November 4, 2020No Comments

Bad driving habits that affect truck performance.

You have seen the bad driving habits so many times if you stay on the road for a longer period.

The truck industry is like a living organism that keeps the USA economy on the move. You always think that while you are on the road most professional drivers will know what they are doing. Some of them have bad driving habits that we will explore.

So what exactly are these bad driving habits that we find amongst the truck drivers? Where do they come from, and how we can prevent them?

What are the bad driving habits that we see most often?

Fatigue and being alert on the road

Bad-driving-habits-driver-fatigue
  • Being fatigued is one of the most dangerous events that can happen while driving your truck. According to federal statistics, driving fatigue is responsible for 13 percent of large truck accidents in the USA. Drowsy driving can impact your driving performance and sometimes end up in a fatal crash.
  • Thanks to modern technology our ways to communicate had increased tenfold. Being a truck driver safe driving is your top priority. Driving and texting/talking on the phone is also one of the most common accident reasons. Every fleet manager should recognize the danger of using cell phones while driving. Implementing procedures for safer communication is a must to ensure the driver's safety.
  • Never assume an uninterrupted right of way at an intersection.
  • Unsure driving is also a bad driving habit. Pretty often experienced among the younger drivers, it is something to be wary about. 
  • Steering with one hand.

Non-Defensive Driving Habits

Bad-driving-habits-non-defensive-driving-training
Truck driver checking vehicle tires and inspecting truck before ride. Transportation services.
  • You can see bad defensive driving skills on every road. Truck drivers should always be aware, because of the sheer size of their truck and their exposure.
  • Lazy driving styles - impacts response times in the event of emergencies. Also, invite complacency into the truck cab.
  • If your style of driving is lazy it can harm your response time. Always make sure that you are aware of your surroundings and be alert.
  • Speeding is also a pretty common bad driving habit. In their attempt to earn more, drivers do not pay attention to the speed limit signs. Pretty often go over the limit.
  • Poor observation - always be aware of your surroundings. There can be a driver on the road under the influence of alcohol or a hazard on the road. 
  • Blind spots - always make sure that you know where they are and are aware of them
  • Indicators, hazards, flashlights, hooter - communicate on the road to alert other drivers.
  • Aggression - related most of the time to tight working schedules and stress. 

Inappropriate driving attitude 

Bad-driving-habits-road-rage
  • Truck drivers' attitude towards the other drivers on the road needs to be appropriate. Every driver needs to take each trip seriously always making sure that they deliver goods in a safe matter.
  • Inability to focus on the task ahead, because of distractions or some other reason.

Behind the steering wheel behavior 

  • Seatbelts fastened behind the drivers back to switch off the warning buzzer.
  • The hand resting on the gear lever.
  • Re-setting on-board display messages while moving off.
  • Pinching the steering wheel between your legs to set your hands free.
  • Driving while crossing arms

Other bad driving behaviors:

Bad-driving-habits-tires-inflation
  • Rapid acceleration - doing this will put tension on the engine and will you will waste a lot of fuel. Because of their size trucks need to speed up slow and build up speed.
  • Hard braking - The drivers need to practice defense driving and they have to avoid hard braking.
  • Using brakes when going downhill - Applying the brakes when going downhill increases the temperature of the brakes. If they are applied for longer periods friction is created. The performance of the brakes is reduced. Useful advice here is to downshift let the engine braking take over.
  • Improperly warming the vehicle - If the temperature outside is lower than 32°F you need to warm up the engine for 3 to 5 minutes. By doing so you prevent unnecessary strain and tension.
  • Underinflated tires - the reason for flats or blowouts, decrease the lifespan of the tires, fuel waste, and increase the risk of an accident. Always check the tire pressure and inflate tires to the standard. 

What are the reasons for the bad driving habits in the first place?

