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  • Mobile Phone Fact Sheet: What can I do to prevent fatalities?

    by Anna Mischke | Jan 12, 2018

    Driver News 011218It can be tempting to use your mobile phone when behind the wheel – but the statistics are telling us clearly that it’s not worth it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that “each day in the United States, approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.” In autumn on 2017, The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released crash data for the previous year showing 37,361 lives lost on U.S. road, an increased 5.6 percent from the previous calendar year. The odds of being involved in a crash or safety-critical event such as a near-crash or unintentional lane deviation are six times greater for drivers who use a mobile phone while driving.

    The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) rule restricting the use of all hand-held mobile devices by drivers of commercial vehicles aims to cut back on these fatalities. Understand the rules of the road, be a safety advocate and stay off your mobile device, and potentially save lives.

    Still unclear of what the definition of using a mobile telephone is? The FMCSA describes using a mobile telephone as:

    • Using at least one hand to hold a mobile phone to make a call;
    • Dialing a mobile phone by pressing more than a single button; or
    • Reaching for a mobile phone in a manner that requires a driver to maneuver so that he or she is no longer in a seated driving position, restrained by a seat belt.

    The monetary risk is one thing – up to $2,750 for drivers and $11,000 for employers – and the potential of a fatality causing crash is another. If necessary and allowed by your employer, make sure that if you are making a call – you are following the below as explained by the FMCSA:

    • Use an earpiece or the speaker phone function.
    • Use voice-activated dialing.
    • Use the hands-free feature. To comply, a driver must have his or her mobile telephone located where he or she is able to initiate, answer, or terminate a call by touching a single button. The driver must be in the seated driving position and properly restrained by a seat belt. Drivers are not in compliance if they unsafely reach for a mobile phone, even if they intend to use the hands-free function.

    Using a cellphone while driving violates Centerline’s Zero Tolerance Cell Phone Policy. Be the safest driver on the road. 

  • Professional Driver Winter Driving Tips

    by Anna Mischke | Jan 05, 2018

    The holidays may be over, but the winter weather has just begun. When on the road, it’s imperative for professional drivers to be the safest ones behind the wheel. Ensure your driving skills are sharp and your focus is on the road, particularly when in inclement weather. Being constantly aware can make the difference between a harmful accident and getting home safely.

    • Remove ice and snow from your vehicle to ensure maximum visibility. Falling ice and snow from your vehicle can also be hazardous for drivers around you.
    • Always wear your seatbelt. The simple lifesaving move is also a law.
    • Brake and accelerate lightly. Sudden and strong movements may cause your vehicle to spin out of control.
    • Decrease your speed. Chances of a crash triple when driving faster than the traffic around you and icy roads only increase the risk.
    • Watch out for ice. Just because the sun is out does not mean ice isn’t present.
    • Be patient. While it may be frustrating to wait behind a larger truck, they are heavier and take longer to make a complete stop. Don’t cut in front of large trucks and make safe decisions when navigating around other large vehicles.
    • Hold your steering wheel firmly. Guarantee you have control over your vehicle; sharp and sudden moves can cause loss of control.
    • Use extra caution when approaching and crossing overpasses and bridges. These tend to freeze first and are many times not treated.
    • Complete a pre-trip inspection. Before getting on the road check your truck and make sure that it is in driving-ready conditions. Check the windshield wipers and fluids before departing and make sure all systems are functioning.
    • Be prepared. Just as important as prepping your truck for travel is ensuring you are fit to drive. Distracted driving causes a majority of accidents. Being tired is also a distraction, so get enough sleep and fuel up your energy levels with healthy snacks and plenty of hydration.
    • Avoid impaired drivers. While they have chosen not to be safe and respectful on the road, it doesn’t mean you have to.
    • Map your route prior to driving. Knowing exactly where you are headed and the moves you are going to make eases the stress of getting to your destination on time.
    • If stranded, stay in your vehicle. Sometimes a storm can come out of nowhere and while it may be tempting to get out and seek help, but it can be easy to get lost in a storm. Keep your exhaust pipe clear of snow and open a window slightly for ventilation if weather permits to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

    Visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website for more helpful adverse weather driving tips.

