Winter Truck Maintenance: 10 Tips to Prepare Your Truck for Winter

Cold temperatures are hard on the engine and the vehicle’s components. Read our ten tips on how to prepare your truck for the winter.

Is your truck prepared for the cold weather? With winter quickly approaching, checking your truck’s maintenance is critical to the safety of your vehicle, those driving around you, and you. 

Frigid temperatures and harsh winter conditions are hard on any vehicle, especially fleet vehicles that are on the road for multiple hours a day. Before temperatures drop to freezing points, prepare your truck for the upcoming winter with this maintenance checklist. 

Avoid Cold Soaks

Cold soaks occur when the engine block’s fluids and metal components are dropped due to being in chilly environments.  In other words, it means the engine has been inactive for an extended period (for more than a day), and cold weather can play a part in that. Just make sure to keep your engine running, and that it’s not sitting inactively for more than 24 hours!

Check Tires and their Tire Pressure 

check tires during winter

Remember to keep tabs on your truck’s tire pressure before and during winter. Cold temperatures can slowly reduce tire pressure, impacting tire tread life, fuel economy, and your safety.

If you have tires with wearing tread, this can cause slippery driving conditions as well. Make sure to have inflated tires as running winter tires in good condition will help prevent breakdowns and accidents.

Plug in the Engine Block Heater

If you drive during the winter months, you’ve probably heard that you might need to plug in your vehicle’s engine block heater so it can start. You’ll need an engine block heater because when extreme winter temperatures occur, 0° F or below, and you start the engine – the oil through the engine block thickens up and begins to get gooey. This will make it harder for the oil to move through the engine, causing it to work harder, use more gas, and produce more emissions. 

If it’s going to be cold during the night or early morning hours, you should probably plug in the block heater. A good rule of thumb is to plug it in when the weather reaches 5°F. 

Tip: To avoid cold soaks, this can help keep the block of the engine warm, making it easier for the engine to start. 

Check Your Front, Back, and Sidelights

check lights during winter, winter truck maintenance

Test to see if all your lights are working properly. Without bright lights leading the way through snowstorms, foggy conditions, or icy roads, it can be difficult to see where you’re going.

Check Your Battery 

Cold engines require much more battery power to start, and heat is damaging to a battery. Batteries drain quickly in cold weather, and can especially be challenging to charge. 

During your maintenance checklist, check that the battery is not past its expiration date so you know it’s capable of holding a good charge, and clean off any connections prior often during winter. 

Always Keep Your Fuel Tank at Least Half Full 

This is something we at US Cargo Control always do during the winter! We recommend keeping your fuel tank half full for a couple reasons. Condensation can build up in the tank, causing fuel lines to freeze when temperatures get cold. 

Another reason to keep it half full is you may get stranded during the winter due to breakdowns, traffic, or car wrecks, and keeping your tank half full allows you to keep it running for warmth should you become stranded. 

Change Your Wipers

Semi Truck Wipers Check and Replacement

It’s important to replace your windshield wipers at least once a year, and it could be good to do it at the beginning of winter. 

When driving through snow or rain, you depend on your wiper blades to keep your vision clear. The harsh conditions of freezing rain, snow, and ice build-up could leave you in a bad spot with a broken or worn-out wiper blade. Inspect your wipers to ensure they’re in top shape. 

Check Fluid Levels

The important fluid levels to check regularly are engine oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, and windshield washer fluid. If any of the levels are low or empty, fill them up before you start your journey in cold weather. This also helps with maintaining a good fuel economy.

Use Winterized Fuel 

Cold weather is rough on diesel fuel, and there’s nothing worse than dealing with a drop in fuel economy and your truck refusing to start when temperatures are below zero. Running your truck with untreated fuel during freezing temperatures can create many issues such as fuel gelling, frozen fuel lines, or plugged filters from build-up. Using seasonally enhanced fuels like CENEX, Wintermaster, or Premium Diesel Fuel will operate freezing temperatures as low as -30 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Avoiding these problems will not help extend the life of your engine, but will keep you rolling!

Plan Ahead 

Highway through the windshield during a rainstorm and snowstorm

Every region in the country is different, and you should plan ahead so you can treat fuel accordingly and pack the essentials. Read 15 Winter Driving Kit Essentials so you can stock your vehicle with the items you’ll need.

Other Winter Tips from US Cargo Control

We care about your safety, and we want to make sure you’re able to get through the winter season. Read more of our tips to stay prepared:

4 Important Winter Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

3 Winter Truck Driving Tips: How to Protect your Rig from Salt and Grime

4 Important Nighttime Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

How to Choose and Use Tire Chains like a Pro

At US Cargo Control, we want all truck drivers to be safe and careful during the winter season. If you have any questions about the products we carry, give our team a call at 866-444-9990.

9 Types of Trailers in the Trucking Industry, and Which Fits Your Freight Needs

Choose the right trailer for your freight by learning about the different types of trailers.

Truckers collectively travel 450 billion miles each year to haul cargo for consumers, carrying 11 billion tons of merchandise, electronics, supplies, and produce. This means truckers are the most commonly used means of transporting freight in today’s world. But, with many different trailers on the road today, it can be difficult to identify which trailer type is used for, and what’s best for your freight.

We’ll break down some of the most common trailers found in America, and how to use them for hauling cargo. Read to find out the 9 types of the most common trailers, and which trailer type best fits your freight needs. 

Dry Van and Enclosed Trailers

enclosed trailer type for hauling cargo
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

As it indicates in the name, an enclosed trailer has a container to enclose the load. When it comes to the shipments of pallet-based, boxed, or loose commodities, dry van trailers are the go-to solution. Typically around 53 feet, the dry van trailer is the most common type of trailer on the road today. 

Truckers usually use dry van trailers to ship the items that people ship every day. Large corporations like Walmart and Target use dry van trailers to transport their inventories like clothing, non-perishable food items, and household goods. These trailers are the ideal equipment for any shipper/receiver to use anytime because of their box-like shape and ability to back right into the loading dock’s bay. These trailers are a versatile and cost-effective investment for any company looking to expand its fleet and provide security to the cargo. 

The only disadvantage is the trailer’s floor cannot support a lot of weight, so they’re not good for carrying oversized loads (unlike a flatbed).  

