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safe driver week

Truck drivers should prepare for an increased presence by law enforcement this week. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance embark upon its annual Operation Safe Driver Week. It combats unsafe driving behaviors by truckers and passenger car drivers.

The annual enforcement blitz is scheduled for the week of October 15-21. Officers look for speeding, distracted driving, texting and driving, and seat belt usage. In addition, they monitor following too closely, improper lane changes, failure to obey traffic safety devices, and more.

Here are 8 Tips to Help Avoid Fines:

1. Put down the phone.

Law enforcement agencies refer to distracted driving as “the DUI of today.”  Texting while driving is egregious, taking the driver’s attention off the road. But, you also don’t have to be on the road long to spot someone talking on a handset. Both are prohibited by state laws in many cases, but they’re also expressly restricted for commercial motor vehicle drivers.

2. Keep your eyes on the road.

Smartphones aren’t the only culprit. There are plenty of other things in vehicles today that can take a driver’s attention away from the task at hand — i.e., piloting those several tons (or many more) of steel missile on wheels safely.

3. Don’t speed.

Who hasn’t laid into the gas pedal now and then when driving along?  But, watch your speed particularly during Safe Driver Week.  It’s a time of year when road construction is very prevalent, and officers are found paying particular attention to speeders, distracted drivers and so on in construction zones.

4. Buckle up.

Aside from staring at a smartphone, the next-quickest tip-off for enforcement officers to pull drivers over will be failure to wear a seat belt. Some believe seat belts lack comfort. However, for many decades, wearing a seat belt saves lives in crashes.

5. Give way.

Many states have “move over” laws that require drivers to pull away from the closest lane to a stationary police vehicle with flashing lights. Usually tied to the stipulation “if it’s safe to do so.” but if it isn’t safe to switch lanes, these laws may require the driver passing by to slow down considerably.

6. Don’t tailgate.

Do your best to give the driver ahead some room. Truck drivers face particular challenges with this since they’re often cut off by passenger vehicles, sometimes by those entering or exiting the highway or maybe a driver who’s just not paying attention.

7. Straighten up and fly right.

Signal your lane changes properly, don’t blow traffic lights and stop signs and obey the rest of the traffic signs and devices out there. Officers will be watching for those things during Safe Driver Week.

8. Get the rest of your ducks in a row, too.

If an offer cites you or pulls you over, they also check for other violations.  Bradley Penneau, a safety program consultant for Telogis, A Verizon Company, commented in a recent Fleet Owner webinar. He stated that a majority of the top commercial vehicle violations are “BLTs.” Meaning, brakes, lights, and tires.

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truck driver spendingA lot of articles about how to save money overlook the unique needs of spending needs of truck drivers.

Here’s a list built for you.

1. Food

TruckerMike of Trucking Truth says, “It is very easy to rack up $30 or more in a single day eating food on the road. That comes out to over $200 per week, and over $10,000 per year! WOW!”

To save money, buy a portable fridge and a crock pot. The Healthy Trucker recommends the “ARB 10800472 Fridge Freezer- 50 Quart” and shares a few tips and recipes for slow cookers here. If you stock up at a grocery store before hitting the road, it becomes cheaper and more convenient to eat the healthy. The fridge and slow cooker will pay for themselves in less than a year.

2. Budget

“Base your Budget on low mile weeks,” advises Derek McClain of The Healthy Trucker. Most companies pay by the mile, and your miles will change from week to week. It’s better to budget for the low weeks and have a little more than you planned for on good week than to plan for the good weeks and not have enough during the bad weeks.

3. Emergencies

You can’t schedule emergencies, but you can soften the blow by being ready for them. The Healthy Trucker says, “When in doubt if an emergency fund should be used for a purchase, just refer back to the ‘emergency’ part of the name … If there’s a question whether or not it’s an emergency … it’s probably not.”

4. Loans

A cash advance or a payday loan may be tempting but use caution. Many of these institutions tack on ridiculous interest rates and fees (as high as $15 to $30 for every $100 loaned). These fees will eat up your paycheck for months or worse, leave you taking out new loans to pay back your old loans. Always turn to your emergency fund, friends, family or even your company before resorting to a high-interest, short-term loan.