  • The main reasons behind bad driving habits? Drivers never go through defensive training. Most companies cut the training budget. 
  • Driving coaches do not have the appropriate skill level. They do not teach the new drivers the required skills.
  • Overconfidence is part of poor driving habits. The driver thinks that he/she knows all the roads and they pay less attention to their surroundings.
  • Drivers' behavior changes if they see that another driver on the road is driving recklessly. Companies can counter this by showing the drivers what is the correct attitude when they are driving. That will tempt them less to follow a bad driving pattern. Appropriate training in this area that would impact safety on our roads. We need the culture to be adopted holistically.
  • Adopting bad driving practices from peers and little or no consequences for poor driving performance.
  • Humans test their limits by nature - so do truck drivers.
  • Common ailments and illnesses contribute to bad driving.

Truck size is also a formal reason for bad driving habits

Bad-driving-habits-truck-accident

The actual truck size is not the problem. It is the driver that did not get their license properly and they did not receive adequate training. A truck driver needs to pay more attention when they are driving a bigger vehicle. If they did not get the proper defensive driving skills the vehicle size will play little to no role if an accident happens. The younger drivers start with smaller size trucks. Once they become confided in their driving ability and they later move on to bigger size vehicle.

How can the trucking industry change improve and detect bad driving habits?

Defensive driver training - should be a prerequisite before receiving a Code EC or C1 license. Drivers should pass the existing K53 first. After that, they need to drive a Code B for at least 3 years crash-free. Next is to undergo Defensive driver training before issuing their heavy-duty driver's license. Companies need to set in place effective testing to determine driver skills. If needed assigning improvement courses is the proper course of action. They should include - Provide embedded knowledge training and effective Defensive Driver Training. The first one improves understanding of the truck. The second one improves understanding of the road. 

October 12, 2020No Comments

New HOS rules September 2020

New HOS Rules

Starting September 29th 12:00 the new HOS truck driving rules are going to be in play.

The rules will take effect at the same time without taking into consideration what time zone you are in - in other words they won't go into effect earlier for commercial truck drivers in other timezones. For example, a truck driver on the West Coast will start to operate under the new rules at 9 p.m. Sept 28

The new HOS regulations are as follow:

  1. CMV Short-Haul Exemption - Extends the maximum duty period allowed under the short-haul exception to 14 hours and to 150 air miles.
  2. Adverse Driving Conditions - Allows a driver to extend the maximum "driving window' by up to 2 hours during adverse driving conditions.
  3. 30 Minute Break - Required a 30-minute break after 8 hours of driving time (instead of on-duty time) and allows on-duty / not driving periods to qualify as breaks.
  4. Split-Sleeper Berth - Modifies the sleeper -berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off duty into two periods: an 8/2 split, and a 7/3 split-with neither period counting against the driver's 14-hour driving window.

Hours-of-service-september-2020

You can read the HOS Final Rule Fact Sheets issued by FMCSA here.

But what kind of impact will those changes have:

The CMV Short-Haul Exemption change will improve safety and flexibility by increasing the number of drivers able to take advantage of the short-haul exception.

The Adverse Driving Condition change will Improve the safety and flexibility by allowing drivers time to park and wait out the adverse condition or to drive slowly through it - which has the potential to decrease truck crash risk.

The 30 Minute Break rule change will improve the safety and flexibility for drivers by increasing on-duty / non-driving time by up to 30minutes - allowing drivers to reach their destination easier.

Split-Sleeper Berth rule change will improve the safety and flexibility for drivers by potentially increasing the use of sleeper berth provision because drivers using a berth have additional hours to complete 11 hours of driving.

One of the proposed rules that did not make the final cut in the new HOS regulations was - the truck drivers were allowed an off-duty break for at least 30 minutes, but no more than three hours, that would pause a truck driver's 14-hours on-duty windows, provided the driver takes 10 consecutive hours off-duty at the end of the work shift. However, FMCSA recently proposed a pilot program to study the effects of allowing drivers to pause their on-duty driving period with one off-duty period up to three hours that hopefully will be included in the next HOS rules update.

Who Is Required to Follow HOS Rules

The FMCSA says that commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers must follow the HOS rules. The agency lists a CMV as a vehicle that is used as part of a business and in interstate commerce. It also includes any asset that fits the following criteria:

  1. Weighs more than 10,001 pounds.
  2. Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more.
  3. Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the commercial truck driver) not for compensation.
  4. Is designed or used to transport nine or more passengers (including the commercial truck driver) for compensation.
  5. Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards.