Read 3 Accessories Every Enclosed Trailer Hauler Should Have to see what enclosed trailer equipment you need to protect your cargo.

Standard Flatbed Trailers

flatbed trailer for hauling cargo and freight
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

The standard flatbed trailer is another popular type of trailer that you’ll see on the road as well. They come in different sizes like 24, 40, 45, 48, and 53 feet, but the 48-foot flatbed trailer is the most frequently used. 

The standard flatbed trailer is a very versatile trailer in today’s world. The flatbed’s open back and sides allow for easy loading and unloading, and you can haul steel, construction equipment, lumber, and other open-air commodities with this trailer type. 

It doesn’t have a container to contain the cargo like a dry van trailer, so you must use heavy-duty equipment to secure your cargo, like our tarps to cover the items. At US Cargo Control, we have transport chains and binders, tiedown straps, and tarp solutions to ensure the safety of your cargo. 

Read the 5 Pieces of Flatbed Trailer Equipment Every Driver Should Have.

Refrigerated Trailers (or Reefers)

refrigerated or reefer trucks hauling commodities
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

As it says in the name, refrigerated trailers move any contents that require temperature control (think, cool temperatures). Their temperature control abilities and insulated walls make them the only type of trailer that’s perfect for hauling perishable items like fruit, frozen food, pharmaceuticals, and ice cream. 

The refrigerated trailer can only haul items up to 8 feet tall and 8 feet wide, so reefers cannot haul any commodity that exceeds the length of the deck.

Drop-Deck/Step-Deck Trailers 

drop deck or step deck trailer
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

Drop deck (or step-deck) trailers are an alternative to the flatbed trailer when loads cannot transport on the flatbed trailer due to the freight’s height. The flatbed trailer is about 60 inches above the ground, while step deck trailers are close to the ground to provide a little leverage for carrying loads taller than 8 feet. 

This drop-deck trailer has two deck levels, the upper-deck and the lower-deck, and has a ramp for unloading. The most critical factor about this trailer is they are safer for unloading by a forklift because they’re closer to the ground. 

Double Drop/Lowboy Trailers

Lowboy or double drop trailer for hauling heavier items
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

Also known as a low bed or float trailer, the double drop trailer is far closer to the ground than any other trailer type. The trailer has two “drops” that reside behind the gooseneck and before the back wheels. 

These trailers sit very close to the ground, which the drop allows the shipping of huge items like construction equipment that’s heavier than the maximum weight limit of other trailer types. Their maximum height in width is greater than other trailer types and the weight limit is 40,000 pounds (and can be up 80,000 pounds). These factors are perfect for hauling machinery and equipment like bulldozers and excavators.

These trucking trailers are the workhorses, but you would need additional permits from authorities. 

Removable Gooseneck Trailers (RGN)

Removable gooseneck trailer for transporting heavy machinery
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

These are excellent for carrying tall and long freights, and can come in a variety of sizes. The gooseneck secures the trailer to the tractor, and the front of these trailers can be removed. 

How it works is that the gooseneck is a detachable front, allowing the trailer to drop on the ground in order to create a ramp. The gooseneck is a perfect tool for hauling large machinery from point A to B. They can require additional permits due to the height and weight load and can have up to 20 axles attached to the trailer. The more axles, the more the RGN can carry. 

They are more specialized, so they render a more expensive usage. 

Extendable Flatbed Stretch Trailers

extendable flatbed trailer
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

As it hints in the name, this flatbed extends when you’re hauling freight that’s excessively long and cannot be carried by a standard type of trailer. The extendable flatbed trailer can extend to 80 feet, allowing shipments of larger loads to ship. 

When the trailer bed needs to extend, you release the pin that’s joining the two sections, which send the extendable portion of the bed to “stretch.” 

Side-Kit Trailers

side kit trailer to carry granular materials like gravel and rocks
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

Side-kit trailers transport materials that do not need to be packed in containers or materials that cannot be packed. For example, granular materials like crops, coal, powders, gravel, etc.  The side-kit trailer has a panel made from either plywood or fiberglass and typically has a tent-like top covering. 

Granular materials are irregular in shape that they can’t be contained in an enclosed container, but we carry many types of tarps you can use to cover these types of materials. 

They’re highly versatile trailers and they have low operating costs, making side-kit trailers a highly used trailer in the industry. 

Specialized Trailers 

specialized trailers to transport hazardous materials
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

A specialty trailer refers to a container that carries a particular product. You can transport certain items like hazardous materials or liquids, but the amount of weight they can move varies. 

These trailers require a special permit and the driver has to have a special license to tow the load. Below are some types of specialized trailers:

  1. Trailers for transporting hazardous materials like petrol, oil, diesel, and other hazardous/flammable materials. This requires additional permits and higher costs to transport them.
  2. Medical Trailers that include mobile clinics to provide medical services and equipment to people on-site. This requires additional permits.
  3. Food Service Trailers that accommodate entire kitchens, providing food services to people on-the-go.

Find the Right Cargo Equipment for Your Trailer Type

Whether you need cargo control equipment for an enclosed trailer or flatbed trailer, US Cargo Control has a wide variety of trailer securement solutions. Our heavy-duty trucking equipment is designed with safety and industry standards in mind and made to withstand any abuse that the road may bring its way.

No matter which trailer type you choose, you can be rest assured knowing that you’re buying from a leading cargo securement supplier that’s trusted by thousands in the trucking and transportation industry. Our Midwestern team of experts keeps you moving forward by being dedicated to getting you what you want, when you need it.

To ensure the safety of your cargo, the people driving around you, and yourself, it’s important to haul cargo on your trailer correctly. Read the Dos and Don’ts of Load Securement Trailers.

At US Cargo Control, we want you to have the highest quality products so you can get the job done. If you would have any questions about our trailer accessories, give our team a call at 866-444-9990.

10 Best Apps for Truck Drivers to Use in 2021 – For On and Off the Road

Read to find what trucking apps you should use in 2021.

As we all know, there’s an app for everything these days. There are especially trucking apps that truck drivers can use on and off the road, whether it efficiently improves your job or your well-being. There are many factors that go into the day of a trucker – from planning routes, executing hauls, and finding parking availability when done for the day.

