We have heard a lot of excuses when it comes to exercise for the truckers, you might see them saying that they do not have time for it or either they do not want to spend to get a gym membership. Well, it seems quite relevant as also, when you look at the busy and the ever-changing schedules of the truckers, you can easily make out that it is really tough for them to take out time from their busy schedules and hit the gym on a regular basis. It almost seems impossible, but a trucker does not have to be a permanent member of the gym in order to exercise on a regular basis. There are a number of exercises that a trucker can do without even going to the gym.
As a truck driver, I keep hearing more and more about the importance of getting “Last Mile Delivery” right. Also called the final mile delivery, Last Mile Delivery is the last destination of a shipment’s cycle in the supply chain.
This destination can be a local store, Wal-Mart or thanks to the e-commerce boom – can even be the customer’s home. With the recent (and continuous) rise in demand for e-commerce, last mile delivery presents both opportunities and hurdles for logistics, transportation businesses, and truck drivers..
While big rig drivers like us don’t typically, deliver to the end user or customer, I see a day coming soon where we might want to embrace this change, especially if we want to fend off the coming tide of automation.
So in order to get my readership up-to-speed, I wanted to discussing some of those latest opportunities and trends in Last Mile…
With rising demand, the trucking industry needs to get smarter in order to address the shortage of workers it’s facing. According to American Trucking Association, there is an urgent need of 48,000 drivers nationwide. They also project that this shortfall is only going to rise in the coming years. Do you know that out of all the workforce in the United States, 47% consists of women workers? But when you see the stats in the trucking sector, women drivers are only 4 – 5%. This has been the case for more than 2 decades now. If we can get more women drivers, this shortfall will quickly come down.
The truck driver is an occupation like any other. However, the level of skills required for a professional truck driver is more than any other occupation. Drivers need to be on top of their game every time. They can’t afford to be off-guarded on duty as lives depend on their driving. Truck driving is also considered one of the most demanding jobs out there. Not everyone can handle the pressure and the lifestyle a professional truck driver has to adapt.
Getting aggravated by other drivers and feeling stressful on the road is common amongst truck drivers. We can all get mad at times, No? But the thing is, letting your emotions get the best of you out on the highway can cause a lot of harm. How top truck drivers deals with road rage and pressure are the reasons why they are a step above the average drivers.
This article contains the top recommendation from professional drivers and authorities to stay calm and composed on the road.
Whenever you start any carrier, for instance, there are always problems that you face in the beginning but slowly and gradually things become smooth. As we are covering trucking, therefore we will discuss the problems that a rookie or a newbie truck driver faces while starting his career. Some of the most common problems faced by newbie truck drivers are as under:
- Downshifting and double clutching.
- They find it really difficult to carry out a backing maneuver successfully.
- The proper adjustment of the mirrors and the driver’s seat.
- How to start from an inclined stop.
- They find right-hand turns to be really problematic.
- Parallel parking of that heavy mass is really difficult for most of the rookie drivers.
THE Main Hurdle
The hurdles that a truck driver faces at the start of his career are mentioned above, but all these hurdles can be addressed with proper guidance and practice. One thing that most of the rookie and even sometimes the experienced drivers forget is not the physical challenge but the mental challenge that they are faced with.
Don’t Believe Everything On Internet
Whenever anyone starts or steps into a new career, he does proper research before doing so. This is exactly where the biggest problem in the trucking industry creeps in. The internet is the primary source for your research and it is full of misinterpretations and false information when it comes to the trucking industry. You will find a lot of information telling you how the companies stop the truck drivers from earning a handsome salary. Even you will find a lot of videos scattered all around YouTube telling you the exact same thing.
What To Do?
The key to success in starting any carrier is to find out how you would excel or succeed in it, but if you start with confusions in your mind you will not be able to. A truck driver has to overcome these confusions in order to be a successful head behind the wheels.