  • Centerline Shines a Spotlight on John Roach

    by Anna Mischke | Dec 29, 2017
    Customer News 074117

    Wisdom comes with experience, particularly when behind the wheel; John Roach has gained that wisdom from his own miles on the road. John gave us insights into everything from the ELD mandate to best safety practices while administering advice to green drivers beginning their careers.

    Referred to Centerline by a prior employee, John has been with the team since early 2017. Since then, he’s worked on several assignments for customers ranging from large corporations to smaller operations. John clearly has a passion for driving and gives his career a lot of thought. The industry is fortunate to have drivers like him in the cab and can thank other drivers for peaking his interest back when John was in highschool. He started his CDL career working for a small freight company and then began over the road trips. Now a veteran driver, John sees the newer drivers on the road and remembers what it was like when he first joined the business. He observes these younger drivers and hopes that they understand the responsibility of driving a fully loaded trailer; safety is key and when precautions aren’t followed there are serious consequences. Innocent lives lost, termination from a position, and the inability to find another- these are just a few things he knows can happen and he recommends that new drivers give courtesy and space to other drivers on the road. He is clear when he says negative confrontation on the road is not worth it and that it’s best to “keep cool, keep calm, and manage your temper” and when faced with trouble, “always walk away if you have the opportunity”. Sage advice to be followed by new and experienced drivers.

    Because of John’s understanding of what goes on in the industry, he explained that while he agrees that ELDs may aid in safety and that he isn’t necessarily against driver monitoring, there should be exceptions to the rule, potentially a compromise. For example, John explained that since some items considered perishable like food and medical supplies need to make it to their destination, a driver should have the opportunity to reach out to another driver that is within the legal limits of the ELD so they may continue the run of the supplies. John is wary of the new regulation: while it’s a great concept, he knows that there will still be those who skirt the lines and find loopholes. He hopes there ends up being a solution for everyone that won’t negatively affect the bottom line of the drivers and the companies who source the reefer loads. 

    John has a strong appreciation for the connectivity within the driver community. He shared of an experience he had once while at a truck stop when he and others saw a driver damage a brand new truck. They banded together to ensure that the person causing the damage did not flee the scene as they attempted to. He says that the driver community is like a club and that the members take care of one another, whether they know you or not. He knows the importance of having respect for others on the road and that following the rules and code, written or unwritten, is part of what makes the community as strong as it has been in the past.

    The ability to be part of such a community is a perk that John finds while being a driver along with the freedom and the liberty of being your own boss. He relishes being able to take videos and photos while on the road, listen to satellite radio and when he has the chance, to stop at the beach to feel the sand between his toes. When he isn’t working, John will take time to go horseback riding.

    It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to speak with a driver with so much perception when it comes to his vocation. John has great instincts and following them will continue his already positive career. He loves his craft, he’s dedicated, and overall – he hopes everyone in the industry will appreciate it as much as he does. 

  • Fatal Train Derailment Bolsters Trump’s Plan for Infrastructure Improvements

    by Anna Mischke | Dec 21, 2017

    Driver News 122117After an Amtrak passenger train derailment on December 18th that left at least three dead in Washington State and injured dozens, President Donald Trump reiterated his plans on devoting funds and energy towards the country’s infrastructure.

    Trump tweeted, “The train accident that just occurred in DuPont, WA shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly.” He continued that “Seven trillion dollars [is] spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble! Not for long!”

    The derailment occurred as the high-speed train traveled for the first time on newly-built tracks and closed all southbound lanes on Interested 5 in Pierce County near Mounts Road reports the Washington State Department of Transportation. Trump tweeted in a follow-up “My thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in the train accident in DuPont, Washington” and “Thank you to all of our wonderful First Responders who are on the scene. We are currently monitoring here at the White House.” The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident, said a spokesman for the agency.

