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How to Easily Reduce Truck Driver Stress on the Job

Stress. Everyone has stress in their lives. But for a truck driver, when stress impacts their life, it can truly be dangerous. If a driver is stressed and it impacts their thinking or decision-making, it is something that needs to be addressed. Immediately. Because truckers are bombarded with distractions all day long while trying to concentrate and drive safely, it can be hard to find ways to reduce added stress from their lives. But we’ve found a few fundamental things that can help. Here are a few ways to easily reduce truck driver stress on the job.

Get Some Sleep

The best way to reduce your stress levels is to be proactive in getting enough sleep. Without the proper amount of sleep, your body struggles to function well. One of the first things affected is your thinking. Decision making is tougher, and your attention span may shorten. All these things will lead to additional stress over the course of the day.

Great advice for any trucker: be sure to get your required hours of shut-eye to maintain a healthy mind, and reduce stress during the day.

Get the best sleep by keeping up with your bedtime routine. Reduce lights and distractions once it’s bed time. Put away your electronics before you get into bed for the night. So that once your head hits the pillow, all you need to do is close your eyes and fall asleep.

Eat to Reduce Truck Driver Stress

Stress eating is a real thing. But what about eating to reduce stress? There are plenty of foods that are known to reduce stress. Foods chock full of vitamins and minerals are known to help fuel your body and help improve your mood. Counter to this, foods without any real nutritional value can have the opposite effect.

Eating sugar or high levels of caffeine might give you a short burst of energy, but leave you dragging later. That’s certain to cause additional stress, and make your day drag even worse.

Avoid foods with short-term effects, and stick with foods that will help you stay healthy for the long haul. Keeping a good balance of foods that taste good and are good for you is a great way to keep stress at bay on the road.

Clear Your Mind with a Story

Concentrating on the road and traffic all day can take a toll on your nerves. Many drivers like to listen to podcasts or stories during the day to help pass the time. Some drivers prefer to listen once the workday is done.

After a long day on the road, many truckers find listening to audiobooks a terrific way to unwind and relax.

Once you are parked for the night, get comfortable, close your eyes, and press play. Transport yourself into a story about history, science fiction, crime dramas, or something light and happy. You can find any number of apps for your phone or tablet to play the audiobooks.

Advice from a Trucker

We asked our Drive My Way Facebook followers to let us know what helps them reduce stress.

Tim Petruccio mentioned a few different things that help him:

  • Tim Petruccio

    Tim Petruccio

    Increase following distances

    3 to 4 mph less than traffic during volume times

  • Turn off the outside noise (radio, phone calls, etc…)
  • Remember you are in control. You have the final say when it comes to YOUR safety
  • Get rest! Don’t spend 3 of your 10 hours on break, watching TV or gaming. Have a good meal, shower and then hit the rack
  • Think about the things you love (family, places, pets, etc.). Then picture yourself returning safely to them

Keeping family and friends close in your mind really can help too. It’s always good to know that no matter how tough your day is, there’s always a way to make the next day better.

Let us know what you think. Sound off on our Facebook post and let us know what you do to help reduce your truck driver stress. We’d love to share your best ideas with our readers!

ultimate-guide-truck-drivers-maintain-3-healthy-habits-over-the-road

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.
Download the Guide Now

Today’s Job of the Day is from DuBois Chemicals

DuBois Chemicals develops, manufactures, distributes and supports proprietary chemical and equipment products for a broad range of industrial and commercial applications, fulfilling mission-critical customer needs.

DuBois Chemicals is hiring Dry Van, Tanker, and Flatbed Local Drivers in Shelbyville, IN.

Drivers transport various goods from warehouse to customer’s locations using various sized power units ranging from class A to one ton flat bed and goose neck trailers.

This transporting follows DuBois policies and DOT guidelines for the safe operation of a motored unit. Following safety procedures to transport hazardous materials is a must for DuBois Target Zero safety initiative, for driver and for public safety.

Position Details:

  • An average hourly rate of $20/hour with the opportunity to earn safety bonuses
  • Runs are 75% local with some overnights, around 300 miles from Shelbyville
  • The schedule is Monday through Friday with some weekends.
  • Drivers load and unload and use a pallet jack and fork lift.

DuBois offers Medical, Dental, Vision, Life, and Disability. In addition, drivers receive PTO and 401K effective after 90 days. Hazmat, Tanker, and Doubles endorsements are required for hire.

