United In The Fight Against Prostate Cancer

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness month, and we here at FinditParts are proud to announce our partnership with the Prostate Cancer Foundation in the important fight against this deadly disease. For the rest of 2018, we are committed to the Prostate Cancer Foundation’s (PCF) community fundraising initiative, Many vs. Cancer, to match 100 percent of donations made through our website.

As most of our customers are men, and since one in nine will be diagnosed with Prostate Cancer at some point during their life, we believe that bringing attention to this issue could potentially save lives. By matching all of the funds raised with the help of our customers allows us to turn awareness into action and helps us double the impact on a disease that continues to take a man’s life every 18 minutes.

“After a very close friend of mine was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, I learned that the prevalence of the disease is similar to that of breast cancer, yet you just don’t hear much about it. I realized that I could make the greatest impact by starting a dialog where I have an audience and by raising the much-needed funds to find a treatment for my friend.”
– David Seewack, Founder & CEO FinditParts

A “round-up” and donation option has been added to the FinditParts checkout process; however, making a purchase on our site is not a requirement for making a donation. Alternatively, you can head to our “FinditParts Supports Many vs. Cancer” microsite which has links to free downloadable information about the disease and its prevention, as well as information about how to get involved through Many vs. Cancer, PCF’s online fundraising community.

“We are so grateful to David and his team at FinditParts for stepping up to accelerate game-changing discoveries of new precision cures for men with prostate cancer.  He is the first in his industry to take on prostate cancer as a cause, and we hope that through his special leadership others in his industry will follow.”
– Jonathan W. Simons, President & CEO, Prostate Cancer Foundation

For more information or to donate, please visit finditparts.com/prostate-cancer-foundation.

Food To Store In Your Truck

Credit: TheHealthyTrucker.net/fit

Shopping for groceries when you’re on the road can be difficult, and lead to unhealthy choices for the sake of convenience. But eating healthy doesn’t have to be inconvenient at all! With this list of easy to prepare, easy to acquire foods to stock on your truck, you won’t have to worry about subsisting on just junk and fast food.

These 14 food ideas for truck drivers were chosen both because they are nutritious AND they’re easy to store in limited space. While some may not have a long shelf life, like bananas, not one of these will require tricky storage or preparation:

Brown Rice
Brown rice is a highly nutritious food that is relatively low in calory (216 calories per cup), high in fiber, gluten-free and can be incorporated into a variety of dishes. In addition, it has proven to be great for your health, a handy helper to healthy digestion and is a great staple for weight management.

100% Whole Wheat Bread
Whole grains deliver many important nutrients and have been proven to lower your risk of heart disease, your risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes and more. Needless to say, a quick sandwich on whole wheat bread is a healthy and convenient alternative to the junk you’d get in a drive through.

Bananas
Bananas are one of the most widely consumed fruits, and for good reason. Eating them could help lower blood pressure and reduce the risks of cancer and asthma. Bananas are rich in potassium and fiber and can be purchased for a pretty nominal cost. Cheap, healthy and easy to store – now that’s our kind of food!

Spinach
Eating spinach may benefit eye health, reduce stress, help prevent cancer and reduce blood pressure levels. Aside from it’s many health benefits, it’s also easy to prepare in a number of ways – whether you add it to your salad, slap some on a sandwich or add it to some pasta, spinach is an easy food to keep in your rig for a quick healthy addition to your meals.

Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is an excellent source of calcium, a mineral that plays a major role in tooth and bone health, and in the prevention of osteoporosis. It’s also high in protein and low in calories, which makes it an ideal snack to have on hand while you are traveling.

Edamame
Edamame is a great source of soy protein and is rich in healthy fiber, antioxidants and vitamin K. These plant compounds may reduce the risk of heart disease and improve the blood lipid profile, a measure of fats including cholesterol and triglycerides. Nosh on these rather than salty snacks – trust us, your heart will thank you for it!

Apples
Apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavanoids, and dietary fiber, which is all extremely beneficial to your digestive system.  They’ve been proven to help reduce your diabetes risk, lower cholesterol and help prevent strokes.  Apples are also easy to store, and have a longer shelf live than many other fruits.

