Barking Up the Right Tree: Road Dogs

Dogs are the best friends of men and women alike. In all walks of life, most people’s wellbeing is greatly improved by their furry friends and the steadfast love they show. According to The Washington Post, over 68% of American households own one or more dogs. It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that so many people own dogs, but an incredible fact is that 40% of commercial drivers take their pets alongside them in their transport journeys, according to the New York Times!

The Ruff Ruff Road

It’s a well-known fact among drivers that the road can sometimes be rough. Whether it’s a long drive, being away from the family too long, or particularly distressing highway conditions, it can be a lot to deal with daily. Drivers cope with the stressors they face in several ways. Some listen to podcasts or audiobooks, some call their friends and family, others play road games with themselves or their partners, and some have found a unique way of staying entertained and having lovely company by bringing their pets along for the ride. 

Cute Companions

The cutest company that a driver can have is their wonderful pet. Pets are proven to have a relaxing effect on their owners, dogs especially. One example of a driver who has had wonderful experiences driving with her dogs is Diana Stolsworth, a driver from Texas who has driven with her pets almost since she started driving trucks. She has enjoyed every minute of driving with her pups and encourages others to do so, but she makes it clear that it is crucial to take safety precautions for your pets while on the road. Including lighted collars and harnesses to prevent injury or death in high traffic zones like truck stops.

What’s Up Dog?

This leads us to the requirements for taking a dog with you on the road. Much like taking another person with you, there are certain rules you’ve got to follow. Depending on your company, you may not be able to bring your pet along. If you are an individual driver or your company allows for it, some tips to remember are always bring more food for your pet than you think you’ll need, ensure you have things to entertain them with, take them on regular walks, provide water often, and always remember to have some fun. Many employed people don’t get to see their dogs 24/7 like you do, so this is a very special advantage to driving.

Final Thoughts

Pets are the better halves of their owners, with sweet spirits and a can-do attitude, your pet can be a great road companion. If you’re interested in bringing your furry friend along for the ride, you should talk to your employer or check the regulations that apply to you, and then bring your dog along for the ride. With your best friend by your side, the road is guaranteed to be a more interesting and adventurous place where you can make incredible memories with your fur baby!

What industries does the trucking industry serve?

Trucking is the thread that connects nearly all-American industries together. Weaving a web that networks supply to demand and production to distribution is what the trucking industry does best, making the United States a more connected and efficient place. Service is the mission of the trucking industry, whether it’s to serve other industries or the civilians that benefit from their proper and efficient function. It is well known that nearly everything in stores was once on a truck, but the trucking industry services many more industries than big box stores.

Service and Care

Ever since the global transportation system has existed (first on ships, horses, and carriages, then trains, trucks, and airplanes), it has filled a major economic need that exists in the niche between supply and demand which is transportation. In large amounts, and over great distances, goods are often hard to carry from point A to point B without the proper equipment. Agencies dedicated to transport play a major role in transitioning products to their points of sale or distribution.

The painstaking efforts that drivers put in to make sure that goods arrive safely are what make the trucking industry shine, and this care is greatly appreciated by all other industries served by trucking. Drivers are often underappreciated for the incredible work they do daily. They deserve high praise for carrying the American Economy and allowing our country to thrive.

Industries helping Industries

Drivers can work for a trucking company, themselves, or a specific industry other than general trucking, and their careers can range from long haul drives to regional transit. Each of these positions are important to the economy of the nation and individual industries. Some of the most common industries served by the trucking industry include, Transportation & Public Utilities, Wholesale & Retail Trade, Services, Manufacturing, Construction, Agriculture, and Mining, according to TheTrucker.com.

The most prevalent industry that trucking helps directly is that related to Transportation and Public Utilities. Drivers with the most diverse set of impacts are those that work in the for-hire side of the industry, which takes jobs from many different businesses and organizations. Private drivers also have a huge impact making up over 45% of the total number of drivers in the United States. Private drivers are usually hired directly by the businesses they represent, while for-hire drivers often work for a larger trucking company or themselves.

Mutualism

There is a term in biology called ‘mutualism’, which is a fancy word for saying a relationship where both organisms benefit. The trucking industry exists in a mutualistic relationship with nearly every other industry in the United States. This mutually beneficial coexistence is what helps the country’s economy remain so strong, and it is why trucking is such an important industry in the survival and growth of the economy.

