A life on the road can get expensive. Meals, fuel, and incidental expenses can quickly eat into truckers’ budgets, leaving them with smaller profits from their long hours on the road.
The good news is that, with a little careful planning and the right equipment and truck interior accessories, truckers can greatly reduce their costs on the road. Here are a few tips from seasoned truckers that can help you run a more financially successful enterprise:
- Cut food costs – Stopping at restaurants or picking up fast food along the way can quickly add up to big costs. Many truckers spend $10,000 or more per year on restaurant food. Truckers can avoid big food costs with a little preparation and smart shopping. When preparing for a route, pack snacks and food you’ve purchased from a grocery store. Grocery store food is usually much less expensive than food purchased from a truck stop or convenience store.
- Reduce entertainment costs – Instead of purchasing a DVD player and purchasing movie after movie, reduce your costs by purchasing wireless internet service and streaming movies online. There are many free movies available online, or you can subscribe to a streaming service like Netflix or Amazon Prime to gain access to a huge library of films that you can watch on a tablet, a laptop, or even your phone.
- Outfit your truck before a trip – Buy all the gear you need online or at stores before your trip. You’ll likely find lower prices for traveling gear there, than at truck stops where price-gougers may have you at their mercy.
- Rewards cards – If you do have regular truck stops and restaurants that you shop at, take advantage of any rewards programs that they may offer. The programs are usually free and can save frequent shoppers considerable sums of money. Some rewards programs even let you access their benefits using your smartphone.
- Invest in ergonomics – Uncomfortable truck seats will eventually result in expensive trips to the doctor’s office. Make sure you can sit comfortably by investing in ergonomically designed truck seats and accessories made to improve posture.
Suburban Seating & Safety creates custom truck seats for the trucking industry and also sells a variety of truck accessories. For comfortable seating that can help ensure proper back support and comfort, check out Suburban Seating & Safety.
It’s probably the understatement of the century to say that truck drivers spend a lot of time in their truck seats. The long shifts worked and many miles traveled by truckers can not only cause stiffness and soreness, it can also contribute to significant problems, as remaining sedentary for long periods can result in negative impacts on musculoskeletal health.
Making sure that truck seats are comfortable and following good ergonomic principles can help truck drivers avoid the severe back pain that plague many members of their profession. Here are a few tips that experienced drivers use to make their seats comfortable and conducive to good musculoskeletal health.
- Adjust the steering wheel – Your truck’s steering wheel can influence your seating position in your truck. To get into proper position, make sure that you’re able to put your wrist flat over the wheel while your shoulder blades are firmly placed against the back of your seat.
- Make sure the distance from the seat to the pedals is correct –Your seat should be positioned so that your legs are parallel to the ground and your legs bend at about 120 degrees when you press the brake pedal.
- Make use of lumbar support – Many newer trucks have power lumbar support features. When starting a route, use a low level of lumbar support and adjust to increase lumbar support as you travel. If your vehicle doesn’t have lumbar support, there are lumbar support truck accessories you can purchase.
- Replace worn seats – Old seats lose their padding, over time, creating an uncomfortable and, ultimately, unhealthy sitting environment. If your seats are worn out, replace them. You can also add extra cushioning for your seat if needed.
- Properly adjust your mirrors – Mirrors tilted at the wrong angles may cause you to have to stretch or strain to see cars behind or beside you. Over time, this can have a negative effect on your back. Position your mirrors so no stretching is needed to get a clear view.
Suburban Seating & Safety creates custom truck seat solutions for the trucking industry and also sells a variety of truck accessories. For comfortable seating that can help ensure proper back support and comfort, check out Suburban Seating & Safety.
Truckers spend long hours in their truck seats, traveling hundreds of miles each day. While it may be tough to work a little time for getting out of their seats into their schedule, finding that time can have a big impact on truckers’ health and the longevity of their careers.
Health experts say that prolonged sitting has serious health risks and is associated with higher risks of heart disease, diabetes, muscle and joint problems, and even cancer. Some experts say that prolonged sitting is even more dangerous than smoking.
There’s a wealth of data dating back to the 1950s illustrating the health risks posed by sitting. According to the Washington Post, medical researchers have determined that workers who sit for long hours have twice the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease and a 13 percent increased risk of cancer.
Exercising vigorously before or after a shift can improve your health, but researchers say breaking up the time spent sitting is absolutely imperative to preventing the negative effects of prolonged sitting. While office workers can get up and move around during their workday, truckers don’t have this luxury. There are a few things truckers can do to mitigate the negative health effects of prolonged sitting, including:
- Make the most out of stops. Move around; if you’ve stopped to fuel up, use that time to stretch, walk around your truck, or do some pushups or other exercises.
