Operation Safe Driver Week 2020 is Here, and How to Prepare for it

Operation Safe Driver Week is July 12th-July 18th. Read what the week is about, and how to prepare for it.

Operation Safe Driver Week 2020 is here from July 12th to July 18th. It’s important that all truck drivers are driving carefully for the long haul. Read what this week is about, and how to prepare for it.

Note: This week is the first and one of the largest organized events since the coronavirus pandemic canceled CVSA’s annual International Roadcheck inspection in early May.

What is Operation Safe Driver Week?

officer during cvsa operation safe driver

During this time, CVSA and law enforcement across North America engage in traffic safety enforcement and education aimed to combat unsafe driving behaviors. With the coronavirus pandemic creating less traffic on the roads, this may encourage unsafe driving behaviors.

With less traffic on the roads, speeding is one of the leading unsafe driving behaviors. Due to recent data, CVSA mentions that “the average speed on interstate highways, state highways and expressways in those areas increased by as much as 75% compared to January and February.” Because of this alarming data, CVSA decided speeding should be the focus area for this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week.

What Do I Need to Know About Operation Safe Driver Week 2020?

truck driver driving for the long haul

What you need to know is if you are pulled over for speeding, it is an invitation for officers to deeply investigate you and your vehicle. Warnings or citations will be issued if you engage in dangerous driving behaviors. Other unsafe driving behaviors law enforcement will track are:

  • Distracted driving
  • Failure to wear a seatbelt
  • Following too closely
  • Improper lane change
  • Reckless or aggressive driving
  • Failure to obey traffic control devices
  • Drunk or drugged driving

Speeding Results the Past Few Months

During the past few months, some results CSVA discovered are:

  • In New York City, transportation officials reported an increase of more than 60% in the number of speed camera tickets issued in March compared to a year ago. At the same time, traffic was down more than 90% compared to January.
  • In Washington, D.C., traffic decreased 80% in March compared to January, while officials recorded a 20% increase in March speeding tickets. Of those tickets, violations for driving 21-25 mph over the speed limit rose by nearly 40%.
  • In Minnesota, motor vehicle crashes and fatalities more than doubled compared to the same time period in previous years. Half those deaths were related to speeding or careless or negligent driving.
  • In Colorado, Indiana, Nebraska and Utah, police have clocked highway speeds of more than 100 mph.
  • Chicago and Los Angeles went from travel speed increases of 35-38% above average to 74-75% above average in just one week.

At US Cargo Control, We Care About Your Safety

With a focus on safer driving behaviors, securing your cargo is equally important. Last year, cargo securement was the number four violation! Read the Dos and Don’ts on Load Securement to keep others and yourself safe.

It may be easier to speed so you can reach your destination faster, but fatalities may occur. It’s better to get there safely, than not get there at all. Stay safe out there and use defensive driving skills!

Missed out on Truckers Jamboree? Watch their virtual event from this past weekend!

Truck Drivers, thank you for moving us forward. We appreciate your hard work to deliver the goods that we consume every day. If you have any questions about the products we carry, give our team of experts a call at 866-444-9990.

Thank you Truckers for Driving Us Forward During The Coronavirus Crisis

When hard, challenging times like this occur, that is when we need to help each other and build a community.

As we continue to feel uncertainty and adapt to altered daily lives caused by Coronavirus in America, there is one thing that is for certain. Trucking companies are stepping up and making heroic efforts to keep shelves in grocery stores stocked. This includes items such as food, cleaning supplies, and other necessities.

There is no doubt that with the increased demands of supplies, truckers are still keeping pace with the evolving supply chain. Because people are adhering to COVID-19 protocols, there is less traffic on our roads and highways, creating a safer situation for truck drivers. Although the roads and highways may have less traffic, you may notice it is difficult for them to dine in many restaurants, use amenities such as workout facilities, or simply get coffee from coffee shops.

how truckers are facing coronavirus
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Although our grocery stores continue to have food and products that families need, it is a result of all of our truckers who are continuously protecting our supply chain.

truck drivers during coronavirus

It’s times like these when we need to help each other and build a community. We should spread kindness to our truckers for performing critical functions to keep America forward. Some ways we can spread gratitude could be writing thank-you notes, providing free lunches, offering them cleaning supplies, or giving them a shoutout through social media.

