truck driver dogsOwner operator Wendy Trudeau loves her mutt, Missy, so much, she couldn’t help but post photos of Missy on Facebook. A lot of them. She posted them so often, in fact, that Trudeau’s brother eventually came up with a silly new nickname for his sister: “the crazy dog lady.”

She’d show him. As a joke, Trudeau decided to start a Facebook group for people with CDL trucking jobs, a place where they could post photos of their pets. She called the group “Trucking Fur Babies” and approached it with a laugh.

One year later, Trucking Fur Babies has 978 members, and the group’s robust following is nothing to scoff at.

“It makes me feel really good,” says Trudeau, an owner operator leased to Mercer Transportation in Louisville, Ky. “It’s like, wow, I started something kind of half heartedly and now it’s full of wonderful people. It’s a happy group. I call it my happy place.”

In Trucking Fur Babies, people with CDL trucking jobs post photos of their pets, bond over their common interest and bring levity to one another’s days.

Drivers in the group say taking their pets on the road with them has enhanced their enjoyment of work, given them companionship and created unexpected health benefits.

“He just brightens our life,” says Dee Shunk of her dog Pa-Lo (pronounced Paolo), a cattle dog mix she and her husband, Kevin, found abandoned outside a bar four years ago. “He’s our baby. He surprises us every day. He goes crazy for peppermints.”

How pets enhance life for people with CDL trucking jobs“And he absolutely loves the bath,” adds Kevin Shunk, who has had an owner operator trucking job for several years. “Oh God, I just said ‘bath’ and there he goes. Pa-Lo’s sitting in the bathtub right now.”

Such antics are recounted in Trucking Fur Babies day after day.

Sandra Card loves being a part of the group, too. She rides along with her husband, Luigi Dimeo. Dimeo has an owner operator trucking job that can take the couple OTR for months at a time. Life on the road can make for a lot of togetherness, so the couple’s dog, Toby, is a vital peacemaker for the pair when tensions rise.

“Toby’s role is to keep us from killing each other,” Card jokes. “Me and my husband sitting next to each other 24/7? We get irritable. Toby’s a mediator. I don’t need a therapist, I got my dog.”

How pets enhance life for people with CDL trucking jobsWhile Card says all of this with a laugh, she makes a serious point. Toby, a shih tzu, lowers the couple’s stress levels and helps them cope during long stretches on the road. “When we’re stuck in traffic, having Toby helps immensely,” Card says.

Walking the Walk

Those with CDL driving jobs say having their dogs with them on the road has another big benefit—more exercise. Trudeau goes walking twice a day with Missy, once in the morning and again in the evening.

“We go off the beaten path,” says Trudeau. “We’re country kids. Missy is good for two miles at a time.”

And for Card, who has diabetes, making time for such walks is all the more important.

“I know it’s healthier for you to have an animal, I’ve read the studies on that,” Trudeau says. “The little furball just knows if you’ve had a bad day. Then you go for a walk and life is good.”

Are you an owner operator looking for steady, reliable work?  Click here to learn how Drive My Way can help. Watch our YouTube video to learn more about what we do.

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finance habits

Sure, half a minute doesn’t sound like much time, but turns out you can get a lot done in half a minute–if you adopt some of these great habits. And they can have a lasting impact on your career and finances.

As soon as you pour that cup of morning joe, pinpoint your top three—and only three—most crucial to-dos for the day,” states the Fast Company article.”Once you’ve identified what’s important, you’ll often find it’s not many things,” says Josh Davis, Ph.D., author of . “Having a small number of things also makes it easier [to accomplish the tasks].”

Davis, the author of “Two Awesome Hours: Science-Based Strategies to Harness Your Best Time and Get Your Most Important Work Done,” suggests blocking off the two best hours each day for accomplishing those three tasks. He also suggests writing things down, such as important points right after a meeting, to help cement details in your memory.

Taking small steps like these can put you on the path to success quickly.

Image from geralt / Pixabay

 

 

Fatal work-related injuries to commercial truck drivers last year reached a critical point, and not in a good way. In fact, driver fatalities in 2014 reached their highest level in six years, states a summary of preliminary results from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries for 2014, just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Chart: Bureau of Labor Statistics
work related fatality

 

BLS said that “transportation and material moving occupations” accounted for the largest share (28%) of fatal occupational injuries of any group of workers last year. Fatal work injuries in this group climbed 3 percent to 1,289 incidents in 2014, marking the highest total since 2008 (see BLS chart above). Heavy-truck and tractor-trailer drivers incurred their highest total since 2008– with 725 fatalities recorded in 2014.

