How the Trucking Industry Has Changed and What Might Happen Next
The concept and function of the trucking industry has not drastically changed but within the industry there has been a lot of changes. New technology, regulations and new ways to transport cargo had to be introduced because of the global pandemic. Some of those new methods will stay around and some of them will go to the wayside now that there are less restrictions.
Electronic Log Books
In the past decade one of the biggest changes in the trucking industry is the introduction of electronic log device (ELD) being mandatory according to federal law. In the United States, the law was passed in 2016 and in neighboring Canada the law was passed in 2021.
Prior to the ELD law being passed, drivers would log their driving hours in paper log books that could be reviewed. With the introduction of ELDs it creates a safer working environment and allows companies to accurately track, manage and share drivers records with more ease.
Over the past three years or so there has been a significant increase in independent drivers out on the road. Reports show there has been an increase of over 75% of drivers with one truck who are for hire, that is over 130,000 trucks in the United States alone. It is believed that the motivation for truckers to do this is because of the increase of spot market rates, more money can be made plus the appeal of independence. Companies have recognized the pay increase and appeal and have recently significantly increased their ‘pay per mile’ rates.
Energy Efficient Trucks
It has been reported that the trucking industry contributes about one fifth of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. With the increase of the threat to global warming, the trucking industry, along with many industries, are finding ways to decrease their carbon footprint. One way the trucking industry is doing this is by slowly introducing electric trucks and using low-emission trucks that may replace diesel trucks one day.
Predictions for the Future
Of course, it is hard to know exactly what is going to happen in the future with the trucking industry. Experts see trends happening, some might be obvious and some less obvious. With advances in technology evolving everyday energy-efficient and automated trucks will continue to change the trucking industry. It is hard to predict exactly what regulations and economic changes will impact the industry but they will for sure. With there being such a shortage of professional truck drivers and fuel prices soaring, man power and costs will continue to be a challenge in the future.
If you are a truck driver currently, staying informed can help to navigate the future whatever challenges and changes come for the trucking industry.
There is no doubt that being a trucker can be lonely. Long hours on the road without seeing or talking to anyone else can take a toll on your mental health, not only that, being on the road can be stressful as well. It is scientifically proven that pets (of any kind) can relieve stress and improve mental health. Along with all of the advantages of having your pet on the road with you there are also disadvantages. We will take a look at all the pros and cons of taking your pet out on the road with you.
We all know it is important to take regular breaks when you are on the road. It is good for your mental and physical health. That being said, often truckers don’t take enough regular breaks so an advantage to having a pet on the road is that you are forced to take regular breaks to care for your pet. With more frequent breaks, you will be more aware on the road which will decrease the chances of getting into an accident.
The companionship of a pet is unmatched. The saying ‘dog is man’s best friend’ really is true. So, when you are on the road, a pet can be a listening ear and the best part is, they won’t complain if you are talking too much! This can give a lot of comfort through the long lonely hours on the road.
If you are bringing a dog on the road, it can be great security. They can often sense things before humans. When you exit the truck, they can add an extra layer of protection from thieves and solicitors.
Overall, pets can be great company on the road while supporting your mental and physical health on the road.
No matter what type of pet you have on the road with you, they can be a mess. Whether that’s hair, bathroom accidents or anything in between pets will be extra work on the road.
Having your pet on the road will not be the same experience as having your pet at home. You will need to prepare and plan in advance. Some questions you might want to ask yourself ahead of time is; what will I do with my pet when I need to leave the truck and can’t take them with me?, what do I need to pack in order for my pet to have everything they need?, is there anything in my truck that my pet could get into that could make them sick? If your pets were to get into something in the truck or get sick on the road for any reason, it might be tricky to find medical help for them so that is another factor to consider.
Before you make the important decision to take your pet out on the road with you make sure you check the company’s pet policy. Some companies have strict rules about whether a pet can be on the road with drivers. If your company allows pets, then you can weigh your options and make the best decision for you and your pet.
There is no doubt that there is a lot of pressure when truck drivers are on the road. The pressure to meet tight deadlines, stay alert and stay safe on the road. From the outside, it may look like it is an easy job that allows a driver to have freedom on the road while making money but it is not always the case. Truck drivers need a break, it is good for their mental health.
