Category: Uncategorized

Finding Drivers: The Art of the Ad

Drivers are hard to find sometimes, even more so now that there is a national shortage among drivers. The high demand for drivers across the country makes it even more crucial that your job advertisements are clear, persuasive, and well published to give you the best chance of finding a great driver! 

Drivers Are Sometimes Elusive

We live in the 21st century where consumer demand is high and while supply is there for all the needs of the people, logistical support is not always readily available. Currently, there is a shortage of commercial drivers and this is evident in our daily lives by delayed packages, product shortages, and plenty of stress for fleet managers and logistical operators. Some of this driver shortage can be combated by creating more educational information on the career of driving and the avenues of becoming a successful driver, but that takes time, what about in the present?

How To Find Them

The best way to find drivers is to have them come to you after seeing a job you’ve posted. Many companies, including Trucker Search, will help you to find drivers for your available jobs. You can also use these search databases to locate drivers who may be potential matches for your job and contact them directly. The most efficient way to market your jobs to the maximum number of people is by using these online search systems and creating a job ad to solidify these connections.

Making sure that your ads are clear, concise, and filled with the pertinent information is the most important thing. Avoid being overly descriptive and using confusing language or fonts that are hard to read. Another thing to note when you are posting ads is to make sure the information is correct and that there is enough content to pique a driver’s interest.

The Right Person for the Job

After you ensure your ad is clear and published to a search engine for drivers, you will likely find quite a few matches, but narrowing down the potential suitors for your job can be difficult. Usually you can narrow it down to a few top competitors based on resumes alone, but once you do this it may be difficult to choose. The best way to choose the right person for the job is to do a quick interview with them or look at their cover letter and experience to understand where they’re coming from.

It isn’t always a foolproof strategy to choose based on these things, but it is a good start. Be sure to remain courteous and kind to your other interviewees as well, as they may become employees in the future.. Keeping connections open is a great way to find employees.

The search for drivers can be tricky and stressful, but you can do it. Drivers are the force that makes the world go around. They can be a bit hard to find if you don’t know where to look or are entering unfamiliar territory. However, there are always drivers out there who need work, so let your ad stand out and show them that you are the one they should consider working with!

Driving in the Latter Part of the Pandemic

Covid-19 has changed the world in many ways and the world is still changing. As we leave the stressful times of the climax of the pandemic behind us, there are some new challenges that we are going to face in the global recovery from Covid-19. This includes rebuilding the damaged parts of the economy, creating safer and cleaner means of working and living, and staying safe from new microbial hazards.

Covid Challenges

Covid has caused many challenges for our daily lives. Barring the health risks from developing the disease, the restrictions, regulations, and fear of contracting the highly contagious virus have posed difficulty for many in remaining steadily employed. Even drivers, who are in high demand, have had to leave their jobs due to these issues. The good news is many states are loosening the restrictive regulations and have better information on how drivers can avoid contracting the virus even in the possible instance that Covid-19 cases rise sharply.

Varying Regulations

Every state has different rules. This was true even before the pandemic. Some states have harsher speed penalties, less rest areas, and seemingly countless variations to the rules of the road, but now the rules vary even more. This is because there are different amounts of the population with Covid between different states, and even different counties. The good news is most of these rules will be made clear, especially on store doors and windows. If you’re unsure, it’s never a bad idea to mask up. 

Driving between states can pose a new challenge during these times, as regulations change from state to state, but it is possible to stay on top of these regulations by being prepared for any conditions. With the rise in variants of Covid, many states are creating tighter mandates once again. Keeping hand sanitizer and masks in your truck can help you to avoid breaking any state-specific rules. As with many things, it is better to be over prepared than under prepared.

Staying Up to Date

Following the news and taking note of the parts that apply most to your travels will likely help you avoid any mishaps. Staying up to date will also allow you to protect yourself, understand your own risk, and take measures to avoid contracting Covid-19. If you need more information than what a simple search through the news provides, it is never a bad idea to do more research. You can even become more informed while driving, as there are many radio shows and podcasts out there to help educate you on any subject, especially one as important as this!

