September 13, 2019No Comments

Helpful Trucker Terms you should know!

Helpful Trucker Terms you should know!

Being a trucker is not only a unique way of life, but it also comes with a unique way of communicating that mainly only those in the trucking industry can decipher and understand.

It can be so easy to get the terms used by truckers mixed up.

I've compiled a helpful list you can reference back to for their meaning.
Take a look!

Trucker Terms:

Payload – the weight of the load
Peddle Run – route with lots of deliveries
Pete – Peter-built truck
RC (Rate Confirmation) – the rate shipper or broker agrees to pay a carrier to haul a load
Reefer – refrigerated truck trailer
Shiny Side Up – top of the truck; don’t crash or rollover
Sliding Fifth Wheel – a fifth wheel that can be slid back to redistribute weight on the axles
Trucking Authority –FMCSA approval to haul loads
Willy Weaver – a drunk driver
10-4 – acknowledging something
10-6 – busy right now
10-8 – en route
20 – location
4-Wheeler – automobile
APU – authorized pick-up
OR
APU-Auxiliary Power Units
Backhaul – returning load to the home location
Bear Trap – speed radar trap
Gear Jammer –speeding driver
Hammer Down – drive faster
Hopper – a truck that empties load through the bottom that opens
HOS –hours of service
Intermodal – shipping container freight
Jack-Knife –when a trailer is pushed to the side of the tractor
K-whopper – Kenworth truck
Kingpin – pin where the axle wheel pivots
LTL (Less Than Truckload) – load less than 10,000 lbs.
Motor Carrier – the person or company that is responsible for transporting goods via a commercial motor vehicle
P&D Driver – pickup and delivery driver locally
Bill of Lading – a document that details information regarding the goods being hauled by a carrier from a shipper
Chicken Coop – Weigh Station
Chicken Lights – Added lights on and around a truck
Chocks –blocks placed in front and behind wheels to prevent the truck from rolling
Consignee – the person who receives the goods
Co-signor – a person who ships the goods
County Mounty – a county sheriff
Deadhead – miles driven with no load
Dry Van –standard enclosed truck trailer
ETA – estimated time of arrival
Freightshaker – Freightliner truck
GCW (Gross Combined Weight) – the combined weight of tractor/trailer and load
 Hopefully, you learned a few new helpful terms to use on the road.  What are your favorite terms to use? Comment below!

August 30, 2019No Comments

Hurricane Safety Tips

Hurricane Safety Tips

Hurricane Dorian is predicted to hit Florida and the northern Bahamas this weekend as an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm, bringing intense rains and sustained winds of 130 mph, the National Hurricane Center says. The only region of severe weather will be from portions of Kansas and Nebraska stretching to Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan. Watch out for areas of torrential rainfall, large hail and gusty winds in places such as Topeka, Wichita, Lincoln, Omaha, Kansas City, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Grand Rapids. Localized flash flooding could shut down some secondary roads or interstate ramps.

Helpful Tips Below:

1. Prepare for high winds

Before the hurricane even hits and the rain starts, there’s most likely going to be lots of strong winds in the area. Strong wind is dangerous for truck drivers because it can pull and sometimes even flip a tractor-trailer. Trucks pulling dry vans or reefers are most at risk when it comes to high winds. Also, keep in mind that strong wind gusts can damage a trailer even if it’s parked.

2. Pay attention to weather warnings

Pay attention to weather warnings. If there is a state of emergency in a certain area, you may want to consider taking a different route or delaying shipment to that area. Also, stay up to date on road conditions during hurricane season. The U.S. Department of Transportation keeps track of road conditions and closings, so check it out to make sure you’re heading toward the safe ground.

3. Be flexible

Be prepared for schedule delays and changes. Patience is key when your trucking route is being impacted by a hurricane. Since the weather is so unpredictable, there’s no saying just how long an area will continue to be impacted by the storm. Be flexible in this situation and prepared for anything.

4. Avoid driving through high water

This one may seem obvious, but avoid driving through high water and don’t assume that piles of debris that you see are just branches and sticks. Hurricanes blow and float things around, so keep an eye on the road for any hazards up ahead. If you can’t see the road or you’re unsure, don’t just plow through it and continue onward. It’s better to stop then to run over something or someone you can’t see trapped by the storm.

Remember,

· No load is worth your life or the life of other people on the road. If it gets dangerous, get off the road.

· Crosswinds with a light load make you more likely to tip over or to jackknife.

· Crosswinds can blow you into other lanes — stay alert.

