4 Important Winter Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

Check out these four winter driving tips on how new and experienced truck drivers can prep for winter driving.

When traveling in colder climates, one must always be ready. Winter driving on the roads of Illinois is not the same as in Florida. One road in a city may have black ice, while a different road in a different city may have sleet or hail! No matter what winter conditions you face on the road this year, remember that it can always be different just around the corner.

With winter coming up fast, there are preventative measures that you can take now in order to be better prepared for the different wintery conditions. Check out these four winter driving tips on how new and experienced truck drivers can prep for winter driving.

1. Think Ahead and Be Prepared

winter safety tips for truck drivers
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

Perform a pre-trip inspection to make sure your truck is ready to go. You can do an inspection by looking at your tires, wiper blades, lights, fluids, etc. This is to avoid any maintenance problems down the road or any obvious issues evident now. It is better to know now than to find out during a snowstorm or somewhere you could get stranded for a while.

Another part to think about is using fuel that is treated and blended for low temperatures. Diesel exhaust fuel can freeze at temperatures below 10 degrees Fahrenheit, and low fuel tanks can trap condensation. Carry Anti-Gel or Anti-Freeze in advance for bad, cold weather.

Download the Weather Channel App or read weather reports before hitting the road so you can prepare for the day ahead.

2. Winterize Your Truck and Yourself

truck driver staying warm truck driving in snow
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

People around the world prep for the winter season by winterizing their homes and vehicles, and you can do the same! Prep your truck with winter necessities such as tire chains, supreme moving blankets, tow straps, recovery straps, tow hooks, and reflective vests. If you would like to learn more about tire chains, read our blog post on how to choose and use tire chains like a pro.

Other necessities you should consider carrying in your truck include flashlights, extra windshield wiper fluid, a bag of salt or sand, and jumper cables.

Along with prepping your truck for the winter, make sure to prep yourself! To stay warm and safe, invest in heavy blankets and warm bedding, gloves and scarves, thermal socks, boots with great traction, and at least a day’s worth of food and water. Taking care of yourself is crucial for your health and safety, and it never hurts to pack food as a backup.

3. Use Caution

traffic sign snowy curvy road
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

It should go without saying, but during this time you should be extra careful to follow and obey all road signs, brake lightly, and always be mindful of current conditions. These are rules created by safety authorities, and they are created for a reason: safety for yourself and those around you.

Another critical rule to recognize is to use extra caution when approaching bridges. Bridges and elevated structures are the first to freeze, and many are not treated with ice/snow melting materials like the rest of the roadways. Hold your steering wheel firmly and pay attention to the surface feel of the roads.

4. If Conditions Look Bad, Just Get Off the Road

truck driver waiting for roads to clear up
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

Your safety matters more. If you feel that it doesn’t seem safe to be driving, then you might be better off waiting it out. Listen to weather reports and warnings, communicate with your fleet or with fellow drivers, and react appropriately.

Want to learn more about winter safety tips for truck drivers? Consider reading these:

15 Winter Driving Kit Essentials

Winter Weather: Be Aware and Prepared

At US Cargo Control, we want all truck drivers to be safe and prepared for the upcoming winter season. Let us know if we can help provide you with the vehicle safety supplies or tires chains you need to keep on hauling!

5 Tips for How to Sleep Better in a Semi Truck

Read these five tips on how to get a good night sleep when you are on the job.

We all know about how important it is for truck drivers to stay awake while on the road, but what about falling asleep? Obviously, the better you sleep at night, the longer you’ll be able to go the next day. But when sleeping in a semi-truck, there are distractions that can keep you awake and they’re hard to ignore sometimes.

Don’t give up and feel like you have to get a hotel room just to feel rested, here are 5 tips that can help you fall asleep faster in your very own cozy semi bed!

1. Block out ALL Noise

where do truck drivers sleep
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

If you can, try to park away from all the other trucks and other potentially loud distractions. Another tip to consider is choosing parking places that have minimum outside traffic.

You can also invest in earplugs or a “white noise” machine such as a fan to reduce sounds inside your truck. If your phone has the ability to turn on “Do Not Disturb” mode or to alert you for only important contacts, consider doing that before bedtime. We all know how hard it can be to ignore a text or phone call, but those noises and your bright phone screen will only make it harder to sleep.

2. Turn Off and Block All Lights

tips for sleeping in a semi truck in parking lot
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

Although this is self-explanatory, remember that even the smallest amount of light can bother you! There are ways to block all lights immediately including investing in some curtains or shades to cover all windows in your truck, a large sunshade over your windshield, and using something to cover any electronic lights within your rig.

