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  • New Infrastructure Plan Focuses on Private Sector Subsidy

    by Anna Mischke | Feb 16, 2018

    Driver News 021518President Trump’s long-awaited infrastructure proposal was released Monday, February 12th with mixed bipartisan reaction. Calling for heavier funding from the private sector, states, and localities rather than federal spending – the administration hopes that a $200 billion spend will “spur at least $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investments” to upgrade the county’s highways, railroads, and airports. He has hopes that the package will let America “build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land” – but there are questions surrounding how the plan will do this.

    Currently, interstates and other routes are supported on a basis of an 80-20 federal-state split and federal transportation infrastructure is chiefly financed by the 1993 gasoline tax set at 18.4 cents per gallon. With inflation and collectively increasing fuel efficient vehicles, the per capita value of that funding has steadily decreased. In addition to increasing the diesel tax by 25 cents, the new package would repeal the current bar on interstate tolling while pushing for commercialization of federally funded rest stops and urge spending from local governments. Former Transportation Secretary and ex-Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill., said “that idea just probably won’t work because the states and local governments don’t have any money.”

    Several anti-toll groups including the American Trucking Associations (ATA) have expressed displeasure around the plans. Chris Spear, ATA President and CEO, said about a previous leak of the plan that “so-called ‘creative financing’ tools are a road to nowhere, as study after study shows the shortfalls of tolling and the unintended consequences that tolls impose on motorists and surrounding communities.”  The remainder of the $1.5 trillion after $200 billion will be placed on localities and the private sector, a burden that some believe will not play in the best interests of the general public and rather in the benefits of investors. 

    The overwhelming support for restoring the United States’ infrastructure remains strong; talks continue of how the costly work will be financed.

  • Lawmakers Band Behind OOIDA in ELD Exemption Request

    by Anna Mischke | Feb 09, 2018
    Driver News 020918

    Twenty five Congressional lawmakers requested in a letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that the organization support the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s (OOIDA) appeal for an ELD exemption. This exemption would apply to motor carriers classified as a small business by the Small Business Administration (SBA) who have no record of attributable at-fault crashes and do not have an “Unsatisfactory” Carrier Safety Rating.

    Rep. Brian Babin, who headed a bill delaying the mandate by two years, shared via Facebook, For the last six months, I have led the effort in Washington to try and delay the implementation of this mandate, and it has been my honor to fight for independent truck drivers in Texas and across our great country. Unfortunately, with the mandate now in effect, the only realistic option for relief is through a waiver issued by the FMCSA.”

    Acting president of OOIDA, Todd Spencer, thanked the representatives in a letter “for recognizing that small-business truckers that have already proven their ability to operate safely should not be subject to purchasing costly, unproven and uncertified devices.”

    As of now, the ELD mandate remains in full effect for the majority of carriers and the final rule does not change any of the basic hours-of-service rules or exceptions. For an introduction to the Omnitracs ELD, visit Centerline’s helpful video here.

  • Centerline Pre-Trip Inspection

    by Anna Mischke | Feb 02, 2018
  • Centerline Shines a Spotlight on Terence Brown

    by Anna Mischke | Feb 02, 2018

    A self-described family man with a penchant for good food and the feeling of freedom on the open road: Terence Brown has found his calling as a professional driver. Terence has been a trained and certified driver since 2009 and chose the industry after spending his time in roles that left him unfulfilled and feeling under a microscope.

    Terence first connected with Centerline when another driver, Travis, referred him. Travis heard that Terence was aiming to end his time driving Over the Road and recommended Centerline as an option. Terence was exhausted from spending time away from his family and beginning to tire of the demanding schedule. He was pleased when he met with a recruiter, Candis Barr, who instantly made him feel part of the Centerline family. Since joining the team, Terence has been able to truly enjoy the freedom his career allows by staying local and near his wonderful family: Nikita, Darius, Christopher, and Jasmine.

