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Top 3 Truck Driver Jobs in the USA

There are around 3.6 million professional truck drivers in the USA. Truck driver jobs are perfect for drivers that love freedom and adventure. Reasons to become truck drivers are numerous, but for most truck drivers main motivation is money, and a very fast way to get a driver’s license. 

Besides that, there is the freedom that drivers have – so if you crave for independence and variations with your schedule this career path is best for you!

Truck drivers are the backbones of USA commerce. Most of the products we are using today – whether it’s food or medicals are delivered by truck drivers.

The number of truck drivers has decreased in the last few years and the driver’s market for recruiters has become really chaotic.

So, let’s see which three truck driver jobs are most wanted!                                 

1. Over the Road Truck Drivers

Over-the-road drivers (OTR) drivers run through all states of the continental USA. They usually drive long hauls, staying on the road for at least 3 weeks and more. OTR drivers can haul all of the freight – dry, heavy, construction materials, and others.

Most trucking companies are looking for drivers with CDL Class A and with at least 8 months of experience.

In general, company drivers weekly run around 3000 miles a week – it depends on the market and conditions on the road.

Most of the over the road companies pay their drivers on mileage, so it’s simple – how many miles you drive, how much your pay checks will be.

That means that the minimum average that a company driver can earn per week is $1800 for a full week of driving.
Team drivers run more miles than solo drivers, so they can earn more. The weekly gross from team drivers is around $2000 each.

Owner operators and lease purchase earn as much as they drive. The more miles they drive, the more money they earn. The weekly minimum for them is around $8-12k.

2. Regional Truck Drivers

Regional Truck Drivers run loads within a specific country. This position is for drivers that love staying close to home. Weekly regional drivers can run within 1000 miles in one of the regions they are located. Depending on the company policy drivers can spend weeks on the road and stay home for a few days. The main difference between OTR driving, regional drivers are home for weekends.
The regional position is good for getting experience for longer routes, but it can be exhausting if you drive the same routes every week.

After you gain experience in regional routes it will be easier for you to apply and get hired as an over the road driver which will be great for your pocket.

Let’s see how much money you can earn as a regional driver.

Solo drivers weekly can earn around $1000, and run around 2000 miles.

Team drivers
can drive more miles and they can earn around $1600.

Owner operators can earn a bit more, around $2500, and also they are more flexible than team and solo positions.

3. Local Truck Drivers and Dedicated Routes

Truck drivers that are employed for local positions drive within 200 miles from home. Their working day lasts from 8 to 10 hours. Local driving is the best for people that want to be home every night.

Unlike, OTR and regional driving local routes can be more exhausting and difficult because drivers are dealing with tight roads.

So, let’s see how much they can earn.

Solo Drivers can earn from $800 per week up to $1400.

Owner operators with box trucks can earn from $150 up to $400 per day.

Dedicated routes, unlike local driving, mean that drivers run the same company or locations regularly.  Driver picks up a load and delivers it to a dedicated customer.

Dedicated drivers can earn about $1280 per week and run around 650 miles per day.

Owner operators can earn up to $3500 per week.

Dedicated runs are definitely not for those who love changes because you will just go from place A to place B, same routes and the same customers.

There are so many truck driver jobs – the calculation is pretty simple.
Is up to you what you want more at the moment –  more money and less free time or more free time and less money.

What would you choose?


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Rakmark – The year 2020 in retrospect

2020 has not been an easy year, it brought a lot of new challenges and changes in the whole world. The global pandemic changed how things work and businesses had to adjust to the new rules that had to be implemented to keep everyone safe. The trucking industry, once again, stepped up to the plate and it was essential during the first months of the pandemic. When everything in the world had to be paused, the trucking industry kept going, delivering essential goods to hospitals, stores and homes. 2020 was a hard year for everyone, it was difficult trying to redirect the focus from the global pandemic, but we tried to keep you informed, to educate both the rookie and the seasoned truckers, and lastly to entertain and distract you, even just for a couple of minutes and we hope we succeeded.

We’ve said goodbye to 2020, and sent her off in hopes we all learned something, in knowing we kept each other safe and being committed to making 2021 a better, safer, more productive year.

In this article, we are going to do a retrospect of our 2020 and what we wrote about, and would love to hear what your favorite articles were.