If all fails, then invest in a sleep mask. You can get them for a cheap price at the dollar store or a convenience store.

3. Get Comfortable

inside a truck sleeper bedroom and mattress
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

Is your truck sleeper cab getting uncomfortable? Maybe it’s time to replace or upgrade your mattress. Having a comfortable bed not only helps you sleep better, but it also helps prevent soreness or aches when you wake up in the morning.

Another thing to consider is purchasing a new mattress pad to place on top of the sleeper. Foam mattress toppers are less of an investment than getting a whole new mattress and they also provide benefits like providing more cushion and reducing pressure points.

4. Have a Routine

semi truck sleeper cab layout
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

Trucking can at times be unpredictable, but try your best to maintain a bedtime routine. Your body loves routines and will adjust well when you maintain that routine. Whether it’s reading a book or watching your favorite show, try to stay in a familiar routine for the best chance of sleeping well in your semi-truck.

With that in mind, try to keep regular hours with your job, or at least try to avoid often swapping between day and night shifts. Too much schedule changes can affect your sleep, and it’s best to avoid that.

5. Keep Your Truck Cool and Comfortable for You

air temperature controls inside semi truck for better sleep at night
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

Everybody’s preferred temperature varies, so be sure to keep your semi at a temperature that is comfortable for you. When it’s warm outside, consider using a small fan for extra airflow. When it’s getting colder, have extra bedding or a small heater in your truck. In fact, if you are looking for extra warmth for the upcoming winter, then check out our black USCC hooded sweatshirt!

Good Sleep = Good Health

Good sleep is just as important as the right nutrition and exercise. If you’re unable to find success sleeping in your semi-truck, you may experience crankiness or bad moods, an increase in health risks, and even over-eating. Make sure to take care of yourself and look to improve your sleep now.

If you want to be healthier, check out 6 simple ways to be a healthier truck driver.

At US Cargo Control, we want all truck drivers to be safe and well-rested. You are the backbone of America’s economy, and we appreciate all that you do to keep us moving forward.

National Farmer’s Day

National Manufacturing Day is a day to celebrate farmers across the nation for all their hard work to provide food for everybody.

Without Farmers and Agriculture, there would be no food in grocery stores or on our tables.

National Farmer’s Day was on October 12th. Originally known as Old Farmer’s Day, it is a day to pay tribute to the men, women, and families who put food in our grocery stores and onto our tables every day.

Since the beginning of agriculture, the impact of farmers hasn’t just been their integrity and their continued ability to provide our nation with the food we eat. They contribute to our economy in several ways. Farmers supply a stream of jobs, keep small and large communities together, and provide numerous products and needs that keep other businesses running. Other products and industries that are relied on by agriculture include restaurants, transportation, apparel, railroads, and more.

Source: Leverage

National Farmer’s Day was set on October 12th because it is after the traditional harvest time of many crops. This way, farmers would be able to join in on the festivities because they are done with the harvesting.

One of the things US Cargo Control is able to help farmers with is providing them with the right tools for their farm equipment. In fact, we recently hosted an Iowa Corn Growers event at US Cargo Control headquarters. The event included important training and discussion on how to safely extract a vehicle with the proper equipment, as well as giving additional information on the products we carry and how they help ensure safety when transferring cargo both on and off public roadways.

USCC team member, Tim Sanders, talking to the crowd of Iowa Corn Grower Members.

Some of the equipment discussed in this lecture included shackles, recovery straps, and tow straps. We carry galvanized shackles and stainless steel shackles, but they have different applications. Stainless steel shackles are used for marine applications, while galvanized shackles are more for industrial applications.

Along with shackles, it is important to know which strap to use. Recovery straps are the better choice to use to extract a stuck vehicle because of the nylon fabrication. Tow straps are not recommended for extracting stuck vehicles but are better for moving a free-moving vehicle behind your vehicle.

To learn more about how to use these products, read about the types of shackles we carry as well as the difference between recovery straps and tow straps.

To all the farmers who work hard every day, thank you for all that you do. Being headquarted in Central Iowa, we understand how important agriculture is and your presence is much appreciated!

Source: Leverage

If you have any questions, give our team of experts a call at 800-404-7068.

What’s New with the US Cargo Control Team?

National Manufacturing Day is a special day at US Cargo Control, where we take the time to celebrate our manufacturing team for all of their hard work.