· Hydroplaning (to slide uncontrollably on the wet surface of a road) can be terrifying: get your foot off the accelerator and ease onto the brakes.

· Once you’re stopped if you need to communicate with your family or dispatch, use texting as much as possible vs. phone calls. Text messages use less bandwidth, and you are more likely to get through an overloaded cellular system.

August 23, 2019No Comments

8 Places to See While Driving OTR

8 Places to See While Driving OTR

As a professional truck driver, you’ll travel across the country, and drive through towns and cities you never knew existed. You’ll probably see more sights and scenery than you ever thought possible. Although it requires a little bit of planning you can make the most of your truck driving career.

The amount of sightseeing you can do on your downtime depends on the rules your company sets. But if you can, do a little planning and take advantage of your resets and days off!

You can even use a trip planner like Roadtrippers.com to find attractions that are accessible by public transportation, or even within walking distance of your tuck terminal. You might even find some offbeat, strange, and unusual places to visit!

Here are the top 8 places to see during your time as a Professional Driver:

1. Lake Tahoe

Often forgotten among top travel destination lists, North America’s largest alpine lake still enjoys visitors year-round. Nestled between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is known for its stunningly clear water.

The area surrounding the lake is surrounded by a panorama of mountains on all sides. In the winter months, you can enjoy skiing and snowboarding through one of the numerous resorts in the area. The warmer months will offer plenty of opportunities for hiking, kayaking, and boating.

2. Mount Rushmore

Visiting Mount Rushmore in South Dakota will give you a chance to pay tribute to America’s greatest presidents. The sculpture is carved into the granite face of the mountain and features the 60-foot heads of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.

The four presidents were chosen to represent the nation’s birth, growth, development, and preservation, respectively. Sometimes referred to as the “Shrine of Democracy”, the sculpture is unlike any other in North America. Families can enjoy hiking trails, ranger talks, and lighting ceremonies. If you’re in the area, consider touring the surrounding Black Hills and the South Dakota Badlands, known for its sharply eroded buttes and pinnacles.

3. The Florida Keys

Sure, the Florida Keys aren’t one single destination to see, but if you’re there you might as well see it all. You can traverse the entire coral cay archipelago, including the seven-mile-bridge. Key West is home to the southernmost point in the continental United States and offers pristine beaches and a lively bar and restaurant scene.

In Key Largo, you can find some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving spots in the country. The entire area is known for its ecological preservation, including the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the first underwater park in the United States. Visitors flock to the Keys to enjoy all sorts of water recreation including snorkeling, sailing, deep-sea fishing, or simply lounging on the beaches. No trip to Florida is complete without seeing the Keys at least once.

4. Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park in California boasts nearly 768,000 acres of land with granite cliffs, towering waterfalls, and giant sequoia trees. Over 4 million people visit this UNESCO world heritage site every year.

Among the famous spots here are El Capitan, a sheer granite rock that measures about 3,600 feet tall, and Yosemite Falls, North America’s tallest waterfall. Yosemite is a popular destination all year-round, even though the best hiking months are when it's warmer. Tuolumne Meadows is a hiker’s delight, complete with alpine lakes, rivers, and mountain peaks. The diversity of the terrain, along with the unique flora and fauna, make Yosemite one of America’s great treasures.

5. The Everglades

If you’ve never seen a tropical wetland before, the Everglades should be at the top of your must-see list. The Everglades National Park comprises only 20 percent of the original Everglades region in Florida. It’s the largest tropical wilderness in the United States, with over 1 million people visiting the park every year.

As another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Everglades functions to preserve a fragile ecosystem, along with many threatened or protected species such as the Florida panther and American crocodile. Visit the River of Grass, where you’ll find the largest stand of old-growth cypress trees on Earth, along with alligators and black bears. The 15-mile Shark Valley Scenic Loop tram or airboat tour will also offer spectacular views right through the glades, with plenty of opportunities for wildlife sightings.

6. Yellowstone National Park

With over 2 million acres, Yellowstone is so massive that it spans three states- Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. It was established by the US Congress and signed into law in 1872, making it the first national park in the US. Yellowstone is famous the world over for its wildlife and geothermal features like lakes, canyons, rivers, and mountain ranges.

The park is open year-round and offers different recreational activities each season, to complement the must-see natural wonders. Yellowstone Lake is one of the highest elevation lakes in North America. It’s centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest supervolcano on the continent. Half of the world’s geysers are in Yellowstone, including the famous Old Faithful, which erupts every 90 minutes. Yellowstone is another original American natural treasure.