Luckily, there are many trucking and lifestyle apps to choose from. You can compare fuel prices, find truck stops and read reviews on them, and stream music or audiobooks from your phone.

Whether you’re new to the trucking industry or you’re curious if some apps can help you to the best of your ability, we have some recommendations for you to use for the long haul. Continue reading the best apps that every trucker should use in 2021.

Trucker Path

This is the most popular and ultimate truck driving app in North America. You can get relevant information that you need in one app, and you’re able to read information and reviews from truckers for over 40,000 truck stops.  Some features include a mapping system that you can use to avoid low bridges, find the nearest fuel stops with truck clearance, compare fuel prices, and record hours of service. You’re able to plan a multi-day trip in advance!

Special Features:

  • Includes information for more than 7,000 truck stops in the U.S. and Canada
  • Updates on parking availability
  • Truck drivers’ forum
  • Information on weight station and scales
  • Trip planner option 
  • Find fuel stops with truck clearance 

Weigh My Truck

Weigh My Truck was created to save drivers time while at weigh stations. This is an app made by the CAT Scale Company where truckers can use the app to weigh their trucks automatically. The app locates the CAT scale you’ve arrived at and allows you to pay with your phone, sending a PDF receipt of the ticket and weight information to your email. You don’t have to leave your truck now!

Special Features:

  • Avoid wasting time walking inside to pay at weigh stations, or waiting to bypass a station
  • Weigh your trucks automatically 
  • Allows you to pay with your smartphone 
  • Receive PDF receipts of the ticket and weight information to your email

GasBuddy 

This neat fuel app has a database of more than 150,000 fuel stations across North America that you can access to find the cheapest fuel prices. Anytime that you can save money is a win. This app includes a trip cost calculator, station outage tracker, gas price map, and a place to track fuel purchases. 

GasBuddy can tell you when the price of diesel is increasing so you can fill up your tank before it happens. It can also monitor your driving habits to inform you if you’re wasting gas and money. 

Special Features:

  • Includes more than 150,000 gas stations in North America
  • Helps find the cheapest fuel price
  • Fuel Rewards
  • Access reviews of gas stations
  • Alerts when you’re wasting fuel 
  • Provides information on fuel stops with shower and food

Google Maps

Although an app everybody can use, this has some great features for truckers. It has a satellite view, where you can see from an overhead position if you need to see any obstructions, driveways to follow, and how to find the dock. You can also switch to street-view to get a 360-degree angle view of different locations on the map.

Basically, you can see exactly how a place looks like before you arrive at the destination to avoid any surprises! Technology is truly amazing. 

Their real-time traffic updates and search navigation are also helpful for receiving traffic alerts while driving or when you want to search restaurants, rest stops, and other spots in the area. The downside is Google Maps doesn’t prioritize truck routes, so a trucker GPS will be your best bet in getting accurate routes. You can still use them both simultaneously!

Special Features:

  • Panorama street view and satellite view to check parking spots, docks, and other locations
  • Real-time traffic updates
  • Updates on businesses that are open and closed 
  • Search for restaurants, fuel stations, rest areas, and more
  • Voice assistance feature

My Fitness Pal

Eating well on the road can be difficult, but My Fitness Pal can help you make smarter choices about what to eat and how to exercise. You can log your meals on the app and use its nutritional insights to plan future meals or make healthier choices when ordering out. If you’re curious about your calorie intake, you can log food by scanning barcode labels or choose items from its database to understand an idea of what or how much you should eat in a day. 

Special Features:

  • Track meals and your movement 
  • Log meals to gain nutritional insights and calorie intake
  • Log food by scanning barcode labels or choosing items from its database
  • Plan future meals

Weather Channel

Be secure with where you’re driving to with the Weather Channel app. 

Their rain forecast is usually precise, letting you know when it will rain in advance, and you can get weather updates wherever you are. You can also use their radar to check how serious the weather will be ahead of time. If you’re a trucker, you know weather and wind speed will affect your driving, so this app will be extremely helpful for getting accurate information. 

Special Features:

  • Current weather reading in your location
  • Get alerts of expected weather 
  • Animated live radar to track weather currently or ahead of time
  • Information on wind speed 
  • Warning when there is expected thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes


Audible

If you enjoy listening to audiobooks while driving, Audible is a great choice. You can get access to thousands of audiobooks, so you’ll never get tired of listening to a variety of genres! Users can sign in with their Amazon account, and if you’re a new member, you can enjoy a 30-day free trial. 

The best part is you can personalize your library and download the audiobooks to listen offline. 

Special Features:

  • Wide collection of audiobooks 
  • Customize your library 
  • Listen to audiobooks offline
  • Sign in with Amazon account
  • Free first-month trial 

Spotify 

Listen to your favorite music or podcasts as you drive. You can create your own playlist or listen to Spotify’s curated playlists based on artists, moods, or genres. 

Spotify is a huge music streaming service, and its huge library makes it perfect to listen to music on the road without getting bored. You can choose the free version (you’d have to stick with their ads), or the premium version with no ads. 

  • Wide library of music, podcasts, and more 
  • Create your playlist
  • Easy to search interface
  • Free version available 

Calm

This is a great app to use when you’re on a break, meditating, or sleeping.  The app comes with more than 500 HD audio channels to stream relaxation music. The only con is the ads may interrupt your sleep with the free membership, but you can pay the membership to listen freely with no ads.

You can enjoy all types of relaxing genres like jazz, classical music, country music, pop-rock, and adult contemporary, as well as nature sounds in the background. 

Special Features:

  • A lot of music channels
  • Meditation music 
  • Sleep timer
  • Nature sounds in the background to help you relax 
  • Unlimited listening 

Rolling Strong

Rolling Strong is a free health and wellness app from a company dedicated to the well-being of truck drivers. The app offers nutritional guidance by suggesting meals and exercise programs based on your daily sleep, exercise, and water and calorie intake. Since you’re on the road frequently, the app can show you the nearest fitness spots with truck parking spaces available based on your locations, and you can watch exercise training videos to help you get moving. 

Special Features:

  • It tells you the nearest fitness stops
  • Monitors your sleeping pattern
  • Can track calories 
  • Redeem points for rewards 
  • Online coaching to get fit
  • Remind you to hydrate

Great Reads for Truckers

We have some great reads for you to improve your habits and well-being while driving for the long haul!

