Women and Trucking – Defy the Odds of a Man’s World

Picture a truck driver in your mind, he’s probably an older man, right? This is a very common trope, that drivers are all older men, but this really isn’t the case anymore– welcome to the 21st century! There are drivers representing nearly all shapes, sizes, and demographic backgrounds. A little known fact is that there are many women who work in the industry. Women are changing the trucking world for the better and making it a more diverse and successful industry!

Stories You Should Hear

The tale that a lot of women hear when entering the industry is “oh, trucking is for men.” Sometimes this dissuades women, but for those who really love the career like Christine Bosgraaf and Melissa Bencivengo-Ahorrio, it’s a personal challenge to prove that trucking is also a great career for women.

  • Christine Bosgraaf

Christine Bosgraaf is a driver and driving instructor from Sanger, Texas. For the first 20 years of her working life, she was a veterinary technician in the biomedical research field in Illinois. She was laid off from her job in the lab because of a lack of funding. During her time searching for a career, she noticed a program that would provide training to receive her CDL in 20 days. She took on the challenge, and afterwards got a job working for Schneider and has been working there for almost the entirety of the past 8 years! Six months ago, Schneider recognized Bosgraaf’s seniority in the field and provided her the opportunity of being an instructor for future employees. Now Bosgraaf works to instruct many men and women on the rules of the road and all the skills they need to attain a CDL! Read more about Christine here!  

  • Melissa Bencivengo-Ahorrio

Melissa Bencivenego-Ahorrio is another woman driver who hails from New Jersey. She has always been brash, bold, and confident, which has helped her excel in traditionally male-dominated roles including being a mason, drill rig driver, carpenter, tree service employee, and finally truck driver as of almost four years ago. Melissa knew that trucking would be a great career for her because it offered great opportunities to travel and get out on the road. Read more about Melissa’s story here

Consider Trucking as a Career

There are countless stories of women driving and having very successful careers. The transportation industry in the United States is always growing, and right now is a great time to jump in if you think trucking is right for you! As a woman in trucking, you will likely face challenges that men do not, which is unfortunately a reality of navigating traditionally male careers, but often the benefits of a career in trucking outweigh the challenges. If you enjoy traveling, navigating, and interacting with all kinds of people, trucking might be a great career for you. If you decide to try it, don’t let anyone stop you from pursuing your dreams!

Final Thoughts

Trucking is a great career for all different kinds of people. Anyone who sets their mind to it can form a successful career in the transport industry. As has been proven by the wonderful women we’ve highlighted, truck driving is no longer just a ‘man’s world,’ it’s everyone’s world, and has become all the better for it! This goes for anyone, if you feel like trucking is a good career choice for you, go for it and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it!

Diesel Prices and Trucking

Sometimes it feels like diesel is expensive enough to bedazzle your truck and buy it a pearl necklace, and this is especially true at present. Diesel prices are on the rise. This can spell trouble for the transportation industry and those that depend on it, which includes nearly everyone in the United States). When diesel is more expensive, it means that overall transport costs increase. This can pose a challenge to smaller and individually owned companies as miles stack up and a few extra cents per gallon can end up costing a pretty penny. 

The Cost of Transportation

Transportation of any kind either commercial or civilian is expensive, from travel via rail, air or wheels, it is almost all powered by fossil fuels in some way or another. In wheeled transportation, gasoline and diesel reign supreme. Diesel and gas come from the same source, crude oil, but they are very different in terms of properties. Gas is a thin fuel that has low density but is very combustible, making it perfect for moving smaller vehicles. Diesel on the other hand is thick, dense, and packs a powerful punch which is perfect for fueling trucks and other heavier machinery. It may seem like robbery that diesel is more expensive than gas, but diesel is far more energy dense and therefore holds a higher value.

Besides the regular costs of purchasing vehicles and maintaining them, diesel is the main cost for trucking companies. It is a necessary and recurring expense that really adds up, especially when driving frequency is increased. If trucks are moving, there is the constant expense that comes with fuel. When diesel is more abundant and less expensive, it makes transportation less pricey which helps drivers and their companies save money. However, the economy functions best with balance and moderately priced fuel and transportation usually saves the most money for all parties. 

Diesel Prices

Diesel prices have been rising for sometime now. According to the EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration), diesel prices in the US are up $1.28 per gallon from last year and are still rising. However, diesel prices are not expected to stay this high. Predictions from the EIA show that crude oil (the source of diesel) will likely become less expensive in 2022 due to the possible action by Washington to open the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to stabilize costs. The action the government will take remains to be seen, but likely as we roll into the new year, diesel prices will fall.

The fall in diesel prices will possibly be promoted by the colder months as winter is usually good for diesel,particularly colder winters. As the freezing temperatures reduce the likelihood of car travel, which is bad for gas, but good for diesel as it becomes more profitable than gasoline sales. If there is plenty of supply for the demand, diesel prices will remain affordable.

