How to Drive Long Hauls Without Going Crazy

Driving alone can become frustrating when you do it for a living, so finding ways to stay entertained are key to remaining energized and engaged while on the road. Here are some ideas to stay sane while driving on your own.

Create multiple playlists for yourself that are all different.

If you listen to the same music over and over again, no doubt this will get a little tiring after a while. Try creating some new playlists for yourself that include genres on music you don’t typically listen to. Asking 

friends and family what their favorites bands or artists are at the moment is great way to get suggestions for new playlists! 

Stop at truck stops instead of rest areas.

Rest areas usually just have a bathroom, a vending machine, and sometime gas stations. Truck stops oftentimes have restaurants inside, medicine, more food variety, and auto supplies if you need anything. This is also a nicer option because there are typically more people at truck stops as well, helping you to not feel so alone like a rest area may. Take some time while there to get out and stretch and do some light exercises. Getting you body moving gets with blood moving through your brain which will keep you more awake and energized on the road.

Bring lots of food along in the car with you.

Stocking up on high-protein snacks before you embark on your trip will probably save you money on the road since truck stops can be kind of expensive. Also, if you feel yourself starting to lose energy but are miles from the next stop, you can grab your little pick me up and be on your way! Some suggested snacks are beef jerky, snack crackers made with real cheese, easy-peel fruits that don’t need refrigerated (apples, bananas, clementines), and trail mix. All of these snacks will give you the boost to stay alert on the road.

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Buying a Freight Truck: New or Used?

There are a lot of things to consider when looking into investing in a new rig. Here are some comparisons between new and used to consider when buying.

New. Although the cost of purchasing is a lot higher, the maintenance cost much lower. Since a new truck will most likely have newer technologies that make it more fuel efficient and will also help you save on other operating costs. It is recommended that if you have the means to do so, buying a new truck will probably pay off. It is important to note that sometimes new trucks lose their value a lot faster than a used one would, especially if you’re going to be putting a lot of miles on it each year.

Used. On the other hand, if you’re on the fence about spending more money on a new truck, it is important to consider what you’ll actually be using the truck for. For example, if someone only wants to do crop and agriculture hauling for two-three months out of the year and will put roughly 3,000 miles a year on the truck, then used is probably the way to go. Something to look out for with a used truck is to make sure the exhaust is up to code with the current EPA emissions regulations.

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Best Meal Prep Ideas for the Road

Before you leave for a long road trip, make sure to stock up on healthy, wholesome snacks and meals. That way, you won’t succumb to unhealthy fast food and truck stop options. But, what if you want something a little more hearty than fruit, nuts, and veggies?

Check out these two easy meal prep options to keep you full during long road trips:

Salad in a Jar

Salads in a jar are super easy meals that you can prepare way in advance. They keep for about 10 days, so you won’t have to worry about them going bad in your absence!

Here’s how you do it:

  • In a Mason jar, but dressing of your choice at the bottom
  • Layer salad toppings next (hint: grains, mushrooms, and proteins should go directly in the dressing to soak up the flavors)
  • Stuff as many greens as you can after your toppings
  • Push down lettuce and screw on lid
  • Keep in cooler in your truck until you’re ready to eat
  • Either dump in a bowl, or eat directly out of the jar!

For some recipe ideas, check out Wholefully’s.

Homemade Tuna Lunchables

Canned tuna and salmon are great for road trips because they don’t require refrigeration. Put together lunchables like this:

  • In a Tupperware container, put a pop-top can of tuna or salmon, whole grain crackers, guacamole or mayo, and a side of your choice (we like carrots!)
  • Mix the guacamole/mayo with the tuna/salmon to form a salad
  • Use a fork to put it on the crackers
  • Enjoy!

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Truckers Biggest Annoyances

Truckers are always on the road and thus have experienced many annoyances on the road. Here are some of the frustrations every truckers has faced at some point.

4 Annoyances Every trucker has experienced

1. Not looking ahead while merging

Merging can be very stressful for truck drivers, especially in congested areas. Please decide if you’re going to pull up in front of us or slide in behind. Don’t wait until the last second to cut us off or slam the brakes.

2. Hitting the brakes after passing

When you hit the brake lights and are only one or two car lengths in front of us, it’s dangerous and annoying.

3. Passing on the right

Trucks have many blind spots. But the right side of the struck is called the “blind side” for good reason. When we’re not in the most right lane, we have good reason to be there and will move back to the right lane as soon as possible. Please don’t get impatient and try to pass us on the right; it only creates dangerous situations.