5 Tips for How to Sleep Better in a Semi Truck

4 Important Nighttime Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

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

6 Types of Truck Driver Cooking Equipment That Will Make Your Life Easier

5 Money-Saving Tips for Truck Drivers on the Road

Long-Haul Truck Drivers Share The Most Scenic Drives in America

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.

CVSA’s Brake Safety Week 2021 Starts This Week

Brake Safety Week is running from August 22nd-28th. Find out what law enforcement officials will be inspecting, and how to prepare for it.

Inspectors will be on the lookout for faulty brakes this week. 

From now until August 28th, law enforcement officials in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico will perform brake inspections as part of CVSA’s Brake Safety Week. This campaign is an important week for truck drivers because properly functioning brakes are critical for safe driving. The truck’s brakes can withhold tough conditions, but brakes are inspected so your truck can perform well throughout its life.

Read more to find out what the week is about, what law enforcement officials will be inspecting, and how to prepare for it.

What is Brake Safety Week?

CVSA Brake Safety Week 2021

This is a campaign hosted by CVSA to conduct roadside inspections and identify brake violations on commercial motor vehicles. If your vehicle has any violations, it will be placed out-of-service (OOS) until they are corrected.

If you pass the inspection during the Level I or V inspection, you will receive a CVSA decal.

What Will Officials be Inspecting?

They’ll look at your brake system and its components, as well as its maintenance, operation, and performance. Inspectors will pay attention to the brake hoses and tubing which must be without leaks, appropriately flexible, and be free of any other type of damage.

According to CVSA, the inspector will:

  • Check for missing, non-functioning, loose, contaminated or cracked parts on the brake system.
  • Check for S-cam flip-over.
  • Listen for audible air leaks around brake components and lines.
  • Check for improper connections and chafing of air hoses and tubing.
  • Ensure slack adjusters are the same length (from center of S-cam to center of clevis pin) and the air chambers on each axle are the same size.
  • Ensure the air system maintains air pressure.
  • Look for non-manufactured holes (such as rust holes or holes created by friction) and broken springs in the spring brake housing.
  • Mark and measure pushrod travel.
  • Inspect required brake system warning devices, such as anti-lock braking system malfunction lamp(s) and low air-pressure warning devices.
  • Inspect the tractor protection system, including the bleed-back system on the trailer.
  • Ensure the breakaway system is operable on the trailer.

In addition to checking your brake system, they may also look at other components so your vehicle is in top-notch shape. This can include:

  • Cargo securement
  • Coupling devices
  • Driveline/driveshaft components
  • Driver’s seat (if it’s missing)
  • Exhaust systems
  • Frames
  • Fuel systems
  • Lighting devices 
  • Steering mechanisms
  • Suspensions 
  • Tires and wheels
  • Van and open-top trailer bodies  
  • Rims and hubs
  • Windshield wipers

Why Does Brake Safety Week Occur Every Year?

CVSA Brake Safety Week 2021 August

Although commercial motor vehicles’ brakes can hold up against tough conditions, you must inspect them often. Your vehicle’s brake system needs to be maintained carefully to perform well throughout its life. 

Brake-related violations make up the largest percentage of all out-of-service violations during roadside inspections. If the brake system is poorly maintained, this can reduce the braking capacity and stopping distance of trucks and buses. This poses a serious risk to drivers!

Back on May 19th, 2021, CVSA presented data proving why a week is devoted to identifying brake violations on commercial motor vehicles. Brake violations and removing vehicles with out-of-service brake violations exist because:

  • Brake system and brake adjustment violations accounted for more vehicle violations than any other vehicle violation category, accounting for 38.6% of all vehicle out-of-service conditions, during last year’s three-day International Roadcheck.
  • “Brake system” was the third most cited vehicle-related factor in fatal commercial motor vehicle and passenger vehicle crashes, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) latest “Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts” report.
  • Brake-related violations accounted for eight out of the top 20 vehicle violations in 2020, according to FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Management Information System.
  • During last year’s Brake Safety Week, 12% of the 43,565 commercial motor vehicles inspected were placed out of service for brake-related violations.

How to Prepare for the Inspection

Inspect your brake system and all brake components regularly during your pre and post-trip inspection. Performing this can help you identify any issues and feel confident that your vehicle is in safe operating condition. 

We have a list of items below that you can visually check your brake system on a regular basis:

  • Celvis pins
  • Slack adjuster 
  • Air lines
  • Air brake chamber
  • Cotter pins
  • Brake hoses and tubing 

The CVSA has a FAQ sheet that answers common questions about your brake system that you can learn more about. They also have a brake inspection checklist which is a great way for you to stay prepared for your roadside inspection!

At US Cargo Control, We Care About Your Safety

Just like how you would practice being a safe driver, inspecting your brakes is equally as important. If you continue to inspect your vehicle’s components regularly, you can leave others and yourself safe from dangerous situations.

Read our other blogs to practice even safer driving behaviors:

Dos and Don’ts on Load Securement

A Simple Guide on How to Use a Ratchet Strap and How to Release It

How Many Tie Down Straps Do I Need to Secure My Cargo?

Working Load Limit, Breaking Strength & Safety Factor: What Do They Mean?

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.

Heads Up! CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Week 2021 is Here

Operation Safe Driver Week is July 11th-July 17th. Read what the program is about, and how to prepare for it.

Do you know that speeding is a factor in a quarter of crash deaths since 2008, and it’s the most frequent driver-related crash factor for drivers of commercial motor vehicles and passenger vehicles? Speeding is also a factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities in 2018, killing 9,378 people or an average of more than 25 people per day.

This is why CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Week exists. 

This year’s Operation Safe Driver Week has started and will continue to run until July 17th, 2021. This year’s focus is on speeding and other dangerous driving behaviors. During this time, law enforcement personnel will be on the lookout for commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers engaging in risky behaviors in or around a commercial motor vehicle. 

Unsafe drivers will be pulled over and issued a citation or warning. Continue reading what the program is about, and how to prepare for it.

What is CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Week?

Law enforcement during operation safe driver week 2021

Operation Safe Driver Week helps reduce the number of crashes involving commercial motor vehicles and passenger vehicles due to unsafe driving behaviors. The goal behind this program is to improve drivers’ behaviors through educational and traffic enforcement strategies. 