This past Friday, October 4th, was National Manufacturing Day and it was a special day for our hardworking Manufacturing team. National Manufacturing Day is a day where we celebrate and support all manufacturers for maintaining the retail ecosystem’s growth.

Our Manufacturing team was celebrated in a few different ways. First, they got a nice surprise with a poster displaying how much they are appreciated. Next, they were awarded the QHSE Safety Award by the Associated Wire Rope Fabricators for the second time!

An Appreciation Poster for the Manufacturing Team

This is two years in a row our Manufacturing team has been awarded this recognition and it’s a very exciting thing for US Cargo Control to receive. We take pride in continually promoting a safe work environment, and reaching our goals. Being safe at work and home helps promote a healthy workforce, which results in being more productive, having fewer days away from work, and even getting better insurance rates.

The criteria to receive this recognition is based on company and safety information; Factors such as lost time, injuries, hours worked, and recordable rates. 

What’s Next for US Cargo Control?

Jim Waite, Quality & Safety Manager

As head of our Safety Team, Jim Waite is excited to start executing on our required OSHA-approved safety training that will be rolling out to all employees later this year (2019).  Now that we are transitioning away from external training to our own internal training, the team can better customize the training to our needs with some added fun. Making the switch to internal training reaffirms our commitment to maintaining a safe workplace and manufacturing floor.

Way to go, Manufacturing team!

The manufacturing team is the backbone of US Cargo Control, and they go above and beyond to make sure customers get what they want, when they need it. Without the team, our customers wouldn’t have the option to have customized products like tarps, cargo nets, ratchet straps, lifting slings, and more! Call our team for a customized order and our manufacturing team will be glad to get it done for you.

The USCC Manufacturing Floor in Urbana, Iowa

What Else is New?

In other news, the warehouse team got a brand new toy…a forklift! After voting for a name, the team decided to call the newest forklift “Darryl”. They’re all excited about this new arrival and can’t wait to use it to quickly get your orders out of the door and into your hands!

The Warehouse Team with their new Forklift

If you have any questions, give our team of experts a call at 800-404-7068.

4 Great Reasons to Do Business with the US Cargo Control Team

Here are 4 things you might not have known about USCC.

Although we are a business known for offering cargo control products, we are much more than just that. We truly care about every customer, and the relationships we build with the people who keep these industries going are important to us. We strive to always provide the best service for each person, as the most important part of our business is making people’s lives easier, safer, and more productive.

Here are 4 fun facts that make our business unique, which you may not have known!

1. Central Midwestern Location

US Cargo Control warehouse

US Cargo Control is located in Urbana, Iowa, which is considered a great location to deliver goods to most of the United States. Being located in central Iowa means fast delivery time, usually within 1 to 3 days. We stock thousands of items in our warehouse here, so we are able to deliver what you need quick. If you want an order shipped out on the same day, be sure to place your order before 4:00pm Central Time.

Our diligent warehouse team makes sure to get the job done and get your orders out in a speedy fashion. If you have a custom order, our team will work to give it the same priory as other orders.

2. Custom Business Programs

custom pricing for cargo control

Our sales team consists of dedicated product and industry experts always on the phone ready to answer any questions you may have. We understand that each business is unique, and we work with you on pricing to make sure it fits your needs. Whether it’s bulk orders, special shipping requests, payment plans, or additional questions, we are here to help you.

Fun Fact: We can create pricing programs that may save you a bunch of money in the process!

3. Custom Products and A Variety of Cargo Control Equipment

USCC & Clickstop named Coolest Place to Work in iowa

We offer thousands of cargo control products to fit your job, lifestyle, or whatever it is that you need. The main categories of products that we carry are trucking and transportation, lifting and rigging, and moving supplies. These products consist of items like ratchet straps, shackles, netting, moving blankets, etc. We even have specialized supplies for flatbed trailers, enclosed trailers, towing and auto hauling, rigging supplies, and more so you can find what you are specifically looking for. More variety means more choices for you!

Our in-house manufacturing team is dedicated to creating high-quality products for you to enjoy and use. Some of the products this team makes are tarps, cargo nets, custom tie-downs, and slings. To learn more about how we custom-create our products, watch this video below!

Source: US Cargo Control

4. Most Importantly, Our Awesome Team Members Who Are Dedicated to Getting You What You Want, When You Need It

US Cargo Control team

We have a team committed to getting you what you want, when you need it. We are always happy to accept your calls and answer any questions you may have. Every single US Cargo Control team member seeks to make your job easier and safer, and most of all, to make you happy.