Final Thoughts

It will be a long road for the American economy to fully recover and much of that will be dependent on the efficiency of the transport industry. Drivers have been crucial in keeping America safe throughout the pandemic and they are still needed and appreciated in making everything run smoothly. Driving poses some unique challenges and requires sensitivity to the changing times. It is incredibly worthwhile when drivers face these challenges and keep America rolling!

Drivers Needed: An Explanation of Nationwide Driver Shortages

You see it everywhere, signs saying, “job openings,” “we’re hiring,” and “come work here”. This is especially true for the trucking industry! There is a well-documented nationwide driver shortage, and this is posing issues for timely transport. Many factors went into creating this issue and it is not something that can be solved rapidly. But, with hard work and dedication transport will be on a roll again shortly!

Job Openings

There are job openings across the country as businesses are recovering from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. While having job openings is a sign of an economic boom, the abundance of need for people willing to work can be a bit concerning. However, this is a great time to sign on for new jobs as competitive wages are being offered by many companies, including those in the trucking industry.

Why Drivers Quit

Drivers represent an aging part of the American population. Many are nearing the age of retirement, but some drivers are also quitting earlier than retirement age because they are dissatisfied with their company. This can be due to many factors, from a lack of growth opportunities to dishonest and irresponsible companies. While most driving companies strive to do their best to follow the rules of the road and ensure their employees are satisfied, the American workforce loses thousands of drivers a year because they feel stuck or morally unable to work for a given company.

High Demand

Drivers are in high demand everywhere. It is not all because of Covid, although recently there has been a spike in job openings due to the pandemic. Another reason for the need for drivers is that many drivers are aging out of the industry and retiring. We are thankful for their service, but it leaves one asking, “who’s going to fill their shoes?”. Right now there are not many young people entering the field, but there isn’t much information out there encouraging them to investigate the career, and in many companies, there is no room for growth.

To create more interest in the industry, companies need to put information out to younger people and offer pathways of growth so that employees don’t feel stuck and get burnt out. It must also be noted that drivers want to work for honest companies who aspire to follow the rules and regulations of the road. In the coming years it will be important to broadcast that driving is an incredibly valuable career to the American economy and inform potential future drivers that it can be a very fulfilling career for people who are prepared for the challenges of the job.

Final Thoughts

With the recent pandemic mostly behind us, and the huge need for drivers, there is still a lot of ground that we must regain. From educating young people about driving and the ins and outs of the career to businesses practicing ethical employment strategies and providing room for growth, the American Trucking Industry will be back up and running better than ever before! With hard work and dedication by drivers and their companies, America will be brought back to and go beyond its pre-covid transportation status. 

18 Wheels that Keep the World Turning

With over 3.5 million drivers on the road, as of 2019 (according to census.gov), the American Trucking Industry is a huge community represented by diverse people from across the nation and the globe! People from all walks of life have become a part of the transportation industry, making this a unifying career field. Drivers across the nation work hard every day to ensure that goods are transported to their destinations safely and timely. This is truly what keeps the American economy going.

The Big Engine That Could

Trucks are big, not only in size and mass, but in economic impact as well. Oftentimes trucks carry thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars worth of goods. This much value in a single route is a big responsibility, but every day there are drivers across the nation making this transport possible. This requires honesty, integrity, and a dedication to one’s career. Drivers have a truly inspiring work ethic.

 Diesel engines may not always be the most efficient, sometimes they break down, but most drivers know how to address any issues and resolve them as quickly and safely as possible.. In the industry, it is never really a case of whether the truck is up for the job or not, but rather the driver because the driver is the most important player in the system. Without dedicated drivers, trade would be at a standstill.

Transportation Nation

The American economy relies on trade across the nation. America is huge, spanning 2,800 miles from coast to coast according to mapsofworld.com. When time sensitive deliveries are in order (especially with produce and other food items), there is always a rush to make sure none of the goods spoil. So, how do goods made on the West Coast arrive so quickly on the East coast and vice versa? Drivers make it possible through taking on loads and tirelessly making journeys to get the goods to their destinations on time! 