    While he finds his family time important, there are definitely joys on the road for Terence, particularly good food. “I’m a foodie,” said Terence. Terence has visited different areas of the country and delights in experiencing the different flavors that come with each region. He’ll research food options in advance and find specific stops to seek out the best fare. He enjoys a good buffet, particularly the TA in Flagstaff where he tasted his first combination of salsa and omelet Terence has found that some of the most memorable meals he has had have been in hole-in-the-wall stops that he sometimes can’t even remember the name of: chili burritos, fried fish, and of course- more buffets.

    Terence is fortunate to have had strong mentors throughout his career and he mentions Al Whitman as one of them. They spent time together on a trip from Florida to Atlanta and Terence marveled at Al’s ability to make truck repairs look simple. They stay in contact and Terence turns to him when he has trucking problems. Terence hopes that more people in the trucking industry will take the time to understand what it is like to drive a commercial vehicle. Whether obtaining their own CDL or participate in ride-alongs, he believes it would open up communication and consideration to the hard-working life of a trucker. He finds satisfaction as a driver- and recommends that new commercial drivers commit to their career 100%: being a truck driver can be taxing, but the community is there waiting to embrace you, guide you, and help you.

    The trucking community wouldn’t be the same without Terence – and we can be sure that he will find his place as a mentor to other drivers…maybe even sharing a chili burrito or two while exploring the open road.

  • State Highway Safety Enforcement Ranked by Advocates

    by Anna Mischke | Jan 26, 2018

    Driver News 012618Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety released its “2018 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws” recognizing the states that perform best and worst when referring to highway law enforcement. Fifty states and the District of Columbia are graded on the implementation of sixteen traffic safety laws that the Advocates have chosen as crucial to road safety.  These rules address helmets, child safety seats, and impaired driving among others.

    Cathy Chase,  president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, said that several states were “significantly advanced” in their law enforcement including Rhode Island, Washington, Oregon, California, Delaware, Louisiana, and The District of Columbia. Chase said “only six states and D.C. earned this highest rating” while Arizona, Florida, Montana, Missouri, Wyoming, South Dakota, Virginia, Nebraska, Idaho, Iowa, Ohio, Vermont, and New Hampshire ranked the lowest, earning a “red” rating for being “dangerously behind in the adoption of optimal safety laws.” South Dakota was given the lowest score having implemented only two of the sixteen recommended laws while Rhode Island received a well-deserved “green” rating after enacting thirteen laws.

    Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) spokesman, Charles St. Martin, said they will not slow in their efforts towards safer roads and that while over the past fifteen years, “state legislators have worked diligently to create a safer roadway environment for all residents and visitors and this report reflects those dedicated efforts”, that fatalities have still increased and that “vigilance to safety must remain high and intense.” 

  • ASE to work with public schools to recruit future diesel techs

    by Anna Mischke | Jan 19, 2018

    Driver News 011818The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that there will be a 9.2 percent increase in the need for heavy truck service technicians by the year 2022 with over 67,000 positions anticipated available. As students begin considering what they hope to choose as their career path, Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is working to reach the potential workforce in the classroom.

    Senior vice president of ASE, Mike Coley, shared with Tom Quimby of CCJ Digital that “ASE along with our education foundation and other industry partners are working with organizations like TechForce to try to get younger people – even down to the middle school level – interested and aware of opportunities in transportation service industry”, specifically in diesel technician roles, and that they “hope to raise awareness” to attract new talent towards the trucking industry.

    The previous generation of technicians are beginning to retire out – leaving a demand for new experts and operators in the field. Other skilled trades such as plumbing, construction, and electrical compete for a younger workforce – and transportation already has its work cut out for the industry with the looming driver shortage. Coley explains that the industry must be proactive in their approach to recruiting new people to join the industry.

    Statistics provided by the BLS show that in 2016, Heavy and Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers earned a median pay of $43,590 per year and $20.96 per hour – with these numbers increasing yearly, due to inflation and in part to the driver shortage. The estimated employment in 2016 was 1,871,700 and the projected employment numbers for 2026 are 1,985,500. Trucks move roughly 70% of the nation’s freight by weight and gross $726.5 billion yearly.  

  • 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 | Dec 01, 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.