Truckers Share Their Worst Mistakes Made As Rooky Drivers

It’s every drivers worst nightmare – making a mistake, while you’re hauling a load. It’s even worse as a rooky, but it happens to everyone. Read below for some of the worst rooky mistakes drivers have made while working as professional drivers:

I was helping out a Wal-Mart dedicated account running reefer loads. Had to do a back haul of frozen vegies after my last Wal-Mart store. Long story short, I shut off the reefer after the last Wal-Mart and never turned it back on until I got to the DC guard shack with a trailer full of once frozen vegies. Boss was not very happy with me.

Went up a steep grade in Fairbanks Alaska and didn’t chain up based on my bosses advice. I lost traction and slide backwards for about a 1/2 mile and almost slide off a 200ft cliff into the Tannana River.

I learned a rough lesson about the difference between an experienced professional and a FNG who isn’t yet qualified to act on the advice of the professional.

I fueled up at flying J in Saskatoon with a set of super B’s . There where two entrances to the truck stop and I went around to the far entrance when I was leaving like I had always done, found out that they had closed that entrance with a pile of dirt. Normally it wouldn’t be a problem but it was 3 in the morning and the lot was packed with no room to turn around with a set of super B’s. I had to split them and back each out individually, then re-hook. Went in to the truck stop for a drink and mentioned to the attendant that they should put up a sign, he said yeah your the 3rd person this week who had to do the same thing. It took every fibre of my being not too explode.

When I started with Swift, I was still teaching myself blind side backing.

Pulled up to a dock, blind sided in, felt a bump. I ran over a trailer jack stand.

A guy loaded fish in a reefer for a 4,300 km trip from Broome to Adelaide and he set the temperature at +27 instead of -27, so it was on heating for the whole trip, how he didn’t notice we will never know. The whole load had to go to the tip.

Parked overnight in an empty area at a cons. Wake up surrounded by trailers on either side. Pull out, start turning and everything starts violently shaking and slowing down. Driver in a truck directly across from me starts laughing.

Oh my, I’m hitting the trailer next to me on my blind. I’m dead. This is it. Game over. Hang the noose now. I back into the same spot to assess the damage.

Nothing. No scratches on either trailer. No evidence of any damage. What the hell?

I talk to the driver across from me. Ask him if I hit that trailer. He tells me he doesn’t think I hit it. Says it sounded like the trailer brakes were still set. I tell him that doesn’t make sense, I was able to pull straight out of the spot without resistance. I don’t set the trailer brakes anyway.

Another driver comes over when I get back to my truck. He explains how to exit without hitting the trailer. Yes, thank you, I know. I ask him if I hit the trailer. He just smiles and says “dude, no one is paying any attention. Just leave.” Well that’s not reassuring.

The only thing I can think of is my hand accidentally pulling down on the trolley valve as I was turning and locking the trailer brakes. Yard jockey was putzing back and forth the entire time and never even looked my way, I’m sure he heard the noise.

About a month in I was in this backwoods area in Michigans upper peninsula, delivering steel to a manufacturing plant that had just recently been built. When they built the plant, they also built new roads to accommodate the plant, and the old roads were pretty much two tracks. This was all recent enough that none of it showed up on google maps.

It’s Sunday night, I’m delivering Monday morning. No answer at the contact number for the cons. I can see the plant, but I can’t see a way into the facility. I’m following the fence line when the road turns into a one lane dirt track. I panic and try to pull a U turn instead of backing the mile or so down the road I had just come up. I get completely stuck.

Instead of calling breakdown I call a tow company myself and foot the bill.

The worst part is that the turn I actually needed to get into the plants entrance was just another 100 yards ahead.

Picked up a load in Chicago. Getting in was incredibly stressful, but I did it. Backing into the dock was incredibly stressful, but I did it. Getting out however, not so successful. I couldn’t go the way I had planned on since people don’t know how to park thus making the turn impossible for me. Resorted to Plan B which involved Lake St. If you’re not familiar with Chicago, Lake St. is one of the roads that the elevated train runs above. This plan would have worked fine if not for the construction taking up most of the street. I moved over to the right to avoid the cones, but I guess I went too far and quickly found out that while the center of the lane was above 13’6, the side definitely was not. Ripped a big hole in the top of the trailer.

What about you, drivers?  What’s the worst mistake you’ve made as a rooky driver?

Righting Your Rig: Getting Your Overturned Tractor Trailer Upright

Overturned Logging Truck

Inevitably, mistakes can happen when you’re rolling the open road. And that means accidents. One of the scariest, most dangerous results can be a semi rolling, causing potential fires, injuries, fuel leaks, spilled cargo, and more. It’s a mistake you hope not to make, but in the event that you do, there are some important things to know.

An over-turned semi-tractor trailer or tanker truck presents extraordinary challenges when it comes to clearing the scene and getting that rig upright again. There are a few methods of righting a tractor trailer, some better than others:

• Heavy-duty tow trucks
• Recovery truck with rotator
• Air cushion recovery system
• Crane

By far, the fastest way to right an empty or partially loaded semi is the recovery truck with rotator option. Not only do they not require the assistance of other equipment to complete the task, they can do the job in restricted spaces, and can operate in fewer travel lanes than other vehicle recovery systems. If your truck is fully loaded, then the air cushion recovery system is your best bet. This method is faster than manually off-loading your cargo, and then trying to right the rig.

Obviously, your options will depend mostly on the availability of equipment in the area of your accident, however it is nice to know what those options are. In most cases, you’ll be relying on a heavy-duty tow truck or two.

The procedure for righting your rig is delicate and time consuming – but followed carefully, should be successful. In the below video, you’ll see just how slow this process can be – and in this case, the truck isn’t even overturned!

Now, as you can see from the above video, this process is best done slow and steady. Now check out the below video, and you’ll see what going too fast can result in:

Righting a rig that has overturned is an arduous process and takes quite a bit of time. But at the end of the day, working slowly and diligently will take less time than if the clearance method is done too quickly or sloppily and results in another accident. Take it slow and steady, and your rig will be right in no time!

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

Food To Store In Your Truck


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 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!

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 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 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 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


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:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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:


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.


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.


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.


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?