Trucking events

When we talk about 2020, we can’t ignore the global pandemic, so the first article we want to mention is the one about all the trucking events, many of which had to be canceled or postponed, some that were moved into the online universe, and a few that were lucky enough to avoid cancellation. The list of the events is very long since there is no off-season for the trucking industry. These events are very important for both the companies and truckers, they are places where connections are made and partnerships built, where there is a big focus on education and presenting new technologies that improve the trucking industry every year. Employment chances are also often presented at many of these events, so for the benefit of everyone in the trucking industry, we are hoping 2021 will be a better and easier year for trucking events.

Pre-trip inspection

The pre-trip inspection was one of the first topics we talked about in 2020, and we kept talking about it in almost every article we wrote. In this article, we explain why it is so important and what it entails. The pre-trip inspection is required by law, it is an essential part of every trucker’s workday, and that is why we keep mentioning it. It is important to know your truck, to know what to look for when doing the pre-trip check and to know when there might be a problem with your truck that needs to be addressed before getting on the road, you should have your paperwork in order and always put safety first.

Owner operators

We are going to mention two articles here, one was about lowering your owner operator expenses and the other was a comparison between owner-operators and company drivers. First, we talked about all the expenses you face as an owner-operator and how to best manage and lower them. Saving on fuel and food expenses, hiring professional bookkeeping services, and how to best plan for business development. The second article was about the differences between being an owner-operator and a company driver, the pros and cons of each, and the risks that might come with the jobs.

Fun and hobbies

We don’t always talk about serious, technical stuff. On some occasions we talk about fun, hobbies, things that you can do on your downtime while on the road. Two things we wrote about are how to have fun on the road and what are some hobbies truckers have. Being a trucker can be very stressful, it can be very hard for both the body and the mind, that is why it is important to occasionally do some exercises, to loosen up, have fun, sing, watch a movie, listen to a podcast or read a book. Take care of yourself in every way possible, to stay healthy and safe.

Podcasts and apps

After mentioning fun and hobbies we have to reflect on our lists of fun podcasts that we recommended and the best trucker apps of 2020. The podcast lists could go on forever, there are so many different types and topics, it is just a matter of what interests you, if you want to listen to trucker specific podcasts, or you’re interested in history or science, there is something for everyone. There are infinite resources of podcasts online, and new ones are being made every day. The apps we wrote about are trucking industry related. They are useful for companies and truck drivers. We chose the most popular and useful ones and we tried to explain what each of them does, how they are used and how much they cost.

We tried to cover a lot of interesting topics that would be useful and fun. When there was a holiday we talked about ideas on how to get through them while on the road, like in this article about the Memorial Day Weekend and the one about Halloween. We talked about safety, common mistakes, we gave you a lot of tips on different topics, and essentials to take on the road. These are the articles about all these topics and more: accident prevention tips, summer safety tips,  roadside inspections and the most common rookie mistakes. Top traits of a good truck driver, hours of service, loading dock etiquette, trucking essentials to take on the road and we compared manual vs automatic trucks. Our goal was to keep you informed, to educate, to entertain, and to remind you every time that safety and your health are the most important things.

We hope that 2021 will bring better things, brighter days and a safer world.

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Halloween and Trucking

The spooky season is upon us. Halloween is one of our favorite holidays. It is the time of chilly weather, carved pumpkins, costumes and decoration and yummy candy.

If you are spending this Halloween on the road, that doesn’t mean that you can’t participate and have your own Halloween fun.

You can start by decorating your truck. This sight will definitely make Halloween lovers happy and excited. This will also make you feel less like you are away from home, so make this Halloween as comfortable as you can for yourself.

So where to start?

First, decide on a theme. Do you enjoy the spookiness or do you prefer to make people laugh? You can also decide to go the classic way and decorate your truck with pumpkin ornaments, using ribbons in Halloween colors. If you choose the spooky route you can find many different options and you can get very creative. Spiders, ghosts, creepy dolls, witches, vampires and werewolves, there are so many choices. Whatever you choose, you will definitely catch the attention of other drivers, the people you meet on rest stops and the workers on loading docks.

Your truck can be a good conversation topic and it could make this Halloween shift go by faster while you are having fun.

If you are a big fan of this holiday and don’t like to miss dressing up in a costume, there is no reason why you shouldn’t do it while on the road too, as long as your costume doesn’t affect your safety on the road. You can dress up as your favorite movie or tv show character, favorite animal or favorite fellow trucker. Get creative and dress to impress.