If you have any questions, give our team of experts a call at 800-404-7068.

3 Accessories Every Enclosed Trailer Hauler Should Have

Make sure you have these three items to secure and protect your cargo load for the long haul.

Whether you’re hauling items in an enclosed trailer or van, here’s what you need to ensure your cargo arrives intact.

When driving an enclosed trailer, it might seem that there is little to worry about. Unless you forget to close a door, your cargo won’t be flying out of the trailer or exposed to outside elements anytime soon. So why even bother to secure your cargo, right?

Although enclosed trailers offer inherent protection that flatbed trailers can’t, there is still a strong chance you will experience damaged cargo at some point, and securing your cargo with the proper equipment is the quickest and smartest way to prevent this.

Make sure you have these three items to secure and protect your cargo load for the long haul.

1. Moving Blankets

Moving blankets, also known as moving pads or packing blankets, provide a thick covering that helps prevent damage to your cargo or valuables. Moving blankets can prevent dents, scratches, or abrasions that can occur while you are driving and your cargo is potentially shifting. For even better results, consider using ratchet straps, moving straps, or another type of tie-down to secure the load better.

These blankets come in quantities of a single pack, 4-pack, or 12-pack, and they are very durable and machine washable. What is also unique about our selection of moving blankets is that you can choose from various fabrics, weights, and binding materials. This choice allows you to select the moving blanket that is best for your needs.

2. E-Track Straps

E-Track straps are common straps to use for cargo securement in enclosed trailers. You can use these straps in trailers, cargo vans, moving vans, enclosed semi-trailers, and other applications. These are different from an L-Track strap as L-Track has a lower profile and are typically used in a pick-up truck. E-Track is more heavy-duty and overall stronger. This makes it a great installment to use to keep your valuable cargo, equipment, and even vehicles tied down during transport.

We carry E-Track Ratchet Straps and E-Track Cam Buckle Straps, in 2′, 5’, 8′ and 10’ sections. They come in colors yellow, blue, and grey.

Learn more about the differences between L Track Straps and E Track Straps

3. Cargo Nets

Besides straps and moving blankets, we also carry cargo nets that will keep cargo from moving during transport. Also known as a bungee net, they can be easily attached to nearly any section of your enclosed trailer. We carry heavy-duty cargo nets used for enclosed trailers and light-duty cargo nets that are used for pick-up trucks. The other difference between these nets is that the heavy-duty cargo net is made of 2″ black polyester webbing with a break strength of 10,000 lbs and the light-duty cargo net is either made of a high-quality bungee material or a tough, 2” wide polyester webbing.

If you cannot find a cargo net that meets your needs, we can create a custom net for your specific needs! To learn more about the cargo nets we carry and create, watch the video below.

Source: US Cargo Control

We also carry load bars and cargo bars, D- rings, and L-Track systems. Learn more about all the Enclosed Trailer Accessories we carry on our website.

Or, call our team of experts at 800-404-7068 if you have any questions or need more information.

5 Tips for Staying Awake While You Are on the Road

Whether you are a new driver or an experienced driver, check out these tips that can help you power through the long haul.

We get it, driving during the long haul can be tedious

Staying awake during long drives can be incredibly boring and exhausting. You sit still for long periods of time, you don’t have anyone to keep you company, and you never know if there will even be any scenic views.

Although it can be dull at times, there are ways to fight that fatigue. Whether you are a new driver or an experienced driver, check out these tips that can help you power through the long haul.

1. Cat Nap

truck driver taking a nap
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

Do not try to fight fatigue just to save time. It might seem better to get there faster, but you will likely put others or yourself in danger. Instead, take a power nap before the drive or pull over while en route. Resting for at least 20 minutes can give you a big boost of energy, and will make you alert for a lot longer. Not only will you feel refreshed, but this can also help fight off sleepiness down the road.

2. Crank up the AC

turning down the AC
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

When we go to sleep, we like it best when we are warm and comfortable. But did you know warmer temperatures can make you drowsy? A warm truck makes it easier for your body to relax and drift off to sleep, so dial down on the heat. Keep your truck cold, but just enough to make it slightly uncomfortable. The colder temperatures will make it harder to sleep and will keep you more alert.

Another tip: open your windows and smell the fresh air. Doing this can give you a little jolt to keep you awake.