Interested in applying?

Learn more about the job requirements, benefits, pay and more.

Learn More & Apply

Today’s Job of the Day comes to us from Dupré Logistics, LLC

Dupré Logistics commits to their team members, their customers, and their community. Dupré strives to be “the ideal place to work”, and are always seeking exceptional talent to join their team of professional drivers. They invest in and reward loyalty, knowledge, performance, and a desire for growth.

Dupré Logistics is currently seeking the following CDL A drivers:

Drivers earn excellent money, receive pay weekly, and receive health benefits immediately upon hire.

In addition, Dupré offers a great benefits package which includes medical, dental, vision and prescription drug coverage, 401(k), profit sharing, short and long-term disability, company paid life insurance and much more.

Also, Dupré provides well-maintained, dedicated equipment, out and back freight, and drivers’ benefits start on day one.

Dupré Logistics asks that applicants be at least 23 years old, already have their CDL A license, and have at least two years of two years recent T/T driving experience. Positions typically require Hazmat, Tanker, or TWIC endorsements.

Interested in applying?

Learn more about the job requirements, benefits, pay and more.

Learn More & Apply

defensive driving

The best offense is a good defense⁠—and when it comes to being a safe truck driver, this old sports saying certainly holds true. Keeping you, your truck, other motorists, and your cargo safe is how truckers win on the road. There are many ways to improve your skills and reduce your risks while on the road. Here are 5 defensive driving tips for truckers everywhere.

1. Minimize distractions

Every driver needs to be connected, but not to the point where connections are distractions. Phones beeping with notifications too often, or non-critical calls coming in too frequently should be minimized. If you have something going on at home that’s distracting you, do your best to put it out of your mind until you’re done working. Many of these things are easier said than done for a truck driver with hours of time alone each day.

You don’t want to fall into bad habits while driving. So it’s smart to work on minimizing your distractions and being a safe driver.

2. Keep yourself healthy

Wearing your seat belt every day helps keep you secure in the cab of your truck. Getting enough sleep helps you pay better attention while driving. Eating right and exercising keeps you in better shape to have stamina for long days over the road. Keeping yourself safe also means you should take a break if and when you start to feel tired. Doing what you need to keep yourself in your best mental and physical condition is as important as honing and developing your driving skills and experience.

3. Expect the unexpected

Be aware of motorists around you and know your space cushion in relationship to those motorists. Anticipate what other drivers around you are going to do as they’re going to do something that could impact your driving.

Being prepared and making the correct defensive driving adjustments are key to your ability to remain safe while working.

4. Anticipate changing conditions

Truck drivers who are prepared for changing weather and road conditions will usually be better drivers. A little bit of extra care and planning when trucking through construction zones will ensure that you and the road workers make it home safely. The same goes for planning for specific times of day, especially rush hours. Anticipating construction zones, potential snow, and morning or afternoon rush hour traffic helps you be prepared for it, or better yet, helps you avoid it altogether.

5. Know your space cushion

Knowing your stopping distance is extremely important for a truck driver. A normal car can stop much quicker than a truck and it can stop within a lot less traveled distance.

According to the FMCSA, “A fully loaded truck traveling in good road conditions at highway speeds needs a distance of nearly two football fields to stop.”

That means a truck driver always needs to be aware of keeping enough space around their truck to stop quickly if demanded.

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Life is a highway… at least that’s what the song says. But for many truck drivers, that lyric couldn’t be truer. Life IS the highway for many. Truckers have countless hours alone in the cab of the truck. They can cover hundreds of miles of pavement every day. This time behind the wheel gives drivers plenty of time to spend listening to music. We asked our readers to tell us about their favorite music to listen to while driving. Here are the best truck driving songs that our Facebook followers mentioned.

Truckers and Their Tunes

There are countless “trucker” themed music compilations available for drivers. A quick Google search results in thousands of results. You can find CDs, playlists, YouTube videos, streaming channels, as well as an endless trucker-friendly podcasts.

Drive My Way Poll

Here’s what our truckers had to say when we recently polled our drivers on Facebook.

Songs that Remind them of their Families

Music can transport you to another place, just by listening to a song. The lyrics can put you in a better mood, make you feel happy or sometimes make you feel sad. Some truck driving songs can remind you of your family and friends who aren’t out driving with you.