The next thing to prepare is your halloween road snacks.

Get creative with the food you will bring. Make some spooky looking food and also bring your favorites, the foods that you associate with Halloween. It will make you feel the spirit of this holiday and stay well fed while on the road. Why not bring some Halloween Rocky Roads or some easy to make Mummy Sausage Rolls? Don’t forget to bring some healthy snacks too, to balance out all the sugary treats you will consume over this weekend.

Last but not least, bring a bag of candy with you, you never know who you will run into on your stops. If you find others dressed in costumes, those rest stop workers working hard on a holiday, the loading deck crew. Giving a small gift will get them in a good mood, and you will represent your company and yourself in the best light possible. As always, showing kindness to others is the best way to go.

As we said in the beginning, it is the spooky season, so let’s mention some spooky roads that many truckers know about.

There are many trucker haunting stories from the roads, but there are some roads and stops that became famous and were visited by paranormal investigators.

The abandoned Tri-County Truck Stop is one of them. It is located west of St. Louis on old Route 66, and it is believed to be haunted. Another Route 66 place that is worth mentioning is the Hotel Monte Vista in Flagstaff, Ariz. This hotel has a ghost devoted section on their website, and they specifically mention room 305 as the place with the most paranormal activity.

Clinton Road in West Milford, NJ, is one more place with mentions of many ghost appearances and phantom trucks appearing suddenly with strong lights and loud horns.

It is not surprising that there are so many ghost stories in the trucking community.

Truckers spend a lot of their time on the countryside roads, often parking in the middle of nowhere and sleeping without the comfort and the safety of a home. Driving long nights and not being completely sure what you saw, and sometimes seeing interesting or spooky things. It is all part of the job, and it is a perfect topic for the Halloween season.

Share a story of your spooky road experience with us this Halloween.

Halloween is a time of spooky fun, eating lots of candy, and telling scary stories, but because your job is one that requires high focus and safety, let’s go through some Halloween safety tips:

Stay focused and don’t get distracted. Halloween season brings many distractions on and off the road, so be sure to still stay focused on the road.

Adjust your speed when driving through residential areas. We all know that trick or treat is a big part of the Halloween tradition, so be aware of children trick or treating.

-Be more cautious around crosswalks, intersections, sides of the road. Avoid overtaking cars stopped on the side of the road, since they might be dropping children off. Pay extra attention to your surroundings.

-Don’t go overboard with your truck decorations. Try to decorate so that it doesn’t interfere with your trucks and road safety.

-Be prepared for autumn weather changes. Fog, rain or even snow, depending on the part of the country you are driving through, can surprise you this holiday season. Be sure to pay extra attention, stay focused and adjust your speed accordingly.

We hope that we gave you some ideas on how to have fun this holiday season, especially if you are a big fan of Halloween and still have to spend it on the road. Decorate your truck, get yourself a costume, stack up on Halloween snacks, all while staying safe and keeping others safe. Share your decoration and costume ideas with us, and don’t forget to tell us those spooky road stories.

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Hours of Service – All You Need to Know

Hours of service regulations govern the working hours of anyone operating a commercial motor vehicle(CMV) in the United States. They limit the number of daily and weekly hours spent driving and working and regulate the minimum amount of hours drivers must spend resting between their driving shifts. As a driver of a CMV, you are required to keep a record of working hours using a logbook or an Electronic Logging Device(ELD). The main purpose of the hours of service regulations is to prevent accidents caused by fatigue. You are required to take a daily minimum period of rest, and longer rest periods after a weekly limit of hours has been reached. Your HOS can be checked at weighing stations, and if you are in violation of the HOS you could be forced to stop driving for a certain period of time.

So let’s go over some important need-to-know facts, rules and exceptions about the HOS.

The 14-hour limit and 11-hour driving limit rules

The first rule is the 14-hour limit rule. This rule limits the working time for a driver to 14 consecutive hours, after coming on duty. This rule is followed by the 11-hour driving limit rule. This means that a driver can drive for 11 consecutive hours, then get in another 3 maximum hours of non-driving work duties, before they are required to rest for 10 consecutive hours off-duty. The non-driving duties include loading and unloading cargo, required vehicle inspections, fueling the vehicle, and non-working duties such as meals and breaks. Drivers are allowed to extend the 11-hour maximum driving limit and the 14-hour driving window by up to 2 hours when adverse driving conditions are encountered.

