Monday, September 29, 2014

Dumb Truck Driver of the Month - September

A Schneider driver who drives his truck under a low bridge and gets stuck is this month’s “Dumb Truck Driver of the month”. Notice how the first thing he does when he gets out of his truck. He shoves his hand down his pants and scratches himself! The Schneider intermodal units traveling on the train above him add a nice touch to the video.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Garmin nuvi 465LMT 4.3-Inch Trucking GPS Navigator Review

Garmin nuvi 465LMT 4.3-Inch Trucking GPS Navigator  

Lifetime Maps & Traffic (vehicle power cable is traffic receiver)
Lane assist
Hands-free calling with Bluetooth

Product Description
The nüvi 465LMT is the first nüvi designed specifically for the over-the-road trucking industry. It includes free lifetime maps and traffic, preloaded National Truck and Trailer Services (NTTS) Breakdown Directory, truck-friendly points of interest, and specialized routing options throughout the lower 48 states and Canada. Create custom vehicle profiles tailored to what you’re driving and what you’re hauling.

Includes Lifetime Map Updates
Right out of the box, the nüvi 465LMT comes bundled with nüMaps Lifetime. Which means you can download the newest map data when it becomes available — no monthly fees or maintenance costs — for the lifetime of your device.

Includes Lifetime Traffic
A combination power cable/traffic receiver in the box gives you traffic services for the life of your device. You’ll avoid traffic jams and keep moving when your nüvi alerts you and offers detours. No additional purchases are necessary — it’s 100% subscription-free traffic
Navigate with Confidence
nüvi 465LMT is the first navigation device to provide locations in the NTTS Breakdown Directory to its trucking-relevant points of interest. The NTTS Breakdown Directory is the most comprehensive guide to semi-truck repair facilities nationwide, including those offering 24-hour road services.

Get the Big Picture
nüvi 465LMT has a 4.3" (10.92 cm) high-resolution touchscreen display and is pre-loaded with detailed, street-level maps of the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. It speaks street names and delivers turn-by-turn, voice-prompted directions, such as “turn right on Main Street.” nüvi 465LMT also comes standard with Lane Assist, guiding you into the right lane at the right time — especially helpful when navigating complex highway interchanges.

Know the Way
nüvi 465LMT provides specialized routing to support truck-related restrictions in the U.S. and Canada (customizable by height, weight, length, width and hazardous materials). Simply enter dimensions and load restrictions and nüvi 465LMT guides you according to your requirements. Enter multiple-point routing for more efficiency between stops along your trip. And with HotFix satellite prediction, nüvi calculates your position faster to get you there quicker.

Steer Clear of Hazards
nüvi 465LMT warns you of upcoming road conditions and possible hazards along the route, such as sharp curves and steep grades. You’ll also get lateral wind warnings and notification when the road narrows.

Make Hands-Free Calls
For hands-free calling, nüvi 465LMT integrates Bluetooth® wireless technology with a built-in microphone and speaker. Just pair it with your compatible Bluetooth phone and talk hands-free through the 465LMT while staying focused on the road. Simply dial numbers with nüvi's touchscreen keypad to make a call. To answer calls, just tap the screen and speak into its built-in microphone. Enjoy convenient 1-touch dialing for contacts and points of interest.

Free Lifetime Map Updates entitle you to receive up to 4 map data updates per year, when and as such updates are made available on the Garmin website, for this specific Garmin product only until this product’s useful life expires or Garmin no longer receives map data from its third party supplier, whichever is shorter. The updates you receive will be updates to the same geographic map data originally included with your Garmin product when originally purchased. Garmin may terminate your Lifetime Map Updates at any time if you violate any of the terms of the End User License Agreement accompanying your nüvi product.

Lifetime traffic extends for the useful life of your Garmin traffic receiver (as long as you own a compatible Garmin GPS) or as long as Garmin receives traffic data from its traffic supplier, whichever is shorter. Traffic content not available for all areas.

What's in the Box:
¨     nüvi 465
¨     Pre-loaded City Navigator NT for North America
¨     Lifetime maps and traffic (indicated by "LMT" after model number on the box)
¨     FM traffic receiver with 12/24 volt power cable (vehicle power cable is traffic receiver)
¨     Dash mount
¨     USB cable
¨     Quick start manual

·       I purchased this for my husband for Father’s Day. He is a truck driver and loves it. He can input the truck’s profile and this model Garmin then generates a route to meet the restrictions for that particular truck. Furthermore, it converts to automobiles. Cost-free lifetime maps and traffic is also a plus. It is also has Bluetooth technological innovation. He doesn't generally drive exactly the same truck so his only complaint is the fact that it didn't include a windshield suction mount. It includes a long lasting adhesive disk to get a dashboard mount. It displays a temporary adhesive disk, but he did not acquire that one particular.