Eggs
Eggs are a very good source of inexpensive, high quality protein.  Whether you boil ’em, scramble them, or poach them, eggs are a great source of energy sustaining protein that will keep you fuller longer, and are easy to store in a small fridge or cooler.

Dried Beans
Beans are rich in a number of important micronutrients, including potassium, magnesium, folate, iron, and zinc, and are important sources of protein.  They also happen to be incredibly inexpensive and adaptable to a variety of dishes.  Beans give you a great bang for your buck dollar wise, and are easy to store.

Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a great way to boost your protein levels while avoiding heavy foods that could make you sleepy and feeling sluggish. Store a few cups in a cooler or small fridge and you’ll have an energy sustaining snack that’s perfect topped with frozen fruit and a little granola.

Non-Fat Milk
Milk is good for the bones because it offers a rich source of calcium, a mineral essential for healthy bones and teeth.  Add it to cereal, oatmeal, smoothies and more as a quick boost of calcium and to help with bone and heart health.

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a rich source of fiber as well as containing a good array of vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium, selenium, and they’re a good source of most of our B vitamins and vitamin C.  A quick nuke in the microwave and sweet potatoes make a great compliment to chicken, fish and other heartier proteins.

Canned Tuna
Canned tuna is a good source of essential nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids.  You can usually scoop up a can of tuna for less than $1 per can, and it makes a great protein addition to salads, sandwiches and a variety of other dishes that are heart healthy.  They’re also easy to store, and have a long shelf life making them the ideal road food.

Peanut Butter
While a little on the calorie heavy side, peanut Butter is a great source of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.  Easy to store, and easy to spread, peanut butter is fantastic on sandwiches, toast, smoothies, and even just on a spoon as a quick snack.  Remember, there are nearly 200 calories per serving, so moderation is key.

And there you have it!  These are the 14 best foods to keep with you on the road as healthy mealtime options that will last a while on the road. For more healthy tips and tricks, be sure to visit TheHealthyTrucker.net

 

How To Keep Your Truck Cab Clean

Spring is right around the corner, and after a long, harsh winter your cab may be a little unkempt.  While regularly cleaning your cab is best, Spring cleaning is the perfect time to give your rig a thorough clean-out, and a little organization can help sustain your efforts.  Follow these simple tips for a cleaner, more organized cab:

CLEAN OUT THE CLUTTER

It’s easy to let clutter pile up in your cab, and it can get quite messy if not attended to on a regular basis.  Consider cleaning up all of your loose receipts, paperwork and other items on a monthly basis.  This way the job is never overwhelming, and will help you maintain a regular cleaning routine.  Also consider getting a small trash bin to keep garbage under wraps and easy to dispose.

DISPOSE OF UNNECESSARY ITEMS

Assess your belongings – are there any that you never use, where or need?  If so, remove them – leave them at home or donate them to someone who can use them.  Having less stuff makes it that much easier to keep your cab spotless.

WIPE DOWN SURFACES:

Dirt and grime easily find themselves at home inside many a cab, so it is important to regularly wipe down any dust that may have settled on the dash and other flat surfaces. Use a disinfectant or cleaning wipes to wipe out the gunk and gives you clean rig that you could literally eat off of.

VACUUM AND CLEAN THE CARPETS

Dirt, salt and who knows what else get traipsed in and out of your rig all the time – vacuuming regularly will help keep this accumulation to a minimum.  But to get really clean, you’ll need to shampoo your carpets for a deep clean that will be easier to maintain.

CLEAN YOUR WINDOWS

Good visibility is crucial to safe driving, so washing your windows, especially the windshield, is essential. When cleaning the glass on your rig, be sure to use a non-streaking agent and a microfiber cloth to buff away dirt and debris.  Tinted windows? Stay away from any ammonia-based products as they can cause your tint to peel and fade.

GET ORGANIZED

Not having a home for loose items floating around your cab can quickly make it feel dirty and disorganized, not to mention making those items hard to find.  So get organized! Keep like items together, and be sure to place them back in their dedicated space once you’re done using them.  Keep trash confined to a bin that you empty at least once a day, and keep important papers tidy and together with a paperwork organizer.