The FMCSA provides HOS resources for drivers and fleets on its website, including webinars, FAQs, and fact sheets.

If you are interested to become a driver with Logiflex, please fill in this form.

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.

January 18, 2019No Comments

Snow Chains for Trucks: How to Install them!

Snow Chains for Trucks

Snow chains for Semi Trucks have been time tested extension of winter tires. Well known for providing substantial traction and grip on both ice and snow. As well as their adaptability and inexpensiveness. Giving a sense of confidence and safety to drivers under the rough conditions on the road, they use their uneven and scabrous tread to bite into the surface with steel links of chain aiding your winter tires. Typically used up until 20-50 mph and shouldn't be used on dry roads as they can cause tires to slip on dry pavement.

DO THEY REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

While chains aren't always required equipment on the road, they can get drivers out of bad situations where snow tires are just not enough. Multiple studies have proven that when chains installed properly they provide an acceptable level acceleration, braking, and handling even through a variety of performance differences.

HOW DO I INSTALL TIRE CHAINS?

1.  The best way to start is to place the chains flat out on the ground.  Make sure the adjustment cams are placed facing outward on the outside of the tire, so they are easily accessed. Tire chains have locking clips. They are pretty easy to hook up. Locking clips are used to fasten the entire chain down at the end of the process.

2. Pick up the chain on the side farthest from you and then drape it up over the tire. Be sure that the clips that secure the cross chains are facing outward so they don’t rub on the side wall of the tire.

3. Then, reach in behind the duals to hook the inside clip of the tire chain.

4. On the front face on the tire, tighten the cams up tightly with an adjusting wrench. The wrench is inserted into the cam and turned to increase the tension in the chain.

Try to tighten each cam, to help snug up the chain.

We put together a video which shows you how to install your chains in an easy step by step process anyone can apply.

https://youtu.be/QqVxqSbJkFk

December 8, 2018No Comments

Winter Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

A calm sea does not make good sailors, and driving in Florida only does not make good truck drivers eater. For the best winter driving advice, you should ask a driver from all the states North of I70. However, if that is not possible, you can read our blog. We will outline the most common issues our company had in the winter and how we have solved them.

Do not freeze up the fuel Filters

With the low winter temperatures, it is very important to put anti-gel in the fuel tanks of the truck. Unlike gasoline which does not gel up unless it is -120 F, the diesel fuel gels up at around 10-15 F. The fuel does not run through the fuel filters which kills the engine. The popular belief that, if you idle the engine, the fuel won't freeze is not true. Yes, the water separator has heaters, but the fuel gels up the primary filters. The solution for the situation is to change them and prime the engine.

 

Do not forget your chains

Different states have different chain laws. Colorado chain law requires every passing truck to have chains between September 1st and May 31st. Not all states require you to have chains in the truck, but they may give you a fine when you are stuck in the snow.

 

Do not leave your fuel tanks empty

When you go home in Minneapolis or stop for 10-hour break in Laramie, WY make sure that your fuel tanks are full.  Because warm diesel circulates between the tanks while the truck is moving, water condenses on the inside of the empty fuel tanks. Winter driving with extra water in the fuel tanks can make fuel filters freeze faster.

 

Do not forget the airlines

New trucks have sophisticated aid dryers. As the name suggests they make the air in the air system dry. That is important because moisture can build a lot of ice inside the lines which will malfunction the air brakes.

 

Do not try to be a hero

All loads can wait. If the weather is dangerous, just pull over. If your dispatcher or customer complain about it, you work for the wrong company. Your paycheck maybe shorter this week, but you will live longer.

 

Do not think of Winter Driving as a joke

Ice on the road makes trucks unstable. Cold weather will weaken the metal and the truck will feel different.

July 6, 2018No Comments

How the ELD Mandate Helps Drivers

 

The ELD mandate has been a controversial subject among truckers, shippers, and manufacturers alike. Many drivers have complained that it places unfair restrictions on them and results in lost revenue. Shippers and manufacturers have fought against the mandate because it increases their transport time, forcing them to put more work into supply chain planning. These are all valid concerns, but many people believe that the ELD mandate is a blessing in disguise. Bringing in higher levels of safety and fairness into the industry, and making it more profitable for everyone involved. Lets take a look at some of the benefits.