A Valiant Effort

Drivers face many challenges daily: hazards of the road, health issues, and difficulties in transport all make it hard on drivers to do their best work, but even then, they do an amazing job of keeping America running. Drivers may see many dangers from traffic incidents, slick roads, high winds, drunk drivers, cargo thieves, and people with malicious intent. They may also suffer through negative health conditions and stress associated with the career..  Drivers are met with adversity nearly every day of their career., Instead of being afraid and refusing to act, they meet these challenges head on and continue making it possible for people across the nation to acquire what they need, shop at their favorite stores, and receive important packages on time.

Thank You Drivers!

Drivers are some of America’s most important citizens, and while they sometimes go underrecognized, they deserve our thanks for the great work they do. Without the 3.5 million drivers in the United States, the nation would be brought to its knees. So today, thank a driver, and if you drive trucks or have ever driven, thank you for your service. You are truly a special person for making the sacrifice to keep America going strong!

Trucking News and Where to Find It

News is everywhere these days, on television, online, on the radio, on social media, and by word of mouth. Everywhere you look or listen, someone is trying to tell you a new story about something going on in the world. This can be overwhelming, especially when you don’t want to be bombarded by news about everything, but only about things that you care about. Of course, staying up to date on global events is important, but when you want to find news about your specific interests you sometimes have to dig a little. For trucking news specifically, there are many good sources and we have a few tips and tricks to help you get started in cultivating a list of news sources. 

Choosing Reliable Sources

There is good news and bad news. This statement isn’t referring to the content of the news, but rather the quality. Much of the news today is created to sensationalize rather than explain the facts of a situation. That is just part of the industry, shocking headlines receive the most views. The difficulty comes when you try to find which news is true. Oftentimes it seems that all news has parts of truth and the more news you read, the truer perspective comes to view. Unfortunately, this sometimes takes more research than you have time for, but finding reliable sources can take some of this burden off yourself.

Many nationally accredited news sources (like the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and FOX) are great places to look for news, but most of these are biased politically to one side or the other as news companies and are filled with people that have opinions. It is usually a good idea to read stories from one side and then the other, and in the middle is where you can find the truth of the matter. When looking for news, look at this chart by Ad Fontes Media that shows the amount of bias and the factuality of the news station. 

Websites and Magazines

Onto some more specific to the trucking industry sources, there are many websites and magazines that have great information that is directly applicable to your career. Some of the most popular magazines and websites that contain factual news are: Overdrive Magazine, Freight Waves, CDL Life, and Transport Topics. There are plenty of other great sources to learn more about what’s going on in the industry as well. Looking at their stories and comparing them to other sources is a good way to determine their credibility. 

Government Information

The best sources for regulatory and legal news for drivers and managers  from governmental websites and broadcasts as these are the sources from which regulation is coming from. There are a few different government programs that coordinate with one another to regulate transit, drivers, and the roads that we all use. When looking for news online, if the website has ‘.gov’ at the end of the web address it will be the most reliable source you can find.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of sources online to get your news from, but it is up to you to determine the reliability of the source. The best way to do this is by using research skills and comparing different sources to make sure you are getting accurate news. If you are absorbing news effectively, you will be up to date on the true trucking news, making you a responsible and informed citizen.

Technological Futures: What to Expect

You may hear people say that one day machines will phase out human jobs as they will be faster, stronger, and work longer. This may cause you some worry for your future career path or that of your children; however, as far as engineers and scientists can see, this day is a long way off. The human brain and capacity for fine motor skills is something that no computer can replicate yet, and even when they can replicate some human movements, quality control will always be something distinctly human because even artificially intelligent machines cannot take in all the variables and form a proper judgement.