We’re sure there are many long-haul drivers that have driven for many years, and have developed tips and tricks to a cleaner cab along the way.  If that’s you, share advice in the comments below!

Top 10 Essentials for Life on the Road

Semi Truck Driver

Life on the road isn’t easy – it means long hours, time away from home and livin’ life in the confines of your cab. But, it can all be made a little easier with some simple essentials.  Here are the top ten must have’s of any highway hero:

Trucker’s Top 10 Essentials for Life on the Road

1. Sunglasses

A great pair of polarizing sunglasses can be worth their weight in gold. Not only do they prevent the squints, they help you avoid eye strain, fatigue, and headaches.  You’ll go through more than a pair or two per year, so be sure to stock up so you’re never without.

2. First Aid Kit

A quality first aid kit can make all the difference in the world in the case of minor mishaps. Be sure your kit is stocked with non-expired first aid products, fresh bandages, hand sanitizer and gauze so you’ve got everything you need in the event you’re injured on the road.

3. Wet Wipes

Whether you use them to clean your cab or clean yourself, wet wipes are a versatile, super useful tool that every trucker needs to keep in stock.

4. Cleaning Supplies

Cleanliness is next to godliness, and on the road it can mean the difference between comfort and chaos. Having the right supplies to keep your rig sanitary and safe is the key to enjoying your small space.  A handheld vacuum, paper towels, all purpose cleaner, disinfecting wipes and dashboard cleaner are all useful tools in keeping clutter, dust and debris away.

5. Work Gloves

Specifically, leather cowboy gloves, are breathable, comfortable protection for your hands, and protect your skin from wear and tear. Keep a few pairs in your cab so you’re always prepared for random repairs or for loading/unloading.

6. Emergency & Safety Gear

You never know when inclement weather, accidents or other issues may arise, so having the right gear to handle a variety of sticky situations is vital. Emergency weather gear like a rain coat, light reflective clothing, and sturdy weatherproof boots are often-overlooked items that can mean all the difference in your safety.

7. Toolbox

You never know when or where you’ll be when the need for a repair will strike – so having a well stocked toolbox is not only smart, it’s necessary. Be sure to include multipurpose items like zip ties, a pocket knife and batteries in addition to staples like screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers and a hammer for a toolkit that will keep you covered in any repair situation.

8. Heated Blanket

Weather can quickly throw a wrench in your travel plans, so being prepared for impromptu overnight stays in colder parts of the country is a must. A heated blanket is a great way to make sure you stay cozy, even if you’re parked overnight in the coldest, most extreme temperatures.

9. Mini Refrigerator

Keep fresh foods close for healthier eating rolling the open roads. Everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to cold bottles of water are nutritionally essential, and much better options than your usual gas station and fast food fare.

10. Slow Cooker

Let’s face it, home cooked meals always taste better than anything you can find at a convenience store. Slow cookers are a great way to ensure you’ve got homemade meals ready to go at a moment’s notice.  Just pop a roast in the slow cooker in the morning, and by lunchtime you’ve got yourself a great meal.

 

Source 1, Source 2

Top 5 Tips Trainers Give Truck Drivers

Top 5 Tips Truck Driving Trainers Give Drivers

Learning to drive an 18-wheeler isn’t as easy as you might think – it’s much more than simply learning how to stop or make a turn.  Trucking is truly a lifetime skill that many long time drivers have refined over the years.

The foundation for good trucking skills is largely laid by your trainer – which means having a good trainer is vital to starting off on the right foot. We polled FinditParts fans to see what was the most important thing their trainer taught them, and here’s what they had to say:

Top 5 Tips Trainers Give Truck Drivers

  1. Look for the big picture

    Being aware of your surroundings is so much more than just focusing on what is in front of you. A good driver will be aware of what’s happening up ahead, as well as behind and to the sides.  Always scan your mirrors and be aware of your trailer – it will tell you how you’re driving.  Going off the road or over the lines? It may be time to take a break, as you aren’t driving safely.

