When you’re a truck driver, you’re bound to see many different roads. Some of them are pretty and some of them not so much. If you’re ever operating a truck in Idaho or Wyoming, then make sure to check out these beautiful scenic routes.
Trucking is one of the few industries that is severely affected by the weather. Preparing your truck for winter can make the difference between being comfortable or miserable. Some common-sense precautions can make driving in winter a lot safer.
7 Ways to Winterize Your Truck
1. Install new wiper blades
Wiper blades are an absolute necessity for driving in bad weather. Buy a new set of wiper blades to avoid yours from falling apart. Pro-tip: don’t buy cheap blades. There’s nothing worse than having to replace a blade during a snow storm.
2. Apply MotorKote
Put some MotorKote on a cloth and rub it over anything that opens or closes, such as your doors, to prevent them from freezing shut. You can also put a few drops in the locks to help prevent freezing. Allow for some time to air dry the MotorKote before closing. Additionally, apply a thin coat on your wiper blades, in order to prevent snow and ice sticking to your new blades. Let it dry for a few hours then wipe off the excess.
3. Prevent your fuel from freezing
It’s a good idea to treat your fuel when the temperatures start to drop below freezing. This help prevent gelling or ice build-up in filters and fuel lines.
4. Lubricate the fifth wheel
When it’s too cold for traditional fifth wheel grease to spread easily, try to spray Silicone or Lithium Grease to lubricate the wheel.
5. Carry WD-40 or a similar spray lubricant
Don’t be in a position where you can’t get your padlocks off due to ice buildup. A few shots of this spray will help you defrost frozen locks.
6. Always have spare fluids
Check your tire pressure and all your fluids before heading out on a trip in winter. Due to the effects elevation and temperature has on air pressure and fluid pressure, it’s always wise to carry an air hose and spare fluids. Having these handy can mean the difference between getting back on the road or waiting for road service.
7. Create an emergency kit
Use a backpack or duffel bag to make an emergency kit that includes items such as a flash light, charging cords, battery bank, food, snacks, bottles of water, medicine and important documents. No matter your preparedness, you’ll always seem to forget something. Thankfully, many items can also be found at travel centers.
Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned driver, it never hurts to check out the precautions other truckers take. You may learn something new and be even more prepared. Moreover, it never hurts to carry more food and water than you think you may need.
When you have been trucking for a long time you become well-acquainted with the many road hazards you encounter every day. With every season comes different safety threats, and you can get so used to one season that as it rolls over to the next it is easy to forget which ones to be more aware of. Although you may believe that Winter is the most dangerous, Fall has its own set of threats to truckers as well. It is extremely important to remember the dangers that become more prevalent in the Fall to keep you and your fellow drivers safe this season.
Deer usually have their young during the late Spring and early Summer, leaving Fall as the season with the most grown deer running around. As the deer start to migrate around in search of food, a new Winter home, and water sources they will inevitably start to cross roadways to find these things. Although hitting a deer may not cause very much damage to you and your truck, it could potentially cause a lot of harm to the drivers around you. Truck drivers are some of the most highly trained and skilled drivers out there, so it is important to remember to do what you can to help the other, less experienced drivers on the road. How do you do this? Very easily by just keeping that extra eye out for stray deer and having a plan for yourself on how to handle the situation.
Cold weather can create challenges in regulating the tire pressure on your rig. Fall is one of the strange times in the year when it gets really cold at night and into the morning, and then the temperature gradually increases throughout the day continuing this frustrating cycle of cold and warm temperatures. If you have been out driving all day and your tire measures 100 PSI at 70 degrees Fahrenheit (F), over night the temperature could drop to as low as 20 degrees F and when you check again in the morning your tire pressure could be at 90 PSI. As a reference, for every drop in temperature by 10 degrees equates to a loss of two PSI. Most drivers believe that over-inflated tires are your worst enemy, when in reality under-inflated tires are much more dangerous. Before you go out on your route for the day this Fall, spend the time to double-check your tire’s PSI.
Daylight saving time happens every fall sometime in early November. It is important to stay up to date on when these changes are happening to make sure you know to change your clocks as well. When this change happens every Fall, we switch our clocks back an hour, so 4:00pm will now really be 3:00pm, giving ourselves an extra hour until nightfall. However, this usually signals the time in the year where sunset will start to become earlier and earlier, giving truck drivers less daylight time to drive. Driving at night can be dangerous, but driving at night in the Fall can be increasingly difficult with other factors like deer, leaves, and inclement weather. You should plan ahead to either give yourself enough daylight to make your trips, or prepare yourself to spend more time driving in the dark.
The changing leaves are arguably the most beautiful part of the transition from Summer to Fall, but as all good things come to end the leaves will begin to fall and make their way onto the roads and highways. The combination of rain and leaves can be detrimental to safe driving as wet leaves can be as slick as ice and send you off track. Keep this in mind when driving on a roadway that has more leaf coverage and slow down when getting to this part of your route.
When you’re on the road for hours at a time, it’s easy to let fast food and truck stop meals persuade your taste buds. But, it’s not hard to eat healthy on the road! Check out these suggestions for some great on-the-go meals and snacks to tie you over between meals.
Fruits & Veggies
When reaching for fruits and veggies to take on road trips, aim for varieties that don’t bruise, stain, or spoil easily. If you opt to take dried fruits, make sure you turn for a brand that does not have any added sugar in it. Apples, clementines, carrots, and snap peas, for example, are all ideal for long drives.