Old School Country

Johnny Cash is always a popular selection on truckers’ radios as well as other old school country artists like the Possum himself—George Jones. A good guess would be to also find plenty of Willie and Waylon and the others from the same time. These old school country songs cover a lot of ground—just like most truck drivers. They can be about rebellion, lost loves, and there’s plenty of songs simply about having a good time.

Trucker Songs about Long Haul Driving

A classic in this conversation is East Bound and Down. The song was written for the movie Smokey and the Bandit in 1977. It’s a great song about a day in the life of a long-haul driver. “We’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there” are perfect lyrics to sum up an over-the-road driver’s life. Hopefully without any Smokies to slow you down.

Religious Song Choices

Some drivers let us know that they fill their time on the road listening to Christian music. There are so many choices for singers and songs in this genre. Listening to Christian or other religious songs while driving can help drivers reflect and be happy while driving. There’s plenty of genres of Christian music available, from true church music, to soft rock to even Christian metal. Sometimes these spiritual or religious choices are perfect truck driving songs to get a driver through their day.

Hard Rock for the Win

Drivers mention many singers and bands that put out hard rock and metal music. These are always going to be popular choices for favorite trucker driving songs. Louder songs can help you pep up and stay alert. AC/DC, Metallica, and Five Finger Death Punch were some choices that our drivers put on their lists! The loud guitars and drums, combined with aggressive and catchy lyrics might be perfect to help a driver concentrate on the road when there’s been miles and miles of nothing to look at for hours.

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CDL B license
Considering getting a commercial driver’s license, also known as a CDL? There are 3 options when first starting: Class A CDL, Class B CDL or Class C CDL. Each type of license has its own training and testing procedures, and there are pros and cons to each. Depending on your career plans, any of these might be the right fit for you. Here we’re going to explore what you need to know when getting a Class B CDL License.

1. The basics of a Class B CDL

Though getting a Class A CDL endorsement may open up the most job opportunities for a driver, a Class B CDL licence can provide a driver with a great career. A Class B CDL is a restricted license as you are not allowed to drive large tractors that tow 10,000 pounds or more.

From the Federal Motor Carrier Association, “Any single vehicle which has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of 11,794 or more kilograms (26,001 pounds or more). Or any such vehicle towing a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight that does not exceed  4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds).

2. What vehicles a CDL B driver can operate

With a Class B icense, a trucker can drive any vehicles endorsed for Class B or Class C. Some of these vehicles are:

  • Straight trucks
  • Large passenger buses (city buses, tourist buses, and school buses)
  • Segmented buses
  • Box trucks (including delivery trucks and furniture trucks)
  • Dump trucks with small trailers
  • Garbage trucks / Cement mixers
  • Tractor-trailers

3. Age requirements

For a Class B CDL, the driver age requirement in some states is only 18 years or older. In these cases, this is a great opportunity for a new driver to start earlier and gain valuable experience over the road. After only 3 short years, a CDL B driver can be ready to test for the CDL A license if they’re looking to driver bigger rigs, longer distances. Please check with your local state licensing board for the most specific information for your state.

4. Where can a Class B licensed trucker drive?

If you’re a driver looking to stay closer to home, the Class B CDL might be a great option for you. Running routes locally or regionally in the Class B vehicles, can be a good option. Drivers looking to be movers, delivery drivers, bus drivers, garbage truck drivers, etc. will all need a Class B CDL.

No matter what type of license and endorsements you pursue, the key is to make sure you’re matched with the best fit trucking job for you. If you’re a newly minted CDL driver looking for your first gig, or you’ve been driving for years, let Drive My Way help you get connected with the perfect job for you.

cdl b license jobs

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How to Find the Best Trucking Jobs for YouFinding a new trucking job usually isn’t too tough for a good driver. But finding the perfect fit trucking jobs for any driver can take a little bit more effort. There’s plenty of job boards, and social media postings out there for drivers to sift through. As well as the seemingly endless emails and phone calls truck drivers get daily. It can turn into information overload, with no real path to the right answer. With all of the information out there, here’s 4 ways to find the best trucking jobs for you.