3. Eat Something Healthy and Stay Hydrated

water bottle pack to stay hydrated
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

We all do it – binging on candy, fast food, energy drinks, etc. Although it is nice to treat yourself every once in a while, this won’t help you stay awake while driving in the long haul. You may even start to feel sluggish and sick if you continue to eat unhealthy food. Make sure to eat meals that have protein and fiber, and you will have long-lasting stamina. Your body will thank you!

Getting that cup of coffee or some sort of caffeine can give you a nice boost every once in a while, but don’t forget to keep drinking water. It is another way to fight off fatigue and keep your body in check. Have a water bottle nearby, and if you need a snack, try eating fruits and vegetables as they are full of water and natural sugars that can keep you awake.

4. Turn on the Radio

using radio to listen
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

Pick something interesting and different to listen to every once in a while! Listening to different music stations and talk shows can help combat boredom and keep you entertained along the way. You can use the radio to catch up with current news and trends, or if you have a smartphone, use it to play podcasts and learn about anything that gets your attention.

5. Take Breaks or Get Some Exercise

close up of a person walking
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

Even if it is a five-minute walk, exercise will help to get your blood pumping after sitting. Sitting too long can create health concerns and decrease productivity, and will also make it harder to sleep at night. Some simple exercises to try daily are push-ups, sit-ups, jogging or running, jump rope, or simply taking a walk. Whatever it is, make sure to take those breaks and move around.

Thank you, truck drivers, for all your hard work

Although it can be difficult fighting that drowsiness, we thank you for all your hard work and dedication to delivering the goods we all depend on. We recognize that it is not an easy job, but we appreciate all that you do. Check out our previous blog post that covers a popular annual event celebrating truck drivers.

Watch USCC’s video below that was shared last week for Truck Driver Appreciation Week!

Source: US Cargo Control

I-80 Truckers Jamboree is the Closest Thing to Trucker Heaven

Located in a small town called Walcott just off of Interstate 80 in Iowa, this event has been going strong since 1979.

What is this event that draws over 40,000 attendees?

The Truckers Jamboree, an annual event held during the summer at the Iowa 80 Truckstop, is a popular event that truckers love to attend. Located in a small town called Walcott just off of Interstate 80 in Iowa, this event has been going strong since 1979. It is a way to celebrate all of America’s truckers and to say thank you for all the hard work they have done to deliver the goods that we consume and use every day.

A couple of our USCC team members recently attended this event to check out the iconic truck stop attractions and meet new people. They chatted with truckers to learn more about what was new with them and with their business so they know how to better help solves their needs.

USCC team members at Trucks Jamboree, at the iowa 80 truck stop
Team members Adam Shouse and Tim Sanders at the Truckers Jamboree

History of Iowa 80 Truckstop

Bill Moon is the founder of Iowa 80 Truckstop. You might also hear this famous truck stop referred to as the World’s Largest Truckstop or largest truck stop in Iowa. He created it simply because he had a love for trucking. He wanted to build and expand a truck stop, so he talked to truck drivers to see how he could make their lives easier. Solely to meet the needs of truckers, he designed the truck stop as a place for drivers to get fuel, relax and grab a bite to eat before heading back out on the road.

Today, drivers and travelers can expect to see many unique amenities such as laundry facilities, a workout room, 42 gas islands, a movie theater, a barbershop, dog wash station, trucking museum, dentist, truck showroom, a full-service truck center, a 300-seat restaurant and a large food court including fast-food restaurants like Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Caribou Coffe, and Wendys.

truckers jamboree at iowa truck stop
The Trucks Display where truckers show off their unique rides
beautiful truck with black and white flames, being shown off at the truck display
A beautiful custom-painted rig on display

Fun Fact: This truck stop served customers before Interstate 80 was entirely complete!

So, tell me more about the Truckers Jamboree

The Truckers Jamboree is hosted every year at the Iowa 80 Truckstop, I-80 Exit 284, Walcott, Iowa. It is a three-day weekend where you can join in on the fun, and bring your family and friends. There’s a lot to see and do between concerts and live country music, fireworks, a pork chop cookout, carnival games, antique truck display, and a beauty truck contest. Whether you go for a day or the weekend, it’s a great experience that you will be glad you had.

And guess what? It has free parking and free admission! So, if you are interested in being a part of this event, mark your calendar now for next July 9th-11th, 2020.

Watch this video to get a peek at the Iowa 80 Truckstop and Truckers Jamboree.

Source: US Cargo Control

5 Pieces of Flatbed Trailer Equipment Every Driver Should Have

We carry quality products to keep you and your flatbed trailer moving forward. Check out the five most popular pieces of equipment made for flatbed owners.

