Warehouse efficiency relies on smooth transitions from one stage of the shipping process to the next. When delays occur, they not only slow down the flow of that specific load but can also cause delays with additional orders, quickly creating a snowball effect. Long dwell durations and port delays are discouraged by per diem and excess detention penalties. Proper drayage training and procedures can help simplify loading and unloading processes while lowering the likelihood of per diem and other drayage charges, which can quickly add up.
As you sit down to enjoy some time off this holiday season, remember there are a few industries, like trucking, that never take a break. While others celebrate with family and friends, there are fleets of long-haul drivers kicking things into high gear to make the holidays happen.
It’s easy to forget where our goods come from and how they get to us. But almost anything you’ve ever bought—food, clothes, toys, electronics was delivered on a truck. As you prepare shopping lists and head out to stores where the shelves and freezers are stocked, take a moment to consider we’d have very little if it weren’t for truckers. In fact, trucks are the only vehicles that run more miles than Santa’s sleigh!
We should all help spread some holiday cheer to these important workers who make it all happen. While they may not be wearing Santa hats, they are truly the ones driving Christmas and all the holiday traditions your family enjoys.
So, during the next couple of weeks, if you pass a truck driver on the road, be sure to wave a thank you to them. They really do deserve it!
Buy vs Lease Truck is one important decision future owner-operators must take. Both options offer benefits as well as drawbacks. There are many different situations that apply to different people. Always keep in mind that a truck is a tool for work first, and a vehicle second. Potential business owners should consider the job at hand to make the best choice.
Lease a Truck
If you are starting your trucking career, leasing a truck makes sense or you if lack good credit. It does not require a significant down payment, and the monthly or weekly amount is generally smaller than that of a loan. The driver will own the truck, as the lease agreement ends. There is a type of lease where a downpayment is required. Monthly payments are generally low because the balloon payment at the end of the contract matches the value of the truck at the time. For example a 10 percent down payment on a $130,000 vehicle with $2000 per month for 60 months and a balloon payment of $24,000 at the end. This is a sweet deal for a new truck if you plan to keep and use it for longer than five years.
The most common lease is directly through a trucking company. Weekly payments will be deducted from the driver's check. A required down payment of around $5000 will be needed. It shows good money management skills and establishes good faith. It also allows for lower weekly payments.
Drivers are responsible for the maintenance of the trucks unless the lease is from Ryder or Penske. These two companies charge between $0.12 and $0.20 per mile for regular maintenance. This, however, does not include accidents and or incidentals. If you hit a deer or a rock cracks the windshield, repairs come out of your pocket.
Buy a Truck
When a future owner-operator purchases a truck and finances it, the bank takes the title as collateral for the loan. The driver owns the vehicle, and like in the lease (unless the lease is from Ryder or Penske) all responsibility for the ownership falls on him.
Financing a loan is a cheaper option. Also since the driver is the owner, he can build some equity in the truck. If the market is strong, an owner-operator can make extra principal payments towards the loan, thus paying it off early and saving on interest.
Drivers need a credit score of over 630-650. That puts those with less than perfect credit at a disadvantage. The higher your credit score, the better the interest rate on the loan will be.
Many banks require down payments when credit history is an issue. Ten percent is standard, but some will only ask for five. Almost any lender will agree to finance a truck driver with 20 percent cash in pocket. Putting down a substantial down payment secures lower monthly payments that won't put a toll on the driver when the market is slow.
A major factor in improving the odds of financing a truck is the previous owner-operator experience. Many banks will deny even 20 percent down payments if the future truck owner cannot provide past truck payment history. That is probably the main reason why many drivers start off with a lease. Experienced truck drivers are not necessarily experienced business owners, and banks know that. Previous owner-operator experience shows knowledge of how to manage a business and offers banks more security.
Your winter truck maintenance is something that you need to take care of every winter season.
Maintaining your truck during the winter and making sure it is performing at the best operating efficiency is essential for success. You get most of your truck by having it on the road. The first step to ensure efficient and reliable performance is by maintaining it properly. Winter is coming and we know what is coming with it - snow, cold nights, ice, and winds.
You need to prepare your vehicle for the temperature drop. One of the most common winter mechanical faults is a frozen engine. Your cooling system and radiator are under a lot of stress during the cold winter months. Their proper functioning is vital for keeping the engine cool without freezing in the winter.