4. Cutting a truck of in front of a light

When a stop light turns red and a car cuts in front of the truck, it’s not a good idea. You could have 80,000 lbs coming through the back of your 5,000 lbs car. It’s better to be late to wherever you need to go then to be in an accident.

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5 Tips for Staying Awake at the Wheel

Sometimes it’s hard to keep yourself entertained when you’re driving a truck long distances. Boredom very often makes your brain press the snooze button. Naturally, this is something we want to avoid.

Follow these 5 tips on how to stay awake during long trips:

  1. Keep things cool: Open a window or keep the temperature in your cabin at a lower temperature. Doing this will ensure that you do not get too cozy in the warmth of your cabin, which makes you sleepy.
  2. Move around: If you feel yourself getting tired, you may just need to get your blood flowing. Pull over and exercise briefly to wake your body back up.
  3. Have a snack: Eating something tangy has a knack for waking people up. Try eating an apple, orange, or sucking on lemon flavored candy. If you prefer, you can even opt for carrots, which are perfect for keeping you awake because they take a long time to chew.
  4. Listen to music: Believe it or not, some people say that listening to music you dislike may help keep you awake. If you listen to music you always listen to or soothing music, your brain gets used to the sounds and is more likely to get comfortable. Keep the music loud and switch up the genre. You’ll be shocked to see how alert music can make you.
  5. Listen to books on tape: Books on tape make you engage with what you’re listening to, which makes them good waker-uppers. Make sure you choose a book that interests you and makes you want to engage in deeper thinking and active listening.

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Prep for Winter Before It’s Too Late!

Thankfully, this year’s mild winter has made driving easy. But, don’t let mild temperatures now fool you. Soon enough, snow will come, and you want to make sure you are completely prepared for it.

Make sure your truck is winterized in these areas, so that you can drive easy this snow season:

Battery — Cold temperatures are known to take a toll on battery function. Often times, batteries resist charge in freezing temperatures, which leaves it at a low state of charge. Routinely check your battery systems to make sure you are getting the most out of your battery life.

Tires — If you drive in consistently snowy areas, make sure your tires are equipped with winterized tread patterns. For extra protection, add chains to your tires (and don’t forget to make sure they fit well!). Before you start driving long distances, check your tire pressure. Tire pressure drops in cold weather, so make sure you check often.

Coolant — Antifreeze and coolant precautions protect against freezing drain and gas tanks. It also prevents corrosion of metals within your truck. Make sure you opt for a high-quality coolant rather than a generic brand. Filling your truck with high-ranked product ensures that your truck will not succumb to freezing temperatures.

 

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Trucking Factoring

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Trucking factoring company is a way for trucking businesses to manage some of the financial stresses of waiting to be paid without waiting to pay employees. This method of insuring payment to employees and getting the funds needed to carry out other day to day business is becoming more and more popular among trucking companies. Utilizing trucking factoring is not quite like taking out a loan, either. Since it involves the sale of invoices to a factoring company, there generally isn’t a credit check or qualifying check like there may be with a bank loan. Overall, it is simply a way for a company who has a late-paying client to make sure the employees are paid and that business runs as normal.

There are times when a trucking business may face the harsh reality of a client who waits to pay for their shipment. Hopefully most trucking companies have clients that reliably pay on time, but sometimes there may be an issue where the client is late with the payment. This can be stressful when there is maintenance to be done and employees to be paid for the work they have completed. When something like this occurs, a professional trucking factoring company can step in to help.

Unlike applying for a loan, utilizing a factoring company involves the selling of invoices. When the factoring company purchases the invoices, they pay the trucking company so that the employees can get their paychecks on time. Then the factoring company waits to be paid by the client who is late. Once the client has paid in full, the factoring company generally hands over any reserves back to the trucking company, with a small percentage left as payment for services.

The nice thing about using a factoring company is that it can take much of the stress of waiting for payment off of a company owner’s mind. Instead of having to wait for the client to make the payment, the factoring company does the waiting for the trucking company. Instead of employees waiting to be paid, they receive their money right away. In addition, the trucking company does not have to go through the process of applying and waiting for approval of a bank loan.

Trucking factoring company is a rather simple way to make sure a trucking company is able to pay employees and continue to function day to day when a client is late with payment. Rather than having to wait to pay employees due to a late client, a factoring company can give a trucking company the money right away and do the waiting on that company’s behalf. It can be a simple way to reduce the stress brought on by late paying clients.

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