From corner protectors to tire chains, we have the flatbed equipment for your trailer to keep you running smoothly

Being a flatbed trailer owner, you know there is not much your trailer cannot hold. Your load is exposed, and you need the equipment to hold it down tight while protecting it from abrasions or damage. Whether you’re a new flatbed truck driver or an experienced one, we carry supplies that can help you deliver your cargo load safely and on time.

Tire Chains

These tire chains, also known as snow tire chains, are designed to help transport you and your cargo to your destination through snowy or icy conditions. These snow chains provide added control behind the wheel when you’re stuck in the snow, and allow better traction as well.

We carry light-duty tire chains and heavy-duty tire chains. The difference is in how you plan on using these types of chains. If you think you will rarely use a tire chain during the cold months, consider the light-duty chain. If you know you will be using chains frequently, then you might want to invest in a heavy-duty chain.

Keep in mind that even if you don’t travel regularly in winter conditions, some states do have DOT regulations requiring drivers to carry or use tire chains during the winter season. So make sure to carry tire chains in your vehicle during the chilly months.

Tarps

Tarps are one of the best ways to protect your cargo load. We carry heavy- duty tarps that fight against elements such as rain and snow. Not only can they combat certain weather situations, but these tarp covers can also prevent scratches and marks on your precious cargo. These truck tarps contain two or three rows of d-rings across the length of the tarp, so the tarp can be tied down firmly to the truck bed. Some of the different types of tarps we carry are lumber tarps, steel tarps, machinery tarps, smoke and nose tarps, and more.

We even create custom flatbed tarps at our facility in Urbana, IA. In this video, Adam explains how our team creates long-lasting custom tarps at your convenience.

Corner Protectors & Vee Boards

Corner protectors are an inexpensive way to protect your cargo. Not only can they protect your cargo from being smashed or damaged, but these guards can also protect your straps, chains, and tarps. They are designed to protect the tarp material from any ripping or abrasions caused by sharp corners. The purpose behind these wall corner guards is providing a layer between the cargo and the strap or chain, and having this extra layer can decrease the pressure on the load from the strap/chain.

Learn more about which corner protector to use for your cargo.

Fun fact: the plastic corner protectors can extend the life of your ratchet straps by reducing rubbing.

Winch Straps & Ratchet Straps

Both ratchet straps and winch straps work well for heavy tie down applications for the trucking industry. The only differences are in how to tighten the straps, and what type of lock the two straps carry.

When using the ratchet strap, you slide the strap to the spool, bring it back over on itself, and pull the strap. After this, you can start to ratchet and repeatedly crank the lever until the load is tightened. Both tie-down types are available with a flat hook, wire hook, chain extension, or grab hook.

We carry many colors like red, green, blue, and yellow so you can recognize what strap you are using, as well as matching your company or vehicle’s colors.

D-rings

A D-ring is a piece of hardware shaped like the letter D, that can connect to the strap or be mounted directly to your flatbed trailer to secure your cargo. D-rings and straps are a flexible way to supply a trailer with many tie-down points to secure the cargo load. We carry many different styles of d-rings, and we have d-ring parts and accessories that allow you to customize your trailer configuration.

We also carry transport chains and binders, rubber/bungee tarp straps, safety supplies, winch bars, and more. Learn more about the flatbed trailer equipment we carry on our USCC website.

Call our team of experts at 800-404-7068 if you have any questions or need more information.

New Product Line Alert: Crosby® Chain Slings

The full line of Crosby® chain slings, including adjustable chain slings with the revolutionary Crosby Eliminator® system, is now available through USCC.

American-made 1-leg, 2-leg, 3-leg, and 4-leg chain slings now available through USCC in standard and adjustable styles.

crosby single leg chain sling
crosby 2-leg chain sling
crosby 3-leg chain slings
crosby 4-leg chain sling

The full line of Crosby® chain slings, including adjustable chain slings with the revolutionary Crosby Eliminator ® system, is now available from US Cargo Control. These premium rigging slings are 100% made in America using high-strength grade 100 chain. As an authorized Crosby® distributor, we’re proud to be one of a small number of distributors to offer these slings.

The Crosby® Difference

There’s a reason US Cargo Control offers a number of different Crosby® rigging and lifting products; they’re extremely innovative and built to last. From forging massive rigging shackles that are strong enough to lift the Statue of Liberty to non-marring lifting clamps that are gentle enough to lift sheets of glass, Crosby® has been a leading manufacturer of rigging and lifting equipment for well over a hundred years. Professionals worldwide look to them to set the standard for quality, training, and technical expertise in their field.

