Saturday, July 23, 2016
May, 2016 An accident that closed I-77 in North Carolina illustrates how driver fatigue is a problem that is a lot more complex than just creating regulations saying when truckers can and can’t drive — and how enforcement sometimes erroneously targets truckers in the name of safety.
Published reports indicate the southbound side of the interstate was closed for hours on Friday near Charlotte after a tractor-trailer wrecked in the wee hours of the morning and spilled 50,000 pounds of potatoes. The driver told the State Highway Patrol that he fell asleep, according to an article in The Charlotte Observer.
The driver, who was from Utah told state troops that he had heard of truckers being arrested in the state for pulling off to the roadside to sleep, so he decided to try to make it through the state.
What he had heard had a basis in reality. Late last year, the paper reported that truckers found themselves “the target of an unusual state campaign to punish violators of an obscure no-parking law,” sparked by complaints to the governor from a longtime political supporter.
Last May, the Highway Patrol announced a statewide effort to reduce crashes that involved vehicles illegally parked along interstate highways. Turned out the Highway Patrol had quietly launched its no-parking push three months earlier, focusing at first on I-77 in Surry and Yadkin counties, according to the paper.
Turns out, according to the News & Observer, there was a reason state troopers focused on that area first, and it had nothing to do with safety. Surry County winery owner Charlie Shelton, a longtime political donor, had complained to Gov. Pat McCrory about “unsightly” tractor-trailers sleeping on the shoulders of I-77 ramps near his winery.
We don’t know for sure if the driver of the potato truck was within his legal hours of service or not from the article, but it does say the driver “will likely be charged with a minor traffic offense, such as failure to maintain control of a vehicle.” If he had been cheating on his logs, I suspect the state police would have told the paper that they were at least investigating that possibility.
The thing is, it's still possible to get sleepy, especially at 2 in the morning, even if you're within your legal hours of service. All the electronic logs in the world aren't going to change that. Drivers need to be able to have the flexibility -- and the place to park -- to stop when they feel sleepy.
Obviously parking on the side of the road is not an ideal place to get that rest. Tales abound of motorists crashing into the rear of parked tractor-trailers and in fact these types of crashes have helped spark calls for stronger under-ride guards on trailers.
But the News Observer found earlier this year that the “data driven” crackdown by the highway patrol was based on faulty data. Parked or disabled vehicles figured in 5% of interstate crash deaths – not 20%. Truck drivers napping on ramps, the primary enforcement targets, were involved in only 1% of deaths.
Yet this crackdown had the far-reaching consequence of prompting a driver to decide he couldn't stop in the state to sleep.. Thank goodness the only victims of the Utah driver’s decision to keep pushing through his sleepiness were potatoes and inconvenienced motorists. It could just as easily have been a bus full of children. And the driver’s lucky to have escaped without major injuries.
What does your carrier tell drivers to do when they’re sleepy and there’s no truck parking nearby?
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
during the highly-anticipated 2016 Great American Trucking Show on Friday, August 26 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, TX. The talent search will feature three finalists performing at the Great American Trucking Show Theater for the opportunity to win a cash prize, as well as a studio recording session provided by AxleOutPro. During the convention, the King of the Road will also host an album launch party for his latest album, Brothers of the Highway, in the ballroom of the convention center over the course of the weekend. Fans will be able to purchase the 13-track album featuring country legend and former trucker, Aaron Tippin, on the title track, "Brothers of the Highway." Justice describes the collaboration as instilling truckers with a "sense of unity and brotherhood and togetherness." The music video for the track was captured by well-known trucker, videographer, and producer Chris Fiffie of Big Rig Videos
With many miles in his rearview, Justice's trucker-inspired music has made him a prominent figure among drivers across the nation. This notoriety has led to a variety of full-throttle performances at events such as the Mid-America Trucking Show and the 2015 Great American Trucking Show, where he opened for country music mainstay, John Anderson.