 

Reduced Abuse of Paper Logs

 

Paper logs have been abused in the industry for many years. It allows the driver to work far beyond his legal limits by making a few simple tweaks in the logbook.

 

Before the ELD mandate was put into place, it was common practice for many shippers to expect team service out of solo drivers. They wouldn’t explicitly tell drivers to manipulate their logs, but the implication was clear that the carrier would only win the shipment if they were willing to run illegally. Despite how many honorable carriers would reject the load due to being unable to meet the requirements, shippers knew that there was always going to be a driver that would accept the task.

 

This was harmful to the industry for several reasons. First, it set a precedent for these abusive shippers that they could get away with promoting illegal runs while not suffering the consequences. The driver would be the only one held responsible. This then made expectations across the industry unrealistic, and even worse, extremely unsafe. A single driver running cross-country in two days with little to no sleep is a hazard to anyone in his path.

 

Drivers that were taking these kinds of shipments were doing a disservice to the honest, hard-working drivers across the country. They were undercutting reliable companies to make a quick buck. Thanks to the ELD mandate, shippers have more realistic expectations and can’t as easily skirt the law by hiring drivers who will run illegally.

 

Increased Safety & Health

 

Safety should always be first. While there is room for debate over  how many hours a driver can work before he should be required to shut down, it is commonly accepted that there needs to be some regulation on continuous hours driven. The ELD mandate helps to make the roads safer for the drivers and everyone else in their vicinity.

 

It isn’t fair for shippers to hold drivers to more demanding standards than warehouse workers, factory hands, or office employees. A long day of driving can be stressful and exhausting, taking a significant toll on the driver’s body. In the past, drivers were often told by dispatchers to keep moving past their legal hours to meet a deadline. This was not only illegal but extremely dangerous. Driving while sick or tired is a hazard that puts everyone’s well-being on the line.

 

If a driver continues to burn himself out by driving too many hours, he is putting his overall health at risk as well. Every person needs to get the right amount of sleep to function healthily regularly. Running overtime and neglecting rest periods has been proven to be detrimental to your health. It is essential for a driver to pay attention to these. By shutting down for the required hours, a driver is helping both himself and his company by staying healthy. The ELD mandate helps with this and may even curb the illegal use of amphetamines that many drivers abused to stay awake.

 

Higher Pay

 

One of the most common complaints about the ELD mandate is that it hinders the driver’s ability to make money. Many drivers claim that because they can’t drive as far in a short amount of time, they are missing out on the loads that provide them with the money they need to survive. They used to be able to knock out two or three loads in the time it took to haul one.

The ELD mandate offers plenty of opportunities to make more money while working fewer hours. Capacity has tightened, and shippers have been forced to pay more, with some lanes almost doubling in price over the past year. However, it may still take some time to get used to the new structure.

 

Many carriers have increased their rate per mile pay because of this, but that isn’t necessarily the only way to guarantee more money. Owner-operators can work on a percentage basis, which often turns out to be more lucrative than mileage pay. If a driver is working for a carrier that refuses to increase his wage, there are plenty of other companies out there that are rewarding their drivers. The country is experiencing a shortage of drivers due to the increase in manufacturing.

 

By taking advantage of a thriving market, drivers can use the ELD mandate to become more profitable while driving fewer miles. Not only will their wallets benefit, but they will become healthier and more well-rested. While there have undoubtedly been some growing pains in adjusting to the mandate, opportunities abound throughout the industry thanks to many of its positive attributes.

 

 

 

 

July 6, 2018No Comments

Don’t Haul Without a 401(k)

Don't Haul Without a 401(k)

Not all employers offer the same benefits to their drivers; if you are looking for a comfortable retirement, then you want to ensure that your prospective company offers a 401(k). What exactly is a 401k and why does it hold the key to your future?

401k might not seem like a need right now, but later on in life it will be.

What is a 401(k) Retirement Plan?

Simply put a 401(k) is a retirement plan that allows you to store money for your later years. A percentage is taken out of your paychecks and helps replace your typical employment income when needed after retirement.