    Trump has expressed interest in implementing a $1 trillion plan to improve public infrastructure including bridges, tunnels, airports, and roads. A senior administration official said that the White House plans on releasing their strategy in January of allocating at least $200 billion in federal funds over the next ten years hoping to spur $800 billion in investment by states and the private sector.

  • FMCSA Medical Review Board Receives 2 Year Renewal

    by Anna Mischke | Dec 15, 2017

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Medical Review Board has been renewed for a continued two years. The MRB will continue to offer recommendations and advice to the agency and the five members include persons from medical institutions and private practice and specialize in areas relevant to commercial drivers.

    The MRB recommends action and gives advice on medical standards and guidelines for the physical qualifications of commercial drivers. The board will also provide medical insight and medical examiner education.

    For details on pending tasks, you may visit the MRB’s website.

  • Proposed Bill Extends 18-21 Year Old Truckers to Drive Across State Lines

    by Anna Mischke | Dec 08, 2017

    Claudia Tenney, New York congresswoman, has introduced legislation that would create a pilot program allowing approved 18 to 21 year olds to drive across state lines via truck. Titled the Waiving Hindrances to Economic Enterprise and Labor (WHEEL) Act, the program would fall under the FAST Act which currently allows only veterans or active duty members of service between 18 and 21 to drive trucks across state lines.

    Tenney finds that the age demographic poses difficulty in recruiting and she hopes the legislation would expand the potential for young drivers to participate in the program. Currently, drivers in this age group may acquire a CDL but cannot cross state lines when driving a commercial vehicle. Tenney shared that “The WHEEL Act is a common sense measure that would ease the burden” on truck operators by “sensibly expanding the interstate truck driving pilot program authorized by the FAST Act, while maintaining strong standards for participants.”

    Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) supports Tenney and shared in a letter that the bill “is a critical step towards addressing the trucking industry’s growing driver shortage” and that the ATA supports the change. The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit is reviewing the bill.

  • How to Apply Snow Chains

    by Anna Mischke | Dec 06, 2017
  • Safety Bucks Raffle Winners!

    by Anna Mischke | Dec 05, 2017
    Grand Prize Winner $1,500 Timothy Campbell1st Place $1,000Paulo Ramirez2nd Place Winners $500 Albert Lewis Kenneth Groenewold Phillip Forde3rd Place Winners $250 Masud Faizyar Jorge Mejia4th Place Winners $100 Ot (2)
  • Avoiding Slips, Trips, and Falls in Winter Conditions

    by Anna Mischke | Nov 30, 2017

    Driver News_112917As winter continues its run across much of the country, the extra caution in and out of the truck is needed. Slips, trips, and falls cause many nonfatal injuries every year among truck drivers. Remaining aware of the conditions and taking your time can make a big difference in remaining safe.

    Here are a few tips to prevent injuries this winter:

    • When entering or exiting the vehicle, use the vehicle for support.
    • When you see streets and sidewalks cleared of snow and ice, still use caution and look out for “black ice”. Dew, fog, or water vapor can freeze on cold surfaces and form an invisible thin layer of ice.
    • When walking on steps, always use the hand railings and plant your feet firmly on each step.
    • When walking on an icy or snow-covered walkway, take short steps and walk at a slow pace so you can react quickly to change in traction. Bend your knees slightly and walk slowly to increase traction and reduce risk of falling.
    • When entering a building, remove as much snow and water from your footwear as possible to prevent wet, slippery conditions indoors.
    • When exiting the vehicle, use 3 points of contact: two feet and one hand, or two hands and one foot.
  • Centerline Shines a Spotlight on Butch Kapp

    by Anna Mischke | Nov 22, 2017
    The Will to Excel

    Spotlight Story_Jeanie_Butch_ResizedWhat if you were told you’d be working hours that didn’t work well with your schedule? Follow that up with you operating equipment you didn’t want to drive? That’s what happened to Gilbert “Butch” Kapp – and he powered through to get exactly where he wanted to be. We call that true dedication.

