C.R. England Trucking Blog - Safe Driving Tips & More
Keep up to date with the latest from C.R. England, our trucking blog is updated regularly with career statistics, safety tips, company news & fresh topics. C.R. England, Inc. is a Utah based refrigerated trucking and transportation company, one of the largest in the United States.
The holiday season tends to be busy for people working in many different industries, including the trucking industry. As a professional truck driver, you know that the last month of the year brings a surge of loads that need to be delivered, road traffic, and unpredictable weather. December can undoubtedly be an anxious and busy time, but using these four tips will help make your holiday season more enjoyable and less stressful.
Have a Jolly Attitude
The last six weeks of the year bring about a huge increase in the number of drivers on the road. In 2017, 97.4 million Americans hit the road for December holiday travel and that number is expected to increase for 2018. With the increase of drivers, it is easy to get frustrated behind the wheel, but it is important to remain calm, cool, and collected. Aggressive, impatient driving can put you more at risk of being involved in an accident or safety violation. If you notice yourself feeling frustrated by traffic or others driving on the road, take a few deep breaths and try listening to your favorite song. This holiday season, try channeling your inner Saint Nick and have a jolly attitude, even while on the roads.
Holiday traffic and weather are just two examples of delays you might experience this holiday season. To manage this busy time, one of the best things you can do is to be prepared before you begin your next trip. Before you begin your route, make sure you know the weather forecast in all the areas you will pass through, familiarize yourself with your route and where traffic delays could occur, and call your shipper ahead of time to clarify any directions. Most importantly, when possible, give yourself extra time for when the inevitable delays occur.
Check in at Home
In the age of technology, keeping in contact with your loved ones is as easy as ever. This holiday season, frequently check in with your friends and family to feel closer to home, even if you are hundreds of miles away. When you have downtime at a truck stop, customer location, or terminal, take an extra few minutes to reach out to those you care about. Increasing your communication with your loved ones will better your mood and help alleviate any stress or sadness you may feel during the busy season. Remember to practice safe driving techniques and to never use hand-held devices while driving.
Try to Help Others
During the holiday season, many people choose to extend an extra hand to those in need by donating time, money, or goods. This time of year can be stressful for those who go without or who are spending time on the road away from their loved ones. Looking for small ways you can help others will not only benefit them, but it will also help improve your mood and attitude during the busy holiday season. Simple things like buying someone’s coffee, leaving a thank you note, or giving a stranger a compliment will go a long way. When you are feeling down or stressed, try helping someone around you and you will be surprised at how it will change your day. Just like the Grinch, your heart might even grow two sizes by helping others and spreading the holiday spirit.
It is undeniable that the holiday season can busy and demanding, but by having a good attitude behind the wheel, being prepared for seasonal delays, keeping in contact with your loved ones, and looking for opportunities to help those around you, this holiday season can be of good cheer!
When it comes to winter driving, there is no such thing as being over prepared. Winter brings about unpredictable weather that can challenge even the most experienced drivers. Whether you are a new CDL holder or have had decades of experience, it is important to have the correct supplies with you to help you succeed in winter driving. In addition to the items you should have in your truck year round, here are ten seasonal items that will help you get through winter weather.
1. Heavy Coat and Insulated Coveralls
One of the best ways to keep warm during winter is to invest in a heavy, insulated coat and coveralls. While most of your time out on the road will be spent inside your truck, the time you spend outside the protection of your truck can be bitter. During pre-trip inspection, chain ups, and any time you are outside, you should be wearing a water repellant and reflective coat to keep you protected from winter elements.
2. Winter Boots
Cold, wet feet make for a very unpleasant day, so it is wise to wear waterproof winter boots that will keep your feet dry and warm. Look for boots that have good insulation, traction, and comfort and pair them with a wool sock to keep winter out of your shoes.
When your hands are cold, your fingers may experience a lack of mobility and sense of touch, which can make it difficult to perform pre-trip inspections or other light maintenance tasks. Waterproof gloves will keep your hands dry and ready to work. Tip: layer a pair of thin, warm gloves underneath your waterproof gloves for added warmth.
4. Extra Blankets
With the severe drop in temperature during the winter months, it is a good idea to bring extra blankets, in addition to any regular bedding you may have in your truck. Dark, cold winter nights require extra layers and you won’t regret having an extra blanket or two.