Most crashes are caused by drivers’ actions, and research shows that interactions with law enforcement change the driver’s behaviors. 

What to Know about Operation Safe Driver Week 2021

Prepare for Operation Safe Driver Week 2021

What you need to know if you’re pulled over for speeding, officers will deeply investigate you and your vehicle. You may receive a warning or citation if you engage in speeding or other risky driving habits.

The other problematic driving behaviors officers will track but not limited to are:

Results from the Past Few Years

CVSA selected speeding as its focus this year because even though there was a drop in road travel last year due to the pandemic, traffic fatalities still increased nationally.

Surprisingly, the estimated rate of death on roads last year increased 24% over the previous 12-month period, despite miles driven were dropped to 13%. This is the highest estimated year-over-year jump NSC has calculated in 96 years.

Tips for Truckers

Safety tips for operation safe driver week 2021

To prepare yourself during and after this week, follow the tips below for best practices.

  • Follow the speed limits.
  • Abide by common traffic laws, obey traffic control devices, and wear your seat belt.
  • Don’t engage in dangerous driving behaviors and practice defensive driving.
  • Continue to operate within the Hours of Service regulations to ensure you’re well rested and alert when driving.
  • Allow additional time to get to your destination safely.
  • Avoid tailgating.

At US Cargo Control, We Care About Your Safety

By spreading awareness about Operation Safe Driver Week, we want to make sure truckers are prepared during and after this event. It may be easier to speed so you can reach your destination faster, but that comes with a risk. It’s better to get there safely, than not get there at all.

Stay safe out there, and use defensive driving skills!

Other Reads for Truckers:

Long-Haul Truck Drivers Share The Most Scenic Drives in America

5 Money-Saving Tips for Truck Drivers on the Road

6 Types of Truck Driver Cooking Equipment That Will Make Your Life Easier

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

5 Tips for How to Sleep Better in a Semi Truck

9 Free Ways for Truck Drivers to Save on Fuel

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.

7 Coolest Gas Stations in the World That Are Worth Fueling Up

From retro to modern, check out the coolest spots to fill up!

When you’re traveling for hours, the last thing you expect to see is aesthetically beautiful gas stations because they’re meant to be a place to stop somewhere, not part of your journey. Across the world, there are unique gas stations that are almost like roadside novelties that make you want to snap some pictures. From retro to modern, read some of the most eye-popping service stations that are worth fueling up for.

Hollow Mountain Gas Station – Hanksville, Utah

Hollow Mountain Gas Station
Photo Courtesy: Flickr

Yup, you guessed right, it is literally a gas station inside a mountain! This was carved out of a mountain and now it’s a convenience store with gas pumps in Southern Utah. People who’ve visited said that you can see the mountain when you go to the restrooms.

Pro Tip: if you’re going to Capitol Reef or Bullfrog Lake Powell, this is one historic gas station you must stop and see!

Pops 66 – Arcadia, Oklahoma

Pops 66 Gas Station and Restaurant
Photo Courtesy: Library of Congress

What would you do if you drove by a brightly-colored 66-foot soda bottle? If you are passing through Arcadia, Oklahoma, stop at Pops 66 for gas, to dine in at their restaurant, and to choose among 700 different types of soda! From their website, you get to browse POPS™ signature collection of soda, sparkling water, and other refreshing drinks.

Pro Tip: drive by at night for the best view.

Chevron Floating Station – Vancouver, Canada

Chevron floating gas station - cool gas station
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

As you can tell from the picture, it’d be pretty challenging to pull up your truck to fill up gas. Good thing it’s only for marine use! This isn’t necessarily a pretty gas station, but can you imagine the scenic views there would be in Vancouver, Canada while filling up gas for the boat?

Helios House – Los Angelos, California

Helios House Gas Station
Photo Courtesy: Flickr

This eco-friendly gas station is the first LEED-certified gas station with 90 solar panels, and worth checking out for its eccentric design. The architecture is stunning from all angles, but the best part is the sustainable materials used for this building.

If you love sustainability, then you’ll love hearing these facts. The stainless steel design was constructed using salvaged materials from the former gas station, and the concrete pavement is mixed with recycled glass, reducing the amount of heat absorption. Along with that, the roof collects rainwater that helps reduces the building’s need for heating and cooling, and cuts energy consumption by 16%!

Jack Colker’s Union 76 Gas Station – Beverly Hills, California

Jack Colker's Union 76 Gas Station
Photo Courtesy: Flickr

If you love futuristic or geometric architecture like the previous example, you must check out this Union 76 gas station. Nestled between Little Santa Monica Boulevard and Crescent Drive, architect Gin Wong built this as part of the city’s airport before changing gear to become a service station. Now, you can stop by for gas and a car wash, and it’s a favorite among drivers when the fluorescent lights turn on at night!

Alzu Petroport – South Africa

Courtesy: Alzu Petroport

What would be the last thing you’d see at a gas station? If you said rhinoceros, buffalos, and ostriches, you would be correct except there is one station that does that in South Africa! There is a gas station where locals, tourists, and truckers can not just fill up gas, but also watch behind an enclosure the exotic animals in their habitats.

It’s known to be a “quick stop” everyone should not miss.

Iowa 80 Truck Stop – Walcott, Iowa

Iowa 80 truckstop gas station

We couldn’t complete the list without mentioning Iowa 80 Truck Stop as US Cargo Control is based in Iowa! Known as a trucker’s Disneyland, this is the world’s largest truckstop with everything you can imagine.

You’re not stopping just for gas, you’re welcomed with amenities like laundry facilities, a workout room, a movie theater, a barbershop, dog wash station, dentist, a full-service truck center, a 300-seat restaurant, and a large food court. They even host an annual event called Truckers Jamboree that truckers (and even us) love to attend for the concerts, cookouts, carnival games, and more!

If you want to attend this year, mark your calendar and learn more about the 2021 Walcott Truckers Jamboree.

Vintage Gas Stations You Must Check Out!