To our truckers, thank you. Thank you for your dedication to keep American citizens safe during this time of crisis. Your selflessness in these times of crisis is truly inspiring, and not forgotten.

Looking for ways to cook fresh, delicious meals in your rig? Did you know there are 6 Types of Truck Driver Cooking Equipment That Will Make Your Life Easier?

At US Cargo Control, we care about our customers and getting them what they want, when they need it. If you have any questions about our products, give our a team a call at 866-444-9990.

8 Green Cargo Control Products for St. Patrick’s Day

Check out 8 green cargo control products we carry at US Cargo Control and find your lucky charm!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Is your favorite color green, or do you want to rep your company colors? Do you want to get something green so you can be in the pinch-free zone? You’re in luck (no pun intended) because US Cargo Control has compiled a list of 8 green cargo control equipment for St. Patrick’s Day!

We categorized each product into one of the three industries that we serve in so you can find what you are looking for quickly. Whether it’s trucking and transportation, lifting and rigging, or moving equipment, check out the green products we carry in each industry.

Repping Green for Trucking

Green Ratchet Straps

US Cargo Control sells green ratchet straps

We carry ratchet straps in many sizes and styles, and they come in many colors such as blue, red, gray and more. We’re just lucky we carry them in the color green, as well in darker green and camouflage. If you cannot find what you are looking for, you can always get a ratchet strap customized to your needs.

Green L Tracks

L track rail

Installing L-Tracks on your truck or trailer will give you more secure tie down points where you need them. Made from aluminum, this light, sleek product will help hold your heavy, bulky items in place while you are driving. We carry 12″ L-Track and 24″ L-Track, and these items are designed to secure motorcycles, ATVs, utility tractors, and more.

Check out the video below if you would like to learn how to install an L-Track.

Source: US Cargo Control

Green EasyKlip Midi

easyklip for quick release fastener

The EasyKlip grip clips are easy clips to use when you need a quick release fastener on a grommet-free fabric or plastic surface. This means you can use the clips on tarps, banners, car or motorcycle covers, canopies, and more. Each clip can hold up to 220 pounds, and we offer them in a 4-pack and 10-pack.

Good-N-Tight Ratchet Strap Tightening Handle

the greenest Good-N-Tight Ratchet Strap Tightening Handle

For anyone that uses ratchet straps, are you looking for a way to secure loads safer and smarter? Consider the Good-N-Tight Ratchet Strap Tightening Handle that will make your job easier by giving you three times the leverage. We offer this product in the color green, what a coincidence!

We understand this is a little different from tightening the ratchet strap yourself. We included a video for you to see how to do it in action.

Source: US Cargo Control

The Greenest, High-Quality Lifting Products

Green Screw Pin Anchor Shackles

van beest shackles, with the van beest green pin
Van Beest Shackles

Made in Holland, this Van Beest Screw Pin Anchor Shackle has the trademarked green pin that attaches and detaches quickly, making them perfect for temporary or non-permanent lifting jobs. If you are looking for a shackle for quick or repeated connections or releases, this is the one for you!

Green Van Beest Bolt Anchor Super Shackle

bolt type shackle or bolt shackles
Van Beest Bolt Type Bow Anchors

If you need a shackle with more of a permanent or long-term installation, the Van Beest Bolt Anchor Super Shackle will do the job for you. Also known as a Bow Shackle, these Super Shackles are 50% stronger than a standard shackle.

When you are researching bow shackles, you will notice that these shackles have a larger O-shaped look, compared to chain shackles and D shackles. The larger O-shape will allow larger slings or straps to fit easier. If there is an application that requires a smaller loop, it is recommended to use anchor shackles and chain shackles.

Green Endless Polyester Round Lifting Sling

also known as an endless sling

Our versatile polyester round slings are convenient and reliable to use for delicate cargo. The Endless Polyester Round Lifting Sling has many benefits for your lifting needs, such as flexibility, durability, strength, and cost-effectiveness.

When researching whether you should invest in a polyester sling or nylon sling, read Polyester Slings vs Nylon Slings: Which Web Sling Type is Better?