  2. Take it slow

    Slow and steady wins the race. That may be an old adage, but it’s true – driving too fast, especially in unsafe conditions can cause you to make mistakes that could prove deadly. Traveling too fast downhill? A jake brake may not save you.  Speeding and come across an animal in the road? You could cause a major pileup by swerving or hitting the animal at a high rate of speed.  So, no matter what, err on the side of caution and stay in the slow lane.

  3. Take care of yourself

    Healthy eating, getting good sleep and regular exercise are essentials to a successful long haul. These three things will help you stay alert, drive better and are an investment in your overall health, which is the key to a long career on the road. Stay away from fast food and convenience stores as your main source of meals, and instead invest in a slow cooker that you can use to create healthy, hearty meals while you drive.

  4. Get out and look

    During backing situations, never be afraid to G.O.A.L. – get out and look! Backing up a truck is one of the most dangerous maneuvers a trucker can do, so it’s very important that you get our and check your surroundings when needed. Smart truckers will recognize, it’s better to get out and look and take your time than it is to act hastily and potentially play bumper cars with your trailer.

  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

    Seasoned truckers always have great knowledge to share, so if you’re just starting out don’t be afraid to ask for advice or help. It’s always best to seek out the advice of others, rather than assume and make a mistake – especially when those mistakes could be deadly.

These tips are just a handful of awesome information shared by our fans – what would you add to the list?

Tips For Driving in the Fog

Winter and Spring are two of the worst times of year for foggy driving conditions.  With the land being very cold, and then moist, warm air moving over it, fog is an unavoidable encounter when you live life on the road.  Because of this, it is important for truckers to adjust their driving according to the weather conditions – here are a few tips for driving in the fog:

SLOW DOWN

Even if you know the roads well, slowing down is important.  You don’t want to be surprised by a sudden stop in traffic, or encounter an unseen object in the road that was obscured by the fog, as it will surely result in an accident if you’re traveling at a high rate of speed.  Slow down and stay safe in foggy weather conditions.

USE LOW BEAMS & FOGLIGHTS

Turning on your headlights and fog lights is crucial to not only your ability to see well, but also your ability to be seen well by other drivers.  Even in the daylight, be sure to turn on your beams during foggy conditions.

USE WIPERS & DEFROSTERS

Maximize your visibility by turning on both your windshield wipers and your defrosters.  Turing on the defrost vent without heat or opening your windows is the quickest way to de-fog your windows; this also evaporates moisture and warms up the cab of your truck.

AVOID CHANGING LANGES

It can be challenging to see well in foggy weather, and that doesn’t just pertain to what’s in front of you.  Avoid accidents by not changing lanes in foggy conditions, and that way you won’t miss anyone who might be coming up from behind or beside you.

These simple tips are common knowledge to some, but perhaps not all.  What other advice would you offer for driving in the fog?

Top Tips For Great Sleep On The Road

Getting enough quality sleep while you’re doing long haul trucking isn’t just an essential for your health, it’s essential for your safety. According to a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) study, fatigue was the blame for 31 percent of fatal-to-the-driver crashes, making that the single largest factor in these deadly accidents.  To avoid any possible risk of a fatigue related accident, here are the top tips for getting great sleep for truckers:

  1. Find a safe, quiet place to park

    Finding a great parking space is half the battle in getting great sleep, as loud noises or the feeling of being unsafe can be majorly disruptive to getting adequate rest. Try to avoid parking next to reefers or idling trucks, and ideally park on a level surface to prevent uncomfortable sleep positions in your cab.

  2. Foam ear plugs

    Foam ear plugs can be a drivers best friend when it comes to blocking out loud noises. It isn’t always possible to get away from loud trucks, refers or APU’s that can disrupt your slumber, so having ear plugs is the next best thing.