·       This really is an extremely good GPS with packed complete of features especially for men and women who are truck drivers and have to have support finding to places they have no concept of where they’re at. I have only been sent don a no truck road when and also other than that the unit is quite effortless to make use of and it’s also quite accurate and seeing it map you as you go is very uncomplicated to use. Setup also was pretty easy. Doesn't have the best battery life but that is certainly not that big of a handle the integrated cigarette lighter charger. In case you are a truck driver I’d recommend this unit, it’s way better than the other possibilities on the market to select from. General pretty great though.

·       Not only is this a reasonably priced trucker GPS but you could switch to automobile. Works well for by far the most portion and with lifetime map and targeted traffic updates this can be single to get. My job needs me to drive a tractor trailer but on road trips I use a regular automobile so that is the only one particular I will need. Love the lane assist, truck cease locations, truck profile works properly and the haz-mat settings.It updates conveniently and I’d advocate it to drivers, just need somewhat popular sense as soon as in awhile.

·       I am very happy with this Garmin product. I live and drive a truck in the Washington DC area where there are many interchanges and the Garmin will highlight the lanes you need to be in when you get within a mile or two of your interchange. I also drive up north thru Baltimore, Phili and NYC where I am less familiar with the roads. The other thing I like about this Garmin is that it always displays the speed limit of the road you are traveling .The only real problem that I have with this Garmin compared to my old "car version" is that even though I have the volume @ 100% its not as loud as my older Garmin . All in all I recommend this product . This is my second Garmin (spilled coffee on my other one)and I am happy with Garmin products . Dont buy your gps products @ a Truck Stop, they over charge .

·       This GPS has been a life saver. It has helped me avoid low bridges and non truck routes. I have hauled cars for almost two years and this is the best GPS I have found.

·       I'm a truck driver and this thing has saved my butt more times than I can count. It's gotten me into a pickle or two as well but for the most part it's pretty accurate except in Canada, but that is because there is so much construction up there. I wish it would tell me the truck speed when I have it in truck mode but I can live with that since I have free lifetime maps. Overall great GPS. Also you can get a program through Garmin so that it's spongebob's voice telling you where to go. Cracks me up.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Health Issues of a Truck Driver

When we think about dangerous professions, trucking does not come to our mind instantly. We often think of professions such as various emergency workers, the police and fire fighters. Yet, being a truck driver is fundamentally a dangerous profession. A recent study showed truck driving as one of the ten most dangerous professions in America.

Endless hours of driving on the highways and interstates by these truck drivers create a higher risk associated with serious accident. Nevertheless, these risks are much greater than the obvious . . . an unusual work program, extended periods of sitting, lifting heavy things, unhealthy diets, anxiety, and tiredness  can cause severe health issues.

Due to these long intervals of driving, many truckers fighting apathy often acquire smoking habits. Also, sleeping and living in a truck also poses a threat to the health status of truck drivers.

According to the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) Journal, truck drivers that are long distance haulers (OTR trucking) rank high among professions of people who suffer from significant health issues. Lifestyle as a truck driver includes several factors that make truck driving a high risk profession. Some studies actually suggest that normal life expectancy is reduced by as much as 5 to 10 years. This is truly a significant number.

Various factors such as the workplace conditions affect the health status of truckers, having a negative effect on such trucker. This workplace consists of not only the truck stops on the routes but also other aspects of the transportation environment. These include:

¨     Loading areas
¨     Warehouses
¨     Terminals

Health Issues of a Truck Driver
A truck driver faces a variety of health issues resulting from his workplace environment. They are both physical and psychological in nature. According to a 2009 study in the AAOHN Journal, "male and female drivers both reported common health problems." Among the most common ones are:

·       Obesity
·       High blood pressure
·       Diabetes
·       Sleep apnea
·       Exhaustion
·       Back pain
·       Sinus problems
·       Headaches
·       Arthritis
·       Depression

The stresses involved in being a truck driver result in many of these health-related problems. The actual physical environment creates a breeding ground for others. The job, itself, is responsible for increasing the likelihood of certain health problems.