1. Know what you want

“Job prospects are projected to be very good for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers with the proper training and a clean driving record.” —Bureau of Labor Statistics

If you’ve just started looking into being a driver, or if you’ve been trucking for 20+ years, you need to know what type of job is the best trucking job for you right now. As time passes, things change, and your personal and professional needs change too. A new driver might be all about logging miles and making money. A more seasoned driver might be needing a change to be closer to home most of the time. In any case, be sure to keep a log of all the things that must be a part of your next job. As well as all of the things that you’d never want to do again.

Once you’ve got that list of preferences dialed-in, be sure to be clear in your conversations, or in your electronic profiles, of exactly what you want. And then don’t settle for less than that!

2. Do your homework

Truckers subscribe to various podcasts, video channels and social media outlets that provide content about all things in a truckers life. Use these channels to help you research your next job. Find out who pays well and who doesn’t. Listen to other drivers when they talk about benefits and how well they’re treated by their company. Follow the blogs and newsletter that give you data about retention and longevity with a company. The right opportunity is there for you to find the best trucking jobs for your next move.

3. Pay attention at truck stops

A quick stop and a stroll through the parking lot at a truck stop can be an opportunity to learn a lot. Talking with other drivers, checking out carriers’ equipment, and otherwise being immersed in “what’s out there”, can be a great way to find the next place you want to work. Or conversely, the places you should avoid.

Old equipment that needs a lot of work or listening to drivers complain about their working conditions give you all you need to know about where the wrong jobs might be. Take note, and be sure to avoid their calls and emails.

4. Create a profile with Drive My Way

One great way to do make sure you don’t miss a great match is to keep your profile and preference current on DriveMyWay.com. Once logged in, you can keep your changing preferences about types of driving, how much time away from home and other personal preferences up-to-date. So when a perfect fit job gets listed, you can be the first to know. If you haven’t yet filled out a profile, you can get started here. It’s fast and is a great first step to changing the way you look for your next trucking gig.

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plant based dietFollowing a plant-based diet has become a well-accepted, and effective way to get healthier. These types of eating plans are especially good for those looking to improve their heart health due to drastically reducing saturated fats and cholesterol. For truckers, life on the road can make it difficult to follow this strict way of eating. Especially when not at home every day to prepare meals. But with a little planning and some kitchen basics, it is possible. Here are some ideas for truck drivers looking to master a plant-based diet over the road.

The Plant-Based Basics

Eating plant-based means that most, or even all, calories come from plants. This includes fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts. Plant-based does not necessarily equal becoming a vegan. For most, eating plant-based means cutting back on meat & dairy overall, but not eliminating them 100%. Some people choose to ease into this way of life by cutting back little by little, each day. Or perhaps eating only vegetarian one or 2 days per week. The Meatless Monday trend came about just for that reason! And that’s a great place for those looking to find a way to change their diets slowly.

Not Every Plant-Based Diet Is Created Equal

If you’ve made the decision to start following a plant-based diet, there’s a few different ways to do it.

Swapping out meat and dairy for healthy vegetables and nut milks, can bring about weight loss and better heart health. But swapping out meat and dairy for a diet laden heavy with potatoes, rice and increased grains might actually lead to weight gain, even though it’s actually plant-based.

Researching all of the variations of this way of eating and working with your doctor to help you choose a plan is recommended before starting any new diets.

Heart Health

A plant-based diet is the only diet that has been shown to not only prevent—but to reverse—advanced-stage cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes says Julieanna Hever, California-based nutritionist, founder of Plant-Based Dietitian and author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition.

On the Go

Meal-prepping before your trips is key to keeping on track with a plant-based diet. Having a plentiful supply of clean and ready fruits and vegetables handy for snacks is a great start. That can also make things easier when cooking meals for the workweek. There are great recipes for vegetarian soups, stews, and casseroles. And for those days when it might be tough to find a healthy dinner and you don’t have anything prepped it’s good to have a backup plan. Plant-based protein powders or protein bars are great options when in a pinch.

There are ways to eat a plant-based diet at fast food restaurants as well. Besides focusing only on salad bars, many restaurants are catering to those looking for more meat and dairy-less options. There are some great resources available that can help make good fast-food choices when on the road.

Try a plant-based diet to get heart-healthy while over the road. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on our Facebook page. We’d love to share your great ideas with our our trucker family online.

ultimate-guide-truck-drivers-maintain-3-healthy-habits-over-the-road

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.