There is no reason to fear technology becoming more prevalent in the trucking industry because this is a field that requires a human touch. Whether this be in managing time, responding to emergencies, or driving through rough conditions. There are technologies now being developed to assist drivers as they embark on their journeys, and others to help carry the load of this high-demand industry, and each one has its niche, and none of these has the capacity to overshadow the hard work put in by the American Driver!

Self-Driving Vehicles

Self-driving vehicles are a 21st century concept- in the past, vehicles that drove themselves would have likely been perceived as being magical instead of technological. The engineers that have developed not only the heavy machinery but also the software, sensors, and other components of self-driving vehicles have worked hard to create a somewhat autonomous experience. We say somewhat autonomous because many developers have the eventual goal of making an entirely self-driving road-safe vehicle, but a partially autonomous ride has shown to be beneficial for the driver and the industry.

There is a scale that industry professionals use to measure how autonomous a vehicle is- on a rating level from 0-5 with 0 being no autonomy, and 5 being fully automatic with no assistance required. There are no approved for road vehicles (cars or trucks) that have a level 5 rating. However, many trucks today actually have ratings in between 1-3 and some have even achieved a 4. These trucks make it easier for drivers to stay safe and remain stress free as they have advanced safety measures such as quick braking and cameras to show when someone can switch lanes safely. 

Gadgets and Software for the Driver

In addition to vehicles being autonomous, one of the most important developments of the technological revolution is the presence of gadgets and software that can improve the quality of a drive for those working in the industry. GPS technology is getting better, and now you can even map out a route with stops along the way for food, rest, and quick breaks. Planning ahead, and knowing exactly where you are is a gamechanger from the past of reading confusing paper maps and struggling to find your way. You can now even use apps on your phone to track your health, listen to engaging podcasts or music, and set reminders for yourself to take a break or get some rest!

Final Thoughts

Technology can seem scary especially when there is a chance of career theft via robot, but this will be a long time in the future. Even then, the human brain is superior to any machine, and drivers even in the future will be able to secure jobs and make a living being the heart of the American economy! Right now, it’s a great idea to reap the benefits of technology, and become the safest and healthiest driver you can be!

The Value of Planning Your Route Carefully

A useful anecdote that I often repeat to myself is “careful planning and goal setting are the keys to a happy and healthy life.” This is especially true when working and forming healthy lifestyles. In addition to making life easier, planning will also help you remain punctual and will give you some flexibility because you know the time that you need to be at a pickup or drop off along the route. 

Planning Ahead

It may not be incredibly far in advance of a trip that you find out your route but taking even 15 minutes to delineate when you should be where and when you should take a break can save you a lot of time in the future. Adding stops into your GPS (or on your map if you’re more old-fashioned) can help you make sure you take adequate break time and recharge more efficiently. With a schedule, you can get more done and save time while you’re at it!

How do you build a plan even in a time crunch? The best way to do this is look at a map of your route and the specific drop-off and pick up times between each part of your journey, if there is a difference in the time it takes between transit and your next point of cargo transfer, you can use this extra time to take a break either for activity, rest, or a bite to eat. 

If you are a local driver, you will likely have more stops to plan around, so familiarize yourself with the area and locate nearby parks, quick restaurants, or greenways so you can get in some quick activity and hopefully healthy food. If you are a long-haul driver, planning is even more crucial because you will likely be in unfamiliar territory. Look at your route and plan around avoiding high-theft locations, and finding safe spots to rest, eat, and take breaks. For each type of driver, it is a good idea to write down what time you should be where and follow this to the best of your ability. You can even use your phone to write down times or set reminders!

Staying Healthy

Creating a schedule will help you to stay healthy because it allows you to plan out restaurants in advance, so that you can avoid the high fat, sodium, and sugar meals that are so tempting on the road. Finding restaurants that offer healthier meals can be a life and health saver as you continue taking on new cargo. Planning well is a part of forming healthier habits for the road, and your body will surely thank you for this.

In addition to eating healthily, you can also plan for exercise and stretch breaks. Taking a walk in between long hours of driving can help you to stay fresh and fit. Remembering to stretch can also be beneficial because it will help you stay flexible and avoid stiffness and pain as the hours get long between pickups and drop offs. 