Final Thoughts

Trucking is an incredibly important industry for several reasons. It brings supplies to the people who need them, it helps other industries distribute their goods, and it connects the United States from coast to coast. Trucking is also making huge steps forward in becoming more environmentally friendly, which will help the economy by reducing fuel costs and creating less strain on other industries!

Choosing between different types of routes

There are pros and cons to each one, more peanuts, less caramel, so it may seem like an impossible choice since both are great options. While you might not like driving as much as candy bars, the difficulty of the decision remains. The benefits of choosing one route over another may be less clear-cut. The best way to decide is to weigh your options objectively to have a good understanding of the different route types available to you.

The Road Being Traveled

When driving, you likely aren’t looking for the road less traveled regardless of the type of route you choose, but that’s not something you have to worry about most of the time when choosing a route as there are many drivers on the road with similar routes that understand the dilemma you are facing now when choosing a specific mode of travel. As far as routes go, there are four major classifications, local, regional, long-haul, and dedicated. Drivers on all these routes are an incredibly crucial component in the proper transportation of goods from pickup to drop off, but there are different conditions and expectations for each route classification that may make one stand out as a better option for you. 

Map It Out

Most routes are classified by their distance from home base. For instance, local routes cover very specific areas where you will likely not venture far enough for overnights and be able to return home each day. Regional routes cover a larger distance and may have you travel in specific parts of the United States, like the East Coast or Midwest. Long Haul drivers experience the furthest traveling distance and can expect to go anywhere in the country, and possibly even to Mexico and Canada.

Dedicated routes are a little different as they can be many distances, though they are often local distances. These routes are determined by their regular hours and continued employment, as many routes can be one-time deals with a particular company. Dedicated routes work quite well for those seeking very stable employment and regular hours.

Finding Your Path

Choosing a route should be dependent on how you feel and what you think you’re capable of when driving. If you really enjoy traveling for long distances and are okay with being away from home for a while, regional or long-haul driving may be a great choice for you as it allows you to see an incredibly vast amount of the country. If you’re a bit more tethered to home and would like to be back in your own bed for the night, or have a family that requires your support, taking on a local route may be more beneficial for you.

Planning and Preparation

Weighing the pros and cons of routes is the best way to discern which option may be the right choice for you. As you consider driving different routes, think about which type would benefit you the most and cause the least amount of stress and the most gain for your time. Trucking is a diverse field with many different jobs available to suit almost anyone, so be sure to do your research and take on routes that are good choices for your well-being.

How Truckers Can Help Spot Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to gain control over their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. They might use violence, manipulation, or false promises of high-paying jobs or intimate relationships to entice victims into trafficking situations. Traffickers seek out individuals who are vulnerable for different reasons such as psychological or emotional weakness, economic hardships, lack of a social safety net, natural disasters, or political instability. 

Every year millions of women, children, and men are trafficked worldwide. Trafficking occurs in any community and victims are of any age, race, gender, or nationality. It can happen in a variety of locations such as truck stops, restaurants, rest areas, hotels/motels, private homes, etc. Victims often refrain from seeking help due to language barriers, fear of their traffickers, and/or fear of law enforcement. The trauma victims endure can be so great that many do not see themselves as victims or ask for help. 

How to Spot Human Trafficking

Since traffickers often take advantage of the transportation system to move their victims across the country, truck drivers are at an advantage in seeing signs and making reports. They are the eyes and ears of our nation’s highways. They should try to be on the lookout for human trafficking, in particular sex trafficking, which often happens at truck stops. This usually occurs two ways:

  • Escort-like services: This typically occurs in the buyer’s truck or at a nearby motel. The victims normally solicit customers by using a CB radio, knocking on truck doors, or walking up and down the tarmac. 
  • Fake massage businesses: These typically have billboards or other ways of advertising along the highway or in the truck stops. 

Victims of both ways are always being moved to keep them from developing relationships or reaching out for help. 

There are common signs that commercial truck drivers can watch for if they think someone might be a victim of trafficking. These include:

  • An individual who is disoriented or does not know where they are
  • Someone who is bruised or has tattoos that look like branding or barcodes
  • An individual who appears out of place, is not carrying any luggage, or wearing clothes that are not appropriate for the weather or setting
  • A person who is not in control of their ID/passport
  • Restricted or controlled communication or is not allowed to speak for themselves
  • CB talk about “commercial company” or flashing lights indicating “buyer” location
  • Acknowledgement of a pimp and making a quota
  • A van or RV that appears out of place near trucks
  • A vehicle dropping someone off at a truck and picking them up 15-20 minutes later

How to Respond

If you suspect a trafficker or a victim of trafficking, or think something is wrong or out of place, trust your instincts and report it to the local law enforcement. Never confront a suspected trafficker or victim as this can make the situation more dangerous for you and the victim. You can also contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888, or text HELP or INFO to BeFree at 233-733. This national hotline is available 24/7 and provides resources for victims and reporters. Callers do have the option of remaining anonymous. 