Who: Tony Justice
What: Album Launch and Overdrive-Red Eye Radio's Talent Search
When: Thursday, August 25-Saturday, August 27
Where: Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, TX
Tickets: For ticket information, click here
About Tony Justice:
Life on the road is no stranger to second generation trucker and singer-songwriter Tony Justice. In fact, the freedom of the highway and the drivers he shares it with are the inspiration behind the East Tennessean's music. Growing up in the Eastern Kentucky mountains, music and trucking were ingrained in Justice beginning at a young age as his mother sang in gospel choirs and his father owned and operated up to three trucks at a time. By age 7, Justice began playing bass for his mother's musical group and as he grew, his affinity for music grew as well. Now, Justice is working toward his dreams and living the lifestyle he loves that revolves around trucking, family, and country music, while collaborating and sharing the stage with country legends such as Aaron Tippin and John Anderson.
For Additional Information Contact:
Lone Star PR
Saturday, July 16, 2016
Article thanks to Jim Sweeney and the RoadPro Family of Brands. Links provided:
CB radios keep truckers safe and out of jams
Tom Kyrk hadn’t been a professional truck driver for long before learning the worth of his CB radio.
He was hauling an empty trailer up I-390 in New York State on his way to Canada. It was the dead of winter and the wind was gusting.
“All of a sudden, the CB roared to life,” he said. “Drivers were shouting, ‘Hit the ramp, take the ramp, brake it down!’ I rounded the corner to see traffic rapidly slowing and taking the exit ramp. A lightly loaded truck had been picked up by the wind and was perfectly perpendicular to the road. He was on all his wheels, but was blocking all the traffic lanes; both shoulders and his steer tires were in the grass median and his ICC bumper was against the concrete wall of the bridge.
“This was a case of drivers spreading the word, good following distance, and prompt reactions saving some lives and a deadly accident,” said the RoadPro Pro Driver Council member.
As far as the general public is concerned, the heyday of CB radio was in the 1970s when the country was briefly and inexplicably obsessed with CBs and trucking in general. But citizens band had been a safety tool for truckers long before “Convoy” and Smokey and the Bandit, and truckers have stayed with it after the public has moved on to other fads.
In a recent RoadPro survey, 130 of 150 drivers agreed that their CB keeps them safe. “If you are any kind of driver, that CB is your best friend when you need help,” commented one respondent. “It lets us know when the traffic backs up so we don’t end up being part of the accident,” another said.
It’s true that the CB is not as ubiquitous among truckers as it used to be. Driving apps and GPS units provide directions. Cell phones keep drivers in touch with family and friends and in-cab electronics connect drivers and dispatchers. And Channel 19 can be an ear-bending barrage of preaching, arguing and gibberish.
That’s why Pro Driver Council member Joanne Fatta hasn’t bothered to get her radio fixed since it stopped working a year ago. And why Ryan Sexton got rid of his. “I got tired of hearing fellow drivers badmouth each other,” he said.
But other truckers rely on it still. No other tool offers the trucker-to-trucker communication the CB does and, despite what the cellular service commercials show, there are still plenty of places on the map without coverage.
“I love my CB,” said Maggie Riessen, a Pro Driver Council member. “I use it to find out traffic and bear reports and to check in or out at the plants. Traffic and bear reports are important because if the policeman is around traffic will slow or stop. It’s always good to be prepared for anything when you haul livestock.”
“It constantly helps,” agreed council member Libby Clayton. “I leave it squelched so I don’t hear a lot of junk, but the words ‘brake check’ get immediate attention. I start looking for the problem before I would have seen it otherwise.”So, while cabs are more crowded with electronics and devices than ever before, it seems like truckers will always make room for the CB.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
|Gogi Berries - Image: Zbigniew Ratajczak, Getty Images/Hemera|
Article thanks to Jamie Ditaranto, SmarterTravel.com. Links provided:
Travel puts our bodies through a lot, whether we're stifling our circulation on long flights or shocking our digestive systems with new foods. We've shared a lot of tips and tricks about how what you eat can affect the way you feel when traveling, but now we've discovered that it's not just about avoiding the junk food. Certain foods known as "superfoods" are packed with vitamins and other health benefits and can prevent some of the worst travel symptoms. Incorporating any of these foods into your diet before and during travel will ensure that you'll have a healthier and happier trip.
When it comes to superfoods, quinoa is one of the most popular. It's easy to find this grain incorporated into crackers, breads and cereal. It's high in fiber and iron, which makes it perfect for combating altitude sickness. Since the body compensates for reduced oxygen by making more red blood cells, you'll want to keep your diet iron-rich to ease any nausea caused by altitude. For this reason, any meal with quinoa is perfect whether you're about to board a long flight or go for a hike.