  3. Stick to a routine

    As the saying goes, early to bed, early to rise. Sticking to a sleep schedule helps regulate your body’s ability to get and stay asleep easily. Avoid caffeine during the latter half of the day and don’t eat heavy meals that might cause digestive issues towards the evening hours.Also try and avoid napping during daytime hours if you can, as it can mess with your circadian rhythm.  If a nap is necessary, try and keep it to a maximum of 45 minutes so it doesn’t disturb your normal sleep routine.

  4. Exercise

    Exercise is a great way to discharge energy after a long day of sitting and driving. Studies prove that moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (e.g., walking) reduces the time it takes to fall asleep and increased the length of sleep of people with chronic insomnia – so consider taking a quick stroll around the truck stop (or wherever you are parked) to help settle down for the evening.

  5. Get comfortable

Your rest will be as comfortable as your bed, so ensuring that you’ve got a mattress topper, good blanket and plenty of pillows is a must in getting great sleep.  Your bed should feel like home, so you can fully relax and rest.

Now it’s your turn – where’s your favorite place to sleep when you’re on the road? How many hours of sleep do you get at night, and what’s your best advice for getting great rest on the road?

Top 10 Interview Questions Truckers Need to Ask

It’s a mistake you’ll make at least once in your career as a trucker, and one that you’ll quickly wished you hadn’t – we’re talking about asking questions in interviews.  So often we’re concerned with finding somewhere that’s we’re compatible with job-wise, and forget to consider that the we should be more focused on whether or not the company is right for ourselves.

For that reason, it’s important to ask questions during an interview to help determine if it’s the right fit,  Here are the top 10 questions that truckers should ask during interviews:

  1. What is the home time policy?

    Make sure you find out how much home time you get and how it is split up throughout the week or month.

  2. What are the main routes/hauls?

    Many companies drive the same routes routinely, so be sure to ask what those routes are to see if they are a long-term fit for your and your needs.

  3. What type of equipment will I use?

    This one seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at the amount of times we’ve heard of a new-higher not being familiar with the equipment (which leads to safety issues, delayed work, etc.)

  4. Is layover pay offered?

    There will surely be times when you’re going to be waiting for your next haul, and it’s important to know if you’re going to get paid for this time. If not, this can really impact you financially, so take their answer into careful consideration.

  5. Is the pay hourly or by the mile?

    There are good arguments for each payment model, but it’s good to be informed on both just so you know which is most financially beneficial to you.

  6. Do you offer benefits, and what are they?

    At the end of the day, insurance is expensive. Make sure you know exactly the kind of coverage offered, and how it will impact your paycheck.

  7. What is the rider policy for pets and family members?

    If you’re going long-haul, asking the policy on pets, family members and friends as guests is a must. If you plan on bringing a pet, make sure you know their policies on weight and damage deposits.

  8. What expenses are covered?

    Does the company provide reimbursement for food, hotels, tolls, etc.?

  9. How many miles are available on average?

    Most companies pay by the mile, so get a clear understanding about how many miles are available on a weekly or monthly basis so you’ll know what kind of pay to expect.

  10. How often are the rigs maintained, upgraded or replaced?

Knowing how well the company takes care of their equipment is an indication of how well they might treat their drivers.  It’s also essential to your safety to know how much you can rely upon the trucks you’ll be driving, so don’t forget to ask this question, as your safety may depend on the answer.

Clearly, there are many more questions one might choose to ask when interviewing prospective companies for employment, but these questions form the core of what information you need to seek out.  For those of you who’ve been in the trucking game for a while, what questions would you add to this list?

Trucking Pre-Trip Inspection Guide

Semi Truck Pre-Trip Inspection
As a professional driver, your pre-trip inspection is a critical step in ensuring your truck is road worthy before each long haul. The inspections should be quite comprehensive, and for some can be quite difficult to remember, especially if you’re in pursuit of your commercial driver’s license (CDL). To that end, we’ve compiled the essential steps a thorough pre-trip inspection should have.

The point of a thorough pre-trip inspection is to ensure that your vehicle’s major components operate as intended. This inspection should be done at the start of each day, as well as once every 24 hours, after every 10-hour break and after you pick up a new trailer.

Before you begin make sure you have the necessary tools – gloves, flashlight and a hammer. Then check that the parking brakes are set and the transmission is in first gear. Driving an automatic? Be sure to place wheel chocks under the drive tires.