Managing Driver Fatigue

“Driver fatigue” is a common expression used by long-haul and commercial truckers. At some point during their career, every truck driver is bound to experience driver fatigue. Driver fatigue is caused by physical or mental exhaustion due to being on the road. Drivers who experience driver fatigue have a higher chance of getting into an accident because it can lead to slower reaction times and the decreased ability to assess situations quickly. Many factors can be the cause of driver fatigue including, lack of sleep and working long hours. It is a major issue and every driver needs to know how to stop it from happening. 

Every driver, including truck drivers, needs to be alert behind the wheel. Being alert not only keeps them safe, but everyone else around them, too. It is up to the driver to choose the best way for him or her to battle fatigue. Here are a few options to choose from.  

Get a Good Night’s Sleep Beforehand

To function at your best, it is recommended that adults get at least seven hours of sleep every night. This will help you stay alert and be as responsive as possible while driving. Getting an adequate amount of sleep will also help you to be mentally and physically ready for any potential incident. 

Keep a Healthy Diet

Maintaining a healthy diet can be difficult in general, but it can be even harder for long-haul and commercial drivers. That doesn’t mean you have to be discouraged because it can be done, but it will take determination. To maintain a healthy diet you should steer clear of fast food and choose healthier alternatives, such as packing and bringing food from home. Stay away from eating heavy meals because it takes a lot of energy to digest them. Eat lighter or smaller portions throughout the day and try snacks such as almonds and apples to keep you fuller longer. 

Take Breaks About Every 2 Hours

Taking breaks from the road every two hours will help you stay alert. It provides you with the chance to stretch, go for a walk, get some fresh air, and get a change of scenery. 

Take a Pre-Drive/Mid-Drive Nap

There will be times you might not get a good night’s sleep the night before you start your long drive. If that’s the case, try to make time to fit in a nap before you start your drive, even if it is only for an hour. If you do not have the time before, make sure you visit a rest stop to try to fit in a short nap. Trying to fight your fatigue can be dangerous. 

Limit Caffeine

Although caffeine can be helpful when consumed in moderation, it can lead to a “caffeine crash” causing you to be more tired than you were before. Therefore, enjoy a caffeinated beverage every so often because it can help, just do not overdo it. 

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can lead to drowsiness and headaches. Staying hydrated is very important because water has natural properties that will help you feel awake. 

Adjust Your Environment

When it comes to fighting fatigue, there are many ways you can do it within the cab or tractor. These include keeping the temperature cool, repositioning your seat, rolling down the windows for fresh air, playing mental games, and listening to podcasts instead of music. 

Make Use of New Technology

The following are five new anti-fatigue technologies that are being utilized in the trucking industry.

  • Fatigue meters-uses service logs to predict fatigue levels by approximating your sleep pattern on actual duty periods and uses the approximation to predict fatigue
  • Wearables-includes wristwatches, eyeglasses, and other Fitbit-like devices
  • Anti-fatigue headwear-the use of smart hats with sensors on the forehead to identify head movement and measures brain waves for signs of fatigue. This information is then sent to a unit in the cab wirelessly
  • Smartphone tests-uses psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) which measures the cognitive alertness of truck drivers
  • Facial mapping-systems take images of the driver’s face to locate symptoms of fatigue including head nodding, gazing, drooping eyelids, yawning, and head orientation. 

Driver fatigue is not a matter that should be taken lightly. It is a significant issue and every truck driver should be aware of the ways to fight it. Find a way that works best for you and try something new. You might be surprised at what works and what doesn’t. Make it a priority to combat driver fatigue not only for your safety, but for everyone else out on the road. 

The Process of a Weigh Station

Stopping at a weigh station is inevitable when you are a professional truck driver. You might think this is an inconvenience, but weigh stations provide an important purpose in making sure that everyone on the road, including yourself, is safe. Knowing how a weigh station operates will allow you to prepare for the experience, and hopefully stop a small inconvenience from becoming a big one. 

What Happens at a Weigh Station?