The 30 minute break rule

This rule requires drivers to take a 30-minute break when they have driven for 8 cumulative hours without at least a 30-minute interruption. This break can be satisfied while doing any other non-driving duties. It can be logged in as on-duty not driving, off-duty, sleeper berth or any combination of these taken consecutively.

The 60 or 70 hour limit rule

This rule states that a driver may not drive after 60 hours in 7 consecutive days, if a carrier does not operate every day of the week, or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days, for carriers that operate every day of the week. A driver may restart the 7 or 8 consecutive day period after taking 34 hours, or more, off-duty. This is known as the “34-hour restart”.

Sleeper Berth rule

Drivers can use the time spent in the sleeper berth to count towards their mandatory rest time or their off-duty time. Drivers who choose to use a split sleeper berth must take at least 8 hours in the sleeper berth, and they may split the sleeper berth time into two periods. This can be done only provided neither period is less than two hours. One shift must be between 2 and 8 hours and can be spent in the sleeper berth, off-duty or personal conveyance. The other shift has to be between 8 and 10 hours and it can only be taken in the sleeper berth. These two breaks can be taken in any order, and by completing both of them, the 14-hour limit is restarted. However this is not a full 10-hour reset, it just moves the start time of the 14-hour driving window.

Rule exceptions

-Short-haul exception

Property-carrying commercial drivers can extend their 14-hour driving window to 16-hours once every 7 consecutive days if they qualify for this short-haul exception. The requirements are met if the driver has returned to his normal work-reporting location for the previous five duty tours the driver has worked; The driver has returned to his normal work-reporting location and the carrier releases the driver after 16 hours after coming on duty, followed by 10 consecutive hours off duty; The driver has not taken this exemption in the past 6 consecutive days.

-Adverse conditions

The FMCSA defines adverse driving conditions as snow, sleet or fog, a highway covered in snow or ice, or unusual road and traffic conditions.

As we mentioned before, the 11-hour driving limit and the 14-hour driving window limit can be extended by up to 2 hours under adverse driving conditions if:

-the conditions could not be known before the driving started

-the driver could not predict the adverse driving conditions through common sense or trip planning.

-Emergency conditions

Some or all HOS rules can be temporarily lifted in case of emergency conditions. For this exemption to be valid, a federal or state institution must declare and acknowledge the state of emergency.

Electronic Logging Device

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the hours of service, and since 2017 the ELD mandate became effective. This mandate requires drivers to have an FMCSA-compliant Electronic Logging Device installed, which, then, automatically records drive times. Before this, drivers used to record their Hours of Service into a logbook, on paper, by hand. The ELD requires drivers to be more compliant with the HOS since the drive times are automatically recorded.

After the implementation of the ELD mandate, the manufacturers, FMCSA, industry stakeholders, and drivers were able to identify areas of improvement in the Hours of Service, and the FMCSA continues to consider the proposals to keep progressing and improving the industry. The Hours of Service is there to provide safety on the roads. Commercial Drivers have a big role in today’s society, and a big impact on road safety, so following the rules of the HOS plays a big role in preventing fatigue-related accidents. Driving long hours requires to be followed up with enough rest. So stay rested, healthy, and safe.

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Top 5 Loading Dock Etiquette

Almost every job you go on will start and finish on a loading dock. Even though you spend most of your time on the road, loading docks are a big part of your job. Staying safe while loading or unloading your fright is very important. It is not unusual for injuries to happen on loading docks. There are some things that you can do to be well prepared so that everything goes as smoothly and as safely as possible.

Here are some tips on loading dock etiquette that you should know.

Organize your paperwork

Keeping your paperwork organized at all times is something that will make your job a lot easier. Being prepared is as important on the road as it is on loading docks. Having your documents in one place will save you time and it will help the loading dock crew do their job a lot easier. Being organized also reflects well on the company you are representing.

Be alert and focused

When arriving at a loading dock, it is not a bad idea to park your truck outside and check out the place yourself. It is not the easiest job to back up a big rig into an unknown loading dock. We talked about accident prevention tips before, and driving into a loading dock prepared is the safest tactic. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and to stay alert and focused through the loading and unloading process. Loading docks are not the safest places and accidents happen when people get distracted.