Green Equipment to Keep You Moving

Green Rubber Bands

large rubber bands, or known as heavy duty rubber bands

Our green, large rubber bands are perfect for securing your furniture while you are moving or storing items. Stretching to double the size, these 30″ bands are ideal for securing moving blankets, holding can liners, and keeping drawers closed. If you have multiple rubber bands and would like to keep them organized, check out our Mover Band Holder!

If you would like to learn more about the products we carry at US Cargo Control, give our team of experts a call at 866-444-9990 and we will be here to help you.

From Houston to Orlando, Why Are the USCC Team Traveling Everywhere?

Wondering where the USCC team is going? Read to find out!

It is tradeshow season, and our dedicated USCC team members have been traveling to several states during the past two months! The reason why we attend tradeshows every year is because we care about making connections and cultivating strong relationships. Check out some of the shows we attended recently.

Also, leave a comment below if you have attended a tradeshow this year and if you saw us and our booths!

College HUNKS Annual Reunion

CHHJ trade show

One of the industries that US Cargo Control serves in is Moving Equipment, so since we have partnered with College HUNKS as a vendor for the past six years, we sought the opportunity to go to the reunion and support one of our partners! Some of our team members attended the show in Orlando, FL, and had a blast at this event. Along with that, we gave people the opportunity to enter the chance to win custom CHHJ Nike shoes! How sweet is that?

This was a great event to talk with new and existing franchisee owners to build relationships.  This event is instrumental in visiting with many franchisee owners in one location

Carla Weeks, sales

If you would like to learn more about our moving supplies, check out our high-quality professional moving equipment that will do the job whether it is big or small.

Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association (SC&RA) Symposium

trade show booth at SCRA
Our salespeople Adam S. and Alex L. getting ready for this event

Another event we attended this year is the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association (SC&RA) Symposium, and what a show it was! The meeting featured over 40 companies, and brought together oversize/overweight transportation professionals and permitting officials to discuss permitting harmonization and safety concerns.

Three of our salespeople Tim, Adam, and Alex enjoyed every bit of it. If you saw them in Charlotte, NC, you might have participated in a putting challenge.

USCC tradeshow display
Tim S., Adam S., and Alex L. hosting the Ping Putter Challenge

To win the putting challenge, whoever makes the hole-in-one will have a chance to win a Ping Putter. We did have a winner, and it was Ben Mayer from Great Lakes Heavy Haul! Check out the snazzy picture below:

winner of the putting challenge at the trade show booth

The Maintenance Council (TMC) Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition

TMC Trade show

In Atlanta, GA, we attended the TMC annual meeting which covers the most innovative educational sessions covering all aspects of vehicle maintenance and design. At US Cargo Control, staying on top of industry practices is important to us, and this is a great event that covers industry practices for trucking and transportation.

What Else Happened?

touring iuoe cranes and machinery
Our salespeople Alex L. and Adam D. at IUOE’s training facility

Recently, two of our salespeople had the amazing opportunity to tour International Union of Operating Engineers‘ training facility. At this tour, they had the chance to see the large cranes and machinery that our products are used on up close. While we have product experts who are so knowledgeable in every product we carry here at US Cargo Control, we will always seize the change to learn more about these machines up close.

The people that operate these machines are very smart and very well trained.   Products like lifting slings, shackles, spreader bars and lifting beams, are a critically important part of every lift, and it was inspiring to me to see these cranes up close.

Alex Ledger, Sales
international union of operating engineers training facility

Where is the Next Tradeshow?

This week, our team members are going to Nashville, TN to attend the LKQ Vendor Fair. Catch us there, and maybe try to find us at a hot chicken restaurant!

Want to learn more about USCC? Check our 4 Great Reasons to Do Business with the US Cargo Control Team

If you have any questions about the products we carry, give our team a call at 866-444-9990.

5 Fun Things for Truck Drivers to Do When on the Road

Did you know there are a number of activities that you can do while you are on the road? Read 5 fun things truck drivers can do to pass time quickly when on the road

We understand what it feels like traveling for a long time to reach our destinations. The day feels long, the roads seem monotonous and tedious, and there aren’t a lot of things to do when you are in a vehicle. While this can be one of the main struggles, did you know there are a number of activities you can do while you are on the road?