Mental health is a major concern for trucker drivers that is not always talked about enough. Long hours alone on the road, without a lot of physical movement or conversation can take a toll on a driver’s mental health. Burnout, which is described as energy depletion or exhaustion with increased feelings of negativism or loneliness and reduced professional efficacy, has a higher chance of affecting drivers and often goes unnoticed or is ignored. There are a number of steps that can be taken to avoid burnout, including making sure drivers get home on a regular basis. Another important step, is for the driver to pay attention to their thoughts and feelings as well as the company checking in with drivers regularly to see if they are managing on the road.
Everyday drivers are dealing with issues beyond their control such as road construction, weather, the unpredictability of other drivers on the road and lack of sleep due to long days. There is a lot of stress on the road and with lack of sleep it is harder to deal with stress in a healthy way. When drivers are on the road they should consider taking actions that they can control to support their mental and physical well-being:
• Create a driving schedule that includes short breaks in order to get fresh air and physical movement • Plan ahead with snacks/meals that will fuel your body and mind and help to support your mental and physical health • Avoid using drugs and alcohol to deal with stress • Use technology to connect with family and/or mental health professionals
With all the stress truck driving brings, it is important to get a break. A real break, not just the hours that are required for a reset that are often spent in the truck. That is not a real break. Plan your vacation days far in advance so that you, your family and your company are prepared for it. It will give you something to look forward to while you are on the road. Studies show that at least a 5-day break is critical to supporting mental health, increasing productivity and avoiding burnout.
Some truck drivers prefer driving at night when the roads are quieter with less traffic. There are definitely pros and cons to driving at night. Sometimes it is a choice and sometimes you cannot avoid it. Whether you choose to drive at night or have no choice but to do it, we wanted to gather up a few tips that might help.
Make sure all the lights on your truck are in good working order and clean. This includes the identification, clearance, reflectors, marker and taillights. Not only should you make sure they are working when you start your journey you should double check periodically while you are on the road. As important as it is for your truck to be seen, if you need to get out of the truck make sure you can be seen. Wear a high visibly vest when you need to get out of the truck.
Not only is important to be seen, it is important to be heard. Make sure that your horn is in good working order so that if people cannot see you on the road, they can hear you. You could also carry a whistle incase of emergency. It is easy to alert anyone around you quickly if you are caught by surprise.
Plan for a few stops throughout the night, a chance to stop and stretch your legs and get some fresh air. Use caution when you stop at rest areas, be aware of your surroundings.
A few other steps that can help to fight fatigue during the night is to eat light and as healthy as possible. Greasy, high-carb food will only make you more tired. Have a plan to get a good sleep during the day when you do have a break. Keep the temperature on the cooler side inside the cab.
Another tip that might help is to find something to entertain you without distracting you. Some of your favorite music or an interesting podcast would be a good example.
Watch Your Speed
It is always imperative to watch your speed on the road but it is even more critical at night. Often roads have lower speeds posted in the night. Make sure that you are respecting the posted speed limits and slow down if the conditions are not ideal. Be cautious of other drivers too, it is more likely for drunk and distracted drivers to be on the road at night.
Driving in the dark, can be done safely but extra strategies should be considered. Hopefully, some of the advice above will help you get to your destination on time and safely.
CB Radios in semi-trucks have been around since the 1940s. Of course, they have evolved by improving wattage, changing licensing agreements and growing the channels from 23 to 40. Before cell phones, CB radios were the main source of communication and entertainment for truckers on the road.
Even with today’s technology most trucks are still outfitted with CB radios although they are not used as frequently. There was a time they were used for fellow truckers to communicate things such as, police sightings or speed traps, whether the weight station is open, asking for directions, finding out about road conditions up ahead as well as dock assignments.
Even though, CB radios seem outdated now there is definitely still a function for them in a big rig. There are still many areas across the country that do not have cell service. If that is the case, a CB radio can be used to communicate with other trucks drivers if you are having trouble or to find out about conditions ahead.
In a survey that Overdrive Online conducted in 2021, 54% of truck drivers said that they still use their CB radio daily for all sorts of purposes while 8% of drivers claim not to have a CB radio in their truck while 10% of drivers reported they have one but rarely even turn it on.