5. Free WiFi

Don’t forget to enable your device’s WiFi at stops rather than relying on your data plan. The free WiFI will cut down your data usage (and your phone bill) every month.

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truck driver stress

Stress management can be a considerable challenge for many truck drivers. Many factors contribute to truck driver stress. You have to maintain constant focus on the road while spending significant time away from friends and family.

Combine this with several other demanding merchandise transport responsibilities and your job can easily become overwhelming if you don’t find effective ways to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

Here are some beneficial tips for staying stress-free on the road.

1. Eat healthy

A healthy body directly contributes to a healthy mind. Maintaining a healthy diet can help reduce irritability and depression, as well as help you feel more awake when driving and get a better overall sleep.

Many people assume eating healthy food requires sacrificing tastiness and simply munching celery sticks for the foreseeable future (not that there’s anything wrong with celery sticks). This is not the case, however, as there are many healthier choices you can make without resorting to boring, bland snacking.

2. Sleep well to avoid fatigue

Lack of sleep can spell disaster when driving long distances. However, sometimes it’s difficult getting the necessary 6-8 hours our bodies need to stay alert and avoid becoming fatigued.

If you’re having trouble getting the right amount of sleep, here are some helpful suggestions:

  • Limit your caffeine intake and avoid it a couple hours before sleeping
  • Restrict your exposure to light before bed (phones, tablets, etc.)
  • As mentioned above, maintain a healthy diet
  • Find a truck stop and take a short nap if you start to feel overly fatigued
3. Be social

One of the main causes of stress on the road is being away from friends and family. This lack of social connection can be a factor in depression.

Be sure to check in with friends and family back home on a regular basis. Also, don’t hesitate to start a chat with fellow truckers at different truck stops.

Another great way to combat loneliness is to bring a pet with you. If your employer allows it, that is.

4. Maintain fitness

Maintaining a daily fitness routine, combined with healthy eating, is a sure-fire way to beat stress on the road. It can, however, be difficult to find the time and resources to exercise when traveling.

Regardless, you should aim to get about 15 to 30 minutes of exercise per day to relieve stress. Start with some easy exercises and modify them as you progress.

Bonus: listen to your favorite podcast or music playlist

Making a playlist full of your favorite tunes can be a great stress reliever when driving long distances. Have a favorite podcast? Listen to a couple episodes per day to keep your mind interested and engaged instead of letting it wander.

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national truck driver appreciation weekEveryday, professional truck drivers keep us all operating by delivering many of the basic necessities. We often take these for granted, such as water, food, clothing and fuel. We celebrate National Truck Driver Appreciation Week in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. It reminds us just how vital truckers are in our daily lives.

Drive My Way is committed to building a community that celebrates and supports all professional truck drivers for your sacrifice and hard work tackling one of the most demanding and vital jobs in our economy. Unlike many other careers, truck driving is a career in which your job and lifestyle are tightly woven together. With great sacrifice and commitment, truck drivers help keep us going every day, as we’ve seen with the delivery of critical supplies before, during and after hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Today, we celebrate our partnership with Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers and travel plazas in North America, committed to fueling life’s journeys for all drivers. This mission would not be possible without the thousands of Pilot Flying J drivers that transport Fuel, DEF, Crude Oil and Clean Fuel to all the travel centers, distribution points and oil fields.

Pilot Flying J is celebrating all professional truck drivers for the entire month of September. If you don’t already have the Pilot Flying J mobile app download it and become eligible for various free food and drink offers this month. Additionally, you can earn entries in their 100,000,000 Points Giveaway Sweepstakes by simply fueling up and swiping your MyRewards card.  65,000 people will win. Therefore, more than 1600 daily winners divided into 5 prize levels ($10, $25, $50, $100 and $500). Points automatically load into each winner’s loyalty account.

