Bad Weather Conditions Truckers Face

Truck driving is one of the world’s toughest jobs. Add in bad weather and it becomes extremely dangerous. Here are some of the worst weather conditions truckers face on the job.

Extreme Heat

High temperatures can make driving a semi-truck nearly unbearable. Extreme heat can cause semis to overheat, leaving truckers and their wares without any protection from the scorching weather outside. It can cause even more trouble for those truckers who drive refrigerated trucks or transport food or animals – without a functioning cooling system, their wares can be in critical danger in a matter of minutes.

Snow

Snow is extremely dangerous for truckers to drive in. Controlling an 18-wheeler is already challenging, but add in less than perfect road conditions and you have a potential recipe for disaster. Even the most experienced of drivers have issues traveling in the snow for this reason. Not only does it make road conditions bad, but heavy snow can also impair a driver’s vision.

Ice

Ice and snow go hand in hand, a lot of the time. However, there are special occasions where ice takes hold without snow to follow. Ice drastically reduces the control a semi-truck driver has of their vehicle, creating a scary experience for all involved. This adds time to a trucker’s delivery and also makes their job much less safe.

High Winds

High winds are a threat to all truckers, regardless of where they are. Wind can make it difficult for truck drivers to navigate, pushing their trucks off of the road. If a trucker does not have a heavy load in his semi, it can also push the trailer over entirely, costing them time and money.

Small Business Truckers Set to Talk to House Committee on Regulatory Burdens

The House’s Small Business Committee will hold a hearing to assess the impact of federal regulations on small trucking companies and examine options to provide regulatory relief to the industry. The hearing will feature prepared statements from owner-operators and other small business truckers, as well as a question and answer session.

Testimonies will be heard from Monte Widerhold of B.L. Reever Transport on behalf of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association; Marty DiGiacomo, owner of True Blue Transportation, who’s testifying on behalf of the National Association of Small Trucking Companies; Stephen Pelkey, CEP of Atlas PyroVision Entertainment Group, who’s representing the American Pyrotechnics Association; and Tommy Philipou, a partner at DKN Ready Mix, as a proxy for the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association.

The session, named “Highway to Headache: Federal Regulations on the Small Trucking Industry,” will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 11 a.m. EST.

Healthy Truck Stop Snacks

When you’re on-the-go, it can be easy to grab a bag of chips and a Coca-Cola for a quick snack at a truck stop. Since trucking is a relatively sedentary lifestyle, eating well is very important to keeping yourself healthy and in-shape. Here are some examples of easy, on-the-go snacks you can find at most truck stops that are still healthy.

  • Trail Mix – This high-energy snack mix is the perfect thing to keep with you for when hunger strikes; scoop 1/4-cup portions into bags to keep from over-snacking.
  • Greek yogurt – High in protein, probiotics, and potassium, there are no downsides with this quick and easy choice. If you don’t like the flavor of plain Greek yogurt, they make a multitude of flavors and options with tasty mix-ins!
  • String Cheese – Satisfies that craving for something cheesy without all of the extra fats. Also, high in protein so will help you to feel full.
  • Healthy Popcorn – With the trend of healthy popcorns now-a-days, it’s relatively easy to find “skinny” popcorns that are low in butter and salt that are still super yummy! Most brands offer a variety of flavors as well.

Tips for Staying Awake on Long Car Trips

As a truck driver, you know it’s sometimes difficult to keep yourself entertained while on the road. When you’re driving for hours at a time, it’s easy to think of a million things you’d rather do. But, sleeping shouldn’t be one of them.

Check out these easy tips on how to stay awake on the road and make it through the entire trip without getting bored!

  • Move: One of the easiest ways to stay awake is to get up and move around. Don’t give your body the chance to fall asleep! Stop every few hours to keep the blood flowing.
  • Eat healthy: Have a good, well-balanced meal before you leave so that you don’t feel lethargic while driving. Then, keep snacking on healthy foods throughout the trip to keep your energy up.
  • Nap: Taking a nap before you leave allows your body to get the rest it needs to last throughout the entire trip. If you feel yourself getting tired along the way, don’t risk it. Pull over and take a cat-nap to ensure that you don’t doze off while driving.
  • Listen Loudly: Crank up the volume of your radio and listen to music or audiobooks that will maintain your interest throughout the duration of your trip.
  • Open Windows: Opening the windows will bring in fresh, cool air and keep you alert.

You Don’t Know What You Got ‘Til It’s Gone: Tips for Maintaining Your Breaks

Obviously, breaks are one of the most important parts of a semi truck. But, they often go unnoticed. Follow these tips to give your breaks some love and ensure that you will be able to stop quickly and efficiently.

Replace Break Pads: Break pads should be replaced a lot more than you think. When you replace them, make sure you also replace the springs, pins, and bushing for your breaks. These parts all work together and often ware down the same way.

Grease Slack Adjusters: Slack adjusters keep the brakes in alignment. Your truck will either have manual or automatic slack adjusters, but both need to be greased to work. Go for a nice lithium grease when you are greasing your slack adjusters to prevent seizing.

Grease S Cams: S Cams push the break into the wheel to stop the truck. These do not have to be replaced as often as break pads, but they should be checked and greased regularly.

Check Air Compression Pressure Gauge: Your gauge should read greater than 60 psi. Check to make sure your gauge is set appropriately before you drive your truck. Ideally, your psi should be between 100 and 125. If it drops below 60 psi, you should not use your truck.

Check Linings and Hoses: Linings should not be soaked with lubricants and should be at least 1/4 of an inch thick. Air hoses must not have cracks or appear worn. If your truck has damaged lining or hoses, you should replace them regularly.

 

Regulation Promotes Sleep for Truckers

Congress recently passed a regulation that aims at tackling exhaustion among truckers. While come weeks truckers would work up to 82 hours, the regulation now limits the time spent driving to a maximum of 70 hours a week. The change mandates a “restart period,” which provides two days off and no driving between 1 am and 5 am. Truckers are able to use the restart period once a week.

Some argue that the new rule will force truckers to be more active during rush hour, increasing the risk of accident. Congress, however, feels as though these regulations are necessary in promoting the most sound sleep among truckers in order to combat the prevalence of sleep apnea caused crashes.

Keep an eye out for new transportation legislation in 2017.

Vape is a Mistake for Truckers

Vape is a trend like has caught on like wild fire. But, what truckers need to know is that vape may actually lead to actual fires. The FMSCA warns truckers about the dangers involved with vaping in their truck cabins. In the past 5 years, vapes in trucks has caused over 100 explosions and accidents. Make sure you’re aware of your trucking company’s smoking regulations and the dangers involved with smoking while carrying hazardous materials.

Click here to read more about vaping as a truck driver!