Because Crosby® handles all manufacturing in-house (including forging, assembly, and finishing), they are in complete control of their product and its quality. Check out the video below to learn more about how the Crosby® rigging hardware supply chain works compared to other supply chains with outsourced manufacturers.

source: Crosby®

What’s the Big Deal About the Crosby Eliminator®?

One of the most noticeable ways that the Crosby® line of chain slings stands out is in the new Crosby Eliminator® component found on Crosby® adjustable chain slings. This revolutionary chain sling fitting is designed to save riggers time and money by combining features and functionality of a master link, connecting link, grab hook, and adjuster legs.

crosby eliminator
Crosby® Eliminator with double hook

Like other adjustable chain slings, adjustment of the chain length leg can be accomplished by placing the chain in the connector link. Where the Crosby Eliminator® differs is in the fact that it comes in both single hook and double hook styles. With single and double-leg Crosby® adjustable slings, the top bail Eliminator® serves as the master link, which removes the need for an additional master link. Three and four-leg Crosby® slings need only one master link to connect the two Eliminator® fittings. This results in a simpler and lighter chain sling with strength and durability that rivals any competitor.

source: Crosby®

Crosby® Chain Sling Hook Options

There are several hook options for you to choose from. Give our sales team a call to understand all the options for custom chain slings.

Sling Hook

As the name suggests, sling hooks are commonly used at the ends of slings and wire rope. They have a large throat and are typically self-locking to avoid disconnect.

Foundry Hook

Foundry hooks have a wider opening than most other hooks which allow them to hold a wide range of attachments and help prevent load tipping.

Self-Locking Hook

Self-locking hooks are designed with safety in mind as their latches automatically close and lock under the weight of the load.

Grab Hook

Grab hooks are commonly used as shortening hooks in choke applications. They have a much more narrow opening which makes them ideal for attaching to chain.

hook options for crosby chain slings
From left to right: sling hook, foundry hook, self-locking hook, grab hook

Unsure which type of lifting sling you need? Check out our post on How to Choose a Lifting Sling and learn more about the difference between standard and adjustable chain slings.

When you’re ready to start lifting with these high-quality Crosby® chain slings, head over to the USCC website or give our sales team a call at 800-404-7068.

9 Free Ways for Truck Drivers to Save on Fuel

As a driver, you have the power to control your rigs fuel consumption in many small ways that can quickly add up to huge savings on fuel.

Use these driver-focused tips to maximize MPG’s and save at the pump this summer.

ways for truck drivers to save on fuel

Owner-operator truck drivers and fleet owners alike know that fuel is a key variable cost that goes into determining their profit. Just one fill-up on diesel can be anywhere from $450 to $950.

Last summer we shared 4 Simple Ways to Get the Best Fuel Mileage for Your Semi-Truck, which included tips about staying on top of truck maintenance and equipping rigs with aerodynamic parts such as trailer skirts and other upgrades like automated manual transmissions.

Don’t get me wrong, adding those parts to your semi are still great ways to save on fuel, but they cost money and take time to install. As a driver, you have the power to control your rigs fuel consumption in many small ways that can quickly add up to huge savings on fuel. Here are 10 free ways for truck drivers to start saving on fuel today.

1. Monitor tire pressure regularly

tire pressure goes into fuel costs for truck drivers

It’s been found that semi trucks can have as much as a 1% drop in mpg for every 10psi a single tire is underinflated. Before the rubber hits the road, make sure all your tires are properly inflated to their recommended psi. Not only will this save gas, but it will also make those expensive tires last longer.

2. Avoid idling

Obviously, engine idling can’t always be avoided. But, if you know you’re going to be stopped for more than just a few minutes, it’s worth cutting the engine. Some states, like California, actually have idling laws that could get you a fine if you’re caught idling for five minutes or more.

3. Stay in a high gear

tax cuts jobs act affect trucking

Higher gears save fuel. You don’t want to be lugging in too high a gear, but you also don’t want your engine revving up and working harder than necessary. Find the sweet spot for your gearbox and minimize the use of your brake and gas pedals by speeding up and slowing down incrementally.

4. Use momentum on hills

Semi trucks build lots of momentum, especially on the highway. Start slowing down early when you have an exit coming up and collect as much momentum as possible when approaching a hill. Once you get to the apex of the hill, you should be able to coast downhill without being on the gas pedal.