Help all of us celebrate each of you. Snap a pic when you win and post it on Facebook. Tag Pilot Travel Centers and DriveMyWay and include the following in your post: @PilotFlyingJ and @DriveMyWay

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truck driver catA 3-year-old cat named BB-8 has 45-year-old truck driver Dennis McDonald to thank for his life today.

Zainab Akande of The Dodo, a website dedicated to the love of animals, tells the story. A road in hurricane-like conditions is not the friendliest place to bring your truck to a stop, but McDonald found himself doing that one morning. After his passenger pointed out a “dead” cat by the side of the road,

 

“McDonald’s intuition and sheer empathy for an animal — one he wasn’t even certain was alive — were what led to the 3-year-old cat’s chance at survival… McDonald saw that the cat was in rough shape, possibly with a broken neck or back — but regardless, he was still alive. (Another) motorist offered McDonald a box to transport him.”

And that’s just the beginning of the story. BB-8 required extensive surgery that was donated. His owner was found but couldn’t take the cat back and he was lost by his newly adopted family. Then BB-8 came back to his truck driver hero for a forever home on the road.

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livetrucking.comSometimes an average day on the job turns into something quite a bit more. That happened to four truckers when their paths crossed in fateful fashion.

Live Trucking wrote about the act of truck driving heroism that is definitely one to remember:

Early on the morning of November 21, a trucker in Michigan found his life in peril when his gasoline tanker crashed and burst into flames. Luckily there were three truckers passing by who were able to help and have been credited with saving his life.

It happened on a northbound Interstate 196 off-ramp, just north of South Haven, Mich..

The truck was carrying 8,000 gallons of gasoline at the time that the driver Michael Bennett lost control and overturned the truck. He was ejected from the cab at the moment of impact, and the fire started spreading quickly.

The three truckers who saved his life happened to be driving by at the time and all pulled over to help.

They successfully pulled Michael away from the burning wreckage, and he was then taken to the hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries.

The helpful truckers identified as Jeff Hunter, Shawn Crittendon and Chad Edgington. Michael’s family has expressed their desire to take the good Samaritans out to dinner.

Sometimes being a truck driver involves a lot more than getting from Point A to Point B. Connect with us here to learn about truck drivers who are out there making a difference every day.

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stayyounghealthy.comNo matter how hard you to try to relax, life’s stresses always have away of rising to the surface. Paying the bills, managing a family and staying on top of unexpected curve balls life throws our way  isn’t easy. But the website Stay Young & Healthy asserts that if we take the following steps, we’ll soon be on the road to lasting fulfillment. It’s worth a shot.

1. Always think positively

You know a positive mind keeps you always in good mood and makes you feel good. A positive way of thinking is better several times than a negative thought. So, try to keep your mind away from negative feelings and thoughts.

2. Earn enough money

I know that money is not everything for you, but it is essential to live a life. It is hard to say how much money you should earn, but your income should be so much that you can buy food to eat well, clothes to put on and have a house to live in.

3. Have regular workouts

You know a healthy body and mind is necessary to have a happy life, and having regular workouts is helpful. For a healthy body and mind, it is not necessary to do exercises of high intensity. Just run or go for a long morning or evening walk. Burn at least 100 calories a day by doing exercises.

4. Have a balanced diet

It is clear that you can have a healthy body and mind only through exercising and eating a balanced diet. Whatever you eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner, it must have all nutritional elements, including carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals.

5. Be in close contact with your spouse, family members and friends

You know loneliness can keep you away from happiness. So, it is good for you to keep close to your spouse, family members and friends. They will help you stay away from loneliness.

6. Watch funny and light programs

Watch funny programs on TV to keep yourself in a light mood. These funny and light programs make you laugh and this makes you feel good.

7. Enjoy the every moment of your present life

You should never look back into the past as it can affect badly your present. Just focus on your present and keep away from the bad happenings of the past. If you want to look into your past, do it only for learning lessons and not for having bad impact.

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8. Love the work you do

I know some of you are not satisfied with your current professional life. Always keep in mind that the professional life is filled with several ups and downs. So, you should not get worried when a bad time comes in your way. Do the work with joy and full dedication. Always love your current job and keep in mind that there could be a better job in the future.