    In a world where people crave and expect instant gratification, Butch put in the steadfast work it takes to find himself doing something he truly likes. The opportunity to join the Centerline family arrived when Maureen, Butch’s recruiter, urged him to give GAF a try. He has been driving with Centerline since 2008 after eleven years of bus driving in Dallas, Texas- where he met his wife of nineteen years, Jeanie. She worked at a bank on Butch’s bus route… and the rest is history.

    On the first day of assignment, his manager had Butch working on tankers on a 3pm to 3am route: neither something that Butch had in mind as ideal when he took the job. However, he knew what a strong company GAF is and persevered and soon worked his way to the top. Butch made sure to let his manager know what his goals and hopes were so that if the opportunity arose he could move forward doing what he wanted, working on flatbeds.

    Driving has allowed Butch to enjoy a lifestyle that feels liberating and relaxed. He spent around a year substitute teaching all subjects from math to science and found that being within four walls felt closed in. Butch describes himself as an outdoor person, loving time on the road and having the chance to meet different customers and talk with a variety of people.

    Butch’s background in sports- specifically baseball- may be where some of his dedication comes from. He grew up an avid baseball player, was scouted in high school, and given a scholarship in Port Huron, Michigan. After a year of playing, he was drafted into the Vietnam War and returned with an esteemed Purple Heart after he was shot in the knee. While it took time for recovery, Butch was eventually scouted again and signed. He played for the now defunct Piratas de Sabinas Mexico, hailing from New Mexico, and competed from Northern Mexico to Yucatan. After two years with the Piratas, Butch retired from baseball to pursue a new goal.

    Butch excels as a driver because of his dedication to safety, willingness to educate himself on the equipment he uses day in and day out, and puts extra care into his work saying “If you take good care of your vehicle then it will come through for you even in the most difficult of circumstances.” Butch excels as a person because of his friendliness, devotion to Jeanie (they go on a cruise every year as tradition!), easy-going personality, and commitment to doing a job well done. Centerline is fortunate to have Butch as part of our team and look forward to his feats in the future.

  • Winter Driving: Safety Tips for Professional Drivers

    by Anna Mischke | Nov 17, 2017
    Driver News 111517During one of the busiest times of the year for truck drivers, the weather can be at its worst. On top of practicing your normal safety routines while driving, there are additional steps you can take to prevent accidents during inclement winter weather.

    • According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA): "On average, there are over 5,748,000 vehicle crashes each year. Approximately 22% of these crashes - nearly 1,259,000 - are weather-related. Weather-related crashes are defined as those crashes that occur in adverse weather (i.e., rain, sleet, snow, fog, severe crosswinds, or blowing snow/sand/debris) or on slick pavement (i.e., wet pavement, snowy/slushy pavement, or icy pavement). On average, nearly 6,000 people are killed and over 445,000 people are injured in weather-related crashes each year."

    • Always check the weather before departing and allow extra time for winter weather conditions
    • Avoid unsafe downhill and untreated areas
    • Accelerate and decelerate slowly
    • Use extreme caution in turns, on bridges, in shaded areas (by buildings, trees, etc.), and areas with overhanging objects- such as tree limbs- as ice is more likely to form in these areas
    • Double following distance (at least 6 second following distance and add an extra 2 seconds for every 10 mph over 30 mph)
    • Do not increase speed on snowy/icy uphill surfaces (get speed before the hill and maintain without spinning wheels)
    • Avoid stopping on snowy/icy uphill inclines
    • Avoid fatigued driving
    • Check your tire tread depth and inflation
    • Keep your fuel tank at least half full
    • Do not use cruise control on snowy/icy pavement
    • Pack for break downs (warm clothes and/or blanket, food, water, extra medication, etc.)
    • Pack tools for the weather (ice/snow scraper, shovel, salt/sand, etc.)
    • If you become snowbound, stay in your vehicle and ensure your exhaust pipe does not get blocked by snow (if close to the ground)
    • Watch for signs of frostbite (especially on your hands, face, and feet): initial symptoms include cold/numbness and skin may appear white, waxy, or grayish-yellow. Get somewhere warm immediately and seek medical attention if you show symptoms.