Although these gas stations aren’t in service anymore, these vintage gas stations are historic attractions worth checking out:

Vintage Teapot Dome Gas Station
Photo Courtesy: Flickr.
The Teapot Dome Gas Station is located in Zillah, Washington, represents the Teapot Dome Scandal of the 1920s.
Vintage AIrplane Service Station
Photo Courtesy: Flickr.
The Airplane Service Station was built by brothers Elmer and Henry Nickle to have a visually unique service station.
Original Shell Station Vintage Gas Station
Photo Courtesy: Flickr.
The Original Shell Station is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, built in the 1920s and this design is the last one standing.
Hat n'Boots Gas Station - Vintage Gas Station
Photo Courtesy: Flickr.
The Hat n’Boots Station is located in Seattle, Washington, and is restored and moved to the city’s Oxbow Park.

Are There Other Unique Gas Stations That Should Be on the List?

Did we miss any other quirky, remarkable gas stations? Have you been to any one of these gas stations? Tell us in the comments, we’d love to know about your awesome experiences!

US Cargo Control is your source for equipment for hauling, rigging, moving, towing, and lifting all kinds of cargo. If you have any questions, give our team of experts a call at 866-444-9990.

7 Things Truckers Must Know About COVID-19 While Driving On The Road

It can be tricky to process what’s happening for truckers or what to do during the pandemic. Read 7 things truckers must know about COVID-19.

With the Coronavirus pandemic continuously creating new changes, it can be tricky to process what’s happening for long-haul truckers. What we do know is that long-haul truckers could still be potentially exposed to COVID-19 when coming into close contact with truck stop attendants, store clerks, dock workers, or other drivers. We pulled together a list of tips truckers can follow to continue staying safe.

A Different Look on Restaurants’ Drive-Thru Businesses

restaurants adjusting business relating to COVID-19

Popular restaurants could potentially remove dine-in services or offer limited seating soon. Even with the vaccine already here in the United States, this may not still change for restaurants like Wendy’s, McDonald’s, and Burger King as they still plan to shift to a “grab-and-go” business.

These quick-service restaurants haven’t forgotten about truck drivers though. With some changes to the drive-thru services, they plan to still assist and support truck drivers. This could be walking out their order to the curb or somewhere a driver can park.

Also, restaurants and fast food locations are offering truck drivers discounts and additional offers. Check out which of your favorite restaurants are offering discounts and offers at franchise.org.

Tip: If you want to save the trip to the restaurant, check out 6 Types of Driver Cooking Equipment!

Continue to Stay 6 Feet Apart at Work

Although this continues to be a requirement by the CDC, staying 6 feet apart is still critical. You may be exposed to the virus at your job when you’re in close contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes or more) with truck stop attendants, store workers, dock workers, other truckers, or others with COVID-19.

Limit your time spent outside when you’re near people. This includes filing gas up, loading and unloading the cargo load, and at rest/truck stops. You can also contact facilities in advance to make an appointment for unloading cargo so everybody including you are safe. Plan the best you can under these special circumstances because your health and safety are most important.

Be aware that some facilities may not grant access to bathrooms, so make sure you are prepared.

Feel Under the Weather? Communicate with Your Employer.

truck driver communicating through walkie-talkie

If you start to have symptoms, communicate with your employer so you can begin taking safety precautions. Create a plan on what to do if you’re still on the road like where to stop, where and how to seek medical advice, and plans for freight delivery. If you need to stop somewhere and it’s at a hot spot, find a hotel room or sleep in your sleeper berth and continue to social distance.

If you start to have symptoms and need some guidance, we got you covered with these steps recommended by CDC.

Wear Cloth Masks in Public and at Work

With the entire county requiring people to wear masks inside restaurants, grocery stores, etc., you can’t go wrong with wearing a cloth mask, scarf, or bandana. Wear them in public and at work, and this will still help you prevent getting the virus. This can also help prevent people who don’t know they have the virus.

Clean Frequently-Touched Surfaces Often

cleaning truck during coronavirus

As a safety precaution, try to clean surfaces in your truck. Since this is the place where you are actively working, a few places to consider sanitizing are:

  • In the truck cab – sanitize the door handles, steering wheels, seat belt and buckle, turn signal, radio, wiper controls, seat cover, head rests and armrests, and dashboards.
  • In the sleeper berth – clean areas like light switches, mattress tray, and other flat surfaces.
  • Keep your truck well-ventilated

One of the dirtiest places to touch are gas pumps, so make sure to sanitize your hands after fueling up. Also, try to go digital or electronic and avoid receipts or other objects that may pass around without protection.

Stock up on Food, Water, and Supplies

stocking supplies in truck

As this was previously mentioned in 4 tips on how to stay healthy during a pandemic, it’s always good to stay stocked on medicine and supplies in case of an emergency. With winter already on its way, it may be good to have some medicine in hand in case you have the common cold, virus, flu, or else. Not only can stocking up on supplies help during emergencies, this can help you limit the number of stops at restaurants, grocery stops, and convenience stores.

Get Your Information from Credible Sources

For general tips and information, continue to read from credible sources such as the CDC, FMCSA, CVSA, ATA, and more. It’s still good to keep your eyes and ears open during the Coronavirus pandemic, and any new updates. Check out CDC’s page on general tips on what truck drivers can do to protect themselves and slow the spread.

At US Cargo Control, we care about the safety of our hard-working truckers and for continuing to pave the way for our country. If you have any questions about our products, give our a team a call at 866-444-9990.

Long-Haul Truck Drivers Share The Most Scenic Drives in America

Ever wonder what are the most scenic roads in America? Read to find out the routes everybody should take, according to truckers.

Anybody who has driven for hundreds of miles in this huge country with its 4-million+ miles of highways and byways has their favorite routes. You may love being near the ocean, the magnificent mountains, or lush landscapes with endless green. Whether it’s passing through the Smoky Mountains, driving on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fransisco, or cruising on the 7-mile bridge in Key West, we all have our personal favorites.

But, what about the truck drivers who spend their lives on the road traveling to deliver the goods and necessities that we consume every day? Although they may get road-weary, there are routes or attractions that they look forward to seeing. We were wondering what are the most beautiful states and drives in the United States, so we took the liberty to research this. Read what our long-haul truckers say are the most scenic drives in America.

The Best and Worst States for Drivers, According to WalletHub

According to the personal finance website WalletHub, they released a report on 2020’s Best & Worst States to Drive In. They determined the most driver-friendly states in the U.S. through 31 key metrics such as average gas prices, the share of rush-hour traffic congestion, and road quality.