Just consider the trucking industry for a moment, what is the principle of making money in this industry? The companies have to move freight from one place to another and the more they move the freight the more they will earn. Therefore, the success of a company is directly proportional to the success of the driver, so there is absolutely no way that a company would not want their drivers to be successful or earn more money.
We have three suggestion for you – Just work hard, believe in yourself and continue polishing your skills! And yes, don’t TEXT while driving 🙂
We’ve all seen those wind tunnel tests with wisps of smoke moving effortlessly across the aerodynamically designed chassis. I think we can all agree that traditional semi-truck / trailers are about the least aerodynamic vehicles on the road today, and while modern design have improved somewhat, you should get smart on keeping your fleet as aerodynamically optimized as possible. Enter the tried-and-true, industry-tested solution: trailer tails.
Specifically designed to be used alongside trailers of semi-trucks, you’ve probably seen these retrofitted sheets of metal have been around for decades. For a fleet operator, they offer a host of benefits including better stability, drag reduction and overall improve safety conditions for your driver and load.
Of course, these aren’t the only benefits that a trailer tail can offer. If you keep reading, you’ll see just how advantageous installing a trailer tail on your semi truck can be.
Dramatically Improve Fuel Efficiency
When you have a lot of rear drag, your fuel efficiency is going to increase. Carrying extra weight can cause your fuel costs to accelerate. If you are trying to keep your spending down, you should look into installing a trailer tail on your vehicle.
Once the trailer is installed, you’ll be able to spend significantly less on fuel. You’ll be able to reduce fuel costs, and you’ll be able to save yourself time as well. After all, if you don’t have to refuel all the time, you will be able to spend more time on the road.
Works In All Weather Conditions
Driving a truck can be more difficult under certain weather conditions. For example, it is hard to drive a semi truck safely when it’s raining. However, the right kind of trailer tail shouldn’t cause you any problems. It will be able to work in any weather conditions.
A lot of accidents occur during bad weather. You should try to keep these kinds of incidents from causing problems for you. If you install a trailer tail on your truck, you’ll be able to keep your truck stable when the weather turns.
It’s EPA Validated And CARB Compliant
The EPA has looked at trailer tails, and they have validated them for use with semi trucks. These tails are also CARB compliant, and they are exempt from any U.S. DOT restrictions regarding length.
There are no obstacles keeping you from using a trailer tail. If you have decided that you would like to take advantage of them, you can install one without an issue.
It Can Keep Your Fleet Competitive
Fleets drive many miles over the course of the year. Fuel costs can be high, and all this driving can cause damage to a semi-truck. If you want to keep your fleet profitable, installing a trailer tail can be extremely beneficial. It will help you to save money every year.
If your fleet drives more than 20,000 miles each year, the savings you see will be dramatic. You’ll be amazed at the difference a trailer tail can make. A device like this can save you a great deal of money.
There are many benefits to installing a trailer tail on a semi-truck. If you want to take advantage of these benefits, you should start looking at trailer tails as soon as possible. Once you have one of these tails installed, you’ll be able to enjoy the perks that they offer.
Long haul trips can be quite tedious. I know alot of driver that find some kind of meditative peace during long hauls, but for me they’re are often boring after about the first 15 or 20 miles. I start to notice your tires making that humming sound against the road, which does little to add to whatever I’m listening to on the radio. In addition, most of the scenery on these routes are the same, especially since I frequently drive on the same route – basically seeing all there is to see. These two potentially lethal combinations i.e. nothing visually stimulating to keep your attention and the constant din from the tires, are what contribute to road fatigue, which eventually leads to drooping eyelids.
When truckers are struggling to stay awake on the road, their first instinct is to pull over and grab something to help them ward off fatigue. And, sure enough, when they walk into their favorite truck shop there are all kinds of sugary and energy products promising to provide the ideal way to stay awake while driving. But research has shown that these quick fixes not only pose a health risk, but they also leave you more tired than before once effects have worn off.