    Be a professional driver, use your best judgment when it is safe to drive and when to pull over.

    Consider not only your ability to drive, but also those on the roadway around you.

  • Centerline Introduction to Omnitracs

    by Anna Mischke | Nov 10, 2017

    How to use Omnitracs XRS app on Android phone
  • Rest Easy: Tips for Your Best Sleep

    by Anna Mischke | Nov 09, 2017

    Driver News 110917Getting a good night sleep not only helps productivity and improves overall quality of life, it also increases your ability to be alert and safe when working. 1 in 3 adults don’t get an adequate amount of sleep, so you aren’t alone if you find it difficult to catch some shut eye. Your health and safety go hand-in-hand: actively focus on getting a proper amount of sleep fit to your needs by following a few helpful tips.

    Set a Sleep Schedule

    Getting to bed and waking up at the same time will help regulate your body clock. Try and stick to your alarms and avoid hitting “snooze” too much.

    Create a Bedtime Ritual

    A routine activity where you can begin to unwind and signal to your body that it is time to sleep can help you snooze more restfully. Whether reading a chapter of a good book, doing some light stretching, or sipping a cup of herbal tea- find what relaxes and preps you for a great night of sleep.

    Exercise Daily

    A walk around the block, a few sprints up and down stairs, or half an hour in the gym can make all the difference in the quality of your sleep. Light exercise is better than none- so even on a day when you feel tired, take the stairs.

    Nap Early

    If a power nap is necessary, make sure you stick to 20 minutes and that it’s early in the day. Naps taken later in the day can decrease your need for sleep when nighttime comes around. Anything before 5pm is ideal.

    Get Comfortable

    Since we spend time in bed sleeping for one third of our life, the quality of your pillow and mattress matters. Make sure your mattress is supportive and comfortable: they do wear out over time (usually 9-10 years). Some prefer firmer pillows over soft or vice versa- figure out what helps you rest best.

    Dim the Lights

    Avoid bright light in the evening as it can throw off your circadian rhythm- or your internal clock- particularly blue light from television and phone screens. If you’re having difficulty winding down from the day without some distraction, try listening to soothing music or a book on tape.

    Cut Back

    Large meals, alcohol, and smoking before bed can disrupt sleep, so avoid partaking before going to bed. If you feel a snack is necessary to help you rest, eat something light or sleep beneficial (like cheddar cheese, walnuts, or tart cherry juice) at least half an hour before lying down.

    Chat with a Doc

    If you find it chronically difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep, it may be worth having a conversation with your physician. Some sleep disorders require further treatment, such as sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome.

  • Driving Safely in the Dark

    by Anna Mischke | Nov 02, 2017

    Driver News 103117As the days get shorter and you find yourself navigating roads through the dark, you are at greater risk when driving with less visibility. Various factors such as lighting, roadway, and other drivers must be considered when driving in darker environments. What can you do as a professional to be proactive about safety? Be aware of your environment, other potentially less experienced drivers, and the condition of your truck.

    • Drive more slowly when lighting is poor or confusing. You should be able to stop in the distance you see ahead; adjust your speed according to your sight distance.

    • Be particularly alert when driving around bars, restaurants, and taverns- especially during closing time. Drunk drivers are a threat to everyone on the road: keep an eye out for drivers stopping without reason, swerving or having difficulty staying in their lane, or maintaining speed.

    • Make sure your headlights are clean. Dirty headlights may only give half the light they should and decreases your ability to see other people and for them to see you.

    • Always use your turn signals so other drivers know your next moves.

    • Make sure the following are working properly:

    - Reflectors
    - Marker lights
    - Clearance lights
    - Identification lights
    - Taillights

    • Ensure your windshield and mirrors are clean: dirty windows under bright lights at night can cause glare.