Next, you’ll want to turn on your headlights, activate your brake lights and switch on your four-ways.  Now you’re ready to proceed through your pre-trip inspection:

  1.  Look under the hood

    Look under the hood and inspect the carriage for anything that shouldn’t be there – road debris can easily get caught up here. Evaluate both sides of the engine, all of your hoses, wiring, reservoirs, filters, dryers and fluid levels. Thoroughly check your air dryer, alternator, brake air lines, brake chambers, slack adjusters, brake linings, brake drums, springs, spring mounts, shock absorbers, tires, tire pressure, tread depth, wheels, lug nuts, valve caps, hub oil, steering gear box and steering linkage.

  2. Check the left side of the cab

    Check the steps, on top of and underneath your cab for any unwanted items. Additionally, inspect your mirror, turn signal, lights, door, side skirting, steps, fuel tank/cap, reflectors and reflective tape, sleeper side, sleeper berth window glass and your DOT annual inspection sticker.

  3. Check the rear of the cab

    Here you’ll want to check the chain and battery boxes, fuel tanks, exhaust and chassis. Evaluate airlines, electrical cords, the cab suspension system, cross members, frame, and drive shaft.

  4. Check the front of your trailer

    Check your body panels, lights, reflectors and reflective tape, as well as your airlines, electrical cord, and stickers (height and preventative maintenance).

  5. Check your coupling

    Evaluate your release arm, fifth wheel mount, stop blocks, slide locking pins, fifth wheel pivot pins and pin locks, platform, apron, kingpin, gap and locking bar/jaw. Remember to use a flashlight when checking for correct coupling.

  6. Check your left side drive axles and suspension.

    Check for unusual items on your wheels, brakes, tires and suspension. Take special care to check your tires for any abrasions, bulges or cuts. Be sure to also check the air pressure, tread depth, wheels, lug nuts, hub oil seals, valve caps, air lines, brake chambers, brake linings, slack adjusters, drums, linings, air bags, shock absorbers, springs, spring mounts, U-bolts, torque rods, splash guards and lights.

  7. Check the left side of the trailer.

    Check underneath and the sides of the trailer for any unwanted modifications. Check your lights, reflectors and reflective tape, landing gear, underside, frame, top and bottom rails, body panels, tandem release handle, locking pins and air lines.

  8. Check your trailer suspension system

    Evaluate the wheels, brakes, tires, and suspension for any changes.  Check tires, air pressure, tread depth, wheels, lug nuts, hub oil seals, valve caps, air lines, brake chambers, brake linings, slack adjusters, drums, linings, springs, spring mounts, shock absorbers, U-bolts, torque rods and air tanks.

  9. Check the rear of the trailer

    Examine your seals, doors, hinges and bumper to check for anything unusual.  Also check your lights, reflectors and reflective tape, doors, door seals, door chains, door hooks, hinges, latches, license plate, splash guards and seal or padlock.

  10. Check your trailer suspension system

    Again, evaluate the wheels, brakes, tires, and suspension for any changes.  Check tires, air pressure, tread depth, wheels, lug nuts, hub oil seals, valve caps, air lines, brake chambers, brake linings, slack adjusters, drums, linings, springs, spring mounts, shock absorbers, U-bolts, torque rods and air tanks.

  11. Check the right side of the trailer

    Check underneath and the sides of the trailer for any unwanted modifications. Check your lights, reflectors and reflective tape, landing gear, underside, frame, top and bottom rails, body panels, tandem release handle, locking pins and air lines.

  12. Check your right side drive axles and suspension

    Check for unusual items on your wheels, brakes, tires and suspension.  Take special care to check your tires for any abrasions, bulges or cuts. Be sure to also check the air pressure, tread depth, wheels, lug nuts, hub oil seals, valve caps, air lines, brake chambers, brake linings, slack adjusters, drums, linings, air bags, shock absorbers, springs, spring mounts, U-bolts, torque rods, splash guards and lights.