7. Niagara Falls

Rightly considered one of North America’s great natural wonders, the Niagara Falls State Park and Heritage Area is housed between the Canadian province of Ontario and the US state of New York. The Falls are actually comprised of three waterfalls- the largest Horseshoe Falls which straddles the border, the American Falls, and the Bridal Veil Falls.

During peak daytime hours, more than 168,000 cubic meters (six million cubic feet) of water goes over the crest of the falls every minute. The best views of the Falls are undoubtedly from a helicopter tour or from the Maid of the Mist boat tour. Alternately, you can stay until dark when the falls are lighted or walk across the Rainbow Bridge to the Canadian side. The Falls are famed the world over for their beauty and enjoy an average of 20 million visitors annually.

8. Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon frequently tops lists of best places to visit in the country, and for good reason. The canyon is carved by the Colorado River in Arizona and is a testament to nearly 5 million years of water cutting through layer after layer of rock. The canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and attains a depth of over a mile.

The park is one of the world’s premier natural attractions and enjoys about five million visitors per year. Once again, helicopter tours or other aerial sightseeing offer some of the best views of the canyon. On foot hiking tours will also offer some jaw-dropping vantage points. Aside from sightseeing, visitors can also enjoy rafting and camping. Along with Yellowstone and Yosemite, the Grand Canyon completes the holy trinity of must-see natural wonder sites in America.

August 16, 2019No Comments

TRUCK DRIVER PACKING LIST

THE COMPLETE TRUCK DRIVER PACKING LIST

Preparing your truck for a trip is essential to keep yourself safe and comfortable while you’re on the road. Whether you’re a regional or OTR driver, your truck should be equipped with everything necessary for a trip, no matter what the duration.  When you’re on the road, there’s nothing worse than realizing you forgot something. Packing is a real struggle for truck drivers. Even though you can’t fit everything from home in the cab, you need to make sure it’s loaded with all the essentials for your haul. As the old saying goes, a little planning goes a long way. Here’s a list of things truck drivers need on the road.

Clothing

There are two rules for truck driver packing regarding clothing: pack enough clothes and pack the right clothes. Finding laundry machines at your local truck stop is rare, so make sure you have enough for your entire run, plus a few extra outfits. And remember: trucking isn’t a beauty pageant. Your clothes should be comfortable and appropriate for whatever weather you may face. That includes:

  • Shirts
  • Pants and shorts
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Sleepwear
  • Jacket
  • Tennis shoes & weatherproof boots
  • Laundry basket or bag
  • Sunglasses
  • Gloves

Toiletries

Any seasoned truck driver will tell you that those soaps and shampoos at truck stops aren’t worth what they charge. You’ll save money by packing your own toiletries. Buy a small shower bag or shower caddy and fill it with all your essentials, like:

  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Razors & shaving cream
  • Shower shoes
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Any daily medication you take
  • Over-the-counter medicine in case you get sick on the road

Cleaning Supplies

Your truck is your home away from home. Keep it clean and organized and you’ll feel a lot better when you pull over for the night. Here are some truck driver must-haves for keeping the cab clean:

  • Paper towels
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Trash bags
  • Air freshener
  • Handheld vacuum

Food and Drink

You can’t always pull over for three square meals a day, but you can’t go hungry either. Stock your truck with food and drinks to beat the cravings and keep on rolling. And trust us, we love chips and chocolate as much as anyone, but you’re better off snacking on healthier options. With food, here are the common truck driver essentials:

  • Slow cooker & ingredients
  • Plates, bowls, cutlery
  • Granola bars
  • Beef jerky
  • Unsalted nuts
  • Fresh fruit or veggies
  • Water

Entertainment

Whether you’re waiting on a loading dock or winding down after a long day, you need ways to entertain yourself on the road. Thankfully, technology makes it easy for truck drivers to stay entertained and connected with friends and family wherever they go. Make sure your cab includes some of these to avoid going stir crazy:

  • Books or an e-reader
  • Audiobooks or podcasts
  • Laptop or tablet
  • Cellphone & Bluetooth headset
  • Movies or CDs
  • Headphones
  • Any chargers you need

Emergency Supplies

Between winter blizzards and summer storms, you never know what kinds of road conditions you’ll face on your haul. We recommend buying a durable backpack and keeping it filled with any supplies you need to get through mother nature’s wrath. Here’s what’s included in a truck driver emergency kit:

  • Flashlight & batteries
  • Space blankets
  • First aid kit
  • Nonperishable food and extra water
  • Road atlas
  • Basic tools
  • Pocket knife

Cash and Identification

Just about everyone pays with credit or debit card these days. But, some banks will cancel a driver’s card without warning because of “fraudulent activity.” It helps to have a backup payment option along with all your ID cards. Make sure you pack:

  • Cash
  • Checks
  • CDL
  • Health insurance card

No matter how many miles you have under your belt, we all forget to pack something now and then. Go through our complete truck driver packing list before rolling out and you’ll always be ready. For more ways to make life easier on the road, check out our truck driver tips.