    • If you wear eyeglasses, make sure they are clean and scratch-free and do not wear sunglasses when driving at night.

    • Keep your interior light off: it can reduce outside visibility.

  • Centerline Shines a Spotlight on Shirley Purl

    by Anna Mischke | Oct 27, 2017

    steve and shirley2In It for the Long Haul

    A match made by good friends, Steven and Shirley Purl finally met after many long conversations when he drove across the states to surprise her at her work. Seven years later, they’re still together and happier than ever.

    Shirley has been a strong advocate of Centerline since her husband, Steven, began working with us in April 2016 after nineteen years of driving. We wanted to better understand her life as a significant other of one of our drivers and we couldn’t think of anyone better to chat with than Shirley. She shared the history of trucking in her life, from her brother Richard who was “born to be a trucker”, a grade-schooler who was reprimanded for making loud truck noises in the school hallways! Shirley is proud to have family who work so diligently in a sometimes challenging industry that literally moves the country. 

    Shirley shared an example of how she felt Centerline was different from other trucking companies they had worked with in the past. When Steve began the hiring process, they thought it was lengthy and daunting at first but soon found it was for the benefit of everyone involved. They began to understand that Centerline chooses only the best drivers to place behind the wheel and because of this, are confident when Steve goes out on the road. They felt that the recruiter, Tracy Hunt, had their best interest at heart and encouraged Steve throughout the employment process.

    Before Steve joined the Centerline team, he was involved in a terrible accident. The asphalt under his truck gave way and crumbled and he fell through, strapped in his truck with the seatbelt around his neck. He was airlifted to a hospital in Memphis where Shirley drove an excruciating eight hours to see him. During the entire ordeal, not once did she hear from the company he was driving for, only strained calls from worker’s comp. She was disappointed to say the least, so when Sheila Castaneda called Shirley directly after Steve began working for Centerline, it was a welcome and appreciated change.

    Sheila wanted to ensure that Shirley felt comfortable with Steve taking a long term assignment which would require him to be away from home for an extended period of time; for someone who had experienced loneliness when her SO was on the road, it meant the world to be asked. Even her brother was flabbergasted that a driving company would be so considerate. Shirley used to worry about Steve driving for too many hours with the potential of faulty equipment, a few texts messages was the only way to connect with each other. She says that since Steve has been with Centerline, she has been less worried. She makes sure to share their personal experiences with Centerline on a Facebook group page for the significant others of truck drivers.

    Not only does Shirley feel like Steve is being taken of, she feels supported as well. She shared a personal experience of theirs that she remembers well. Shirley celebrates another year of sobriety every June 18th and for the 10th year, Steve gifted her with a gorgeous motorcycle. When the big day came to reveal her gift, Steve was willing to share the reasoning for the special occasion when he requested time off. When he was given the day off to celebrate, they both felt completely supported by their family at Centerline: something they were extremely appreciative of.

    Over time, Shirley has gotten used to the ins-and-outs of life alongside a truck driver. She would go for days without hearing from her brother and before text messaging and cell phones were as prevalent as they are now, she would stay at home waiting all day for his call. Things are easier now with the evolution of technology allowing more communication. Now, she will occasionally take time to visit Steve wherever he is, she’s visited all but three states: Oregon, Alaska, and Hawaii. Her favorite being Minnesota, for hosting landscape to so many stunning lakes, particularly Lake Superior. Shirley hopes to visit Santa Ana to connect in person with the Centerline team: to meet Sheila, Annie, and Jimmy - the faces at Centerline that make her feel like family.

    Shirley’s parting words of wisdom for anyone whose other half just began their time in the trucking industry: try and go out with them and see what their day-to-day is like. You’ll have a stronger appreciation of their intense, sometimes dangerous work, worry less when they can’t pick up the phone, and help you connect with them as they continue to move America.

  • Healthy Eating: On the Road, at Home, and Every Day

    by Anna Mischke | Oct 19, 2017

    Driver News 101817Finding healthy food at affordable prices can be difficult when you’re on the road. Planning ahead and knowing your choices in advance can help make eating well and boosting vitality a simpler, and even enjoyable task.