Nothing ruins a trip like getting sick, which is why you'll want to get in the habit of asking for water with lemon. Because lemons are rich in Vitamin C, they act as an immune booster that will help you ward off fevers and colds.
Anyone who's spent a long day sightseeing while simultaneously combatting jet-lag after a long-haul flight with no sleep knows how tiring traveling can be. To prepare for long and exhausting travel days, you can fill up on beets to boost your stamina.
If you have trouble falling asleep on planes, dark cherries are the perfect mid-flight snack. They are a wonderful natural source of melatonin, which eases your nervous system and helps you fall asleep.
When you're perusing the hotel fruit salad, make sure you don't skip the cantaloupe. This super fruit is rich in Vitamin C and potassium, which will give you more energy. It also contains adenosine, which can help reduce the effect of altitude sickness.
For pretty much any ailment, ginger is the perfect remedy. Ginger helps your muscles relax, reduces headaches, relieves congestion, eases your stomach, and when ground up and applied as a paste, it can even help treat sun damage. Whether you incorporate ginger into your meals or just treat yourself to a cup of tea before bed, keeping this super root around is a good idea.
Persimmons, also known by the Greeks as "the fruit of the gods," are extremely tasty and also extremely good for you. These sweet fruits aid in the creation of red blood cells, which reduce your chance of motion or altitude sickness.
If you're feeling nauseous or suffering from digestion troubles, peppermint is a great way to fight back. Like ginger you can drink it as tea or you can chew on mint leaves to relieve nausea.
When you're trying a lot of new and foreign foods, indigestion is never far away, which is why yogurt is the best food to combat an unhappy stomach. Probiotic yogurts are filled with good bacteria that will support a healthy digestive system.
These tart little berries are the perfect snack to keep in your travel bag, especially when you have some long days ahead of you. Goji berries are a natural source of energy and also help ward off sickness by boosting your immune system and your circulation.
Everyone knows bananas are a great source of energy in the morning, but did you know they are also muscle relaxants? Because they are rich in potassium and magnesium, bananas help support the production of melatonin. So whether you're ready to jump start your day or relax before bed, a banana is the perfect snack.
Related to the ginger plant, it's no surprise that turmeric is a healthy and powerful spice. It not only supports your immune system, but also improves your circulation. It's easy to add this any meal before your flight. May we suggest this recipe for quinoa, turmeric and ginger curry for the perfect pre-flight meal?
Saturday, July 9, 2016
The following is a guest post thanks to and written by Elisabeth Almekinder RN, BA, CDE. She is a member of a team consisting of 5 dedicated individuals that run a web-site called thediabetescouncil.com. Great information for all drivers, check them out at the links provided.
America was not built on the rails system, but was instead built as a country with national highways and commercial trucks are essentials to get merchandise around. We truck drivers have tons of freedom, independence, we get to see so much more than the average person while traveling across the country doing what many of us love. However, all the benefits do have some downsides to it.
Commercial Truck driving is tough on your body as well as your mind. We’re told to keep our bodies healthy, but it’s not always possible with the fast paced lifestyle that we lead. When you have to make it somewhere, you do not have time to make your super healthy meals. You might not be able to cook your foods, there are many luxuries that you won’t have, forget what many consider necessities.
It’s also one of the reasons that Long Haul Truck Drivers have twice the amount of risk of Type 2 Diabetes 14% vs the general population 7%.
If you are a truck driver who was recently diagnosed, or you are planning on becoming a truck driver, there is so much that you need to know. Are you planning on driving interstate, what do you need to apply for? Previously as early back as 2005, if you had Type 1 Diabetes and required insulin, you were unable to drive in interstate commerce. Thankfully we now have laws protecting us, but do you know what is required of us?
What is the difference if you have Type 1 vs Type 2 Diabetes, can you get a CDL? How do you get a waiver, what are the requirements to apply for one? What kind of physical exams are required?
There really is so much to learn, and if you go about this blindly, you will be doing countless hours of research, and you might not even be sure where to start. I’m sharing a post from The Diabetes Council, which is titled Commercial Truck Driving and Diabetes: Everything You Need To Know - http://www.thediabetescouncil.
com/commercial-truck-driving- and-diabetes-guide/. It’s a great starting point, if you are a truck driver with Diabetes.