Final Thoughts

Planning ahead can be an actual lifesaver, and less drastically can greatly improve your health and timeliness in transporting cargo! Writing down details and a schedule for your route and setting reminders with your phone can be a great way to make your route happier, healthier, and more on-time! There are plenty of online resources to help with this, so do some research and create a custom way of planning that suits your needs.

What to do if your truck breaks down in traffic.

Breakdowns throw a wrench in the plans of truck drivers on their transportation journeys. Breakdowns cause delays in the strict schedules many drivers keep, and this time delay can mean late transportation of goods and less family time for the drivers as breakdowns increase the time that drivers must spend away from their family. 

The good news is that there are many ways to effectively manage breakdowns that will help save yourself time and effort. From effective stress management techniques to knowing who to call, it is possible to experience a breakdown without it being the end of the world. Meaning you can return to transporting goods quickly. 

Stay Calm 

The most important thing to remember when your truck is starting to break down is to breathe and stay calm. If you can pull off on a wide area, that would be the best, and if you can catch the breakdown early, finding an exit or stop along the way with a semi repair shop nearby would be the best decision. The main thing you want to avoid when you feel a breakdown coming is to be stranded in the middle of the highway. 

After you pull off, allow yourself to gather your bearings and call the correct people. This will likely vary by company, but the best decision if you are somewhere remote or unknown, is to contact your boss or someone in charge at the company you work for and they will be able to provide some guidance. Also, prop your hood up to signal you are broken down and then set out the triangles or flares behind your truck in 50-foot increments. 

Driver Help 

Some drivers may have experience working on trucks or have been trained to fix issues, but it is a good idea to leave the repairs to the experts. If you are an owner operator who is responsible for your own semi, make sure you have a resource that you can refer to when locating repair facilities and searching for safe stopping spots. 

If you are a driver for a company, your dispatcher or manager should be able to inform you on how to handle the breakdown. They can tell you information such as who to call for a tow truck and what facility your truck should be taken to. 

It is very important to remember that your safety is of utmost importance. With that in mind, please remember the safest place to remain until help arrives is in the cab of your truck with the

doors locked. Standing on the side of the road can make you a target for speeding, inattentive drivers. Stay alert and be aware of the dangers around you. 

Final Thoughts 

Breakdowns can be scary, especially if it is your first one, but there are people who can help you. The most important thing is to stay calm and call assistance if you cannot repair the truck on your own. As a final safety tip, pulling off to a wide, well-lit area will pay off in safety and allow help to find you easily. Being a driver will mean that you will likely see at least one breakdown in your life, but they are manageable as long as you remain calm, everything will be okay soon!

Ideas to stay mentally engaged while over the road.

You’re probably always looking sharp while on the road, but can you say the same about your mind? Truck driving is a very fulfilling career, but it is not for everyone. With long hours of sitting, driving, and staying on high alert to ensure the safety of civilians and cargo, there are plenty of stressors and long hours that need to be effectively managed to pursue a happy and healthy career. Keeping your mind sharp and your brain engaged while on the road can be a lifesaver and it will certainly keep you happier in your chosen career!

Long Days, Long Nights

Driving is a career filled with long hours at all times of the day. Depending on the type of driving you do, the miles you cover may be locally oriented or nationwide. Each type requires a lot of sitting down, buckling in, and preparing yourself for the long haul. The first few hours of driving may go by swimmingly, you’re paying attention to scenery, discovering new roads and locations that fill you with wonder and a desire to come back and visit someday when you’re on vacation, but soon enough the boredom will decide to set in.

The good news is that taking a few precautionary steps will help you fight the ensuing boredom. There is a stereotype that driving is not a mentally stimulating career, and if this is true for you, there are ways to change it for the better. Like any career, driving can be made more mentally stimulating with just a few adjustments!