According to the census, truck drivers and drivers/sales workers accounted for nearly two out of every three fatal injuries in the overall group (835 of the 1,289 fatal injuries in 2014). BLS also found that in 2014, transportation-related fatal work injuries rose slightly, from 1,865 in 2013 to 1,891 in 2014.

Overall, the article stated, transportation incidents accounted for 40 percent of fatal workplace injuries in 2014.

 

thumbnail courtesy of truckinginfo.com

 

scenic roads

We know you spend enough time on the road as it is. But all work and no play makes John a dull boy, as they say. The next time you find yourself on a beautiful stretch of highway with nothing to do and nowhere to be (There’s a first time for everything?), treat yourself to a detour of the most beautiful kind. You deserve it!

Here are five gorgeous rides from Yahoo! Travel to whet your appetite for solitude, adventure and even some quality grub. Happy trucking!

1. Big Bend Scenic Loop, Texas 
This spectacular 250-mile route through western Texas skims the Mexico border and the path of the Rio Grande. The route, from Presidio to the Rio Grande Village, carves its way through the Big Bend Ranch State Park — a rugged desert wilderness area bigger than Rhode Island. With over 300 different bird species living in the park, it is a haven for birdwatchers. Or for those seeking a more exhilarating experience, the park is packed with outdoor activities, from rafting, horse riding, and 4×4 tours to canoeing, mountain biking, and fishing.

2. Colorado Scenic Byway
For wildlife lovers, there is no better road trip destination than through Colorado, where you are likely to catch a glimpse of bears, wolves, birds of prey, and many other forest-dwelling animals. The Colorado River Headwaters Scenic Byway runs 80 miles from State Bridge to Grand Lake, cutting directly through Rocky Mountain National Park.

3. Montana to Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Begin your journey in Bozeman, Mont., by taking a dip in the geothermal hot springs before starting the 135-mile trip through Yellowstone National Park, across the state border into Wyoming, and down to the historic Old Faithful geyser. Breathtaking panoramic views and incredible wildlife spotting will keep you entertained the entire ride.

4. The BBQ Trail, South Carolina
Aside from taking road trips, there is another pastime that has become just as synonymous with American culture — the art of barbecue. So what better way to vacation than to combine the two activities. While Texas and Kansas are both big contenders on the “World’s Best BBQ” front, South Carolina is actually the birthplace of this fabulous food genre. The South Carolina Barbecue Map offers trippers the opportunity to customize their tour among more than 250 BBQ joints, so whether you want to journey to one or attempt to tick all of them off your list, the BBQ Trail might just be the greatest foodie challenge ever.

5. Eureka, California to Coos Bay, Oregon 
While the Pacific Coast Highway is the West Coast’s most iconic roadway, the 250-mile journey from Eureka in Northern California to Coos Bay on the central Oregon coastline is just as spectacular. Starting out in the historic Redwood Empire region of California, visitors can check out the historic old town or even venture up into the national forest to check out the towering redwoods in person. From there the journey weaves along the stunning coastline, with white-sand beaches, sand dunes, and even the dramatic forest-scapes where Jurassic Park was partly filmed.

 

Image credit: Blaine Harrington III / Alamy

It’s all in a day’s work for Virginia trucker Steven Peloquin, who won a $91.8 million jackpot this month, thanks to a pit stop in Penn 80/Flying J Travel Plaza in Pennsylvania. Peloquin, a 30-year veteran driver, says he’ll retire early to spend more time with his family.

Read more here.

Image from www.q13fox.com

 

 

 

 

Tom Rogers had it good. He had a stable job abroad at a start-up in The Philippines, a salary that let him live well enough, and a promising future. But then he watched a TedX video that changed his perspective. And he chose to change his path.

“The whole point of the video was that life passes us by, if we don’t make it a point to pursue living a memorable life,” Rogers writes in an essay for the website Rappler. “For others, a pursuit of a memorable life may be spending more time with their children and working less. To me, a memorable life is to travel and experience different cultures, food, and ways of life.”

Since then, Rogers hasn’t looked back. He and his and his girlfriend, Anna Faustino, travel the world full time, repurposing their lives through travel, living simply and building their blog, Adventure In You.

We want to inspire people to live the life they have always wanted,” Rogers says. “Whatever you want in life, pursue it relentlessly and live your life free of regrets of the things that you didn’t do.”

It’s an inspirational lesson for all of us. You can read more of Rogers’ story here.