Follow the rules

This may seem like an obvious thing, but it is important to follow the rules set by the loading docks. There might be some rules that seem unnecessary to you, but you are there to do the job and get back on the road, as quickly as it is possible. Following the rules set by the company will work to your advantage. Getting impatient and trying to go around them, might make the process of loading or unloading longer than needed. Rules are also there for everyone’s safety. Remind yourself that you are representing your company, following the rules makes you easier to work with and helps your company’s image too.

Communication and patience

It is important to stay patient. Working with others might be a bit different from the part of the job you spend alone on the road. Communicating well and being patient will make loading and unloading easier for everyone involved. You should be polite, calm and humble when communicating. You should communicate clearly if you are running behind or if you are conveying any message from any party involved. Staying patient through the whole process will help you stay stress-free, and get through everything faster and smoother. There are many situations that could make you frustrated, working with others is not always the easiest. Patience and good communication are key.

Covid 19 safety tips

Loading dock injuries can happen easily if people are in a hurry or distracted. There is always a lot going on on loading docks, a lot of vehicles and heavy machinery, cargo being moved around, many people involved in loading and unloading. On top of all of this, there is a global pandemic that has been changing the world and changing the rules in everyday life and in many industries. The trucking industry has played a big part in keeping the world go round. Even though you spend most of your workday alone on the road, you still need to have contact with others. There are already many safety rules that you need to follow with what you wear and how you act, now there are even more. Drivers need to wear masks, stay in their trucks and often let others load and unload their freight. Some places require drivers’ temperatures to be taken. In a situation like this, in order for things to keep running smoothly, it is important for everyone to follow rules, to keep their distance, and take care of their own health and of others.

Even when the world has stopped for a moment, the trucking industry keeps going. You are playing an important role in keeping everything functioning. This is why it is important for you to stay safe. You might spend more time on the road than on loading docks, but staying safe through your whole workday is essential. Remember to stay organized, keeping your paperwork in one place, staying calm and patient, and communicating well with everyone involved in loading and unloading your truck. Being alert and aware of your surroundings and following the loading dock rules will help you get through this process faster and safer. Following the new rules set due to the Covid-19 pandemic will keep you and others safe and healthy, which will allow you to keep working.

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7 Top Trucking Events in the US you Must Visit

Truck drivers have been a very important link and the first responders who kept everything going, store shelves remained stocked, hospitals got the needed medical supplies, while other businesses were halted and events all over the world have been getting canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some events got postponed to a later date and some moved online if that was a possibility.

We are going to mention some of the biggest trucking events that happen every year, and go through this year’s event calendar to see which events already happened and which got canceled or postponed. These events and conferences are a great place for you to network, stay up to date with the future of trucking, and meet others in the industry.

The Great American Trucking Show-GATS

GATS is one of the largest trucking conferences in the US that usually happens at the end of August in Dallas, Texas. This three-day conference showcases the latest information in trucking, equipment, parts and accessories, as well as access to jobs. GATS provides a free health care screening as well as fitness, cooking and educational demos in their Health and Wellness Pavilion, they let you connect with representatives from over 100 exhibiting fleets in their Recruiting and Career Pavilion, you can visit the New Truck Pavilion to see the latest models of trucks, and to go with all of it are some entertaining events and competitions. GATS is one of the events that has been canceled this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and they are planning for the next, safe, conference in the future.

Mid-American Trucking Show-MATS

MATS is also widely considered one of the largest trucking shows in the US. It happens in March and it’s home is Louisville, Kentucky. MATS has also been canceled this year due to the pandemic, but the Mid-American Trucking Show is having it’s 50 year anniversary in late March of 2021. This conference attracts people from 50 countries and averages at over 70.000 attendees, the event happens on 1.000.000 square feet and is home to over 1.000 different exhibits. For their 2021 conference they are planning over 40 educational sessions covering current industry topics, a PKY Truck Beauty Championship, they are offering more than 30 acres of free truck parking and to finish it all off a concert and after-party event.

The Work Truck Show

The Work Truck Show is one of the best trucking events that happen every year at the beginning of March in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2019 this event partnered with The Green Truck Summit and Fleet Technical Summit, and in 2020 they also partnered with The Green Truck Summit, this was done to draw more attendees and to provide more information and tips for leaders to implement into their companies. The event offers professional educational sessions that are designed to address specific challenges that company leaders face while trying to make their companies more efficient. The trade show floor is filled with products that boost productivity and efficiency. This year The Work Truck Show had their 20th anniversary and the event took place right before the pandemic so it avoided getting canceled. This event is planned to take place March 9-12, 2021 under the name The Work Truck Week, when they will be partnering with The Green Truck Summit again.