If fruits and veggies aren’t your thing, don’t worry, there’s room for meat too. Beef jerky and nuts make perfect protein-filled snacks. They don’t require a refrigerator and they hold you over for long periods of time. Bring along some nut butter to dip your fruit in, too! For something to satisfy a little more completely, bring canned tuna or salmon to pair with crackers.
Want something to balance the salty? Reach for some whole grain, fruit cookies, or chocolate covered nuts. You can even buy organic fruit snacks! These snacks will satisfy the sweet craving without making you loosen your belt.
According to the American Trucking Association’s quarterly turnover report, driver turnover rates for large truckload fleets have fallen to its lowest point since 2011. Large fleets are those with more than $30 million in annual revenue. In the fourth quarter of 2016, these companies saw a 16% decrease in turnover rates. Interestingly enough, however, turnover rates for fleets that make less than $30 million per year saw a similar decrease!
Check out overdrive’s article for more insight on this drop in turnover rates.
Driving in cold weather? Make sure you’re geared up to go. Check out these tips from a fellow trucker about how to prep your truck for winter, so you’re ready for whatever mother nature throws at you!
Many of us are rejoicing the mild temperatures of November so far. But, this warm weather is the best time to prepare for winter before freezing temperatures make prepping miserable. Not only should you take care of your truck by winterizing the diesel tank, replacing windshield wipers, and getting fresh snow tires, but you should also bring along a few essential items in case of an emergency.
What items are essential? Fill a plastic bin with these:
- a windshield scraper
- a small shovel
- non-perishable snacks (energy bars are a good option!)
- matches and candles, or a flashlight and batteries
- a first-aid kit
- a pocket knife
- road salt or cat litter
- booster cables
- a cell phone car charger
Stow these emergency items in your trucks cabin. By having them handy, you’ll be able to drive easy in rough conditions knowing that you’ll be safe if anything should happen. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Now, women are getting into the trucking industry more than ever. While they only make up about 6% of the trucking workforce, the numbers are climbing. One company, Prime, has doubled the number of women in their workforce since 2011. What’s with the steady climb in the number of women truckers? The money and the low barrier for entry, mostly. Becoming a trucker requires some training and a quick CDL test, but does not require extensive schooling, which makes it desirable for someone who is trying to get a good paying job without the time commitment.
In addition to single female drivers, truck driving couples are becoming more and more popular. Women who are retired with an empty nest are hitting the road with their husbands. Trucking couple teams are able to see the country together and make a good salary while they do it. On average, truck drivers are able to make between $45,000 and $50,000 a year. With changes in technology and more safety regulations, women are able to complete the tasks involved with trucking that were difficult to do in the past. With the addition of power steering, no-touch freights, and single-sex showers, women don’t have to worry about as much as they used to.
The trucking industry is welcoming female truckers. In fact, women are encouraged to try out the business. With the shortage of truck drivers increasing every year, the industry says that women could be the key to alleviating the shortage. As the years go on, truck manufacturers are adapting their vehicles to be more managable for women drivers. Soon, it won’t be so rare to see a female behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler!
New to truck driving, or just want to know what you should pay attention to on the road? Check out this trucker’s tips on mirrors, road-cautions, and more!
Factoring is a financial tool that aids you to get immediate money against your credit sales so that you do not need to wait too long before it matures. Factoring has been a part of the business sector for hundreds of years and has acquired a new shape with the changing needs.
Cash is made instantly accessible by a factoring company, which in normal circumstances, would take months to recover. The factoring company disburses the cash immediately against the invoice, which is kept as security.
Truck factoring is the process in which truck factoring invoice firms purchase invoices only from the trucking and transportation firms. The cash that these trucking firms, big or small, get from factoring companies helps them to regulate their work with a smooth cash flow. In the trucking companies, cash comes only after a stipulated time of 60-90 days. In this scenario, factoring comes as a welcome respite to these companies where the deficit of money might hinder the smooth working of the firm.
A fee charged by these factoring companies which varies from 1.5% to 7% depending upon the volume of invoices factored and time taken for the same invoices to get cleared. This might seem a high fee, but when one looks at the larger picture, then the benefits one gets, regarding cash flow and saved time and energy, is very reasonable.
The main advantage of factoring invoices is that the company gets the much-needed cash flow to run the business smoothly. This is done after the negotiation of the fee of factoring firm is decided, and both parties have agreed upon a final rate. Once finalized, the factoring company pays around 60-90% of the invoice as the advance, decided earlier. Thus, the other firm gets its cash in hand.
When a firm starts factoring its invoices it saves not only on time but also on the number of employees who can then be directed towards other important jobs rather than employing them to extract dues from clients.
As trucking firms have ready money, it also boosts their buying or procuring power, enabling them to make better deals. They are also able to get benefits of bulk procurement discounts. Ready cash flow also helps in expansion through marketing and production and subsequently increasing sales. This comes as an overall boon for the firm that has chosen to factor for its freight bills.
A great benefit of factoring freight bills is that it provides the company with a detailed and clean portfolio of its accounts receivable. Ready cash improves the financial statement and saves a company from falling into a debt trap. Moreover, there is no need to look back to traditional banks for any financial assistance as the factoring companies provide the required amount of cash flow for the smooth expansion of business. This way the company is saved from paying the high interests rates charged by banks on loans.