The coldest and wettest months are always a challenge. Now is the time to prepare your truck properly for the months ahead.
What exactly is a cooling system? How it is essential for your winter truck maintenance?
The engine in your vehicle is an internal combustion engine where power is generated through the expansion of high temperature and high-pressure gases. Due to the combustion gas and the friction of mechanical parts, a lot of heat is generated. The heat in question should be removed from the engine and kept at operating temperature.
Parts involved in cooling the engine:
Cooling System Parts:
1. Water Pump
4. Coolant Temperature Sensor
5. Coolant (Antifreeze + Water)
Water pump - it is an essential part of the system. It pumps the coolant and is the heart of every cooling system.
The Radiator is a heat exchanger used to transfer the excess heat developed by the engine to the atmosphere.
The thermostat regulates the flow of the coolant. It is a valve and it helps to maintain the proper operating temperature for the truck engine during the winter. Regulating the amount of coolant that goes through the radiator is The Thermostats' role.
Coolant Temperature Sensor
CTS role is to monitor the engine temperature.
A coolant is a liquid or gas substance, mainly used to regulate or reduce the temperature of a system. This special fluid runs through the engine to keep it at the correct operating temperature range. The coolant has a high thermal capacity and low viscosity. It is usually made from ethylene glycol or propylene, water, and some protection additives.
The fan's main purpose is to turn on whenever your truck coolant goes above a certain temperature to prevent overheating. Your truck's cooling system is fundamental for your winter truck maintenance to efficient and safe driving. Its main purpose is to prevent overheating by distributing the engine's heat evenly throughout the whole system. The result of a failed cooling system can lead to breakdown and costly repairs.
How des Engine Cooling during winter truck maintenance works?
Antifreeze is a chemical. His consisting of ethylene glycol or sometimes the lower toxicity propylene glycol. When mixed with water it serves to lower the freezing point and raise the boiling point in the mixture.
It also includes some corrosion inhibitors that which role is to prevent rust from forming on the metal parts like water pumps and engine blocks. You can see broken inhibitors when the antifreeze gets brown or rusty in color. In that case, replacing the antifreeze is a must.
The antifreeze works because the freezing and boiling points of liquid are colligative properties. Тhey depend on the concentrations of solutes or dissolved substances in the solution.
A pure solution freezes because the lower temperatures cause the molecules to slow down. The attractive forces between them bind them into rigid crystalline structures. By adding a different kind of molecule to the mix blocks those attractive forces prevent the crystalline structures from forming. Adding more solutes will lower the temperature be before the solution can freeze.
Ethylene Glycol works great because not only is it water-soluble it is also miscible which means it can be mixed with any amount and still mix evenly.
Antifreeze and water should have a mixture percentage based on the lowest temperatures typically seen in your climate. In most regions, these are 50-50 water-antifreeze mixture which will provide enough protection from little below freezing to a high of 265 degrees (129 Celsius). In the coldest temperatures, you could use a mix of 60 to 70% antifreeze.
How does it work and affect your winter truck maintenance?
The coolant flows through a path that takes it from the water pump through the passages inside the engine block where it collects more heat produced by the cylinders. Then it flows up to the cylinder head (or heads in a V type engine). After that, it collects more heat from the combustion chambers. Then it flows out past the thermostat, and it goes straight through the upper radiator hose and then into the radiator.
In the radiator, the coolant flows through the thin flattened hoses that make up the core of the radiator and it's cooled by the airflow across those vents. The coolant flows out of the radiator through the hose and back to the water pump, by this time cooled off and ready to perform this cycle again. Tips:
Use the proper coolant to water the mixture
Many coolants come pre-mixed with water, but on some occasions, during the winter you may need different coolant to water ratios for better results and performance. When the temperature is below freezing outside, the correct coolant mix will help with keeping the engine from coming to a halt.
For proper winter truck maintenanceinspect the trucks' components - belts, seals, and hoses
The operation of your cooling system depends on the belts, seals, and hoses surrounding it. The cold weather can be destructive to those components. Inspect and replace any components before the cold winter months. This assures you that during the winter
Radiator caps and hoses inspection
Inspect caps, look for cracks, and replace if you discover any damage. It is also recommended that you replace the caps when you flush the vehicle's coolant.