9. Love yourself

You know no one is perfect in this world. Everyone wants to be perfect in one’s work and learn from one’s mistakes. So, it is good for you to accept who you are. Keep going on in the way of being perfect and be always ready to learn.

10. Express gratitude and kindness

OK, this is our own. But at Drive My Way, we have found that by feeling grateful for the little things in our lives and showing kindness toward others, we feel happier and more fulfilled. We’re betting you will, too. Connect with us here and become part of our community today!

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It’s not easy being out on the road for a holiday. It can be lonely out there when you’re miles away from family and friends. And the hunt for a quality meal can be long and arduous.

Fortunately, there’s one place that truck drivers know they can turn to for a home-cooked feast on Thanksgiving Day—the Boise Stage Stop in Boise, Idaho.

For the 15th year, the celebrated Stage Stop is hosting its Truck Driver Appreciation Day, a Thanksgiving feast that’s free for CDL permit holders. All you have to do is show your CDL license to your server and the meal is free for you and a guest.

The celebratory homemade feast includes turkey and all the fixins: mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, desserts and soft drinks. Twenty-year Stage Stop chef Jose Carrera has been cooking up this feast since the beginning. A

nd for Stage Stop event coordinator Kim Curtis, who’s married to a truck driver, planning the feast is a personal privilege.

“Because I’m married to a truck driver, this is special for me,” Curtis says. “It’s a place for truck drivers to come and feel accepted, feel like they’re wanted.” All the food is donated, as are giveaways for a raffle that features everything from TVs to CDs.

“I never get tired of it,” Curtis says. “My favorite thing is the smiles on their faces and the drivers’ comments. The drivers are just so appreciative. I got guys that come here every year. They know they’ll be here and they plan for it.”

Between 400 and 600 people turn out for the driver appreciation dinner annually.

The restaurant starts serving at 10:30 a.m. and keeps going right up until midnight.

“I don’t think there’s anybody out there doing what we’re doing, not for free,” Curtis says. “It’s fun to be part of.”

Non-drivers also are welcome to dine on the feast for $10.99 (adults) or $5.99 (kids).

Gratitude is good for the soul. Thank you for your dedication and loyalty, drivers. If you’ve yet to follow Drive My Way on social media, connect with us here and become part of our community.

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A new app for people with CDL trucking jobsHaulHound officially launched a new app that connects shippers to owner operators. They released it at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, Texas. The launch took place Aug. 26, when HaulHound released an app- and web-based platform that allows owner-operators to upload their truck and routing information and shippers to search for carriers that fit their load parameters. Overdrive wrote of the launch:

The service is free to both parties, as the system is advertiser supported.

Traditional loadboards feature shippers and brokers posting loads and truckers searching for them. However, HaulHound effectively flips the script. Owner-operators and carriers post details about their truck, their capacity, and desired lanes. Then, shippers and brokers search for capacity.

HaulHound says the system focuses on owner-operators who work the spot market.

In addition to listing their equipment type and specializations, owner-operators list price points. So, any calls they receive from brokers or shippers are legitimately priced, says HaulHound’s Andy Kim.

The company says it plans to release routing tools and automated freight-matching in coming iterations.

Read more about this product on Overdrive.com here.

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will autonomous driving effect people with CDL trucking jobs?American Trucking Associations President Chris Spear appeared on Fox Business News in August and for the third time in less than a week addressed the topic of autonomous trucks. The magazine Transport Topics wrote about the exchange. They stated Spear doesn’t perceive autonomous trucks as a threat to CDL trucking jobs.

“In fact, it could actually improve job growth in our sector,” Spear said on the show. Spear added the (autonomous) technology could result in bringing more drivers and technicians into the industry.

He also spoke on the subject in an address to membership during the National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships in Indianapolis in August, where he said, “Here’s the key: We’re not at the table. We have to be at the table. I am not going to concede in this role a regulatory framework in the next five to 10 years that the auto industry designed and we inherit.”

Read the full Transport Topics story and see the Fox video here.

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