  • Iowa (1)
  • Tennessee (2)
  • North Carolina (3)
  • Texas (4)
  • Nebraska (5)
  • Georgia (6)
  • Virginia (7)
  • Indiana (8)
  • Arkansas (9)
  • Alabama (10)
  • Montana (41)
  • Alaska (42)
  • New Jersey (43)
  • West Virginia (44)
  • Maryland (45)
  • Colorado (46)
  • California (47)
  • Washington (48)
  • Rhode Island (49)
  • Hawaii (50)

Truckers, do you agree with the list? Let us know in the comments, and share your experiences on what it’s like driving through the best states or through the worst states. Continue reading to learn the best drives in America:

Coastin’ Through The California Coast

Highway 1 known as a beautiful road
Photo Courtesy of Adobe Stock

Driving through the routes of California includes scenic routes and attractions that you’re going to want to savor every moment. Truckers recommend that you drive north through the state of California as this state has several soaring panoramic views. The first route is driving through Highway 101, and you may have heard of this being a popular and iconic drive. Viewed as a motion picture ride, this drive consists of incredible national parks, a front seat view of the coastline, and charming towns and communities!

Another popular route to take is Highway 1 where you’ll be near the Pacific Coast throughout the whole drive. With approximately 655 miles of noteworthy views, you’re bound to take a million pictures! Some attractions that you can plan for are the Big Sur, Hearst Castle, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Read this great overview of Highway 1 if you’re planning to go there soon.

Don’t Miss Out on the Seward Highway in Alaska

Seward Highway, one of most scenic drives in the world
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Have you noticed when you drive a couple hours, you get bored because it’s a dull ride? Not this route. You will never lose interest as you cruise along this two and a half-hour exciting drive.

The Seward Highway can provoke familiar feelings of the California Coastline, and it will feel like the views that you see in movies. As you continue to cruise, you will see breathtaking mountains that you haven’t seen before, miles full of animal life, and great beaches. The drive from Anchorage, Alaska to Seward is a trip everyone must take at some point in their life!

Take a Weekend Driving the Appalachian Trail to the Gulf of Mexico

Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina known as one of most scenic states
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

For 72 hours, you can experience Central Park and drive down the Gulf of Mexico. If you ever get to drive this distance, you’re destined to love it. As you drive down through multiple states, you will see memorable scenic views and attractions such as the Blue Ridge Mountains. If you schedule plenty of time for this route, truckers recommend that you go swimming in the Gulf.

Although there are likely dull sections along the way, it’s the change from a place like Central Park, New York to driving down towards the Gulf of Mexico that makes the trip worthwhile. You’re going to notice differences in several states, and you will find those changes intriguing.

Take an Entire Day to Experience the Beautiful San Juan Byway in Colorado

San Juan Byway, one of most beautiful drives in the world
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

If you just want a full day to experience a beautiful drive, go to the San Juan Byway. You won’t be bored and disappointed. It consists of the most beautiful landscapes in the country, quaint mining towns, and the most exhilarating twists and turns. You’re never going to want the drive to end.

You will feel like you’re in a movie because the landscape will transition. One moment you’re seeing green surrounding you, to a landscape that almost looks like a dessert, to then seeing snow-capped mountain peaks. We’ve heard that you must visit the delightful small mountain towns.

Keep in mind that the roads wind, so don’t get too wild and just take your time driving carefully and slowly.

Take I-70 into Utah and Colorado in the Summertime

I-70 into Utah and Colorado, most beautiful roads
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

If you’re planning a trip to see the most astonishing and thrilling high deserts and rock formations in the summer, the route to 1-70 into Utah and Colorado is the riveting trip that you won’t be able to see anywhere else. With deep red canyons around every bend and beautiful parks to stop at, you’ll be amazed at how wonderful nature is.

Not only that, Utah might as well be known as a huge national park. We’re not joking, read how Utah could just be the most beautiful state in the country.

The Landscapes of West Virginia

West Virginia consists some of the most beautiful roads in america
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

Ever saw landscape paintings and you thought to yourself that you wished you could see it in person? You can finally see it in person by driving on I-64 in West Virginia! When you hit a specific mile marker, you’re suddenly coming upon valleys that resemble paintings of natural, lush landscapes. You’ll suddenly realize you’re being covered in never-ending beauty.

You’ll find the most charming towns as you drive through the route, and we recommend taking the opportunity to admire Lake Tahoe. During the winter where there is still snow, you will be at eye level with people on the ski lifts as you’re driving down the mountain! For people who do not see snow often or have never seen snow, this will be an amazing experience for you.

Go West from Montana to Idaho

Montana and Wyoming are prettiest states in America
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

We can agree that when you’re driving hundreds of miles, you’re bored and itching to arrive at your destination. People who have driven any westbound route from Montana to Idaho can assure you that this will be the most peaceful, beautiful, memorable 700-mile drive in the country.

With only two-lane routes between the two states, you’ll discover mountain peaks, meadows, national forest with green that goes on endlessly. Even if you’re driving through it, you get a vibe that you are actually a part of nature is surrounding you.

Get on the Road and Share Your Experiences!

If you have a longing desire to put some wheels on the pavement and explore the most beautiful drives in America that our truckers have driven around, make sure to take one of these unforgettable routes! Get your car inspected and fill up your gas tank, and don’t forget to pack plenty of snacks and drinks.

Let us know about your experiences on the road, and which route is your favorite. If there are other amazing routes that were not on this list, tell us in the comments!

On the road and looking for things to do to keep you entertained? Read 5 fun things for truckers to do when on the road.

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.

CVSA’s International Roadcheck 2020 is Approaching

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

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

After the International Roadcheck 2020 was postponed due to COVID-19, CVSA has now rescheduled the event for September 9th-11th. During the 72-hour inspection, law enforcement will verify your driving requirements and examine your vehicle’s components.

What Will the Inspection Look Like?

truck driver on the radio

This year’s focus will be on the driver’s requirements during the roadside inspections. The North American Standard Level I Inspection is a 37-step procedure that includes two main categories: the driver portion and the vehicle portion. There may be a third category of the Level I Inspection which is on hazardous materials and dangerous goods.