Truck driving is a dangerous occupation. The problem goes beyond vehicular accidents. There are serious and significant health issues affecting those who are employed as OTR drivers. For men health issues in trucking may extend beyond the physical into the psychological. The same applies for a woman truck driver. With a steadily increasing amount of trucks on the road, we all need to look seriously at improving the health of truckers.

The necessity to improve or enhance the well-being of our nation’s truck drivers is no longer an alternative. It requires urgent attention and will involve changes in the working environment and within our healthcare delivery model. The environment for drivers must be conducive to good health. Truck stops and fleet terminals must begin to offer healthy food products and make fitness equipment gear available and accessible. Drivers also need to have improved access to health education resources and technology such as health kiosks.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

FMCSA concerned about truck and bus drivers’ use of GPS navigation systems

Why is FMCSA concerned about truck and bus drivers’ use of GPS navigation systems?

FMCSA believes the information concerning commercial vehicles crashing into bridges suggests that some drivers may have used electronic navigation systems intended for passenger car drivers rather than truck and bus drivers. The Agency is working with its State partners and industry to make sure professional truck and bus drivers recognize the importance of using navigation systems intended for commercial vehicles. These navigation systems provide truck and bus drivers with important route restrictions, such as low bridge overpasses.

What tips is FMCSA providing for the safe use of GPS navigation systems?

  • Select an electronic navigation system intended for use by truck and bus drivers
  • Before drivers begin their trip, they should type in all relevant information about their vehicles so the system can provide the appropriate route
  • Follow the route recommended by the navigation system, but ALWAYS obey traffic signs and advisories (such as low bridge overpasses, axle weight limits, detour signs, variable message signs, etc.)
  • Do not engage in distracted driving! Avoid typing or entering addresses or information into the navigation system while driving
  • If your navigation system does not provide automatic updates of the maps, be sure to obtain updates to ensure you are following the most current route planning information
FMCSA GPS Visor Card

Monday, September 15, 2014

Choosing Good Truck Driver Training

Thinking of becoming a professional truck-driver, then you don’t have to worry about finding a job because it is one of the fastest growing fields in the world. According to labor stats of 2013, about one and half million trucker jobs were available in U.S. Each driver was paid with around 20 dollars per hour and it is observed that the employment rate of truck drivers will increase up to 11% till the year 2022.

If you have no experience in driving a truck and you have never taken a truck driver training then you are going to need a truck driving school that teaches you to drive a truck. Along with this training you are going to need a commercial driver’s license (CDL). In order to get this license, it is necessary to have proper truck driver training which you can only get from a good truck driving school. There are lots of truck driving schools but you have to choose one of them according to your needs. First thing to do is to see if you want to attend a part time or a full time school and make a list of those which offer you your desired program. After making a list, do some research about those schools. Check their website, the reviews given by previous students, and the time period of their truck driver training course i.e. is it few weeks or few months. Ask them about average students they have per class, try to choose a truck driving school which have less students in a class i.e. their students to instructor ratio. Whether they train one person at a time or do they have more than one student in the truck driver cab. If possible, check if the school has relation with the companies which offer fresh graduates jobs or not. After checking all these things, choose the school which meet all of your desired requirements.


CDL truck driver training is a program which offers you truck driver training from a certified truck driving school. It can be achieved by several numbers of ways. One of them is to get the training from a private trucking school which can cost a few thousand dollars but still there is risk that after graduating, you might not be able to meet the requirements required by a carrier for a truck driver. The driving school will help you get your commercial driver’s license but they might not help you find a job. The other and the easy way is to qualify for the company sponsored CDL truck driver training which saves a ton of money because the company pays all the fee of the students or provide the truck driver training themselves. Not only this, they also hire you when you have completed your truck driver training program. All you have to do is to qualify for the company sponsored truck driver training program. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Truck Stop Tips For Ultimate Safety and A Good Night’s Sleep

Written by Zoey
By Zoey
The truck driving occupation certainly requires a degree of alertness as well as concentration. Having that unique capability to rest in an environment in which you feel safe is no minor issue. The ideas presented here will hopefully be able get the rest you'll need and to avoid risky truck stops.

Truck Stop Tip #1: Security

One of the most important factors in find in truck stops is security. For example, you should ask yourself whether your particular parking area has sufficient lighting. See if there are any CCTV cameras or if there are any security guards that patrol the region. This is especially important during the nighttime, in the event that you see potential lot lizard, drunks or other vagrant individuals walking around during the day.