Final Thoughts

Diesel prices have been steadily rising, but there is an end in sight. Soon they will likely fall to a more affordable level. This is very exciting as it means that businesses will be able to breathe easier and reduce their expenses. As we enter the new year, pay attention to political actions and the weather to see how diesel prices play out. A great source for diesel news is the U.S. Energy Information Administration for the most up to date energy news!

Winter Weather Driving Tips

Winter seems to come too quickly. It’s a beautiful season filled with opportunities to see the family, eat great food, and celebrate the holiday season, but winter is also one of the most dangerous seasons as there are all the usual hazards coupled with ice and snow. As the days continue to get colder, it is crucial that you are prepared for the challenges of winter, in both your home and work life as driving in near-freezing temperatures and potentially inclement weather can be hazardous.

Driving in Severe Weather

Considering the problems that can occur while driving is the first step to building safe winter driving habits. The first thing to take into account when you are planning on taking your next route is to make sure you are familiar with the weather in all locations you will be driving through. Some places will be warmer or colder than others, and it is crucial that you know which locations will have hazardous conditions such as snowstorms, icy roads, or freezing rain. Being familiar with the challenges you will face on the journey and continuing to check the news (or a dependable weather app) will help you be prepared. 

The most important thing to know when driving in potentially icy locations is that going slowly can save lives. Speed is very highly valued in the trucking industry, and it can be very hard to choose to slow down especially when most drivers are in a time crunch. However, in hazardous conditions, the most responsible thing to do is slow down to a comfortable and safe speed, being sure to follow any emergency directives from road signs even if this results in a delayed arrival. 

In addition to this primary guideline, you should also complete pre-travel checks of your truck to ensure it is well-equipped and functioning correctly for the trip. Other important tips for safe driving in any season, but especially the winter, include following traffic at a safe distance, staying to the right, checking your brakes often and keeping them clear of winter slush overnight, avoiding distractions, and making sure your headlights are clear. While you are driving, do your best to avoid panicking, even when you face scary situations. Staying calm and using common sense will help you through even the worst problems. You can always pull off the road and call for assistance if you believe the conditions are too unsafe to continue.

Stay Safe, Stay Warm

Icy conditions wreak havoc on the plans of drivers (both commercial and civilian) all through the winter season. While there are hazards on the road all year round, from animals and natural dangers, winter takes the cake as the most dangerous season of the year because it combines all the risks with ice and snow. However, many incidents are easily avoided by using common sense and making sure to follow the guidelines of going slowly when necessary and taking steps to ensure you are staying alert, aware, and prepared for any challenge winter throws at you. 

Benefits of properly spec’ing your tires

There’s a spec on your tire. No, not a spot of dirt, but a specification. In fact, specs are on every tire produced and are used to inform the customer of the details regarding sizing, usage, tread, and distance limits. There are thousands of different types of tires on the market today from a multitude of tire makers. Properly spec’ing your tires means that you can choose the best out of this abundance of options.

The Right Way

According to Overdrive.com, variables to consider when spec’ing your tires include, “size and number of plies and related weight rating, tread design, tread depth, tread compound and wheel position.” As you research tires for your vehicle, evaluate the type of work your truck will be performing and then choose tires based on their ratings for this type of work. For instance, choosing low profile tires for long-haul highway driving can save on fuel because the sidewall height is less than the width. 

There are adjustments you can make to your tire buying process once you begin doing your research to spec your tires. When researching, be sure to check all the options in all price ranges. Sometimes the more expensive tires have longer lifespans or can save you more money on fuel, and likely enough to afford the upgrade. Some changes to consider when spec’ing tires could be to research wide singles that can be used as alternatives to double wheels. You will likely have to get your truck refitted for these, but they are a great choice for long haul driving since they are much lighter. 

Save Money and Time

Once you have properly spec’d tires, you can be sure that your truck is running as efficiently as possible. While you are focused on the financial aspect, a great idea for those trying to save more money is looking into retreaded tires. New tires can be extremely expensive, but retreads usually run about ½ or ? of the new price. Retreads, when bought from a reputable source, are just as safe and have been inspected for quality and durability on the road. One final money saving tip is to shop wisely. Make sure you are choosing the best quality for the best price, even if this takes a while to research. 

Road and Wallet

Traveling on the road costs money, from fuel, to taxes and insurance, to maintenance and parts for the vehicle, there are a lot of high prices that you will pay as a driver or fleet owner. Some of these costs can be reduced in the long run by properly gearing your rears, ensuring your engine is running at peak performance, and spec’ing your tires, you can be sure to save money which is important for keeping your business healthy. The great news is, with some research, you can save your money without sacrificing quality. 

Final Thoughts

Why should you take the time to research how to properly spec your tires? The short answer is to save money by decreasing your fuel usage and getting the most life out of your tires. Everyone loves saving money, but the added benefit of spec’ing your tires properly is knowing that you have the best tires for your truck and its application means that your truck is ready to face the roads safely and efficiently! 