Take Care of Coolant Leaks
Coolant leaks are not rare and they are recognizable due to the color of the coolant (usually green/yellow/pink). The leaks are easy to identify underneath the vehicle. If you encounter a leak of any kind it is best to get it looked at by a professional mechanic before it turns into a bigger problem.
While doing your winter truck maintenance make sure your coolant is at the proper level
You need to fill your radiator with coolant and you have to make sure the fluid is at a proper fill level. The best way to check if that is the case is when the vehicle is cool. Open the radiator cap and if the coolant looks low then you will most likely need a refill. Make sure to get it looked at by a professional before it is too late.
With time, dirt can build up in the cooling system, preventing the proper flow of the coolant. If there are contaminants, the fluid can also lose its effectiveness if not refreshed from time to time. Before the winter begins, consult with a specialist on the best time to perform a flush.
Check the radiator tank
You should check the radiator tank and reservoir once or twice a year. Often times you can discover small holes or punctures that you need to fix. If they get too big you may have to do a much larger repair and replace the radiator.
How is your radiator getting affected by the cold weather?
Maintaining the Conventional pre-charged Inorganic Acid Technology (IAO) and Hybrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT) coolants needs to happen on an engine preventive maintenance interval of 25,000 miles, or as specified by the engine manufacturer.
On the other hand, Nitrated Organic Acid Technology (NOAT) coolants require a charge to achieve the full 600,000 miles or 12,000-hour service life. The recommended extended charge is 300,000 miles or 6,000 engine hours. Nowadays, OAT - Organic Acid Technology coolants provide up to 600,000 miles or 12,000 engine hours of service life.
The TMC has released recommended colors for different types of coolants. Please have in mind that while these are established colors, they are not required and some manufacturers do not follow the color guidelines.
Below you can find the color recommendations:
Please have in mind that the color on the packaging could be different from the color of the content in the bottle. Don't judge a book by its cover and always make sure to read the label so you know you have the right coolant in your hands.
Other helpful tips for your winter truck maintenance:
Recognizing a potential issue before it turns into a major concern can be a game-changer for your efficiency. Below you can find other helpful tips for keeping your truck on point in the winter:
Testing your truck batteries is very important during the winter. The cold weather during the winter months can drain a truck battery faster and the battery connections get dirty and corrode in the winter. Make sure you keep an eye on the batteries by testing them and keep the connections clean.
Your truck depends on fuel. An old and dirty filter can prevent the fuel from getting through. Тhus it will affect the operations of the truck.
Always base your fuel needs based on the weather at your location and your destination. Diesel fuel treatment will keep your fuel from gelling and will increase the longevity of your fuel system.
In conclusion, we want to finish with a quote :
Like Alan Lakein said: “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”
By doing your winter truck maintenance you do yourself and your truck a favor. Your truck will be ready for the winter. This way you will feel more safe while you are on the road.
Let's be real. We all know that the average truck driver runs ridiculous amounts of miles. But how long can a truck driver drive and how many miles can drivers drive?
Thanks to their hard work they keep the heart of the American economy beating.
Every item that you touch on a daily basis is in your hands' thanks to a truck driver. If you are not familiar with the industry you will hardly understand the sacrifice a trucker does every day. In this article, we will cover the enormous amounts of hours every trucker works, so you can have all the goods at your disposal every day.
So how many miles a truck driver can drive per day?
The main rule is that truckers can drive only 11 hours per day, according to the Hours of Service regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Most trucks are set to 65-70 miles per hour. When we do the math the amount comes to 605 to 650 average miles per day. Keep in mind that weather, traffic, police checkpoints, and the route the driver is running affect the driver's mileage.
A driver, under law, can work for a maximum of 14-hours per day. After that 10 consecutive hours is required to spend off work.
Keep in mind that there can be some unpredicted time consumers. Looking for a safe parking space, loading, and unloading, making dinner, eating, or shower time. These activities can reduce the overall sleep time to only 4-5 hours.
How can a truck driver drive safely and comply with regulations?
Department of Transportation workers are likely to question any mileage that is greater than 500 miles per day, as it is difficult to get these miles in while staying in compliance with the time requirements.
The 11-hour rule - the driver needs to take a 10-hour sleeper break or rest period after being on the road for 11 consecutive hours.
This rule states that the company driver must take a 10-hour sleeper break or off-duty rest period once 14 hours have elapsed on the clock. After the break is taken the 14-hour window is reset. The 14 hour can include not only driving, but also napping, receiving, eating, and other activities.