Tenstreet User Conference

Tenstreet User Conference is an event that,  many say, you shouldn’t miss. It offers industry education, professional growth opportunities, and individual private sessions-which might be the biggest reason it attracts many. They offer a preview into new and unreleased services, access to vendors, interactive panel discussions and opportunities to connect with peers in the industry. This event takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada, mid to late April.

Iowa 80 Truckstop Truckers Jamboree

This event is the biggest truck stop in the country, and one of many to move into a virtual mode, after the pandemic canceled many events this year. It is meant to celebrate truckers and invite them for a few days of networking and hanging out with industry peers. It is also a great way for trucking companies to recruit. This year they had a virtual event where they displayed a virtual antique truck photo gallery, they had a Virtual Trucker’s Best Friend Pet Contest and a Virtual Super Truck Beauty Contest and the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum-100th Birthday Celebration-100 Years of Trucking.

Accelerate! Conference & Expo-Women in Trucking

Accelerate! Is dedicated to women in trucking and is another event that was postponed and moved to the virtual world. It offers more than 60 educational sessions on critical transportation issues and trends, along with perspectives for women in the industry. They cover four educational areas: Leadership, Professional Development, Human Resources (Recruiting and Talent Management), Operations and Sales and Marketing. Accelerate! usually takes place in Dallas, Texas in late September, but this year it will happen virtually on November 12th and 13th.

ATA MCE-American Trucking Association-Management Conference & Exhibition

This conference brings together trucking executives from across the country and it highlights economic, regulatory and business trends. Every year it gathers over 3000 of the industry’s top decision makers for policy discussions, educational sessions, networking opportunities and interactive exhibits. This year it was supposed to be organized in October in Denver, Colorado, but due to the pandemic restrictions, it was decided that it will become a virtual event, and it will take place on October 19-23 and 26-28.

The list of trucking events is very long, there is no off-season for events in the trucking industry, but this year is a bit different. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how the world works, it has limited travel, canceled events, and has impacted many businesses all over the world. The trucking industry has been very important in getting supplies throughout the country where they were most needed, and truckers continue to make everyone’s lives a lot easier during these trying times. The pandemic has also impacted the trucking events and many have been canceled or postponed, but a lot of them have been transferred into the virtual world. On our list, there were a couple of events that managed to be organized before the pandemic and a couple that has been moved to the virtual world, and we are sure that the pandemic and the impact of the trucking industry will be new and important topics on conferences to come, so be sure to check them out. Until then, stay focused and stay safe.

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Top 9 On the Road Hobbies for Truckers

Being on the road doesn’t always leave a lot of time for hobbies and activities other than driving, eating, showering, and sleeping. You still might want to get a couple of things prepared in case you need some time to just get your mind off of work, distract yourself from a bad day, or wait out a storm.

We will separate the hobbies into two categories, while you are driving and while you are on a break.

Hobbies while driving

Audiobooks are becoming more and more popular, they will not distract you from the road, you can choose a genre you like and just relax while working, it sounds like a dream. You can choose fantasy books or novels that can help distract you from everyday problems, or you could dive into some self-help books to improve and grow while also working. It can be a good way to pass the time without being too involved.

Podcasts are something we talked about before, there is an insane amount of podcasts being recorded every single day, they cover every possible topic you can think of, and the only thing you need to do is find the one you like and enjoy the ride. In the sea of topics you can choose from, there are also many truck-related podcasts out there if that is something that peaks your interest the most.

Learning a language might not be everyone’s thing, but if it is yours, this is something that you can easily do while on the road through audio books or online audio classes. Knowing more than one language can be a useful skill to have, and it can also be fun to just learn something new, keep your brain active and busy and distract you from everyday problems.

Off-road hobbies

Exercising is something that you should try to do often considering how much time you spend sitting down and driving, it will help you feel better, get stronger and get rid of pent up tension from being on the road for a long time. You can pack some basic equipment for exercising and bring it with you, like a workout mat, dumbbells, a jump rope. It might be all you need to get some working out done while on a break, or just before hitting the shower and going to sleep.