One of the most important roles of a weigh station is to decide whether the truck is overloaded. Your truck might be assessed by its axle or the whole truck might be measured. Weigh stations will either have a rolling scale that allows you to keep your truck moving while it is being weighed, or a scale that requires you to stop. If it is determined that your truck is too heavy, you could be waylaid at the weigh station until arrangements are made for another truck to take the extra weight. 

Besides weighing your truck, it is possible that officials will check your electronic logging device (ELD) to make sure you are following the applicable hours-of-service laws. Officials could also complete an inspection of your truck’s equipment to make sure it is in safe working condition. Equipment that is subject to a safety inspection includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Brakes
  • Fuel tanks
  • Kingpin
  • Rims/wheels
  • Springs
  • Tires
  • Tubing/hose

Finally, officials could also check to ensure your truck is not leaking fluids such as antifreeze, oil, or fuel. If your truck fails the inspection, it could be taken off the road until the problem is adequately fixed. 

What is the Weigh Station Procedure?

As you are driving on the interstate, keep a lookout for signs that inform you of a weigh station coming up. These signs include information on whether it is open or closed. If it is closed, you do not need to stop. However, if it is open there might be a speed limit sign telling you the speed you need to be going upon your approach. 

If there are other trucks waiting in line, you will have to join the line and wait your turn. Signs and/or weigh station personnel will inform you of the instructions to follow. It is vital that you take note of the posted speed limit as you drive over the scale and the instructions for stopping and/or slowing. If you do not do so, it could cause unnecessary delays and inconvenience for everyone. 

After your truck is weighed, the next step is the inspection of your equipment and checking your ELD. If equipment is found to be missing or faulty, a more detailed inspection will occur. Problems with your log data can also result in major delays. However, if everything is in order the inspection and weighing should not last long.  To make sure your log stays accurate, officials at the weigh station will enter your DOT number into a computer system and complete a check of your safety rating. 

How to Make the Process Go Smoothly

The sensible thing to do is to perform an inspection yourself prior to hitting the road. Although it is always possible for problems to occur on the road, making sure your cargo weight is below the limit and everything is in order when you start out can stop delays later. Also, make sure you are courteous and professional while engaging with weigh station personnel. Being rude or argumentative will not make the process go any faster, but it can make the experience unpleasant for everyone. 

Whether you are a seasoned truck driver or just starting out, the thought of stopping at a weigh station can be overwhelming and stressful. If you have questions regarding weight stations, please contact the staff at Trucker Search toll-free at (888) 254-3712. We would be glad to answer any questions!

Truck Security: How to Protect Your Cargo

Theft is present no matter where you are or what you do for a living.  Whether you are a company truck driver, own your own semi-trailers, or rent them cargo theft is becoming more common and the dollar amounts that are lost continue to increase. Depending on what your cargo consists of, the value of your items could go beyond six figures. The total annual losses resulting from cargo theft are in the tens of billions of dollars. 

It doesn’t matter what type of trailer you drive, own, or rent, all types are susceptible to theft. However, there is no need to be in constant worry that you will be robbed. There are steps you can take to help ensure that your cargo is safe, and by doing so, you will be protecting your reputation. 

9 Steps to Protecting Your Cargo and Semi-Trailers

Thieves look for those who are easy to steal from. To prevent your cargo from being targeted, you need to send a clear message that you are watching out for your cargo. You can do that by following these steps:

  • Perform background checks on all your drivers.

Since your drivers have direct access to the cargo they are hauling, you need to be sure you can trust them. The same goes for any of your employees who have access to your semi-trailers and their cargo. Having a comprehensive screening process not only helps you hire people you can trust, but it also offers reassurance to those who have a stake in your cargo. 

  • Keep your enclosed semi-trailers locked at all times.

Unless a dry van semi-trailer is actively being loaded, unloaded, or inspected, it needs to be locked using the highest quality locking devices possible. It is a huge mistake to assume you know when and where a thief might strike. Your drivers, and others responsible for handling your cargo, need to make it a habit of locking the semi-trailer every time they shut the door. 

  • Educate your drivers and others about theft methods.

Do your drivers and other employees know how thieves gain access to semi-trailers? The more they understand their methods, the better they can protect your cargo. Investigate the thieves’ methods by talking to your peers and local law enforcement. They should have a good understanding of whether thieves in your area are focusing on certain techniques. Knowing this information will help you be proactive in protecting yourself against it. 

  • Use trailer tracking technology.