Combating Boredom

Sometimes creating a mentally engaging environment for your work requires a few changes in your habits and perspectives, but it will be a rewarding shift that ensures you will stay fresh and mentally engaged for the duration of your trip. Trying out these tips and tricks will allow you a degree of entertainment for the long drives, and while some may not work for you, others may become lifelong strategies to stay sharp, or they may inspire you to create strategies of your own!

Some of the best tips to stay mentally engaged while driving include:

  • Listening to music, audiobooks, and podcasts.
  • Taking stretch breaks.
  • Writing music or stories in your mind.

Listening to the radio may be an obvious choice for drivers as it is free and readily available, but there are ways to expand your listening experience including podcasts and audiobooks. Podcasts and audiobooks are a great way to learn while driving. Many of them are downloadable so they do not require consistent radio or cell signal to keep playing, and there are millions of podcasts and audiobooks available for any subject that you find interesting. 

Taking stretch breaks is important for your physical and mental health. These breaks will allow you to stay flexible, fit, and get the blood flowing back into your brain as well. Stretching feels good, and it will make your brain feel sharper.

Writing songs and stories is a great idea for the road, especially for those that are more creatively inclined. Who knows, you may even write the next audio or literary hit! This will also help expand your creativity and language skills, which will be helpful when doing anything involving problem solving and speaking with others.

Keeping Your Mind Sharp

Staying sharp on the road is an important aspect of staying safe and making your drives more fulfilling. You may even find a new passion while trying these strategies. There are plenty of resources online for finding audiobooks, podcasts, and even song and story ideas, so check those out before your next long drive. We understand that sometimes keeping the boredom at bay is hard, but try to approach this issue by thinking outside the box and you will definitely find a way to keep yourself interested and engaged. 

Cargo Securement Tips of the Trade to Avoid Downtime

cargo-securement-tips-of-the-trade-to-avoid-downtime

Depending on how you’ve been taught, you might think that a strap is a strap and a chain is a chain. Securing your cargo might be something you haven’t given a lot of thought to in a while. Something to think about is that there are rules in place that you could be unknowingly violating. These rules are in place in an effort to avoid causing damage to other motorists on the road.

Understanding the proper way to tie down and secure loads improves highway safety and keeps you from the lengthy downtimes involved with violating the rules set out by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA).

The specific rules to follow come from an older set of regulations given by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that took effect in 2004.

The general overview of these rules can be summed up in the following: “Cargo must be firmly immobilized or secured on or within a vehicle by structures of adequate strength, dunnage (loose materials used to support and protect cargo) or dunnage bags (inflatable bags intended to fill space between articles of cargo or between cargo and the wall of the vehicle), shoring bars, tiedowns or a combination of these.”

A rule of thumb to go by from these rules is that one tie down is required for items 5 ft. or less in length and under 1,100 lbs. Two tie downs are required for items 5 ft. or less in length and more than 1,100 lbs., or greater than 5 ft but less than 10 ft. long, regardless of weight. An extra tie down is required for every additional 10 ft.

Officers from CVSA enforce these rules during their routine roadside inspections of tractor-trailers and their drivers. If a truck driver is found in noncompliance, their truck can be taken out of service due to inspection item violations.

The concern, from the CVSA officers, is that improperly secured items can fall off the trailer and damage, injure, or even kill other motorists. The item itself might not directly cause a fatality, but a flying, bouncing, and fast approaching object on the road can cause accidents that could possibly lead to a fatality.

New drivers are spooked easily and aren’t accustomed to objects hitting their windshield. Older drivers with declining vision and reaction time, are also susceptible to crashes involving unexpected hazards.

In addition to following proper securement rules, routine checks of strap conditions not only help secure the load, but can also prevent unplanned downtime due to a failed CVSA inspection.

A variety of things can damage your straps. Get ahead of this and regularly check straps for cuts, burns, fraying, or other damage.

In cases where you do find damaged straps, replace the strap immediately. Spending a little bit of money now can prevent a significant loss of money due to downtime if the strap fails or is found to be damaged during an inspection. Having extra straps in the cab of your truck is highly recommended.