If you are an artistic person, and art is your stress outlet, you should definitely bring your preferred art tools with you on the road. If it’s photography, watercolors or drawing, those are all pretty easy to pack up and just get lost in, while on a break from a long drive. Art is very helpful when it comes to lowering stress and anxiety, so it will definitely get you in a better mood and relaxed. Even if you are not an artist, you should try one of these hobbies, who knows, maybe you discover new talent?

Cooking is a skill that you could perfect while on the road, and it will also save you money by lowering your restaurant trips. It can be a complicated hobby to take on the road with you because your space is a bit limited, and storing fresh food can be complicated, but there are many ways to go around these details and still make yummy meals for yourself while taking a break from driving. For utensils, you could go with plastic or with a more eco-friendly solution, if you want to skip a lot of the washing up, or just bring your favorite plate, cup, fork and spoon, and use truck stop bathrooms to quickly wash up after your meal.

“Real” books, unlike the audiobooks, is not something that you could do while driving, but people sometimes still prefer real books, smelling the paper, flipping through the pages. Reading your favorite book before sleep or just while taking a small break from driving can be very relaxing and fun. As we mentioned before, your space is limited, so bringing your entire library might not be an option, but picking a couple of your favorite books can be a great way to relax.

Knitting/embroidery, a hobby that might not seem too appealing to everyone, but it is something that could really help you take your mind off of things. Knitting is something that, when you learn it, can completely shut your brain off for a little bit, letting you relax, and ending up with something cool that you made yourself. Embroidery might need a bit more focus, but it could be very fun to do, and the end products can be a good gift for your family or friends when you are off duty.

Blogging might be a thing that you would want to try, documenting your workdays, or writing about something totally unrelated might help you unwind and have some fun.

There are many other ways to stay entertained while on a break from driving, like watching shows and movies on your laptop or phone or playing games, and even tho you might not have time for many of these, maybe one of them will be a real stress reliever for you, and it might make you more productive, it might let you find a new interest or talent, and just lets you unwind and have fun. The most important thing is to stay focused and stay safe while on the road.

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Manual vs. Automatic Transmissions for Trucks

Automatic trucks are either fully automatic or Automated Manual Transmissions-AMT that have a gearbox shifted by a computer, and then there are the manual transmission trucks where the gears are shifted manually by the driver.

Some truckers enjoy the simplicity and the ease of driving an automatic truck, while others prefer the complete control of their truck, which they get with the manual transmission.

Even though there is a bigger movement towards the automatic transmission trucks, there are still truckers who will always choose manual, even if they have to look a little harder, considering that the number of manual transmission trucks is a lot smaller on the market nowadays. Manual transmissions have always been the standard in the trucking industry, even though they can be tricky to learn how to drive.

We know what the preferences are, but why do some drivers prefer an automatic or manual transmission and which one is better? Let’s go over some characteristics and weigh some pros and cons.

Training and Ease of driving

Driving with an automatic transmission is easier, it is easier to learn and it allows the driver to focus and put their full attention on the road, while the manual transmission requires constant shifting of gears and multitasking, it requires more training and more skill, which is why more and more truckers will choose the automatic transmission truck. But there are some drivers who find that driving an AMT is too relaxing which in turn makes the driver getting drowsy and falling asleep, while the manual drivers might get more tired because of the constant gear shifts, they still have to stay focused throughout the whole ride.


Some would say that being in control over the gear shifting gives more control over the truck, a manual driver will shift the gears faster than the ATM computer will which makes the ATMs accelerate too slowly, but on the other hand, the AMT provides a safer and smoother driving experience.


We talked about different types of expenses that trucking companies face, and ways to lower them. One of the largest expenses in the trucking industry is the fuel costs.

Experienced drivers know how to drive to save fuel, this is an important skill to have when working for a company. Automatic transmission maximizes gas mileage which can save companies a lot of money, this also helps the less experienced drivers. Manual transmissions and busy roads, where drivers are forced to switch gears often are not a good combination for fuel usage, this is one more reason why many companies are choosing the automatic transmission trucks.