When it is obvious that you monitor the movement of your semi-trailer, thieves will be less interested in trying to steal your cargo. They would rather focus on loads that are basically “off the grid” when they are not on the road. 

  • If possible, chain and lock exposed loads. 

If you are transporting shipments on a flatbed trailer, then simply being strapped down may not keep thieves away. Adding additional chains and locks may make your cargo not worth their extra time and effort to try to steal. 

  • Be attentive when at rest stops and other parking areas during your travels. 

It doesn’t take long for a thief to get in and out of a semi-trailer. If you think you do not need to lock your semi-trailer while you make a quick pit stop or have a fast bite to eat, think again. That decision could come back to haunt you. 

  • Plan your route to stay away from high crime areas if you can. 

If you know theft occurs at specific rest stops or businesses at a certain exit number, then plan your drive so you don’t have to stop there. It is common knowledge that theft can happen anywhere, but any preventative action you can take to lower your risk of being targeted is beneficial. 

  • Limit your stops as much as possible.

Some thieves are desperate enough to follow semi-trailers and wait for their chance to strike. However, if you continue driving for hours before stopping you will most likely surpass their patience. 

  • Do not tell anyone about what is in your semi-trailer or where you are going. 

Even though you might share information with someone during one of your stops who does not care about your cargo, that doesn’t mean someone eavesdropping nearby isn’t interested. 

Protect Your Cargo No Matter What You’re Transporting

It doesn’t matter if you own a fleet of semi-trailers or rent one when needed, it is necessary to do everything you can to protect them. Protect the cargo like it was gold. If you need ideas on how to protect your cargo and semi-trailers, contact Trucker Search at (888) 254-3712. We understand the importance of protecting your cargo and want to help you get it to its destination safely.

What You Need To Know About New Driver Training Rules

Being new to trucking can be a bit scary. There are a lot of rules to follow that go far beyond obtaining your normal license to operate a vehicle. You have a responsibility on the road to not only transport the product but for yourself and the people surrounding you. 

As with most things, new trucker training driver rules will go into effect in the coming weeks. Understanding these is crucial to becoming a truck driver. So, in a quick summary, this is what you need to know about the new truck driver training rules taking effect February 7, 2022. 

Who Does This Apply To?

The new rules are specifically for people who are applying as new, entry-level truck drivers. This includes anyone who is applying for the following licenses:

  • Class A or Class B CDL for the first time.
  • Needs to upgrade an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL.
  • Get a school bus, hazardous materials, or passenger endorsement for the first time. .

So any truck driver who already has these licenses, or is not applying for these specific scenarios, does not need to worry about the new rules going into effect.

What Does It Mean?

The rule has changed the way that training is done. Now you have to complete your training outlined by the new rules before being able to take either the written test or required skills test . Anyone who has obtained their CDL before February 7, 2022 will not need to abide by this new training. 

This new training program was meant to take effect in 2020 but had a two-year delay. It was delayed so that there would be a completed Training Provider Registry so that new truck drivers entering this training had a better sense of the process. 

What’s Changed?

One of the biggest differences that new truck drivers will notice is that there is no timeline for how many hours you need in training behind the wheel or in range. At first, this doesn’t make sense, but then when learning more it’s a great addition. It accounts for those who learn quicker than others. 

Instead of logging time, you need to pass the proficiency test. So, drivers who learn quickly during the training will be able to move on and those who need more time can certainly take it. This makes the rules of the road a lot safer and proficient. 

Where Can I Find More Information?

The Trainer Provider Registry is the best source that new truck drivers can use. Supplied by FMCSA, this registry can pair new truck drivers up with certified trainers to help them walk through the steps of obtaining their license in the desired class they are looking for. 

While these rules have certainly changed the way truckers are able to get their license, many are saying improvements are needed and that the rule changes have not gone far enough. By using the Trainer Prover Registry you can stay up-to-date on these changes.

How to Make Your Truck Wheels Shine!

While some truckers won’t care about the beauty of having their wheels shine, most will care if dirty wheels cause wheel damage. Because this is the case, wheel damage can end up completely derailing a trucker’s route and schedule. So learning how to make that aluminum wheel sparkle can be a great tool. 

But what’s the best way to go about it? Whether you are a beginner or need some brushing up (no pun intended), we have the ultimate way to do it. 

Step 1:  Rinse and Wash

The first and most important step is getting rid of the dirt that is building up in your wheels. You also want to check that there are  no small rust spots forming when cleaning the wheels. You can do this with a power washer or hose. After using just water, you can start to use a wheel cleaner solution. Make sure that this is manufacturer approved because you don’t want a solution that will eat into the wheel materials. 