  13. Check the front of your trailer

    Again, heck your body panels, lights, reflectors and reflective tape, as well as your airlines, electrical cord, and stickers (height and preventative maintenance).

  14. Check the rear of the cab

    And again, you’ll want to check the chain and battery boxes, fuel tanks, exhaust and chassis.  Evaluate airlines, electrical cords, the cab suspension system, cross members, frame, and drive shaft.

  15. Check the right side of the cab

    Check the steps, on top of and underneath your cab for any unwanted items.  Additionally, inspect your mirror, turn signal, lights, door, side skirting, steps, fuel tank/cap, reflectors and reflective tape, sleeper side, sleeper berth window glass and your DOT annual inspection sticker.

  16. Close the hood

    Evaluating the latch, hood mirrors and mirror brackets, as well as the hood for any unwanted items.

  17. Check the front of the tractor

    Check your bumper, license plate, windshield and lights. Also check your headlights and markers.  Remember to ensure the ID lights are operational and the lens is clean, and not cracked or broken.

  18. Check inside the driver side door

    Evaluate your clutch free play, accelerator, brake pedal, permit book and fire extinguisher/emergency kit.

  19. Check inside the cab

    You can now cancel your brake lights and four-ways.  Then check your turn signal and high-beam indicators, check the gauges, steering free play, horn, heater and defroster, shift lever, windshield wipers and washer and your in-cab air brake tests.

After checking off every item on this list, you’ll now know that your rig is in tip top, road ready shape.  Drive safe, truckers!

Healthy Tips for Truckers

Long haul drivers travel long distances frequently and can be away from home for weeks at a time.  For many, it’s a rough job that can lead to an unhealthy lifestyle, as the very nature of the work is sedentary and somewhat monotonous. As a result, many look to stimulants such as caffeine and sugar to keep them awake and satiated, which can prove to be a dangerous choice. Rest stops and convenience stores add to the problem, as food choices trend toward the unhealthy and make choosing healthier options difficult.  In conjunction with a grueling work schedule where sleep can be irregular and exercise options are limited, you’ve got a dangerous combination that leads to potential disaster.

The good news is there are a few simple steps truckers can take to avoid these unhealthy tendencies. With a little tweak in routine and food choices, truckers can look forward to a well-balanced lifestyle that leaves them feeling energized and avoids burnout, all of which is essential to a successful career as an OTR trucker.

Healthy Tips for Truckers

  1. Eat Healthy on the Go

    Part of the problem with trying to eat while rolling the roads is fast food, soda and junk are often the most readily available, and more affordable eating options. However, these unhealthy options can be costly in the long run as they lead to many health issues that can impact your ability to work. Rather than pick what’s cheap and easy, go for food and drink choices that stabilize your blood sugar and boost your immune system.  Stock up on snacks that are high in protein and low in sugar to keep your hunger at bay between meals – this way you won’t overdo it when you sit down for meals. And when you do sit down for your meals, aim for lighter far such as salads and wraps, rather than burgers and fries.

  2. Exercise

    Trucking is one of the most sedentary jobs out there, and sitting for long periods of time can really take a tole on your body. Exercising for as little as 30 minutes a day can mean all the difference in how you body handles the stress of sitting. Your best bet is to just stick with the basics – light stretching before to help loosen your muscles, then a round of cardio to get your heart going. A simple jog or brisk walk around the lot can really help keep your heart healthy, and is a simple, yet effective task that can be done anywhere.  And if you’re looking to build more muscle, small dumbbells of 5 – 10 lbs can be easily help you bulk up by doing alternating bicep curls, shoulder presses and other weight lifting exercises, and they can easily be stowed away in your cab without taking up much room.

  3. Get plenty of sleep

    Getting enough sleep is crucial to your safety. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, more than 30% of long haul truckers have admitted to nodding off while driving.  That is a dangerous behavior, that could very well end in disaster – so getting plenty of sleep is an absolute must.

While there are many tips out there for healthy living while long-haul trucking, these three tips are the core of what will help you structure your new, healthier lifestyle. For those of you who already implement these tips, what else would you add for someone looking to get healthy on the road?