Driver shortage

As we already mentioned, drivers who can drive a manual transmission truck are harder to train, so they are harder to find too. A driver who knows how to drive a manual truck can also easily switch to an automatic transmission truck, which is not the case the other way around without any training. Manual transmission cars and trucks are not as easy to find in the U.S., young people usually don’t learn how to drive a manual car or truck, which makes companies switch to automatic trucks to try to attract young drivers into their teams. There is a driver shortage in the U.S. at the moment, the average driver age is pretty high, which is why companies are trying to adjust and make the job more approachable and appealing for young people, who might find the thought of driving a manual transmission truck intimidating.

There are still a lot of trained truck drivers who can handle a manual transmission rig, and they will almost always go for the manual truck if they have the choice, but AMTs are here to stay. AMTs have the ability to save companies money through fuel economy, they are safer, an option that could attract new, young drivers, and the technology used in AMTs is always improving. Automatic transmissions can be more expensive, but it is definitely easier to find drivers for them, which is why the future is leaning more towards them than the manual transmission trucks. Manual truck drivers will still have more options to choose from, so they are still highly valued in the industry, considering that the companies which had the manual transmission trucks can’t replace them so easily. The most important thing, no matter what type of transmission you chose, is to stay focused and stay safe.

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Summer Safety Tips for Truck Drivers

The summer is well on it’s way, temperatures are high and the weather conditions can be unpredictable. Whether you have a long-haul or a short-haul, you should plan ahead and get ready for everything that the summer brings.

Here are some tips for truck drivers on how to stay healthy and what to pay attention to more during summer days on the road.


Drinking water seems like a logical thing that you don’t need reminding of, but it is something that people often forget easily, and in the summer it is more than important to stay hydrated. Forgetting to hydrate will result in low energy, nausea, and mental cloudiness and it could even lead to bigger problems caused by dehydration. Prepare before getting on the road by bringing enough bottled water with you, depending on how long you will be on the road. Another useful thing you could do is installing an app or making an alarm as a reminder to drink water.

Your truck and the heat

As always, we will remind you of the importance of pre-trip inspection. Checking your tire pressure and breaks that can be affected by the heat, which can cause faster erosion on the breaks and tire blowouts, checking your engine belt condition and maintaining the engine fluid levels, especially the coolant. Doing your pre-trip inspection is important in the summer as it is any other time of the year, so take some time and don’t skip this part of preparing for the time on the road.

Weather changes

Check the weather forecast for the areas you are driving through. The weather in the summer can change quickly, where the scorching hot day can turn into a stormy one. Severe thunderstorms, flooded roads and even tornadoes are all common in the summertime and can affect you doing your job in time and safely. To avoid problems on the road, try staying up to date with the newest weather reports. Sometimes it is better to pull over and wait the storm out than to run into more problems by getting caught in it.

Protect yourself

The first thing to prepare is sunscreen, no matter if you are on a long-haul or a short-haul, you will have to spend some time out of your rig and having sunscreen will help avoid getting sunburnt. Sunburn can make you uncomfortable while driving, but it can also cause a fever and get you to miss work for a day or two. In addition to the sunscreen, you should prepare sunglasses for the drive and even a hat to have some extra protection from the sun. Another thing to remember is the bigger presence of mosquitos and other bugs in the summer days. Bring bug repellent to stay protected from the mosquitos and also bring some glass cleaner and paper towels to clean your windshield from the bugs. It is better to be safe than sorry, and bringing a couple of these items won’t take up too much space, and they can prove to be very useful. Here is a list of most items that you could need while on the road.

Road work and more traffic

More road work is done in the summer months so it is always important to check ahead of time and then drive carefully through these areas, or try to avoid them altogether. Fines for speeding and other violations are often doubled or even tripled in road work areas, so keep that in mind, as well as your safety, and safety of the workers and other traffic participants. The summer is also vacation time so there will be more traffic on the roads so it is important to stay alert and not get distracted or impatient. Stay calm and focused all year long.

Safety first

Summer can be tough, the heat is high, the sun can make you more tired and even unwell. Getting out of your cool rig into the heat can also cause you to feel bad, so be sure to be aware of how you feel and to let yourself take breaks. Your health is your number one priority so if you are feeling unwell because of the heat, stop your truck and if needed contact your dispatcher or supervisor to discuss the options you have.

Summer traffic can be frustrating, the heat can be tiring, and preparing for a trip, and finding new routes because of construction and road work can cost you time and money, but planning ahead will help you stay safe and healthy. Pack your waters, sunscreen, and patience, and you are good to go for your summer hauls.

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