5. Use cruise control

trucking industry 2018

Using cruise control is an easy way for truck drivers to save on fuel, although many don’t use it. Cruise control helps keep the engine’s rpm in that “sweet spot” which minimizes fuel consumption.

6. Regulate speed

Faster acceleration and speeds over 55mph burns fuel quicker. In fact, every mile per hour you go over 55mph results in a 0.1 mpg drop in fuel economy. Lower your speed and increase your following distance so you don’t have to speed up and slow down frequently.

7. Find the lowest cost fuel

make your semi truck more fuel efficient

Use the time in your truck to plan ahead for your next fill up. Just a few cents can make a big difference given how big a semi’s fuel tank is. We’ve shared helpful apps for truck drivers in the past, and Trucker Path is a great one if you’re looking to see fuel prices and parking spot availability for truck stops all around you.

8. Don’t overfill your tank

Not only does extra fuel add more weight to your vehicle, but it’s also about the same as throwing money down the drain. If your tank is way up to capacity or beyond, the fuel will likely expand once you’re driving and cause a wasteful overflow.

9. Keep cargo load low and even

keep cargo low and even to lower fuel costs

It’s all about creating as little resistance as possible. Whether you’re using winch straps, chain binders, or tarps – remember to secure your cargo as low and even as possible. If you can’t avoid an uneven load, position the higher cargo closer to the front of the trailer to minimize drag.

Put these fuel-saving tips into action

Now that you know these free ways to save on fuel, it’s up to you to put them into action. Give them a try the next time you hit the road and move some money from your expense report to your pocket.

Have any other tips for truck drivers to save on fuel? Share them in the comments below to help out your fellow driver.

Top 5 Reasons You Should Buy Made in the USA Products this Week

While the option to buy domestic or import cargo control products is always on the table, the domestic option may be especially appealing to you this week. Here’s why.

Hint: #5 will save you money.

At USCC, we pride ourselves on providing you with a wide range of options to ensure your specific needs are met. As a solutions provider that continually works to get you what you want, when you need it, we have thousands of cargo control products from a variety of sources, all within one easy-to-use website.

While the option to buy either domestic or import cargo control products is always on the table, the domestic option may be especially appealing to you this week. Here’s why.

1. You will help save and create jobs

manufacturing recovery tow straps in USA

There are currently around 12.84 million workers in the manufacturing sector. Buying products that are manufactured by American companies not only helps ensure that those workers get to keep their job, but it also opens the door to continued growth within the manufacturing industry. At USCC we’re proud to have over 30 employees on our manufacturing team right here in Iowa. They’re the backbone of our organization and the reason why we’re able to deliver high-quality custom cargo control products.

2. You will help boost the entire American economy

uscc warehouse being built for expansion

Buying American-made products causes domestic growth beyond only the manufacturing industry; it creates a positive ripple effect throughout our entire economy. When American manufacturing plants prosper they spend more on things like energy, accounting, and construction. All of this spending positively affects other American companies (and workers) that offer these services. Overall, the EPI estimates that every U.S. manufacturing job supports an additional 1.4 jobs in other parts of the economy.

3. You will help reduce pollution and carbon footprint

US Cargo Control manufacturing floor

Although the domestic option usually isn’t the cheapest, there are hidden costs for import products that go far beyond your wallet. Robust air, water, and health regulations in the United States ensure that, in general, American-made products are created in a way that significantly minimizes the creation of hazardous chemicals. In addition, products made overseas have a much higher carbon footprint due to the fact that they must be shipped across the ocean, which requires large amounts of fossil fuel.

4. You will get a high-quality product

custom tie down straps from USCC

When it comes to cargo control gear, dependable products are the name of the game. We’ve partnered with American vendors to provide a variety of high-quality product options that are made here in the USA. We have a broad selection of products to meet the needs of our customers and get them what they want when they need it.

5. You will save 10% with our made-in-the-USA promotion

fourth of july promotion for cargo control gear

Last but not least, a major reason to buy made-in-the-USA products this week is our 4th of July promotion! From now until Sunday, July 7th you can save 10% on nearly 2,000 different made-in-the-USA cargo control products including Crosby® wire rope slings, transport chain and binders, polyester round slings, endless slings, and more. That’s huge savings on the high-quality products that minimize pollution, boost our economy, and ensure American manufacturing jobs.

See the full selection of 10% off USA-made products today.