 

Preparing your rig for winter

Winter is here! The leaves have fallen and frost is on the ground in the mornings, which means that the snow and ice of winter are coming soon. This holiday season, before the outdoors become uninhabitable, is the perfect time to prepare your truck and ensure it is winter ready. While you’re thinking about getting your truck ready for winter, read our helpful tips for making your winter travels safer and more comfortable.

Winter is Finally Here!

It may seem like Winter rolls around faster than other seasons, and that may be because we dread taking out the winter coat, gloves, and snow shovels. Even though Winter may be inconvenient, it should not be something to be dreaded as it is a very beautiful time of year with plenty of celebrations taking place. If you know the right procedures to stay safe while driving, your winter can be a blast! 

You may not have noticed the day it became cold enough to wear a coat because that change is usually gradual, but when the frost begins to collect on the ground, you likely know that winter will be approaching soon. Something that most people do automatically is to locate all the cold weather gear as winter begins to take hold. In addition to this, many families gather firewood, ensure their homes are well fueled, and stock up on groceries in case the weather becomes too bad to get outside. With all this home preparation, you should also think about your truck.

Frightful Cold

Driving in the winter can be scary as there are added hazards to the road including slick roadways, high winds, and low visibility. Keeping your cool is necessary in these situations. The best way to stay calm is by knowing you have the tools to get you out of sticky situations. Creating a game plan for how to act in dangerous situations can save your life and others.

Be Winter Ready

How can you be winter ready? Checking up on your truck and assembling a safety kit are great first steps. Inspecting your fuel filter, battery, and cooling system is crucial to starting the winter season correctly. Ensuring your fuel filter is clean and not contaminated with water can save your engine from failure. In addition to this, make sure your batteries are still strong. It is never a good idea to enter winter with  weak batteries. Finally, while the cooling system may seem to be a weird place to check when you’re entering the coldest months of the year, checking to make sure your antifreeze is sufficient for freezing temperature is important.  Antifreeze testers are cheap and can save thousands of dollars in engine repairs. Items you should include in your winter kit are extra winter clothes (especially gloves), a first aid kit, extra blankets, a flashlight and extra batteries, extra fuel filters and coolant. After creating this kit, there are many recurring things you should do throughout the season to make sure your truck is running at peak performance.  

Alongside these preparations, you can use fuel additives throughout the winter to reduce the effect of diesel fuel crystallization at colder temperatures which will make the engine work efficiently. On the coldest days keeping the engine running may be your best defense against fuel gelling.  Many trucks are equipped with fuel heaters that only work when the engine is running.  If you can’t leave your engine running in sub zero weather a block heater can be a life saver.  Check to make sure yours is working before you need it.

Final Thoughts

As winter progresses, it is important to make sure you have made all due preparations. Taking the time to prepare yourself and your truck will give you the best chance of having a safer, warmer, and happier winter. The cold is coming, so be safe out there!

Building a Stunning Resume

Resumes are underrated. As something most people construct in high school or at the end of college and then fail to update until necessary, the resume does not receive enough credit for how important it can be. When coupled with a well-written cover letter, a great resume can help you secure any job that you’re qualified for. While many employers only seem to glance at your resume, the proof of experience it offers is priceless and there is no better place to show off everything you’ve worked hard to achieve than by presenting a well-made resume.

The Art of the Resume

Many people think it is the embellishment that makes a resume special, but the true beauty of a successful resume is the way it presents the truth and showcases the skills, talents, and experiences in your life that have shaped you into who you are today. While it may be easy to add an extra year of experience or pretend to have experience that you don’t, you shouldn’t do that. Lying on a resume has consequences, sometimes resulting in the loss of a job or pay cuts, not to mention the mistrust your superiors will have because of this dishonesty.

All in all, it is best to avoid lying. Your resume can still be spectacular, even if you feel like you haven’t experienced a lot in life. There are plenty of things that count for experience beyond professions and education. Take an inventory of your skills from all areas of your life thus far, and you are sure to find more than what you’d expect.

Skills In a Resume

The first sections of a resume, be it personal information or past experiences, are straightforward to include all the necessary information. However, the best part of a resume is the section for skills. This is where you can take everything you’ve earned in your career and personal life and craft it to show how you will be a great fit for the job you’re applying for. Maybe you worked in a restaurant for 4 years, then you probably have great customer service and teamwork skills, or perhaps you were in the military and you have acquired perseverance and efficiency.

Things that may not count for on-the-job experiences may still be able to be counted as skills. Skills that may not be occupation related include time management and a strong sense of responsibility from taking care of members of your family. Most employers want to see that you will be able to excel at the job they are offering, and there is more than one way to show that you have the skills and experience to complete the job perfectly.

Let’s Resume

If you’ll pardon the pun, a great idea for making a solid resume is to find a template online and contact your employer directly, or view their website, to see which of your skills and experiences you should highlight the most. Resumes can teach your potential employer a lot about you, so it is a good idea to take time to prepare it. The art of resume building is not a secret science that only some people have access to, you can build a great resume and if you need help there are countless resources online.

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!