Remember, you won’t have much room in your truck, so make sure you pack light and pack smart.

August 9, 2019No Comments

5 EASY EXERCISES FOR TRUCKERS

5 EASY EXERCISES FOR TRUCKERS

We all know sitting in traffic can cause aches in pains, especially when you are behind the wheel during a long drive! Forget traffic jams and treacherous road conditions—the real issue of truck drivers everywhere is back pain! It can be more than a nuisance or even more so career-ending!

Yes, as a driver you’re going to spend lots of hours sitting behind the wheel. But that doesn’t mean you have to just sit and wait for back pain to happen and just accept it.

1. Backbends

Place your hands on your hips, behind your back. Then lean back and hold for 5–10 seconds; complete 5 reps. This will really help decompress your spine!

2. Front bends

Place your hands on your hips, behind your back. Then lean forward and hold for 5–10 seconds; complete 5 reps. This will help loosen up your hamstrings and increase leg circulation.

3. Side bends

Put your hands to your sides; raise one hand and stretch it to the side for 5–10 seconds, as if you were trying to reach something. Then do it with the other hand; complete 5 reps. This will help lengthen your torso muscles and stretch your outer hip muscles.

4. Knees up

Find a wall or use the side of your truck for this one. Place your hands apart, just outside of shoulder width, and bring each knee up, one at a time, turning it to the side and taking it across your body for 30–60 seconds. This will help loosen and strengthen your glutes and stretch your pelvis.

5. Neck stretch

Place one hand to your side and stretch the other out 90 degrees, and then lean your head to the opposite side. Using your outstretched arm, try to reach out as far as you can and move your neck as far as you can the opposite way. Do this for 5–10 seconds and repeat with the other arm; complete 5 reps. This will help relieve tension in the shoulders and neck.
Use these exercises to help put back pain in your rearview mirror—and keep it there for good!

August 2, 2019No Comments

Strategies to Help Ease Your Road Rage

Strategies to Help Ease Your Road Rage

It is almost inevitable that you’ll face aggressive drivers, as an over the road trucker. We have all been victims of slow drivers, and drivers who forget to use their turn signals. These are the two most common frustrations we can face on the road. As a trucker, managing the urge to go nuts behind the wheel of a 50,000-pound machine is important.

One mistake can turn tragic quickly and rather than falling into the road rage trap how about you develop methods to ease your road raging urges. We know that frustration can be seen as part of the job, but it doesn’t have to be. Road rage has ended in death far too many times, whether a confrontation went wrong or a loss of focus and calmness being thrown out the window. The strategies below are effective ways to take help you manage. Next time you feel your blood boiling when you’re behind the wheel of your freight turn to these strategies and feel a sense of peace rush over you.

Control Is Out The Window

This is probably the hardest thing to face for individuals who need to be in control, but it’s absolutely true. You have no control over other drivers. The only thing we can control is how we react. Whether we react to a stoplight on time, react to a driver cutting us off, or in some cases flipping us off it is up to us to react in a manner that’s appropriate. Remembering that you have no control over other drivers helps you reflect more on what you can do better. Maybe you left late, now you tell yourself you have to speed to be on time. Instead of getting upset with drivers going the speed limit strategize on how you can leave on time.

Relax And Release

No matter where you’re headed it’s important to not arrive flustered. Meditating either in silence or with a playlist or podcast will keep your mind on other things. Remaining calm is the key to staying safe while performing your job.

We’re All Humans

It is quite easy to find ourselves frustrated when we get cut off, but choosing to not take those things personal help us to manage our inner need to lash out. Humans make mistakes. Some of the things we learned when we were 14 taking drivers-ed to go out the window when kids are kicking our back seat or we just spilled hot coffee in our laps. Life happens and mistakes do too. The best thing we can do is be grateful we stopped in time rather than shouting at the top of our lungs.

July 26, 2019No Comments

Pre-trip Inspection Tips

Pre-trip Inspection Guide

The pre-trip inspection is a very important part of every trip you take.

Remember, it is meant to be a thorough check of the semi-truck, trailer, and load, to ensure that everything correctly, prior to the truck driver, departing on a trip. Also, any damage or issues needing attention, are to be addressed before departure. To avoid stress and make your job easier this is a crucial part.