When you have a break or some downtime, this can be an opportunity to explore the outdoors, find potential hobbies, and discover what type of entertainment is out there! Check out these 5 tips to pass time when you are on the road.

1. Do Some Outdoor Activities

fun things to do on the road
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Being inside of a truck for a long period of time can be difficult. When you have a break or some time off, take this opportunity to get some fresh air and move around. You even might find the chance to find something pretty unique.

If you want to plan out your trip a little more, you can try stopping around destinations and explore a bit. This may be more difficult to plan out, but it can be fun and rewarding if you do it right.

2. Start a Cool Collection

hobbies for truck drivers
Source: Leverage

As truck drivers are traveling all over the country, why not find an opportunity to start a unique collection? You are passing by through multiple states, and this can be a perfect opportunity to start a creative collection. When you are fueling up, grabbing a bite to eat, or sleeping for the night, pick up something to build your collection!

Some ideas that you can build are grabbing postcards, picking up a souvenir, collecting stamps, or anything that catches your attention and makes you happy. It is a fun way to remember each new destination when you are on the road.

3. Document Your Journey

how truckers stay entertained on the road
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Document your journey by photographing something that catches your eye! You are going through several states in a day, so why not take the time to take some pictures? You can use your phone or a camera to document your journey when you take a break. You’re bound to see breathtaking scenes and this can be something to remember when you are looking through your pictures.

4. Find a New Hobby

what do truckers do to keep themselves entertained
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Another way you can fight your boredom is by beginning a hobby that you have never attempted before or one that can challenge you. Some hobbies can be knitting, writing a novel or starting a new blog, reading books that you never read before, or exercising. Did you know you can even learn a new language?

If you have an interest in the arts, you can learn to play a new musical instrument, to draw, paint, or creatively write. Whatever catches your attention, take the opportunity to challenge yourself!

5. Listen to Podcasts

truck driver tips
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

If you are on a schedule and you don’t have much downtime, listen to podcasts. It doesn’t matter what your interests are, whether it’s stand-up comedy, sci-fi, educational, or mystery – there is a podcast out there for you! More people these days enjoy listening to podcasts on the road because they are different from radio stations. Just find an app that you can download podcasts, load up some episodes, and be entertained for hours.

Make Good Use of Your Time

There is no reason you cannot make good use of your time when you are on the job. Doing something new can keep your mind busy and your body healthy, and it can even help relieve stress.

Looking for tips on how to drive safely at night now that the days are shorter? Read 4 Important Nighttime Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

At US Cargo Control, we appreciate all the hard work that you do to deliver goods that we consume. If you have any questions about the products we carry, give our team of experts a call at 800-404-7068.

4 Important Nighttime Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

With the days getting shorter, it can be challenging and dangerous driving at night. Read these 4 nighttime truck driving tips to stay safe.

Short winter days increase the challenge of driving at night.

With the days getting shorter, chances are you’ll be doing a lot of your driving after the sun sets and visibility lowers. Most everyone will agree that nighttime driving can be trying and increases the potential dangers of the road. To help you drive your best at night and arrive at your destination safely, we have 4 important tips for nighttime semi-truck driving.

1. Keep a Clean Windshield

Night time driving
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Driving at night doesn’t get any easier with insects and dirt stuck to your windshield. If you ignore the mess, it will build up and get worse. A dirty windshield can actually cause light to reflect in the wrong way and limit your visibility at night. Be sure to clean your windshield whenever you can, and consider replacing your wiper blades soon to keep your windshield clean.

2. Feeling Drowsy? Pull Over

Night car driving
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

A good night’s sleep is important for everybody, but for truck drivers, the right amount of rest is critical for safety. If you try to fight drowsiness, it can be dangerous not only for other drivers sharing the road with you but for yourself as well. When you start to feel drowsy, pull over and call it a night.

Want some tips for how to sleep soundly in your rig? Read 5 Tips for How to Sleep Better at Night.

3. Don’t Look into the Light

driving at night headlights
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Staring at the headlights of oncoming traffic can be distracting, especially when they shine directly at you or any of your mirrors. When you don’t look away, it can affect your night vision, cause damage to your retina, and slow down your reaction time. You could become a deer in the headlights!

