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5 Road Trip Tips

1). Street/Highway Signs- Signs mean everything. Read every sign and by the time you come up on it; make sure you are following it. Example: SPEED LIMIT 35 (slow the truck to 35 before you pass the sign, not after). I was taught this during training and over the next 5 years I have never got a moving violation.

2). Do Not Get Stuck-  If you are not sure if you are pulling down a street that is not right or a parking lot that you cannot turn around in, pull over and walk ahead. Before getting your truck stuck somewhere you cannot get out of; get out and make sure it is safe. As a driver, you have a sense that maybe you went the wrong way at times. Stop the truck somewhere safe and legal and work on making corrections before you make matters worse than they already are.

3). On/Off Ramps- Half the states in our country have their on/off ramp signs designed for the speed of a truck. Others are stated for Class C vehicles. Without knowing which ones do, I always went 10 slower than the sign said just in case. While I was hauling fluids, I would decrease my speed by at least 15 miles an hour (weather may imply to go even slower).  A huge amount of accidents occurs on ramps because they are not going the proper speed for the vehicle they are driving.

4).  Down Hill Driving- Our minds tell us to make up a few more miles and time by racing down the hills. I have seen the greatest amount of violations by doing this. Obviously, the safety department has a problem with this but DOT officers wait at the bottom for you. All throughout the country I see trucks pulled over at the bottom getting tickets and inspections. Fight the temptation because it is not worth the time, money or your safety.

5). Feeling Tired? – We all have some days where we get sleepier than others. When these times hit while driving simply grabbing another energy or coffee will not help. Do not say to yourself “I’ll drive 1 more hour”. As soon as you feel the sleepers coming on; find a place to pull over. If you are not done with your shift that is alright. Pull over, get some air and walk around. When you feel safe and refreshed again, start moving. Moving around and circulating your body will always be as effective as a glass of caffeine, rolling your window down or turning the music louder.

delivery man sitting in a delivery van

Hot Highway Habits: Tips for Professional Truck Drivers This Summer

As a professional truck driver, driving safely in the summer requires adopting a few good habits. The roads are heavily traveled during this time, and the heat can do a number on you and your vehicle. Local agencies and trucking companies near you would agree that the following can help protect you:

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Best Sleeping Practices for Truckers Pt. 3 – Sleep Apnea

Over the past few weeks, we have discussed a number of reasons why Professional Truck Drivers will have difficulty finding sleep on the road, including the correct amount of sleep, and the right consistency of sleep.

However, we have set aside this blog post to discuss one of the most significant contributors to poor sleep: Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea is a condition which goes undiagnosed in many Drivers.

Sleep Apnea is a breathing-related sleep disorder that causes brief interruptions of breathing during sleep.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of Sleep Apnea are:

  • Loud Snoring
  • Episodes in which you stop breathing during sleep
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Awakening with a dry mouth
  • Morning headache
  • Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia)
  • Difficulty paying attention while awake
  • Irritability

According to the ATRI, almost one-third of Professional Truck Drivers have mild-severe Sleep Apnea.

Sleep Apnea Types

Sleep Apnea can break down into three main types:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea: more common and occurs when throat muscles relax
  • Central Sleep Apnea: occurs when your brain does not send the proper signal to the muscles that control breathing
  • Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome: occurs when someone has both obstructive and central sleep apnea

With each pause lasting up to 10 seconds and occurring up to 400 times a night, that does not create a healthy sleeping environment for most Drivers. Fortunately, there are solutions for this issue.

CPAP Machines

Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) machines help to cut down on sleep apnea. And at ShipEX, your paid Medical Benefits can be used to pay a discounted price on a CPAP Machine.

But using a CPAP Machine is not a simple plug and play solution for Sleep Apnea. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are 10 common problems with getting used to CPAP Machines.

The biggest issues come down to having the correct style and size of CPAP mask. From there, it is necessary to simply get used to wearing the CPAP mask.

For instance, getting used to tolerating forced air, dealing with a dry and stuffy nose, skin irritations, and acclimating to the possible feeling of claustrophobia.

One of the solutions for getting used to wearing a CPAP mask is to simply wear it while you are awake and doing other tasks such as watching television.

Apart from the correct size CPAP mask, the most important step in getting the most out of your CPAP machine is to use it as consistently as possible. While it might be uncomfortable to use for the first week or so, continued use of your CPAP will help you dial in and get the most out of the device.

Getting a good night’s rest is vital to your work and safety as a Professional Truck Driver and should not be skipped out on. Take the time to work on getting a good night’s rest and do not cheat yourself of restful sleep.

Most importantly, if you are feeling sleepy while driving, pull over and get a nap and begin driving only when you feel well-rested. Never compromise or work for a company that demands that you drive, even while feeling tired.

Disclaimer: 
This blog post is for informational purposes only.  ShipEX makes no warranties about the completeness, reliability or accuracy of this information.  Any action that you take upon the information on this website is strictly at your own risk, and ShipEX will not be liable for any losses and damages in connection therewith.  Furthermore, nothing in this blog alters ShipEX Policies which are subject to change without notice.

How do I get the best sleep? – Part 2 of “Best Sleeping Practices for Truckers”

This week we are diving into the strategies that you can implement to getting the best night’s rest, from developing sleeping patters to easy ways to get more restful and energizing sleep.

Sleeping Man On Bed

Best Sleeping Practices for Truckers Pt. 1: The Why

You might believe that you get more than enough sleep already. How many times have you said or have heard someone say, “Oh, I only need 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night.”

If you are not part of the 2% of the population that are “Short Sleepers” that require only a few hours of sleep a night, then you are wrong. You need seven to nine hours of sleep a night.