The next question is, if you are looking for a radio which one should you choose? The Galaxy-DX-959 SSB CB Radio can transmit up to 12 watts, has a noise cancelling filter plus it has a digital channel display with a dimmer. If you are looking for the most economical radio, the Uniden PRO510XL radio is a great option! This cheaper radio is an all-in-one package with the microphone, CB radio, mounting bracket, mounting hardware coming together. One more to mention is the Cobra 29Lx, it provides NOAA weather channels and a clock and an alarm. With an easy-to-read display and a very durable microphone. All of these CB radios are good option if you are looking for a CB radio for your truck.
With the introduction and advancements in mobile phones, it is true, there is a lot less need for a CB radio in trucks but they are still important. CB radios are still used to communicate accidents on the road ahead which allows for more time for a driver to plan, loaded 18 wheelers do not just stop on a dime. CB radios also come in handy when you are travelling in places that do not have cell reception, they are an affordable with most of them being less than $100, CB radios help to keep drivers connected and a part of a community as well as they help to communicate with shippers and receivers.
With all of this information, it is safe to say that having a CB radio in your truck is worth it. It is not a large investment and can be convenient when your cell phone is not working or to talk to fellow truckers on the road.
If you are looking at a career in the trucking industry as truck driver then we have a few tips for you to get started. First off, you will need to be trained so that you are qualified to start. Take your time when choosing your school, be sure to do your research that you are confident in your future. If you are having trouble deciding what school to attend, you could try contacting a local trucking company to find out which school they recommend or if they have a school that they work with to obtain new hires. Once you have settled on which training school to complete, be sure to take it seriously and study so that you can learn as much as you can while you are there. The harder you study and the more serious you take it, the easier it will be once you get on the road.
The next step is to find a company that is ready to hire you. If you did not attend a school that had a placement program then it will be up to you to find a company hiring. There are many ways to do this, you could start by searching online and see what opportunities are there as well talk to other truck drivers you may know.
Once you are on the road there is no doubt the first year will be the toughest. The more experience that you gain the more confidence you will gain as well. Along with that, your salary will reflect your experience so the more driving time you can get the more earning potential you will have. One main goal in your first year (and the years beyond) should be to make sure you have no accidents. It will be incredibly difficult to continue with your career if this happens.
It will take adjusting for you and your family once you are on the road. Your relationships may suffer in the beginning but it is important to stay in touch with them and work past the difficulties. You will need the support once you are on the road more often.
Be sure to give truck driving a good chance before you decide whether it is for you. It can be a respectable career that can give you a decent salary. Be sure not to expect to get rich quick in this career but know that it can present great opportunity.
There is no doubt the technology of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) has changed the trucking industry. A GPS can be a great tool to identify best routes, traffic situations, speed and time. In the 1960’s GPS was developed to aid the military but there have been many advancements with the technology since. Many trucking companies use GPS for all the benefits that it has to offer. Most fleets have systems built into their trucks, if not, a system can be installed in the truck. They gather a lot of valuable information for both the company and the driver.
Dispatchers are updated in real time so they can efficiently help drivers find the best route, know who is out on the road and when they are arriving at their destinations. It can also assist in letting drivers know if there is heavy traffic, construction and alternative routes. This saves time for both the driver and the company which in the end saves money.
When it comes to fuel efficiency, GPS can assist by providing information that you may not have without the system in place. It provides the foresight of traffic jams, direct routes and speed. With this information, this is another way companies can save time, fuel and money.
GPS can help with safe driving and insurance rates. Fleet managers can monitor the driver’s activities on the road such as speed, braking or any other safe or dangerous driving habits. This can encourage drivers to be on their best behavior when out on the road representing the company. A lot of insurance organizations reward driving companies for having GPS installed by reducing their rates. The insurers feel more comfortable knowing that if, for example, the truck was stolen it would be easier to track and not have to replace the truck. Insurers also know that GPS encourages safer driving.
The biggest barrier to smaller companies or owner/operators is cost but there are payment plans that can be put in place, plus it can be argued that GPS can save money on the bottom line. Some drivers feel like a GPS is an invasion of privacy by knowing what the drivers are doing at all time on the road. If employers follow regulations and respect the privacy of their employees there should be no concerns there.
All in all, the pros of GPS far outweigh the cons and can really benefit companies by saving time, money and frustrations.