Get into all the tiny bits and pieces like the spokes, lug nuts, and wheel wells. Getting the wheel completely cleaned in wheel solution is the key to ensuring the wheels stay healthy. Once you do this, rinse it all off. 

Step 2: Polish

Now that the grunt work is over you can polish to brighten up the wheels. Again, make sure that you are using both an approved polish and polish tool. While applying the polish one wheel at a time you can increase the speed of your polisher. Once you are done with this process use a towel to wipe the polish off. 

Step 3: Buff It Up

With an approved, and great quality, sealant finishes your work off by ensuring it stays nice for a little while. You can use a buffer pad to rub the sealant in and get the shine you worked for! If you do come across more dirt caught up in the wheel, it’s better to go back to stage one than try to buff it out. 

Why Does This Matter?

While we talked about the fact that your own schedule and driving can be affected when you have wheels with built-up debris, there are other reasons you should ocean your wheels as well. You don’t want to contribute to debris, dirt, and grime kicking up from your truck and affecting other drivers on the road. With so much dirt built up on trucks, it’s possible to have rocks or hard dirt impair one of the other drivers on the road. 

To prevent this you can follow the steps above, making sure to put priority on rinsing and washing the wheels thoroughly. This is the best way to remove the dirt. Only after can you use a high-quality polish and later sealant. Just remember that any products you use and tools should be approved so you don’t cause any damage to the wheels that could result in issues. 

Tornado Safety While on the Road

TO-MAY-TO, TO-MAH-TO, tornado! The word for tornado likely comes from two Spanish words, one meaning ‘to thunder’ and the other ‘to turn.’ That seems like an accurate description for the whirling storm clouds. Tornadoes are quite common in the Central United States. There is even a specific season and an aptly named high tornado risk zone known as Tornado Alley that stretches from Southern Nebraska to Northern Texas. As a cross country or regional driver in the central US, you will likely face a tornado situation in your career as a driver. So, how do you stay safe during tornado weather?

Tornado Warning!

The first thing you should always be on the lookout for is the weather forecast when you’re driving. While meteorologists cannot always predict a tornado, they know the conditions that can create one and can give advance warning of where one may form. In addition to this, watching the sky while you drive especially when there seems to be a sudden darkening, or the winds are changing rather rapidly will help you determine whether a tornado is starting to form and how far away you are from it. Seeing a tornado near your truck is likely one of the scariest things you will ever face as a driver, but there are ways to increase your chances of survival and possibly even save your truck.

What Should You Do?

The priority in a tornado situation is saving yourself- if you are faced with a tornado, Trucks can be repaired and goods can be replaced, but you’ve only got one life. There are two courses of action when it comes to addressing a tornadic situation. These depend on whether you are inside your truck or outside of it (at a truck stop, delivery point, pick-up location, fueling up, etc.). 

If you are driving, the best thing to do is look for a place below ground level to pull your truck into. DO NOT pull under a bridge or overpass as the winds flowing through these areas are more treacherous than the ones in the open. The best place to take your truck is into a culvert or into a ditch. Make sure that your truck is not near any structures or trees, as these may collapse and fall on your vehicle. After your truck is parked, remain in the driver’s seat, buckle your seatbelt, and cover your head with your arms and a jacket or blanket to aid in protecting you from debris or broken glass. If you cannot get your truck into a low place, get yourself into a ditch or culvert far from structures or vehicles, and cover your neck and head with your arms and a jacket or blanket.

If you are stopped, try to get to the nearest building and shelter in the innermost room. If this is not possible and you have enough time, drive your truck into a low place. If you can’t get into a building or don’t have time to drive, run to the nearest ditch and cover your head and neck with your arms and a jacket or blanket.

If you are driving and cannot find a low place, DO NOT keep driving towards the tornado. Turn away from it and locate the nearest possible low place that is far from structures. 

Staying Safe

Tornadoes are usually sudden, but it is possible to stay safe. Following the above guidelines gives you the best chance at surviving the storm. If you know that you are traveling through tornado country at peak tornado season (May-June), it is a good idea to pack a kit of supplies. This kit should include extra food, water, a flashlight, and a battery powered radio. As you are driving, check the weather on the radio, and take shelter when warnings are announced. Hopefully you will never face a tornado, but it always pays to be alert and prepared during any severe weather condition. Stay safe out there!