March 31, 2018

The Truck Parking Problem

Its 9 P.M. and your driving through a bit of light snow. Visibility isn't an issue so you press on toward your destination. You round a slight curve and up a small grade and in the blink of an eye the snow starts to fall harder. The road in front of you is quickly becoming covered while your visibility is reduced to only a few feet in front of your steer tires. The thought of pulling over and calling it a day is looking like a wise decision. If you can find a space to park at the truck stop or rest area you have it made for the night. If not your options are limited to just off the shoulder or an exit ramp if there is available space and a surface that will support your weight.
Safe and secure parking for truckers is a problem that continues to grow. According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, every 15-minute search for parking by truck drivers costs the economy $4.4 billion annually. So the problem is not just a safety or convenience issue but an economic one as well. But almost every week a new story or article emerges reminding us this is a problem that will not go away by itself.  But on a brighter note there has been a slight increase in the number of new truck stops opening across the nation.

New truck stops opened by Love’s and Pilot Flying J:

Capac, Mich. – Love’s 3191 Capac Road, I-69, Exit 176 (104 Spaces)
Elizabethtown, Ky. – Love’s 601 South Ring Road, Western Kentucky Parkway, Exit 133 (63 spaces)
Denton, Texas – Love’s at 6421 N. Interstate 35, Exit 471 (85 spaces)
Suffolk, Va. – PFJ at 2400 Holland Road near Highway 58 (17 spaces)
Falfurrias, Texas – PFJ at 1419 US 281 (54 spaces)
Saint Agathe, Manitoba – PFJ at 354 Voyageur Road off of Highway 75 (34 spaces)

March 02, 2018

The "Joys" Of Winter Driving

Winter is not a fun time to be in the trucking business, especially if you deal with tarps on a regular basis. The freezing temperatures take their toll on your body and your equipment. Tarps often get frozen to the point where folding them almost becomes impossible. But the possibility of diesel fuel gelling or freezing brakes make tarps the least of your concerns.
Most fuel these days are treated with winter additives. But depending on your fueling location and your final destination, it might be wise to add a quality fuel additive to prevent gelling. Other things to consider during winter are; an adequate supply of food, keeping a flashlight with fresh batteries, extra blankets and clothes. Always be prepared for changing weather conditions.

December 24, 2017

Thank You Truck Drivers (The Real Santa's)

Most people never realize the process to bring the goods they need everyday and on holidays like Christmas to market. Truckers sacrifice a lot of time away from home and family. They also face poor weather conditions along with distracted and disrespectful drivers. At times drivers will spend countless hours waiting to be loaded or unloaded for a variety of reasons. So this Christmas I would like to thank my fellow truck drivers for all they do to make the holidays enjoyable.

December 23, 2017

That Christmas Spirit

Like most any other occupation driving has its pluses and minuses. But during the Christmas season I've always enjoyed seeing the decorations from town to town. I've seen some very impressive displays from Toronto to Miami and out west to Fresno, California.
Naturally some towns and cities have more to work with than others. But if used creatively, even a small amount of lights and holiday decor can be very effective. And there's nothing like feeling that “Christmas Spirit” no matter where you are.

September 04, 2017

Oh Canada

To this point my Canadian driving experience has been limited to Quebec and Ontario. The major difference between the two of course is language. French being the primary language in Quebec and English in Ontario. Driving in Canada is much like driving in the U.S. with the major difference being the metric system used to gauge speed and distance.
Entering Canada requires that I provide a customs invoice and bill of lading faxed in advance of my arrival to the broker at the border. Once my paperwork clears customs its just a matter of arriving with a passport or pass card for entry. I have enjoyed every trip to Canada to this point and have found the people to be friendly and easy to work with.