    Long-lasting Chow

    While a candy bar or handful of chips are definitely a treat to enjoy once in a while, they won’t keep you full and satisfied for long. Opt for foods that will get you through the day and taste great: nuts, vegetables, boiled eggs, fruits, granola bars, and string cheese are great options. They’re easy to pack and give an extra boost of energy throughout the day without a sugar crash. Substituting sugary energy and soft drinks can also make a noticeable difference: hydrate with water and you’ll notice a natural, sustainable rise in energy over time.

    Guide Yourself

    Use a nutrition guide to help understand the best ways to plan ahead when you plan to eat at restaurants on the road: there are delicious options on the menu that serve as great alternatives to sodium and fat heavy choices. You can visit nutrition guides like this to check the nutritional value of items on hundreds of menus.

    Portion Power

    It can be easy to overeat when sitting at a buffet or browsing the dollar menu: remember that while your eyes might be as big as your stomach at one moment, it could impact your health later. Try and eat frequent, small meals throughout the day. Foods like soup, lean and baked meat, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains are tasty options. You can check recommended portions from the American Heart Association here.

    Game Plan

    Before grocery shopping, make a list and stick to it. Plan your meals for the week ahead of time, this lets you ensure your meals are balanced while staying in budget.

    • Using a grocery list steers you away from impulse buys.
    • Don’t shop hungry! Make sure you’re not planning on shopping on an empty stomach: it’s more likely you’ll buy items solely because your stomach is grumbling.
    • Shop seasonal items. Fruits and vegetables in season are generally priced lower- and you can continue to add variety to your diet with the changing produce.
    • Compare brands: sometimes a store brand will offer the same quality good for a lower price.

    Have Fun

    Healthy doesn’t have to equate to boring. You may be surprised at how you can adjust some of your favorite meals such as pizza and pasta to include healthful options. Learning about new ingredients and varieties of foods can keep things interesting while adding nourishment to your diet. When you eat well, you feel well.

  • Safe Lifting with Centerline

    by Anna Mischke | Oct 17, 2017

  • Grants from FMCSA Focus on Safety and Streamlining CDL Process

    by Anna Mischke | Oct 12, 2017

    Driver News 101117The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently gave millions in state-level grants with the purpose of improving driver safety, and accelerating the commercial driver’s license process for drivers.

    $30.7 million was dedicated to the Commercial Driver License Program Implementation and divided among 43 recipients on Sept. 26. The grant provides funding to state and organizations with the intention of improving compliance with FMCSA regulations surrounding the standards of commercial driver licenses. Tom Keane, director of the FMCSA, shared that compliance projects vary from monitoring of third-party testers, upgrading IT systems, and hiring data entry analysts and test examiners.

    Keane also explained that compliance at the state level will make the licensing system increase efficiency while “streamlining the processes” and “yield safety benefits…which indirectly benefits the drivers who apply for CDLs and are trying to get jobs. It removes, to some degree, those barriers to getting your license and being able to work.”  While improving the process is important, Keane stresses that safety is the “main focus”.

    The FMCSA says that CDL compliance has improved since the grant program was introduced over a decade ago, with Keane stating that “with the maturation of the CDL regulations, it’s all trended in a manner in a manner that’s resulted in a much more uniform process…partially due to this grant program.” 

  • Trained for Rain: Driving Safety Tips

    by Anna Mischke | Oct 09, 2017

    Driver News 092117When driving in the rain and inclement climates, it’s important to remember that severe weather significantly increases the risk for dangerous driving conditions. While professional drivers should always practice safe driving on the road, extra care and attention should be paid in situations that are potentially dangerous for other drivers as well. Give your full attention when behind the wheel and focus on your surroundings.

    Slow Down

    Avoid hydroplaning by slowing down, especially right after it begins to rain when oil makes roadways particularly slick. Slowing down and delaying a trip by a few minutes will be far less time consuming than dealing with an accident.