5. Ice Scraper
Don’t be stuck waiting for your windshield to defrost. An ice scraper will get you back on the road in no time! Using an ice scraper is the easiest, quickest way to remove ice or frost that has built up on your windows overnight. Look for an ice scraper/snow brush combo so you can be prepared in any situation.
If your route ever passes near or through mountains or is in the northern half of the U.S., it is likely that you will encounter snow en route this winter. When driving through snow, it is always smart to have a small shovel on your truck in case you need to remove snow from around your wheels.
With the reduced daylight hours that come with winter, a flashlight will come in handy more often than it would at other times of the year. We suggest finding a flashlight that you can set on the ground and point in different directions so you can use both hands to work and see, while still being seen by others.
Parts and Supplies
8. Chains and tools needed to put them on
Putting chains on your wheels is an important skill to have during the winter months and can be very difficult if you do not have the proper tools. All company trucks are equipped with chains, but during your pre-trip inspection, make sure you have other chain materials such as bungee cords, a T-handle cam tool, a tarp, gloves, and any other tools that will assist you in properly chaining up.
9. Rock Salt, Sand, or Kitty Litter
Don’t let ice put you in a slippery situation! Always keep rock salt, sand, or kitty litter with you during winter months so you can create more traction and lessen your risk of slipping on ice.
10. Extra food and water
We all know winter weather can be quite unpredictable, so be sure to always pack extra food and water with you in case the weather stops you from moving. Store extra water bottles, canned fruits, and protein-rich snacks like beef jerky, nuts, or peanut butter on your truck throughout the entire season.
Remember that this winter season, it is better to feel over prepared and ready for even the most challenging situations, than to be caught off guard by the winter elements. Keeping these ten items on your truck all of the winter season will help you to be well equipped for the great open (and snowy) road this winter.
As the Thanksgiving season brings about reflection on what we are most grateful for, we have been thinking about our drivers and the gratitude we have for them. There are countless reasons to be appreciative and grateful for professional truck drivers. Thanks to the hard work of truck drivers, we have stocked shelves at grocery stores, medical equipment and supplies in hospitals, safe roads, and so much more. In true Thanksgiving spirit, here are three stand-out reasons of why we should have an added appreciation for truck drivers this Thanksgiving.
Providing Our Thanksgiving Meals
Our traditional Thanksgiving feast would not be possible without the hard work of professional truck drivers. Can you imagine what it would be like if we went to the grocery store to do our Thanksgiving shopping and there were no turkeys or potatoes in sight? Truck drivers are responsible for delivering most grocery store items and produce across the nation, including our Thanksgiving dinner ingredients. Nearly all the items in your Thanksgiving dinner have been touched by the trucking industry.
Not only do truck drivers supply our meals, but they also help make our holiday travel plans possible. With the help of truckers, airplanes, trains, and our cars can be filled with fuel so we can travel to spend our holiday with loved ones.
Powering the Economy
The last six weeks of the year bring about a huge increase in the amount spent at retail stores. During November and December of this year, it is expected that over $717 billion will be spent at retail stores in preparation of holiday celebrations. Thanks to truck drivers, all of our holiday gift needs are available at our favorite stores on Black Friday. Even when we purchase online, truck drivers play a huge role in the distribution and shipping process, acting as Santa Claus all season long! The holiday shopping surge offers a great boost to our economy and would not be possible if it weren’t for countless deliveries made by truck drivers.
Keeping the Roads Safe
This Thanksgiving, it is estimated that 54.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home, which is a 4.8% increase from 2017. As our traveling increases, it is important to acknowledge what truck drivers and the trucking industry do to keep our roads safe. Each year, the American Trucking Association invests more than $9.5 billion into road safety in the form of training, technology, and safety communication campaigns. At C.R. England, all of our drivers go through extensive training to keep everyone on our roads safe. When we work safe, we all return home safe.
We are very thankful for all of the drivers that make C.R. England successful. Without them, our lives would be much different. We recognize the time they spend away from their families, especially during the holiday season, and are grateful for all of their hard work. To all of the drivers that are part of the C.R. England family, thank you for everything you do. We appreciate you today, and every day of the year.
The family-owned companies C.R. England and England Logistics have always made giving back a priority in their business operations. At the end of 2016, executive leadership reviewed their charitable donations and decided to narrow their focus to create a greater impact. Since the entities’ primary focus is delivering food and goods across the nation, and with their long-standing relationships with food banks, it was clear that fighting hunger would be something they could make a great community impact on.