An after-market bumper can change the look of your pick-up quickly. It is not just for looks though; it can be very functional. Most bumpers have a place for winches and will fit properly around headlights. A bumper will also protect your truck if you are in an accident (with another vehicle or an animal) or getting through mud, bushes or any other material that might cause damage to the front of your truck.
Pick-up bumpers come in many different shapes and sizes depending on what vehicle you are going to be on. The main function of these bumpers is to protect your truck, not only that, it can change the look of your vehicle for the better. The bumper is typically lightweight, usually less than 200 lbs. They are a full bumper replacement, providing full protection for the front of your truck and are made of aluminum or carbon steel.
Bull bars are a full replacement for the factory bumper that is on your vehicle. It can be directly mounted to your vehicle. Bull bars typically provide more protection for the middle of your vehicle, so change the look of your vehicle less than a pick-up bumper. They are made of welded steel or aluminum tubing. The bull bars mount directly to the chassis and provide slightly less protection then a pick-up bumper.
When you are trying to decide between and pick-up bumper and a bull bar it really just depends on what you are looking for in both function and appearance. If you are looking for full protection with a more rugged look then you should go with a pick-up bumper. If you are looking to alter the appearance of your truck with less protection then a bull bar is the way for you to go.
Ali Arc provides both pick-up bumpers and bull bars. They are both made with high tensile aluminum that mount directly to your vehicle. Both the pick-up bumper and the bull bar is a full bumper replacement with the bull bar having slightly less coverage. They have a high polish finish but have custom options if that is something you are interested in.
You can visit our products page here to see our line of bumpers. Feel free to reach out to our knowledgeable team if you have any questions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1-877-725-4272.
The sentinel bumpers are part of our pick-up line. They are built with a ½’ thick bumper channel just like we have for the semi bumpers where as our traditional pick-up bumpers are ¼’ thick. They do not have the bottom rake as the bumper channel goes down as far as our pick-up bumpers with the bottom rake. These are not made for all models but we do have them for our most popular models. We have an exclusive line of sentinel bumpers that are designed for ambulances. They come with ambulance themed cut outs. The is a heartbeat line in the middle and the star of life cut outs for speakers. The cut outs can be changed to better suit the needs of your ambulance.
Pick-up bumpers, obviously named for pick-ups, are similar to bull bars but are more H-shaped frame. Pick-up bumpers are also used for protection from wildlife and anything else that may cause damage to your truck. Although pick-up bumpers weight about the same as bull bars they typically cover a larger portion of the front end. Pick-up bumpers, made of aluminum, replace your existing bumper and are mounted directly to your chassis. Pick-up bumpers come standard with a high polish finish but can be customized.
Ali Arc bumpers has many bumpers available and can be customized to fit your truck. If you have any questions or would like to place an order you can email email@example.com or call 1-877-725-4272.
At Ali Arc we have had many requests for a quick release bumper. We worked with experienced engineers to create just that. Our new stainless steel Quick Release Bumper made its debut at the 2022 World Truck Show in Toronto, Ontario.
Benefits Our Quick Release bumpers take away the need to unscrew the eyebolts and will save you time by using your foot or hand to release the bumper from the hood to access your engine for maintenance and pre trip checks. While we were designing this new bumper, we made sure that it would easily latch when you put it back in place. When you are driving down the road you will notice there is no rattling noises and it needs no oil or grease, so very little maintenance. We worked hard to make the safest product possible and that is why you will soon discover our bumper is self-tightening so there is no risk of it rattling open while you are driving down the road. This also gives you piece of mind knowing you will not have to make any adjustments.
Technical Information Are you wondering what we used to create the latch of our Quick Release bumper? We have developed a one-piece machined aluminum latch housing with class 10.9 zinc plated locking fasteners. The oilite bearings that we have used require no grease or oil with stainless-steel, heat-treated latch pawls. The stainless-steel brackets have been laser cut for precision.
Truck Models So far, we have created Quick Release bumpers for the following trucks: • 2nd Gen Kenworth T680 • 2nd Gen Peterbilt 579 • Volvo VNL • Freightliner Cascadia
If you have any questions or would like to order our new Quick Release bumper, please reach out to our knowledgeable team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 877-725-4272.
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