The inspections will occur at designated fixed locations or as part of roving mobile patrols.

The Driver Portion

Inspectors will be examining your driver’s license, Medical Examiner’s Certificate and Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate, and record of duty status and vehicle inspection reports (if applicable). Some of the top violations have been the failure to use a seat belt, operating a commercial motor vehicle without a CDL, and not carrying a medical certificate.

Inspectors Will be Checking You for:

  1. Your age
  2. Commercial Driver’s license or operator’s/chauffeur’s license or permit
  3. Driver’s medical/physical requirements
  4. Sickness or fatigue
  5. Intoxicating beverages and drugs and other substances
  6. Driver’s record of duty status

Download the PDF to read more about the driver’s requirements and violations.

The Vehicle Portion

The other category, the Vehicle Portion, will consist of inspecting the vehicle’s components to ensure everything is running smoothly. Such items that will be inspected are brake systems, cargo securement, driver’s seat, and suspension. Read below for a checklist of what components inspectors will be examining.

Vehicle Cheat Sheet for International Roadcheck 2020:

  1. Brakes
  2. Coupling Devices
  3. Fuel and Exhaust Systems
  4. Frame, Van, and Open-Top Trailers
  5. Lighting
  6. Securement of Cargo
  7. Steering
  8. Suspension
  9. Tires, Wheels, Rims, and Hubs

Read more on how these components will be inspected.

CVSA’s Decals

If there are no critical violations found, a CVSA decal will be applied to the vehicle. This means you successfully passed the inspection, and you are able to continue driving! If you did not pass the inspection, you will have to correct all violations before you may drive again.

Why Does International Roadcheck Exist?

truck driver staying alert and checking on his truck

This event increases the importance of commercial motor vehicle safety. Not only are they making sure your vehicle is safe to drive, but they are also making sure you and other drivers around you are safe. According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data, of the approximately 3.36 million inspections conducted in 2019, 952,938 driver violations were discovered, of which 199,722 were out-of-service conditions.

“Although the coronavirus pandemic, understandably, shifted priorities and personnel during the spring, the commercial motor vehicle law enforcement community has reasserted its focus on the roadside inspection program and enforcement duties,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police. “Jurisdictions are nearly back to their pre-pandemic capacity with a strengthened concentration on identifying and removing unfit vehicles and drivers from our roadways using federal safety standards and the out-of-service criteria.”

At US Cargo Control, We Care About Your Safety

We placed an importance on Operation Safe Driver Week and Brake Safety Week, and we want to place the same critical importance on International Roadcheck 2020. With COVID-19 creating changes, we want to ensure our truck drivers are safe and aware of these events.

With cargo securement being one of the items that will be inspected, we have tips on how to secure your cargo. Read the Dos and Don’ts on Load Securement to keep others and yourself safe.

Truck Drivers, thank you for moving us forward. If you have any questions about the products we carry, give our team of experts a call at 866-444-9990.

Heads Up! CVSA’s Brake Safety Week 2020 Has Started.

CVSA’s Brake Safety Week is running from August 23rd-29th. Read what this week is about, what to prepare for, and why this week exists.

Did you know that a Commercial Motor Vehicle traveling at 65 mph can take up to two football fields to come to a full stop? And that is with proper brakes. If you have poorly maintained brakes, you would have different results. Chances are you could be doubling that distance and are likely to be in serious trouble. This is why Brake Safety Week exists.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Brake Safety Week started this week and will be running until August 29th. Brake Safety Week is an important week for truck drivers because properly functioning brakes are crucial for safe driving. The truck’s brakes can withhold tough conditions, but you must inspect your brakes in order for your truck to perform well through its life.

What is CVSA’s Brake Safety Week?

dot brake inspection week

Throughout the week, law enforcement officials will be conducting roadside inspections on commercial motor vehicles to identify any brake violations. If your truck has any violations, they must be corrected in order for it to stay on the roads.

If you pass eligible inspections, you will receive a passed-inspection CVSA decal.

What Will They Be Inspecting?

Officials will be inspecting the CMV’s brakes to make sure there are no violations. They will also pay close attention to the brake hoses and tubing, which must be attached, undamaged, have no leakage, and provide flexibility. Hoses and tubing are essential for the braking system, and if they fail, then it may be difficult to brake well.

Why Does Brake Safety Week Exist?

US Cargo Control brake safety week
Photo Courtesy: Adobe Stock

It’s part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Operation Airbrake Program. This program focuses on improving brake safety throughout the United States. From the program, CVSA’s ultimate goal is “to reduce the number of highways crashed caused by faulty braking systems on commercial motor vehicles.” Although inspecting the brake system and its components are always part of the roadside inspection process, Brake Safety Week highlights the importance of brake system, brake maintenance, operation, and performance.

Just like how you would practicing being a safe driver, inspecting your brakes is equally important. CVSA reported that 13.5% of vehicles inspected during Brake Safety Week 2019 were removed from roadways for brake-related violations. Not only that, but CVSA also reported that brake systems were cited as the third most frequent vehicle-related cause in 2017, after other vehicles and tires.

What is the Best Way to Inspect my Brakes?

One simple way to inspect your brakes is to demonstrate the “eyes, hands, and feet” routine you learned in studying the pre-trip inspection routine for your CDL exam. Here’s the routine to refresh your memory:

Eyes – look at how your tractor and trailer are sitting. If the vehicle is leaning or slouching to one side, you may have suspension issues or a flat tire.

Hands – During the pre-trip, use your hands to check that electrical cords, airlines, and glad hands between the tractor and trailer are all secure. There must be no abrasions, cuts, and air leakage. If the brake hoses are rough or twisting, you will be able to identify that by seeing or touching them.

Feet – Use your feet to conduct the three-stage brake test: applied pressure test, warning light and buzzer, and tractor/trailer protection valve pop-out.

At US Cargo Control, We Care About Your Safety

Again, just like how you would practice being a safe driver, inspecting your brakes is equally as important. Be aware of your brake system, just like how you would inspect other components of your vehicle. If you continue to do this, you will leave others and yourself safe from dangerous situations.

With a focus on safer driving behaviors, securing your cargo is just as important. Read the Dos and Don’ts on Load Securement to keep others and yourself safe.

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.

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.