With the high statistic of 13 million children living in America without consistent or adequate food, the two companies decided to direct 100% of their charitable contributions to fight childhood hunger. They spent 2017 directing their contributions to food banks and building out the One Initiative.
Beginning in January 2018, the One Initiative was launched. C.R. England and England Logistics worked together to create the goal of feeding one million hungry children by the end of the year, so both teams hit the ground running. Each time C.R. England delivered a load in 2018, one child was fed, and they have projected to move 775,000 loads by the end of the year. England Logistics has a variety of service offerings and with each completed transaction, meals are donated to hungry children. But the companies’ efforts didn’t stop there. Achieving a goal this big takes teamwork. Employees from both companies donated their time at local food banks as well as participated in food drives and monetary donations.
England Logistics had several volunteer opportunities that were scheduled at food bank locations, each one overfilling due to popular demand. The One Initiative became a family effort as employees often enlisted family members to donate their time and sort food donations, serve at local schools and deliver care packages. England Logistics team members also rallied around internal food drives.
C.R. England took on some friendly competition with a local company in Utah this summer to see who could donate the most pounds of food during a food drive for the Utah Food Bank. The local competition set out with a goal of 9,700 lbs., but upped the ante to 48,000 lbs. Our 500 employees took on the challenge by raising 68,000 pounds of food, knocking the opponents goal out of the park.
These concerted efforts brought us to where we are today, 1,000,000 meals donated. As of October 20th, 2018, we reached our goal more than two months early. This early achievement was made possible by our employees’ involvement and dedication.
Helen Keller said it well, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
We are proud of our team members, drivers and customers that have made this possible and we look forward to continuing our fight in childhood hunger.
Winter is right around the corner, which means cold and flu season is quickly approaching. Being sick is never enjoyable, especially when you are out on the open road. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older is the single best way to avoid getting influenza. But there’s more you can do. These stay-well strategies can help keep you from getting — or passing along — a cold or flu bug.
Tip #1: Be Germ Free
One of the best things you can do to prevent a cold or flu is to stay away from germs that could lead to a virus. While it is impossible to avoid bacteria and germs, there are many ways to kill the bacteria around you. We have all been taught from a young age to always wash our hands with soap and warm water and this is something we should not forget. In times when soap and water are not available, it is a good idea to use anti-bacterial hand sanitizer to disinfect your hands. You should also consider keeping disinfectant wipes in your truck to frequently wipe down the surfaces in your truck or public areas that are touched by many people. Remembering to fight the germs around you is a great way to help you stay healthy.
Tip #2: Get Your Vitamins
Fueling your body with the nutrients it needs is essential to ensuring your health. Many truck drivers find it difficult to eat a balanced diet that provides them with all the nutrients they need while they are on the road. If this seems to be the case for you, you should be taking a multivitamin every day to fuel your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy. During cold and flu season, it is always a good idea to take a Vitamin C supplement to give your immune system extra protection. Vitamin C supplements come in many different forms, including drink mixes, which makes it easy to stay healthy.
Tip #3: Stay Hydrated
We have all heard that when we are sick, we should drink plenty of fluids, but it’s also important to stay hydrated before you get sick. Not drinking enough water causes dehydration, which can lead to headaches, fatigue, and dizziness. It is recommended that you drink at least eight cups of water a day. Drinking plenty of water every day helps keep your body healthy and is an easy way to stay in top condition. Keep several water bottles with you on your truck to ensure that you always have access to the coveted H2O.
Tip #4: Sleep Soundly
As a truck driver, maintaining a regular sleep schedule can be difficult but it is important to get quality sleep. If you feel like you may be getting sick, try to get some extra sleep so you can allow your body to recover and fight the virus. To get quality sleep while on the road, make your truck as dark as possible and avoid using electronics before bed, as the blue light from screens can interfere with your sleep cycle.
Tip #5: Know Your Limits
If you are in the situation where you have become ill, it is important to know what your limits are. Never push yourself to the point where you are putting your safety at risk. You should always inform dispatch when you are feeling under the weather so they can check in with you and make scheduling adjustments if needed.
As the cold and flu season approaches, follow these 5 tips to stay healthy and avoid a winter sickness. If you do happen to get sick, remember to read the warning labels on your medicine and never take anything that will make you drowsy. Being safe on the road also includes being healthy, so take these preventative measures so you can work safe and return home safe.