Images from Tom Rogers/Adventure in You

 

If there’s a shortage of car hauler drivers out there–and there’s a shortage of about 3,000 of them–one truck company executive says she knows why. Such drivers simply aren’t having much fun, says Kathleen McCann, CEO of United Road Services Inc., a suburban Detroit trucking company that moves about 3 million new and used vehicles a year. Automotive News drew the scenario:

Imagine driving a 75-foot rig through the snow to an auction house to pick up a load of used cars and trucks. The vehicles aren’t parked where they are supposed to be. The key is missing from one and the paperwork from another. All are covered with snow. Now what? You find the cars and you find the keys, and while you wait on the paperwork, you clean the snow from the vehicles. That’s all before driving each vehicle carefully onto your rig and hitting the road.”

McCann says that’s the norm for drivers of car haulers. And that reality is not attracting an onslaught of new drivers to the profession, to put it simply. The good news is, United Road Services is doing what it can to make the system more efficient. And that’s not all.

Now, it’s considering a step that would encourage auctions, dealerships and others to get more efficient in their dealings with car haulers, too: allowing drivers to review auctions and other customers, much as customers review restaurants online.

As the economy recovers, demand for goods is up. That includes demand for new and used vehicles. Increased demand strains the trucking industry, which needs about 16,000 car-hauling trucks and drivers to meet customers’ needs.

“We think we’re well short of that,” McCann said.

Read more.

Image from autonews.com

A Senate bill introduced last week in the U.S. Senate calls for truck drivers to be paid by the hour and would take measures to make their job safer.

“Truck drivers work extremely long days to deliver the goods we depend on and keep our economy moving, but too often this comes at the expense of their safety and the safety of other drivers,” said Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who introduced the Truck Safety Act legislation.

The Truck Safety Act not only would implement hourly pay for U.S. truck drivers, it also would raise minimum insurance levels from $750,000 to $1.5 million, bring speed limiting devices in commercial vehicles one step closer to reality, and study the impact of commuting long distances.

Safety advocacy groups praised the bill. In a joint statement Friday addressing the different trucking bills in the Senate, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Truck Safety Coalition, Parents Against Tired Truckers, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways and the Consumer Federation of America said the bill ‘will move the bar to advance commercial motor vehicle safety.

Read the full article here.

Image from www.truckinginfo.com

 

 

 

More U.S. truck drivers stayed with their employers in the first quarter of 2015 and annualized turnover rates declined to their lowest point in four years, reported the American Trucking Associations. The Wall Street Journal covered the issue in a July 14 article, saying:

The turnover rate was down to 84% for operators of truckload fleets with more than $30 million in revenue in the first quarter and 83% among those with smaller fleets. Both measures were 12 percentage points less than the turnover rate in the previous quarter.

Compare that to driver turnover in other recent years, when it’s typically stayed above the 90 percent mark, said Bob Costello of the American Trucking Associations in the article. He told the Wall Street Journal he did not expect to see such a dramatic improvement in the first quarter alone.

I didn’t expect it to go up a lot, but I didn’t expect it to fall to its lowest level for large carriers in four years,” he said.

He and others credit — at least in part — recent raises at some trucking companies for the positive trend, which impacted small and large trucking companies alike.

Read more of the Wall Street Journal article here.

Image from Bloomberg News

As was stated in Trail Mix – The Ultimate Travel Snack Part 2 some mixes contain great amounts of sugar and fat. The best way to combat this problem is to make it yourself. The secret is choosing the right combination of ingredients that is right for your health and satisfies your tastes. Each ingredient has different nutritional benefits as well as flavor and it is possible to design your mix to suit your unique needs. Listed below are some links to great recipes for trail mix whether it’s for a quick energy boost and even recipes for children and their specific needs.

Recipes

Where should you buy the ingredients?

The freshest and most economical way to buy the ingredients for your trail mix is in bulk.   If at first, you want to try some of the recipes, you can purchase them at your local DYI_TrailMixfresh market or a whole foods store.  You will find it is more expensive this way but it is a good way to sample the products to see if you actually like them.  You will definitely get a better price and the product will be fresher if you purchase your ingredients online from a bulk distributor.  We recommend purchasing 5lb boxes and this will fit into most peoples’ budgets   There are numerous sources to purchase from.  I have listed links below to some good outlets where again you will see the difference in price.

Bulk Outlets

How do you put it all together?

Depending on the recipe you choose, the best way to start is add all the ingredients into a large bowl or container.  Mix the ingredients well and measure no more than 1/2 cup of the mix into a resealable snack baggie.  It is possible to eat too much trail mix!.  Try to limit yourself to portions under 1/2 cup.  Just use a simple kitchen measuring cup.  Store your trail mix out of the sun in a dry cool place.  You are now ready to grab the perfect snack when on the road or just because you like yourself so much.   Happy Trails!

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The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

Download the complete guide for tips to easily maintain healthy habits over the road.

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