- Take breaks. Schedule your route so you can take a few breaks during your travels to get out of your seat and get some exercise. It can be difficult, but it’s worth it.
- Improve your seating. There are some great custom truck seating products on the market that can minimize some of the musculoskeletal impacts of prolonged sitting in a truck seat. Install them in your vehicle to help avoid developing back problems and other issues that plague many truck drivers.
Truck drivers have greater reported incidences of obesity and risk factors for chronic disease than workers in many other professions. Long hours spent sitting are largely to blame. Finding ways to break up sedentary time can help you extend your working careers and improve your quality of life.
Suburban Seating & Safety creates custom truck seat solutions for the trucking industry and also sells a variety of truck accessories. For comfortable seating with real health benefits, check out Suburban Seating & Safety
Lost time can mean lost money for truck drivers. Hours spent sitting idly in their truck seats in traffic jams can cause delays that result in increased fuel consumption and reduced efficiency that may impact their business relationships with clients.
Good loading and unloading practices and smart route planning can help, but the root of the problem is a dire need for new infrastructure in the U.S. The Department of Transportation reports that road traffic congestion costs the trucking industry around $27 billion each year in lost time and increased fuel expenses.
The DOT estimates that the annual cost of congestion, including delays for passenger cars, is around $1 trillion. This figure includes the higher price of products resulting from shipping delays caused by congested roads.
About 13,500 miles of highways across the U.S. regularly slow below posted speed limits, and about 8,700 miles often have stop-and-go conditions. Trucks.com says the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates the U.S. needs about $1.7 trillion of infrastructure spending to alleviate congested traffic.
While you’re waiting on the government to start laying pavement and investing in IT solutions for traffic, these tips can help truck drivers avoid getting stuck in congestion:
- Learn the peak hours for traffic in cities you regularly travel through and try to avoid traveling there during these times. There are lots of great computer applications for monitoring urban traffic patterns. Take advantage of them.
- Make use of electronic on-board recording devices to analyze your personal metrics when driving and find ways to boost efficiency.
- Avoid getting road rage. An accident or confrontation with another driver won’t make traffic go any faster and will likely delay you further.
By planning your route carefully and staying cool in frustrating situations, you can reduce lost time and fuel costs caused by our increasingly congested highways.
Truck drivers trust Suburban Seating & Safety for custom truck seats and other truck accessories. Find ways to make your next trip safer and more comfortable with a wide range of products available from Suburban Seating & Safety.
Any trucker can tell you that driving is just one part of the job. Most truck drivers also spend a considerable part of their time loading and unloading vehicles, and, all too often, they suffer back injuries as a result of their labors.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to load trucks, and knowing the difference can help truck drivers avoid injuries that can put them out of work. About 35 percent of all injuries suffered by tractor trailer drivers are related to overexertion and bodily reaction, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Forty-one percent of all injuries to delivery truck drivers resulted from overexertion and bodily reaction.
Truck drivers can reduce their chance of injury and load trucks more efficiently by following a few simple tips:
- Get help for items that are too large – If a load is too large for you to comfortably lift on your own, be sure to have tools like dollies on hand or ask another person to help.
- Lift with your knees – When picking up and setting down items, bend your knees, not your waist.
- Use good posture – When lifting, try to keep your back as straight as possible. Avoid arching your back.
- Use good footwork – When lifting, stand close to the item you’re picking up and keep your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Take it easy – When lifting heavy objects, use slow and steady movements. Moving a little slower won’t slow you as much as having to stop because you’ve overexerted yourself will.
- Load large items first – This helps you to ensure you have sufficient room for everything you need to load. It’s much easier to rearrange smaller items at the end of loading than having to try to make room for a large item.
By utilizing these best practices, you can load and unload your truck more efficiently and reduce your risk of injury.
Suburban Seating & Safety, a trusted provider of truck interior accessories, provides truck seats and much more to drivers. To learn more about the company and its wide line of products available from respected manufacturers, call 1-844-SAS-SEAT.
Truck drivers spend a lot of time on the road, sitting behind the wheels of their rigs. Sitting for extended periods in semi-truck seats slows down our metabolism and makes it harder for the body to burn calories and fat. Boosting your metabolism requires exercising while on the road. There are several simple exercises you can do without any fitness equipment whatsoever. Plus, you do not need a national fitness membership to fit in your workouts.