Truck Stop Tip #2: Finding Clean Parking Areas

You definitely don’t want to spend the night in a parking area that is overflowing with rubbish and garbage cans. It is best to find areas that are cleaned frequently as that is often a good measure of the security you’ll have to park your truck there. In case the parking lot is not very large or has tiny parking spaces it's generally not a bad idea to go somewhere else. These kinds of places can make it notoriously difficult to steer your truck.

Truck Stop Tip #3: Locating Cheap Fuel

There are hundreds of fueling facilities throughout the country and some are better than others. Experienced truck drivers have suggestions from their company on where to find such great locations, which can also include great food and safe spots to rest.  A trucking GPS can also come in handy to find such places. Having a discount club card for particular truck stop chain can help to save money as well.

Fuel costs can be a big factor in determining on a truck stop. Oftentimes it can pay off to drive a bit further and locate a truck stop with more acceptable fuel prices. It's also a good idea to look over the quality of the area in which you will pump. For example, if you find that there are plenty of spills, you should go someplace else or you'll end up smelling of fuel for the rest of the day – and possibly your whole trip.

Truck Stop Tip #4: Don’t Do Your Regular Shopping

The truck stop is simply there for your temporary convenience. The costs of buying any goods are generally higher than you would pay locally for the same items.  Be sure to always buy common everyday items you’ll need before going out on your trip so that you will have to pay premium prices for them at your truck stop. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Brief History of the American Trucking Association

For well over 80 years now, the American truckingAssociation has worked hard to fight for the rights of truckers, as well as developing innovative new technology to ensure the highest standards of highway safety and environmental sustainability.

It all began and 1933, when the Federation Trucking Associations and the Highway Freight Association met during a Chicago spring break to talk about the best way to fulfill get businesses to comply with the Code of Fair Competition.  Fortunately, both groups united to form the present day American Trucking Associations with Ted Rodgers appointed as the first president.

During the roaring 30’s, they were able to sustain many conferences and annual conventions. However, most importantly the government was able to issue the first rules in regards to service hours for truckers all around the country.

The 40’s then began on the right foot with the acquisition of a wonderful set of headquarters in Washington DC.  Cooperation together with the Navy and Army allowed the American trucking Association to army personnel as a new form of responsibility, resulting in many more conferences during the war.  Under the direction of Chairman E.J. Buhner, the ATA enjoyed a powerful conglomeration of state organizations, councils and the actual staff of the headquarters.

The 50s and Onward

The introduction of new technologies such as trucks being powered by gas, electricity and steam made the use of horses obsolete.  The ATA now had the additional responsibility of promoting more research for the entire trucking industry. During this time, the federal-aid Highway act was signed into law as new interstates were being built all over the country.  They were also able to move into six-story headquarters on P Street, while expanding their lobbying efforts a great deal.

Failures and Successes for the American Trucking Association

While the ATA initially failed to lobby for increases in truck size and weight limitations, they successfully won their struggle in 1974.  During this time, they were able to purchase additional properties on First Street that asserted their presence on Capitol Hill.  With a large task force in place, they thought to do regulate the entire trucking industry and were successful in 1980 with the passing of the Motor Carrier Act.

The ATA continues to fight for the rights of truckers with the development of new service hours rules to significantly reduce truck crashes, fighting for lower fees and taxes, developing the “Share the Road” program  to educate drivers on the importance of sharing the road with large trucks, as well as developing a strong sustainability program in order to reduce the carbon footprint over the next decades to come.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Truck Drivers Suffer From Sleep Apnea

By Olivia
Sleeping apnea is a disorder whereby an individual's breathing stops and starts repeatedly while sleeping. It is condition that affects not only truck drivers in the trucking industry, but Americans at large. It is estimated that over 100 million Americans are not getting enough night rest and report by FMCSA also has it that about 30 percent of truck drivers (totalling about 1.9 million truck drivers) suffer from mild to severe sleep apnea. We should note that this disorder affects not only truck drivers but also non truckers alike. There are different types of sleep apnea but obstructive sleep apnea is the most frequent case found. It is understood that having a tired driver behind the wheel will not only put his or her life at risk, but also lives of drivers that ply the same highways. Also, excessive sleepiness leads to being slow to reaction times, inattentiveness causing drivers to be at major risk on the highway and also reduced alertness.

