The news is true, the number of truck drivers in the U.S. is steadily declining. However, freight transportation is still the most dominant mode of moving foods.
Trucking is responsible for over 70 percent of all domestic goods moved in the country.
Transporting goods via truck is also the most secure and reliable method. Cargo planes and barges occur more unexpected delays and problems than ordinary semi-trucks do. Unsightly weather or cold temperatures are more likely to delay non-ground transportation.
Ground transportation does, unfortunately, run into a different problem: steady funding. Driving long distances means gas, and gas means spending your own money to pay for it.
When you’re always on the road, using gas station restrooms is unavoidable. Being dependent on these restrooms brings two questions to the table: when will the next one be available and will it be clean? Thankfully, we got you covered on the latter.
Top Rates Restrooms in the U.S.
California: Rotten Robbie
Colorado: Kum & Go
Connecticut: Cumberland Farms
District of Columbia: Exxon
Illinois: Kelley’s Market
Mississippi: Murphy USA
Nebraska: Kwik Shop
New Hampshire: Irving
New Jersey: Wawa
New Mexico: Chevron
New York: Nice N’ Easy
North Carolina: QuikTrip
North Dakota: Cenex
Rhode Island: Cumberland Farms
South Carolina: QuikTrip
South Dakota: Conoco
Utah: Holiday Oil
West Virginia: Sheetz
Wisconsin: Kwik Trip
QuikTrip is the overall winner by securing the top seat in nine states. The runner-up, Chevron, takes the lead in five states. Sheetz and Wawa are tied for third place by topping the list in four states.
Winter is one of the most beautiful times of year. The magical view of falling snow accompanied by holiday music is enough to make anyone relax… unless you’re on the road for a living. It’s easy to get comfortable with driving in above average weather conditions from April to October, but as November rolls around it’s important to revisit the basics of driving in inclement weather. Some things to take into consideration this Winter;
Not only should you never drive too close to the person in front of you, but if the weather is bad this is an accident waiting to happen. If you notice that the weather is bad, the cars around you do as well and they will tend to slow down and brake unexpectedly. Just by size of your truck alone it will make it hard to stop quickly enough to avoid hitting them, without even taking the weight of your load into account.
Don’t get too confident.
This may seem like it doesn’t even need to be said, but even the best drivers in any vehicle can find themselves in an accident caused by bad weather. You can’t control the weather, but you can control how you drive, so do so with extreme caution.
Don’t let yourself get distracted.
Driving in snow and ice is hard, but driving in snow and ice while you’re distracted is way harder. Keep your phone, tablets, or other devices put away while driving in bad weather. Find some good radio stations to keep yourself occupied while driving, but keep the volume low!
As of 2016’s fourth quarter report, driver turnover rates for large fleets has hit a 16 point reduction. This drop is the lowest turnover rates have been in five years! The American Trucking Associations’ Chief Economist states that we are expected to see another rise in the rates as a result of driver shortage concerns.
Eating healthy on the road can be difficult, but it’s important to have sustained energy all day while you’re driving. Check out these foods that are guaranteed to keep you going all day!
Oatmeal: oatmeal is a slow burning carb, meaning it’ll keep you running all morning without causing a crash.
Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help ward off fatigue and make you feel alert. They also absorb up to 10 times their weight in water which helps speed up digestion (aka converts food into energy faster).
Leafy Greens: Leafy greens boost energy levels because they are full of B Vitamins, which help the body covert food to energy.
Peppermint Tea: Peppermint increases alertness and decreases fatigue. Replace your coffee with a cup of peppermint tea, or chew peppermint gum when you feel like you’re crashing.
Water: Carry a reusable water bottle with you so that you can stay hydrated all day. Even mild dehydration can make you feel foggy, so load up on the liquids to make sure your body can function properly.
As an attempt to reduce the number of annual motor vehicle accidents involving trucks, regulators are issuing a speed cap for trucks and buses weighing over 26,000 pounds. The new cap would limit speeds to 60, 65, or 68 mph on the highway. Regulators argue that the cap would reduce mortalities caused by accidents between trucks and cars because the impact of crashes would be less severe if trucks are moving slower.
On the other hand, however, truck drivers argue that the number of accidents would actually increase. Many times, if a slow moving truck merges into the left lane, faster cars rear end the truck because they cannot slow down fast enough. So, if the trucks are forced to move slower, rear endings would just become more popular. Other truckers argue that the regulation only benefits larger trucking companies at the expense of independent drivers, who need to cover more ground daily.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that almost 500 lives would be saved with the addition of this speed cap. The rule will become effective Nov. 7.
Truck factoring is a business that has caught on and is also one that is very beneficial to all truck owners. It is different from a bank regarding the rate of interest and disbursement time. Believe it or not, but most of the freight factoring companies do disburse 90% of the amount within 24 hours to 48 hours only. This is great for the truck owners, who face a crunch for money. And that is usually due to the credit line with their customers or clients. Normally, it is advisable to check with known people or colleagues about any freight factoring company before signing up. This is essential for the safety of your business.
Cross check and confirm all that you need to know about a particular vendor in advance. Not everyone can be trusted, even though there are plenty of genuine factoring companies out there who have excellent customer care back up. This is necessary as they are the ones that collect payments from your customer and your customer is ‘Boss’. You wouldn’t want your relations with your customers or clients to be strained, right? It is the factoring company that gives you business and keeps your trucks on the road. Hence, you need to be rest assured that it remains that way. You cannot have a demanding or rude factoring agent. So do ask around and get as much essential information as you can.
If they do have provision for a short term contract, then go for it. Just in case you are not satisfied, you can always discontinue your contract and look elsewhere. But long term agreements tie you down and keep you in an arrangement that is detrimental to the success of your trucking business. And nobody wants that to happen. Your business is your baby, and you wouldn’t want some joker ruining everything for her, right.
So choose one that is right for your business and also has a positive impact on the growth aspect. And having a great vendor is better than going to the bank as the amount of cash you receive is against your invoices (sale of assets) and hence, it is not a loan. It is your money, just being given to you earlier. These funds, in turn, helps you to pay for fuel, salaries, and other expenses that may crop up. It is a perfect ‘arrangement’ if only the vendor is the right one.
Most contracts last a year, after which they are renewable unless you would like to give sufficient notice and discontinue the same. Most truck factoring companies do not enlist small trucking companies, and hence, it is a little harder to find a company if you have a small business. But don’t lose heart there are quite a few companies that do extend credit. If you have a bad payment record, it is possible that you might get rejected for that. So ensure that you have an excellent financial track.