PRE-TRIP INSPECTION STEPS

Tip the hood of the truck

  • Check fluid levels: oil and coolant levels.
  • For the pre-trip, look for oil, fuel, coolant, power steering fluid leaks… The leak is either a problem or a potential problem.
  • Make sure caps are tight for the rad, oil filler, power steering fluid and the dip stick is seated properly.
  • Observe at the engine block.  Check for leaks, fluid running down the side of the engine.  Look at the hoses. Check for wear, cracking or fraying. Inspect fan belts for proper tension and signs of wear.
  • Take a look at the engine fan. Make sure there are no pieces out of any of the blades.
  • Look for any exposed or bare wires or wires which appear out of place.
  • Check windshield wiper fluid level.
  •  Scan steering axle tires for uneven wear, nails, etc.
  • Take a look at the shock absorbers, ball joints, and kingpins for wear and proper lubrication.

Leave the truck hood up – continue with a pre-trip inspection

  • Observe all tires on your rig as well as the trailer.
  • Visually inspect the airlines and electrical cord, to ensure they are properly connected
  • Visually check the 5th wheel to make sure it’s coupled to the trailer
  • Ensure the landing gear is ok, legs are up and secure, and crank handle is secure
  • Trailer suspension – airbags are up or no broken springs
  • Brake pads. Look for good thickness.
  • Brake adjustment indicators. Look for proper positioning.
  • Look over the entire unit thoroughly for body damage.

Start the vehicle

  • Depress the clutch and start the engine. ( in neutral)
  • Observe gauges to be sure oil pressure is a good and electrical system in charging
  • Gently ease the clutch out slowly and carefully, just in case there’s a problem (if you do this too quickly, you could launch yourself across the parking lot).
  • Do not high idle the truck right away. Let it idle at 650 RPM
  • A glance at the gauges again to ensure all is ok and air pressure is building.
  • Turn on all lights and flashers and exit the vehicle.
  • Do a visual of the motor, looking for leaks
  • Observe belts for proper tension and that they are turning properly
  • Close the hood and lock it down.

This is a good way to test the foot brake is operating correctly.

  • Be certain all lights for proper function on truck and trailer.
  • In the truck, use a piece of wood or find a way to depress the brake pedal, so the operation of the exterior lights can be checked
  • Listen for air leaks as you walk around the unit.
  • Remove the block of wood from the pedal, turn off lights not needed.

Back up a few feet

(Be sure you’ve already checked behind the trailer!)

Pull forward about 6 feet.

Then, pull ahead 6 more feet and stop the truck with the foot brake.

Pull the trailer brake, to ensure it’s working properly and to make sure the fifth wheel is correctly coupled to the trailer.  This helps ensure that all trailer wheels are turning.

Then, and only then, complete required documentation on the logbooks, for pre-inspection report/circle check.
CDL training schools teach this process of the pre-trip inspection in detail, and most have their own version of the inspection.
Keep in mind, any problems encountered should be addressed before beginning the trip and indicated on the logbook pre-trip inspection report.
As the driver of the vehicle, you are responsible for this vehicle report. If you find the vehicle has issues, have them fixed before departing.
Be thorough with the inspection. Your life depends on it!

 

© 2018 Logiflex Inc

Blog.

Helpful Trucker Terms you should know!

Helpful Trucker Terms you should know! Being a trucker is not only a unique way of life, but it also comes with a unique...

→ Read More

Hurricane Safety Tips

Hurricane Safety Tips Hurricane Dorian is predicted to hit Florida and the northern Bahamas this weekend as an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm, bringing...

→ Read More

8 Places to See While Driving OTR

8 Places to See While Driving OTR As a professional truck driver, you’ll travel across the country, and drive through towns and cities you...

→ Read More

TRUCK DRIVER PACKING LIST

THE COMPLETE TRUCK DRIVER PACKING LIST Preparing your truck for a trip is essential to keep yourself safe and comfortable while you’re on the...

→ Read More

5 EASY EXERCISES FOR TRUCKERS

5 EASY EXERCISES FOR TRUCKERS We all know sitting in traffic can cause aches in pains, especially when you are behind the wheel during...

→ Read More

Strategies to Help Ease Your Road Rage

Strategies to Help Ease Your Road Rage It is almost inevitable that you’ll face aggressive drivers, as an over the road trucker. We have...

→ Read More

Pre-trip Inspection Tips

Pre-trip Inspection Guide The pre-trip inspection is a very important part of every trip you take. Remember, it is meant to be a thorough...

→ Read More