So what should you do when you have a long-haul assignment and you know that somewhere along the way you will, inevitably, get tired? Below we take a look at 7 natural ways to stay awake longer on the road…
1. Adequate preparations beforehand
Preparing for a long distance haul can be pivotal in not getting tired which is why you should get enough rest and sleep prior to embarking on your journey. Resting prior to a long drive ensures that your senses are well rested in order for them to perform optimally and sharpen your reaction times while driving.
2. Open your window
This is another great way of keeping tiredness at bay owing to the resultant breeze of air that flows throughout the vehicle once a window is open. The only downside to this is that if you wear contact lenses, your eyes are more likely to dry out from the cold breeze.
3. Drive with a passenger
It is always easier to avoid tiredness by driving with a passenger as this ensures that there is always someone who can prevent you from dozing off. Moreover, it is safer to talk to a passenger as opposed to talking on the phone which is both dangerous and illegal for you and other road users. When tackling a long haul with a passenger, engaging in conversation keeps your brain active since you are focused on the subject of the conversation thus avoiding tiredness.
4. Alternate driving
This is, undoubtedly, one of the best ways of ensuring that a long haul trucker does not fall asleep as the passenger ought to be resting and ready to swap with the driver at a moment’s notice should they start to feel drowsy. To ascertain that the passenger is well prepared to take over driving, they should be relaxing and resting in the interim.
Music can be a powerful tool to make sure that a driver does not fall asleep while they drive. It is, therefore, advisable to play music that you do not necessarily like because it will annoy you and ensure that you stay awake (avoid relaxing music as it is likely to make you more tired). Try up beat, fast music, or music you can sing along to.
6. Air conditioning
Nowadays, most vehicles come equipped with air conditioning, which is an easy way of ensuring that you do not fall asleep while driving. If you decide to employ air conditioning during your drive, ensure that the temperature is well below your ordinary body temperature in order to help your brain stay alert. Remember, too low and your brain will not be able to function well. The reason why a lower temperature is advocated for is because heat makes us relax and feel sleepy.
7. Stay hydrated
Drinks are a good way of staying awake when driving. However, avoid those that contain a lot of sugar because after a while, your body is likely to start feeling drowsy. The quicker the sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, the more profound the effect. Drinks such as coffee work extremely well to keep you awake owing to caffeine (although you will probably need frequent bathroom breaks which should keep your mind alert thinking of where the next rest area is).
Thanks for reading and stay awake and safe on road…Ryan
As someone that makes a living behind the wheel of a working dump truck. Time is money as they say. My truck and I depend on each other to make a living. That’s why I chose the CAT CT660.
Built for Drivers
The CT660 was built with the driver in mind. What we need to get the job done! Tough enough to take a beating and still want more. The fine folks at CAT got it right. New cutting edge designs with drivers who feel like they were part of the new design process. When you get behind the wheel of a new Caterpillar CT660 you just know.
One of the key features we took into consideration was the modular design. If our truck does need service, our down time is reduced dramatically with easier access to key components.
Also with the sloped hood, I can actually see when I am in tight spots trying to move the truck into place. This feature has also reached our fuel pocketbook with a more aerodynamic design we get better fuel MPG.
With maneuverability, our CAT gets us around the job site with ease. Better turning radius than its competitors helped us decide what to buy. I can get into much tighter fits with greater ease on the job site. Less time maneuvering means more time delivering material that equals money. In our line of work, our trucks need to be moving material not jockeying around trying to fit the truck on site.
When CAT designed the interior they had my back in mind. The truck is much more comfortable with easier to reach controls. I am less fatigued at the end of a hard day. It’s much safer as the controls are easier to access and see. This gives me a much greater sense of control for a safe work environment for co-workers that are working around my truck. On the road, I get that same sense that I am in complete control of my rig. Gets me home safe to my family!
Compared to Mack Granite
Our team considered several trucks before choosing the CAT. The Mack Granite series was in the running. The problems we had were from a service perspective. Our jobs can crop up anywhere. With the Mack, you have service centers that work only for this series engine in the Mack. I don’t have time to drive longer distances for service work.