- Sit-Ups/Push-Ups – Utilize various exterior areas to do sit-ups and push-ups, like walking trails at rest stops and the pushing up off the front bumper of your truck.
- Walk/Jog – Use the parking lot at truck stops, rest areas or at deliveries. If you are done for the day or are waiting for your truck to be unloaded or loaded, take a few laps around the parking lot.
- Abdominal Crunches – Squeeze your abdominal (stomach) muscles together and tighten them as far as you can. Hold them in this position for as long as possible and repeat. This exercise is a great way to pass the time while driving down the road.
- Hand and Wrist Stretches – Every so often, rotate your wrists in full circles, going in clockwise and counterclockwise directions, and flex and stretch your fingers to help keep them limber.
- Shoulder Rotations – Rotate the shoulders slowly in a circular motion. As you tighten up the back muscles, hold this position for about ten seconds, release, and repeat. This exercise is great for releasing tension and helps strengthen the upper back, neck, and shoulder muscles groups.
The key to exercising while on the road is doing what works for you and sticking with it. It is important to spend at least a full fifteen minutes of continuous exercise each day to help burn calories and fat. Exercising can improve your energy levels, as well as your overall health and well-being.
To make sure you are comfortable while driving, you need a comfortable quality seat, like the replacement seats available here at Suburban Seating & Safety. For assistance in selecting a seat or other items, call us at (844) SAS.SEAT (844-727-7328) today!
Regular passenger vehicles are far more likely to be involved in an accident, but the large size and heavy loads carried by big trucks increase the likelihood that there will be serious injury and damage caused. These factors limit truck drivers’ control, sometimes putting their own lives and those of other drivers at great risk.
The right safety equipment can go a long way toward restoring control and reducing the possibility that they will be in an accident. Below are five must-have safety accessories that should be in every truck. Browse our selection of truck interior accessories to find the equipment that will improve the safety of your truck every time you take to the road.
- Cameras – Cameras are the ideal safety tool for truck drivers who are always vulnerable to blind spots. The newest technology from Brigade Electronics allows truckers to install cameras where they are needed and to use the twin camera screen splitter to view two angles at all times.
- LCD Monitor – Your monitor displays what your camera captures so you know when something is in your blind spot. Suburban Seating and Safety carries a variety of LCD monitors, including those with back-up, waterproof, and multi-image features.
- Heated Mirrors – Mirrors that are frosted or frozen-over are useless. Our collection of heated mirrors includes those that are motorized so they can rotate a full 360° for the ultimate in visibility.
- Road Watch Sensor – Truck drivers must go where their job takes them, and that often means driving in all types of weather conditions. Road Watch Sensor is an early warning system that accurately measures the surface temperature of the road and the air to detect all types of dangerous road conditions—like black ice. It is sensitive enough to detect a 1-degree change in temperature but costs a loss less than other models.
- Seat Belts – Safety belts are a type of essential standard safety equipment that is too often overlooked when upgrading to more modern and effective safety equipment. A three-point safety belt holds the driver in from the waist up instead of putting all of the pressure on the waist during a forceful stop.
To learn more about our custom truck seats or any of our safety equipment for truck drivers or bus drivers, call 1-844-SAS-SEAT.
Long hours in a truck seat and pressing deadlines can make it easy for truck drivers to become angry and frustrated. Discourtesy and inept driving by others can add fuel to the fire. Left unchecked, these emotions can boil over into a road rage incident that puts your career as well as your safety and that of others at risk.
According to the American Safety Council, over a seven-year period, 218 murders and 12,610 injuries were attributed to road rage. Knowing how to keep your own emotions in check and how to diffuse the anger of other drivers can help truck drivers stay safe and avoid unfortunate incidents that can have severe consequences for themselves and others.
The following are a few ways truck drivers can avoid road rage events:
- Get enough sleep – When we don’t get enough sleep, we become irritable and easier to provoke. Drivers who are groggy from lack of sleep are more likely to become annoyed and angered by small irritations that a well-rested person would easily ignore.
- Don’t take bad driving personally – Human beings are fallible and make mistakes. If another driver cuts you off or doesn’t let you in a lane, don’t take it as a personal insult. It won’t fix the situation, and attempts on your part to retaliate may end in tragedy.
- Drive courteously – It’s hypocritical to fume about other drivers’ habits if your own leave much to be desired. Avoid aggressive driving habits and observe the rules of the road. Being courteous to other drivers will reduce your chance of inciting road rage in them and will also get you into the habit of safe driving.