Download the Guide Now

Nicer weather usually means that road construction season is about switch into high gear. Though driving safely is always a best practice, there are some additional things to be aware of when it comes to driving in a construction zone. A little bit of extra care and planning when trucking through construction zones will ensure that you AND the road workers make it home safely. Here are 3 work zone safety tips to focus on this time of year.

1. Always Be Alert

Expect the Unexpected. Be alert for work zone signage along the side of the road, and the overhead digital signage as well. Watch for workers or flaggers helping to direct traffic. Be prepared for the changes in speed limits and lane closures. Give yourself plenty of time to react and keep an eye out for those that aren’t reacting correctly.

Using your height advantage to see signage and changing traffic patterns ahead gives you an advantage when it comes to work zone safety.

And be sure to stay alert if you drive the same routes daily. A long-term construction project might have daily lane shifts or different road closures.

2. Exercise Defensive Driving Skills

Apply the best driver training and experience here. Quick stops from other drivers ahead often lead to rear-end collisions. Using good defensive driving practices allow truckers to avoid accidents and have plenty of time to stop safely.

In construction zones it’s recommended to use extra caution to prevent accidents that most commonly occur due to road work.

Give a little bit of extra braking room to allow for late mergers or someone reacting poorly to changes in the road.

3. Plan in Advance

An ounce of prevention applies here. Plan routes and timing according to what your GPS app or travel websites indicates are the best. Many times this will be to avoid road work if possible. These often will be a little bit longer but will keep you moving and not stuck in traffic jams due to construction work. And everyone arrives safely at the end of the day.

U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration

U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, almost 30 percent of all work zone crashes involve large trucks.

The number of people killed in work zone crashes involving large trucks has been increasing. Over 1,000 fatalities and over 18,000 injuries have occurred during the last 5 years.

Work Zones might be temporary, and some might be multi-year projects in the same area. A one-day closure for minor repairs or lane painting and a 3-year interchange overhaul should demand the same amount of safety precautions from those using the roads. The construction team is out there working, sometimes around the clock, to keep the roads in good repair and improving for the future of all drivers. Be sure to continue to reference these work zone safety tips and “GIVE ‘EM A BRAKE” as the saying goes!

How to Protect Yourself from the Sun Over the Road

Download the complete guide for 5 easy tips for sun protection while on the road.

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Truckers must always be aware of their surroundings and changing road and weather conditions. However, summer trucking days can take those changing conditions to the extreme. More people on the road, extremes in the weather, and large construction projects can add time to your routes and impact deliveries. Here are 4 summer trucking tips to make your travel easier.

1. Extra Traffic

Once the kids are out of school, many families pack up the cars, campers, trailers, and RVs to head out on annual family vacations. Driving cross-country with overly-packed vehicles, and hauling extra gear in tow adds to the congestion on the road.

Being prepared to deal with these extra drivers, and to potentially reroute yourself away from tourist hotspots is a good way to keep your summer trucking travel on track. Keep alert for under-experienced drivers that are hauling over-sized boat trailers or campers. They might be out for the first time this season, so give them a little extra room.

2. Extreme Weather

Summer is a season of extreme weather conditions. Extreme heat, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes are just some of the types of weather that can impede your travel plans while summer trucking. Being prepared for these and the potential delays that might result, is an important part of summer trucking.

Make sure you’ve got a good weather app, and that notifications are setup when weather conditions are changing. If you do have to pull off for a while somewhere unexpectedly, be prepared. Have extra water and supplies in your truck just in case.

3. Construction

In some areas, summertime is also known as “major road construction” time. This is a great time to remember that double-checking routes for construction delays and planning alternates can save you both time and money. Prepare for road closures and traffic jams due to construction.

Be ready and aware of workers on the road. Keep an eye out for posted “Construction Zone” signs, and  watch your speed to avoid any unexpected fines. Do this and it will help keep you moving along and your deliveries on track.

4. Sun Protection

Though it’s a good practice to wear sunscreen daily, it’s a good reminder for summer trucking as well. The sun’s UV rays are coming through your windows all day, every day, even when it’s cloudy. Those UV rays are most potent during the summer months. Make it a habit to put on a good layer of SPF before you get in the driver’s seat for the day. Wear long sleeves, sunglasses, and a hat. Your skin will thank you later!

How to Protect Yourself from the Sun Over the Road

Download the complete guide for 5 easy tips for sun protection while on the road.

Download the Guide Now