Depending on your employer, they may also opt to match a percentage of your monetary contributions. As 401(k) offerings differ between companies, it is essential to understand precisely what the company you are prospecting is offering.

Employers are not required to match 401(k) contributions, but it has become a common practice within most larger companies. An example of a basic policy would be one that mirrors 50% of your contributions.

Saving a certain amount from your paycheck and your employer also making a contribution will result in a total contribution. It is important to take advantage of this benefit when offered its like free money for retirement!

 

Why Should I Consider a 401(k)?

A 401(k) is a vital company offering and should be carefully considered when seeking a company for employment. It might be better to opt for a lower paying position with a 401(k) than a higher paying position without.

Once you pick the company you wish to work for that offers a 401(k), do more research.

For starters, it is critical to discover when you can begin contributing to a company’s 401(k) offering. You may have to work a certain amount of time before being eligible for a 401k plan.

Some employers require a more extended amount of time like a year before you can participate in the 401k program. The sooner you decide on a 401k the better, you're money will grow allowing you to live comfortably during retirement.

 

What Should I Look Out For With a 401(k)?

401k Savings Plan

Many companies require you to stay with the company for a specific amount of time before you can keep their contributions. Don’t be afraid to ask the company for details about their 401(k) offerings. While some companies will help to maintain your plan for no cost, many will request fees for maintenance.

Remember to keep an eye on the policy that shares what percentage of your contribution a company is will match. Some companies do not match a percentage. However, while a 401(k) plan is better than nothing an employer that offers a higher match percentage is ideal.

At this point, you should see the incredible advantage of working with a company that offers a 401(k) for retirement. While you might be comfortable with your current income, what happens when you retire and your active income drops to nothing? The answer to not only comfortably in your older age but also essential security, comes thanks to your 401(k) contributions.

 

When Can I Take Advantage of a 401(k)?

Now that you know your company selection and current financial contributions can shape the latter half of your life, you might ask when you can begin to access that money. When does retirement start for a hard working individual such as yourself?

Generally, you need to be 59.5 years of age to obtain your contributions without incurring a 10% withdrawal penalty, but if you decide that you need money from your 401k sooner you may do so paying tax on what you withdraw.

If the 401(k) game isn’t new to you, or if you remembered that one of your past companies offered a plan you can opt to move the assets into your new employer’s plan. If your new company has a human resources or finances department, it may be best to speak with them to determine the best course of action for your future.

 

Why Should I Work Towards my Future?

When we work hard at our jobs, many of us keep our eyes on the present to ensure that ourselves, and our families, can live comfortable lives. Still, working with your employer goes beyond merely considering the present day. Every day we work, we need to be conscious of what we will do one day when we are no longer able to drive long hauls or provide the services we have previously.

Finding an employer that offers a 401(k) retirement plan helps to shape your future, allowing you to enjoy your elder years. If you are currently seeking driver opportunities with a company that is keen to look after your future, be sure to checkout Logiflex.

Not only does Logiflex offer drivers disability insurance, life insurance, and pet-friendly vehicles, but also that critical 401(k) retirement plan that we have been discussing. If you are ready for the next step of your life, apply at Logiflex’s website today.

 

© 2018 Logiflex Inc

Blog / Uncategorized

Bad driving habits that affect truck performance.

You have seen the bad driving habits so many times if you stay on the road for a longer period. The truck industry is...

→ Read More

New HOS rules September 2020

New HOS Rules Starting September 29th 12:00 the new HOS truck driving rules are going to be in play. The rules will take effect...

→ 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

Snow Chains for Trucks: How to Install them!

Snow Chains for Trucks Snow chains for Semi Trucks have been time tested extension of winter tires. Well known for providing substantial traction and...

→ Read More

Winter Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

A calm sea does not make good sailors, and driving in Florida only does not make good truck drivers eater. For the best winter...

→ Read More

How the ELD Mandate Helps Drivers

  The ELD mandate has been a controversial subject among truckers, shippers, and manufacturers alike. Many drivers have complained that it places unfair restrictions...

→ Read More

Don’t Haul Without a 401(k)

Don't Haul Without a 401(k) Not all employers offer the same benefits to their drivers; if you are looking for a comfortable retirement, then...

→ Read More