- Eat right – Hungry drivers are grumpy drivers. Make sure that you get enough to eat when you’re on the road, but be sure to consume healthy fare such as fruits and vegetables to avoid ill health from a poor diet.
Comfortable drivers are drivers less likely to become involved in road rage incidents. Stay comfortable with the latest ergonomically designed truck seats from Suburban Seating & Safety, a trusted provider of truck interior accessories. To learn more about the company and its wide line of products from respected manufacturers, call 1-844-SAS-SEAT.
Spending hours seated each day isn’t the best activity to promote good health, whether you’re in an office chair or a truck seat. Although most truckers engage in strenuous work loading and unloading their trucks, the hours spent in a sedentary position can have negative health impacts unless drivers practice positive health habits to counterbalance them.
According to the Mayo Clinic, research has established that sitting for long periods of time is connected with increased risk of obesity, high blood pressure, excess body fat around the abdomen, and high cholesterol. There’s no way truckers can avoid sitting for hours at a time, but there are a number of healthy habits truckers can adopt, including:
- Eat healthy snacks – While fast food and convenience store fare may be tempting for truck drivers, their health will be better served if they opt for healthy snacks when they’re on the road. Truckers should load up on fruit, nuts, and other healthy snacks when they’re near grocery stores. Some larger convenience stores may have a fresh fruit and vegetable section, allowing truck drivers easy access to healthy food.
- Exercise – Finding time for exercise can be tough for OTR drivers. However, there are a few convenient ways truckers can get needed exercise when they’re traveling. Truckers can safely pack dumbbells in secure containers and use them at stops. A folding bicycle can also provide a convenient means of exercise.
- Cut out unhealthy habits – Drivers who use tobacco products can see a bit improvement in their health if they kick the habit. Sodas and fast food are also habits drivers should try to abandon.
- Get enough sleep – Sleep is important to good health. Make sure your sleeper compartment is comfortable and has a quality berth mattress and the right climate control to facilitate good sleep. By getting enough sleep, you ensure you’re alert when you’re on the road, and you give your body sufficient time to rest and heal.
Ensuring that you are comfortable on the road is also important, and nothing contributes to driver comfort like the right truck seat. Suburban Seating & Safety is a trusted provider of truck seats and truck interior accessories. A family-owned business, Suburban Seating & Safety has been a trusted supplier since 1947. To learn more about the company and its wide line of products from respected manufacturers, call 1-844-SAS-SEAT.
Tailgating poses a huge danger for all drivers but, especially, for drivers of large trucks and tractor trailers, as these vehicles are far more difficult to stop than smaller automobiles. Truckers need to be aware of the dangers posed by tailgating and avoid this unsafe driving practice.
Passenger vehicles traveling at 60 mph need at least 240 feet to come to a safe stop – and that’s when road conditions are good. The first 60 feet is taken up by the driver’s reaction time – that is, the driver’s realization that he or she needs to stop. The remaining 180 feet is taken up by the driver applying the brakes and slowing the vehicle. Drivers of big trucks and semis need even more space to come to a complete stop because of the weight and momentum of their vehicles.
To Avoid Tailgating
- Big trucks traveling slower than 40 mph should leave one second of distance for every 10 feet of their vehicle’s length. You can gauge seconds of distance by making note of a landmark and how many seconds it takes after the vehicle in front of you passes the landmark for you to pass it. For example, if your vehicle is 40 feet long, there should be four seconds between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
- If you’re traveling faster than 40 mph, add an additional second. That means that if you’re driving a 60 ft. vehicle 60 mph, you should leave seven seconds between your vehicle and the lead vehicle.
- In rain or snow, increase your driving distance. Wet, slick roads will increase the distance needed for you to safely stop your vehicle. Add a few seconds to your following distance in adverse conditions to improve safety.
- Accelerate slowly from stops. Flooring the gas will make it more likely that you may get too close to the vehicle in front of you.
Tailgating poses a serious threat to highway safety. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly a quarter of all automobile crashes are rear-end collisions. These accidents result in almost a million injuries and 2,000 deaths each year.
In addition to safe driving practicing, truck drivers can improve their safety by having the right truck seats and accessories. Suburban Seating & Safety is a trusted provider of truck seats and truck interior accessories. A family-owned business, Suburban Seating & Safety has been a trusted supplier since 1947. To learn more about the company and its wide line of products from respected manufacturers, call 1-844-SAS-SEAT.