    Give Space

    Allow a few extra seconds of follow time when driving in inclement weather; this gives you more time to react. Allow other vehicles and yourself a wide breadth. Slow down early to stop, for intersections, making a turn, or adjusting to traffic.

    Don’t Panic

    If your truck does begin to hydroplane, try not to panic; hitting the brakes too hard can make it difficult to regain control of your truck. Slow down and continue to steer in the direction you want to go. Take deep breaths and concentrate: you will be grateful for that extra space you gave yourself.

    Lights On

    Poor visibility for drivers can be at its worst in heavy rain. Make sure your headlights are on: other vehicles should be able to clearly see you, even with a cushion of space. Some states require lights to be on in the rain, even in daylight.

    Be Aware

    Keep a keen eye on your surroundings, particularly other large vehicles; they are more prone to have difficulty staying in their lane during high wind.

    Two Hands on the Wheel

    Keep both of your hands on the wheel as gusts of wind can move your vehicle. Give yourself maximum control of the truck and avoid any type of distraction like drinking or eating. Also remember that Centerline has a zero tolerance cell-phone policy.

    We can’t control the weather, but we can use our best judgment as professionals behind the wheel. Prevent dangerous situations by thinking ahead, communicating well with your team, being attentive and alert, and using your best judgment.

  • Centerline Shines a Spotlight on Ron Senceses

    by Kelsey Stafford | Sep 28, 2017

    There is no ‘I’ in Team

    Centerline Driver Ron SencesesCenterline is beyond fortunate to work with some of the greatest drivers on the road; Ron Senceses is an ideal example of that. Ron’s positive attitude matched with unparalleled work ethic make him an exceptionally valuable part of the team. Ron’s reputation for being a hard worker follows him from the time he served in the Army, where he was promoted quickly for his dedication, focus on teamwork, and fierce desire to do the job right.

    When Ron left the army due to shrapnel severing his Achilles heel, he decided in his down time to enroll in EMT classes. During the course, Ron’s natural leadership style led him to teach and train others, ultimately landing him a job offer from the class captain; Ron declined. Rather than joining the EMT team or spending his time in a cubicle in an office job elsewhere, Ron decided to attend trucking school where he described himself as a “sponge”, taking his learning very seriously. He quickly rose to the top of his class and was soon training others. At one point, his CDL instructor asked Ron if he already knew how to drive commercial vehicles as he picked up his coursework so quickly!

    Over the course of Ron’s trucking career, he has worked with a variety of equipment: he can operate flatbeds, has a specialty in heavy haul and steel hauler, and holds a heavy equipment license. He recognizes his father for the encouragement to become a jack of all trades. Ron thanks his father for the work ethic he instilled in him and his siblings, showing his love and support by being an example of strict discipline and giving them the tools and resources to become successful. He shared that if his father saw that something wasn’t done correctly, he would make sure that the task was remedied- even if it was the middle of the night- and that his father explained “if you are in the public eye doing a job, your employer is going to want you to do it right.”

    Now, Ron is the father of three; a dream after his time in Iraq. After being in the war, he appreciates every little aspect of life from “the simple liberties” he has to “seeing all the wonderful landscapes this country has to offer” as he drives. On the road, Ron appreciates the ever-changing environment as he drives and he listens to a favorite playlist and comedy and Jiu-Jitsu podcasts to stay focused. When he’s not driving, Ron will spend time in the gym to relieve stress and stay in shape.

    Ron’s motto is, “There is no ‘I’ in team.” He displays evidence of this through the advice he offers to new drivers: always keep an open mind and be prepared to listen and learn from those who are in charge of teaching. “It doesn’t matter if you are older, younger, or the same age as your trainer. It doesn’t matter if you have more, less or the same amount of experience as your trainer. A person should always be open. That way, the trainer and trainee have an opportunity to learn from each other.” It looks like we could all learn a lot from Ron Senceses; he is truly an esteemed part of the industry.