7278 or locally at 410-685-4474, or contact us online. To find out more about what we are up to, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

The post The Four Most Common Modes of Shipping Freight appeared first on Baltimore Freightliner-Western Star.

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Now is the time to start preparing your freight truck for the cold weather that is approaching!

Autumn is here which means that the weather is beginning to cool down. Those brisk mornings and nights are just a intro for what’s to come in the next couple of months. The winter will be here before we know it, so it’s important to prepare your freight truck for those cold road trips. Here is how to prepare your freight truck for the cooler weather.

Check Coolant Systems

The first thing you want to do as the weather gets cooler is make sure that your truck’s anti-freeze system is strong and in good shape. You can do this by performing a pressure test on your coolant system and radiator cap. You then want to check your heater and water hoses for any signs of damage that need to be fixed before the cold weather approaches.

Add Extra Time

It is important to always check the weather before going out on the road, especially when it starts to get cold. If there is any inclement or freezing conditions, you want to account for the extra time it will take you to complete your trip. The last thing you want is to hit your driving limit before you reach your destination, so be sure to factor in the weather when calculating how long your trip will take you.

Diesel Engine

When it gets too cold, your diesel engine could possibly freeze over. If this happens, your freight truck won’t run at all, which is definitely bad for business. You want to invest in an anti-gel now so that when the weather does get cold, you can put it in your truck’s fuel tank before pumping fuel. It’s a good idea to keep extra stocked in your freight truck just in case you may need it while on a trip.

Equipment

Now is a good time to invest in your winter equipment so that you aren’t rushing to find it later on with everyone else. You should always keep bungees and chaining equipment handy in your cab for your truck. For your own safety, it’s a good idea to pack a severe weather kit that contains things such as a flashlight, waterproof gloves, blankets, a reflective vest, winter boots, and extra winter clothes!

Baltimore Freightliner-Western for all Your Trucking Needs!

Whether you are looking to upgrade your fleet to tow trucks or simply interested in the latest trucking technology, you can rely on Baltimore Freightliner-Western Star. We have provided top-notch service for the trucking industry for 30 years and would love to assist you in buying a new top-of-the-line truck, finding the specialty parts you need, or repairing your truck. Give us a call toll-free at 800-832-7278 or locally at 410-685-4474, or contact us online. To find out more about what we are up to, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

The post How to Prepare Your Freight Truck for Cooler Weather appeared first on Baltimore Freightliner-Western Star.

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An owner operator is responsible for everything from purchasing a truck to booking their own pick ups and deliveries!

Being your own boss can be very rewarding, but the reward doesn’t come without a lot of hard work, time, and dedication. An owner operator is in charge of all the elements of their trucking business from purchasing the truck to maintenance to renting it out to others for use. If you want to become an owner operator, here are four things to consider.

Test Run

It’s not a bad idea to consider giving the owner operator business a test run before going into it full force. A good way to do this is to temporarily track all of your costs, tips, time, etc. Specifically, you want to keep track of how long your trips take, how much money you are spending on things like gas and maintenance, and how much time you would need to put into the business. You can do this for a few months to see exactly how much you would be putting into being an owner operator and make a final decision from there.

Finances

People often overlook the fact that you have to spend money to make money. Getting started in the owner operator business requires thousands of dollars before you even make your first trip. You are responsible for purchasing your own truck, insurance, hiring employees, covering repairs, etc. You don’t want to go into this business if you are already in debt. You should set up a budget and create a savings plan to get your finances to where they need to be to successfully kick off your business.

Equipment

One of the biggest up front expenses you will have as an owner operator is purchasing a truck. You want to make sure you are investing in a high quality truck because that is what your business is based around. Without a truck, you have no business and no income. A purchasing cycle is a popular option in the trucking industry. This is when you buy an older truck, pay it off, sell it, and then purchase a newer one. You continue to do this until you can afford the truck that you really want. Be sure to take good care of your truck once your purchase it, keeping it regularly maintenanced.

Trucking Lifestyle

The lifestyle of a truck driver can be hectic which means that an owner operator has an even more hectic lifestyle. This is very important to consider when deciding if being an owner operator is right for you. It requires long periods of time away from your family and friends while you are on the road, which can put stress on relationships. You want to make sure you are in good health because you will be alone and driving for days at a time. The trucking lifestyle can be very rewarding, but it does require a lot of your time, so make sure this is something that you can do before making the decision to become an owner operator.

Baltimore Freightliner-Western for all Your Trucking Needs!

Whether you are looking to upgrade your fleet to tow trucks or simply interested in the latest trucking technology, you can rely on Baltimore Freightliner-Western Star. We have provided top-notch service for the trucking industry for 30 years and would love to assist you in buying a new top-of-the-line truck, finding the specialty parts you need, or repairing your truck. Give us a call toll-free at 800-832-7278 or locally at 410-685-4474, or contact us online. To find out more about what we are up to, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

The post 4 Things to Consider Before Becoming an Owner Operator appeared first on Baltimore Freightliner-Western Star.

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Your first year as a truck driver will require a lot of adjusting, but can be very rewarding in the long run!

A truck driving career is like no other career you will have. It allows you the opportunity to make good money while traveling the world simultaneously. It is a very rewarding career choice, but just like any other career, it isn’t always easy. Here is what to expect during your first year as a truck driver.

The Trucking Lifestyle

It is important to understand the truck driving lifestyle when you begin your career. A typical trucker will spend several weeks on the road at a time with a few designated home days in between trips. In order to begin your career, you must obtain a commercial driver’s license and learn how to operate the trucks and trailers. It can be difficult to learn to drive these big trucks properly, but very rewarding once you learn. In short, when you are first starting out, you must learn how to operate a big truck and adapt to a lifestyle that requires you to be on the road for hours at a time.

Gaining Steam

During your first year as a truck driver, you may receive assignments that aren’t very desirable. Typically, companies give their long-standing drivers first pick when it comes to which assignments they want. You should expect to have to work your way up to taking more exciting trips. To build a good reputation, you want to keep up with your delivery schedule and provide services in a timely manner. The first year can be difficult, but very rewarding when you begin to travel through a variety of different cities and explore the world around you. When you are first starting out, make it a point to contact your family and friends when taking driving breaks so that you establish regular communication habits with them while you’re on the road.

Long Term Overview

When you begin your truck driving career, you can make full time, middle class income right from the beginning. With this type of career, the opportunity for growth and advancement is huge. There is also a huge market for truck drivers and now, due to the truck driver shortage, it is a little bit easier to obtain a position. A truck driving career can be physically and mentally exhausting, but once you get comfortable in your routine, it is a great career choice.

Baltimore Freightliner-Western for all Your Trucking Needs!

Whether you are looking to upgrade your fleet to tow trucks or simply interested in the latest trucking technology, you can rely on Baltimore Freightliner-Western Star. We have provided top-notch service for the trucking industry for 30 years and would love to assist you in buying a new top-of-the-line truck, finding the specialty parts you need, or repairing your truck. Give us a call toll-free at 800-832-7278 or locally at 410-685-4474 or contact us online. To find out more about what we are up to, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

The post Your First Year as a Truck Driver: What to Expect appeared first on Baltimore Freightliner-Western Star.

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