When this occurs, try to look down and off to the right side until traffic passes. As long as you can see the white line on the shoulder, your truck will be fine while your vision adjusts to the passing line. If a car with high beams is coming towards you, adjust your mirrors to block the glare away from your eyes.

4. Avoid Distracted Driving

driving at night time
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

How many times have you been told not to use your phone while driving? It might get old hearing it, but that rule exists for a reason. And even though it applies during all times of the day, being on your phone is especially dangerous at night given the fact that you already can’t see much of the road. Resist the temptation to use your phone and other devices while driving, and call your friends and loved ones when you are on a break or done driving for the day. They’ll be glad you waited!

Be Prepared for Winter with Vehicle Safety Supplies

If you need to pull over or stop during hazardous driving conditions this winter, make sure you’re prepared with supplies to alert others of your surroundings. We have vehicle safety supplies to help you in these situations. Make sure you have LED warnings lights, safety vests and hard hats, flags and signs, and more for safe transport. Our team is here to help you get what you want, when you need it.

At US Cargo Control, we want all truck drivers to be safe. Let us know what trucking equipment you need to be prepared this winter. Give our team of experts a call at 800-969-6543.

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.

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

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.

CVSA Roadcheck 2019 is Right Around the Corner

If you haven’t already, here’s how to prepare yourself and your commercial vehicle for a North American Standard Level I Inspection.

Steering and suspension systems will be top of mind for inspectors

If you haven’t already, now is the time to prepare yourself and your commercial vehicle for a North American Standard Level I Inspection.

From Tuesday, June 4th through Thursday, June 6th the 2019 Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) International Roadcheck will take place throughout North America. Over that 72-hour period, CVSA inspectors will be out in droves to verify your operating requirements and examine your vehicle’s mechanical fitness.

CVSA inspection officer directing traffic to side of road

Why focus on steering and suspension?

Just like how the 2018 International Roadcheck focused on hours-of-service compliance, this year’s emphasis will be on checking steering components and suspension systems which are vital to maintaining a safe roadway.

In a recent American Trucker magazine article, CVSA president and Arkansas Highway Police Chief, Jay Thompson, stated “Not only do they [steering and suspension] support heavy loads carried by trucks and buses, but they also help maintain stability and control under acceleration and braking, keeping the vehicle safely on the road. Furthermore, they keep tires in alignment, reducing chances of uneven tire wear and possible tire failure, and they maximize the contact between the tires and the road to provide steering stability and good handling.”

But steering and suspension checks are just one aspect of the 37-step procedure you can expect from inspectors during the 2019 Roadcheck.

truck driver operating requirements for 2019 roadcheck

Driver operating requirements for 2019 CVSA Roadcheck

Here’s what you as a commercial driver need to ensure you have ready when it comes to the 2019 CVSA Roadcheck:

  • Driver’s license (showing operating credentials)
  • Medical Examiner’s Certificate and Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate (if applicable)
  • Your record of duty status and vehicle inspection reports (if applicable)

Inspectors will also be checking you for:

  • Seat belt usage
  • Sickness or fatigue
  • Apparent alcohol or drug impairment
cargo securement on flatbed truck for 2019 CVSA roadcheck

Vehicle inspection checklist for 2019 CVSA Roadcheck

Other than the obvious check on the state of your steering and suspension systems, inspectors will be examining the following parts of your rig:

  • Brake systems
  • Cargo securement
  • Coupling device
  • Driveline/driveshaft
  • Driver’s seat
  • Exhaust system
  • Frame
  • Fuel System
  • Lighting Devices (headlights, taillights, stop lights, turn signals, and lights/flags for oversize loads)
  • Steering mechanism
  • Tires
  • Van and flatbed trailer bodies
  • Wheels, rims, and hubs
  • Windshield wipers

CVSA stickers

If there are no critical violations found, you’ll get a CVSA decal that shows you successfully passed the 2019 Roadcheck (for whichever inspection level was performed). This sticker will keep you from having to go through that same level inspection during the June 4th to June 6th, 2019 time period.

Stay safe out there!