Mack is a legendary brand and a heck of a truck. We just felt the CAT offered a stronger truck with more service and maintenance availability.
The CAT seemed to be the obvious choice for us because of all the new design features. It was new to the marketplace at the time we purchased. However, we trusted the CAT brand and after seeing the truck in action we were sold.
Driver shortages that are already hurting trucking companies could worsen as lawmakers propose new regulations that analysts say would exacerbate the problem.
With unemployment low and many older truckers retiring, finding qualified drivers has become an industry challenge.
Regulations that would require extensive commercial driver training and limit hours of operation – thereby increasing drivers’ time away from home – will only make things worse, industry analysts said.
But they also acknowledge that limiting drivers to fewer continuous hours on the road and increasing their training would make the roads safer, something that also improves the industry’s image.
Driver shortages affect more than just trucking companies, said Noël Perry, a trucking industry analyst at FTR Transportation Intelligence.
Because transportation firms will likely have to pay more for training, wages and the procurement of trucks and trailers necessary to haul cargo, they’ll have to raise rates.
One proposal, which calls for increasing the hours of training that entry-level drivers will need to obtain a commercial driver’s license, will cost as much as $5.6 billion over 10 years, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said in a March Federal Register report.
Retailers and manufacturing companies that rely on truck shipments to keep their businesses operating will pay the increased costs — and likely pass the rate hikes on to their customers.
The industry is challenged by another requirement that drivers electronically, rather than manually, log their driving activity, which may put a crimp in productivity by forcing them to rest more often.
Log books have always been a part of truck driving. But by requiring electronic logging devices, or ELDs, regulators can more accurately gauge how long drivers have been on the road.
Although newer drivers aren’t opposed to ELDs, veteran drivers who’ve scarcely been monitored for decades are pushing back, said Dan Costello, the senior vice president for sales and marketing at TransForce Inc., which touts itself as the nation’s biggest supplier of staffing and support for trucking companies.
As older drivers retire or change career paths, the onus is on companies to find qualified employees to fill cabs, something proving difficult.
“It’s an aging workforce, and we’re not replenishing people as quickly as they’re leaving,” Costello said. “If more drivers don’t start entering the workforce and stay in, it’s going to be a much bigger problem in the future.”
Another proposal that could cut shipping productivity would require each new driver to have 30 hours of supervised time behind the wheel. That presents an impediment to hiring because of cost and lack of qualified instruction companies, Perry said.
“The issue there, as in all these cases, is capacity – the capacity in this case is that of the training schools,” Perry said. “This industry is extremely adaptable, so they’ll solve the issue, but the question is how long it takes them to solve it. It won’t happen overnight.”
Driver-training companies can train about 125,000 students annually, which likely isn’t enough to supply the number of new drivers needed each year, Perry said. If that rule is implemented, he said, the shortage will only get worse.
The solution to the driver shortage is reducing regulation rather than increasing the number of laws governing the trucking industry, said Costello of TransForce.
As it stands, the law says only those 21 and over can operate a Class A vehicle. Getting rid of that regulation and allowing those 18 and over to drive would make a serious dent in the shortage, he said.
If trucking companies can capture a subset of 18-year-olds straight out of high school, there’s a better chance they’ll become lifelong drivers, industry veterans say.
The American Trucking Associations safety board has discussed lobbying lawmakers to allow 18-year- olds to drive Class A vehicles to help ease the shortage, Costello said.
“If someone is 18 and they’re not going to college, they’re going to find some vocation immediately,” he said. “They’re not going to wait around three years to become a truck driver.”
He said developing a truck driving vocation program might be helpful in guiding high school graduates into the industry.
However, Costello conceded that having 18-year-olds driving an 80,000-pound load isn’t without its risks, and said insurance companies would raise concerns if it were to happen.
There’s always another solution. The industry could pay higher wages, he said.
“You can’t change the hours, you can’t change the equipment, and you can’t change the job,” Costello said. “So we’re going to have to find some way to recruit people into the industry … make the pay higher.”