30-minute rule - Same as how a regular worker is treated, truck drivers also need to take 30 minutes to break after they have 8 hours of on-duty time. This rule helps the driver to have some rest time and to keep his mind fresh and more focused on the road.
70-hour rule - No driver is allowed to be on-duty for 14 hours per day continuously. That is why they can work for a maximum of 70 hours in any rolling 8-day period.
Is there a way that truck drivers can drive for more than 11 hours?
There can be different circumstances that can allow an OTR truck driver and Regional driver to drive for more than 11 hours:
If there is a lot of traffic in the area and the driver needs to slow down, the law allows calculating what was lost and complete the remaining minutes/hours of driving and report it in the log.
A truck accident can prevent the driver from completing his delivery on schedule. Maybe the truck needs to be towed. This will force the driver to move slower than normal speed. If the cargo that is being carried is perishable, it becomes even urgent to continue to journey in order to reduce losses for both parties.
In case of really bad weather conditions, the trucker needs to lower his/her average speed. This can reduce the miles that they will cover. To make up for the lost time they are allowed to drive for over 11 hours.
This rule implies that drivers cannot work for over 60 hours in a 7-day period or 70 hours in an 8-day period. It is specified that the trucker can only work for 60 hours for 7 consecutive days and 70 hours for 8 consecutive days.
Once you have your 60 or 70 hours completed, you need to take 34 consecutive hours off duty before you can drive again. This period when you are not on duty is called a 34-hour restart. This allows you to reset your duty period to zero, so you can start a new 7 or 8-day cycle. During this period you can work on non-driving tasks - loading and unloading freight, paperwork, etc.
This entirely depends on the truck driving job. An OTR driver can spend more than 300 days on duty. This is sometimes pretty difficult for them. It reduces their home time and it taxes their time they spend with their loved ones.
When it comes to the driving job that spends the most time at home a local truck driver is the winners. Most of them drive during the night and they get back home in the morning. A regional driver also enjoys a more frequent time home. They usually drive during the week and spend their weekends at home.
The main reason people choose OTR is that it pays more and offers an opportunity to see the country. But a trucker's life is one of solitude. If you are not a fan of loneliness, it may not be the best job for you.
Choosing the OTR position comes also with its benefits. This is the position that pays more and offers more opportunity to see the country.
If we check the statics we can see that men are driving more miles than women. We also can see that the average American truck driver is getting older. The reason for that is that a lot of younger drivers have a difficult time entering the trucking industry. This is due to the fact that a truck driver has a pretty hectic and busy life away from home, which is not so pleasing to the younger generations.
What penalties can the driver receive if he/she breaks the DOT rules?
If by any chance the driver doesn't comply with the DOT rules, there are some severe penalties:
Revocation of driving privileges until a rest break is complete
Fines at the state and federal levels
Reduction in the carrier's safety rating
The trucking company can suffer even more severe penalties if it is found to have knowingly made the drivers break the federal regulations.
Overall the truck drivers drive a lot more than the average American. DOT rules may be strict about the hours a trucker can drive, but this helps to prevent them from driving when tired or otherwise unable to pay proper attention to the roadway, thus keeping everyone on the road safer.
Pilot Flying J 2020 – 2021 Winterization Procedures
Winterization Procedures for Travel Center locations except in Illinois and Iowa:
Pilot Flying J will begin blending a single treatment of cold flow improvers when the outside temperature reaches +15F to +5F. Should the outside temperature reach +5F to -5F, we will begin double treatments of cold flow improvers.
If the outside temperature dips below -5F, the fuel will be treated with double treatments of cold flow improver and20% of No. 1 fuel. Should No. 1 fuel not be available in the market area, triple treatment of cold flow improver will be used.
All stores, except the cold weather locations listed below, will receive treatment as needed.
Cold weather locations will begin treatment once the outside temperature reaches +15F and will continue treatment until March 1, 2021 regardless of the outside air temperature.
COLD WEATHER LOCATIONS:
Includes all stores located in the following states:
Also includes the following locations:
Procedures for Travel Center locations in Iowa and Illinois: Once treatment begins at any Illinois or Iowa location, double treatment rates will continue until March 1, 2021 regardless of the outside air temperature while biodiesel is being blended.
Product Supply: Lubrizol and Tellico brand will be Pilot Flying J’s primary winter diesel additive providers for the 2020-2021 winter season.