There are different symptoms and risk factors associated with sleep apnea that an individual should observe. They include the following:
  • A Body Mass Index above 30, 35 or 40 (Reports suggest that there are about 6 million truckers and 8 million trucking-related jobs in the US. Research also shows that about 73 percent of drivers are overweight, 50 percent are obese and 12 percent have a BMI of 35 or greater). 
  • Loud snoring during sleep (snoring does not necessarily mean an individual has sleep apnea)
  • I nterruption of breathing during sleep (five or more times during one sleeping cycle)
  • Feeling fatigued during the day
  •  Consuming caffeine to keep alert
  •  Smoking
  • High blood pressure (HBP is more related to obesity than sleep apnea)
  • Diabetes (this is also more related to obesity than sleep apnea)
  •  Depression
  • Headaches

Being between the ages 40 and 60 years (Children can also be effected. Those over 60 years also see a drop in sleep apnea cases).

Other cases include;
  •  Being male makes you more prone to having sleep apnea disorder, however, females also stand a chance.
  • Being African-American or Hispanic

Complications and effects of sleep apnea are as follows:
  • cardiovascular problems
  • fatigue,
  • eye problems,
  • complications with medications
  • surgery

Truck drivers suffer poor health due to the challenges associated with their job and lifestyle.

The MRB has mandated the FMCSA that any driver with a BMI of 35 should be screened for sleep apnea using a PSG. If diagnosed, such driver should be treated with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine for at least four hours a day usually during their sleep period.
Despite its advantges, the CPAP machine also has its drawbacks: 
  •  It is obtrusive
  •  difficult to use,
  • expensive to maintain

I stand to believe that adequate and affordable medical insurance or plan that includes the sleep apnea plan should be provided to truck drivers. This would afford them the opportunity to take the test and also get treated if by any chance, diagnosed with the sleep apnea disorder. Truckers need to be aware of sleep apnea to protect themselves and their job. And If you do have concerns about having sleep apnea, you should not be bothered, rather, you should get tested.

Fatigued commercial truck drivers should also desist from plying the road as this is a threat to the safety of his life and other drivers at large. A rested and productive driver leads to safer roads as well.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Rise and Demise of Truck Lease-Purchase Programs

Large numbers of truck drivers have been learning about lease-purchase plans that are being pushed by so many different trucking companies and are probably wondering whether this is something that they should get themselves into.

Many of these contracts are also getting a very bad rap, with the benefits being placed primarily on the side of the trucking companies – not the individual truckers who get signed up into one of these programs.  On the surface it may certainly seem so! After all, the trucking company gets to pass along the prices of fuel, licensing & maintenance costs and health insurance right onto the truck driver, while foregoing the need to provide them with a proper 401k plan!

This article will highlight some of the advantages and disadvantages of truck-lease purchase programs to see if they are something that can benefit you.

The Benefits of Truck Lease-Purchase Programs

Commercial truck leasing provides enormous benefits to the truck company that is leasing their trucks out as mentioned above, but part of these benefits are certainly transferred over to the actual truckers, even if it is done indirectly. The operating expenses of a firm can be seriously affected by the costs of buying new trucks and leasing can be a vital strategy, to keep buying and maintenance costs as low as possible.

Since companies who buy new trucks often have to deal with the harsh realities of getting a loan from the bank, leasing is an excellent way for them to avoid this. But wait! You may be asking – that’s great for them, but what’s in it for me? Well, in order to make these offers more attractive for drivers, the company can quickly draft up a lease-purchase agreement that requires no credit checks, down payments or any other large security measures used in traditional loan applications. Instead, all the money simply comes from the trucker’s pay check.

You can also look at this way – leasing is a precious way to spare cash for the company on cost of buying new trucks. This cash can then be used to provide better wages and conditions for the company’s employees – at least one hopes so. With that in mind, let’s move onto the drawbacks of getting into these lease-purchase programs, and there are many!

The Negatives of Truck Lease-Purchase Programs

Trucking is not a very predictable business. What happens if you incur any injuries, accidents and illnesses while on the job? Guess what, your paycheck stops but your lease-purchase contract doesn’t! And when that happens don’t expect the trucking companies to suddenly become a charity for you.

Also, you never really own your truck and you are stuck with the company you rented from. If you are renting your truck from a company, it is really owned by them. This means you can’t just leave to a different company if you get tired of their terms.

Be sure to always read the fine print of any contract. Many contracts are cleverly drafted to ensure that any problems will always be your fault. Learn from the errors of other people who have been in such contracts to get a better idea if this is something suitable for you.