Monthly Archives: June 2021

Team Truck Driving Facts and Myths

While many truck drivers enjoy the independence and freedom of riding solo, others prefer the idea of team truck driving. This is when two drivers use the same truck and take shifts. You can effectively maximize driving time, as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) limits activity to a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. With two drivers, one can continue operating the vehicle while the other gets much-needed rest.1

 

senior truck driver taking to manager

 

Important Team Driving Facts

Team driving comes with a wide range of perks. Here are some facts about this approach to working as a trucker:

 

  • Team Drivers Can Make More Money: Even though the pay may be split, team drivers can cover more miles and, therefore, boost their earnings. The pay per mile is higher as well. Driving teams have covered up to 5,000 miles per week while the average for solo drivers typically doesn’t exceed 2,800 miles weekly.
  • Somebody Has Your Back: You can travel and spend time with someone else, which is great if you team up with a friend or spouse. In any case, you have someone to talk to and spend your downtime with.
  • Priority Loads: When it’s crucial to get freight shipped and delivered quickly, teams are often considered first. They can get loads to destinations faster, so team drivers are more likely to be selected to handle priority loads.
  • Security: There are more opportunities to rest, so there’s less of a risk of driver fatigue or falling asleep at the wheel. If one driver needs food or a shower, someone’s always there to guard the truck and freight.
  • Operational Help: Whether loading or unloading a truck, backing up into tight spaces, or performing a pre-trip inspection, you will always have assistance.

 

Dispelling the Myths of Team Truck Driving

Driving a truck with a partner has many benefits, but there are some myths that can give you the wrong idea if you’re considering such an arrangement.

  • “Your Teammate Will Be a Veteran Driver Ready to Train You”: If a co-driver isn’t getting paid to be your trainer, they are not obligated to use their 10-hour break to be your trainer and conversation partner, but there certainly could be times a driver may be willing to assist a rookie. However, not all co-drivers are that helpful. Despite their experience, they may take every opportunity to point out your faults and criticize your mistakes, which is not very pleasant.
  • “Teaming Up Will Lead to Your First Solo Run”: If you’re relying on a trainer or another team member to make the decisions, you could be overwhelmed as a solo driver. Team driving won’t help you learn how to manage your time and set your own delivery schedule. It doesn’t prepare you for solo driving when you’ll have to manage your hours and rest time without guidance.
  • “Your Teammate Will Be a Fun Companion”: Depending on your driving partner, you could get a break from the loneliness, but living with a stranger is often not fun. It can be quite the opposite, making you feel claustrophobic, frustrated, and overwhelmed. What if they’re not as neat as you, don’t respect your personal property, like different music, or have a hot temper when you disagree? Also consider their bathroom habits or, worse, your team member might be an aggressive driver.
  • “Personalities Are Always Matched”: A trucking company might match truck drivers from the same regions, to make scheduling easier, but their primary goal is to make money. Drivers aren’t paired based on age, work ethic, or how much they care about earning. While some companies may use personality tests, these don’t guarantee things will go smoothly. Also consider the movement, noise, and vibration when you’re trying to sleep, which can leave you tired and grumpy all the time.
  • “You Will Have a Higher Income”: For inexperienced drivers, the earning potential isn’t as high as for seasoned team members. Team truck driving probably won’t earn you a higher salary if you’re learning procedures and still making mistakes that beginners do. Plus, it’s harder for strangers to earn the profits that spouses, siblings, and other people who know one another do when driving together.

 

Truck on road overtakes another truck

 

How to Improve Team Driving Hauls

Your driving experience and overall well-being can be improved with ergonomic seats from leading brands such as Bostrom or National. These seats include suspensions, adjustability, and support that can avoid sprains, strains, and aches and pains. At Suburban Seating & Safety, we offer these plus safety products such as harnesses, straps, backup cameras and monitors, backup alarms, and more. To learn more about these and other accessories, continue browsing or call 844-727-7328 for assistance.

 

Source:

 

  1. https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-service/summary-hours-service-regulations

 

Long-Distance Driving Tips to Improve Your Quality of Life on the Road

Being in a vehicle for long periods of time can lead to physical pain, reductions in mental clarity, and exhaustion. It can be even more difficult for truck drivers whose daily routine is to drive long distances for many hours on end. If you’re not careful, inactivity, an irregular schedule, and other factors can negatively impact your health. Yet these healthy long-distance driving tips can help you stay alert and safe while on the open road.

 

Truck driver reading addresses sitting in truck

 

Maintain Hydration

Sitting behind the wheel all day demands more from your body than you think. Truck drivers should consume more water per day than most people, but not all at once. Sipping water over time keeps your body hydrated and reduces the number of bathroom stops. You’ll feel less inclined to drink high-sugar, high-calorie beverages too.

 

No Soda

While large soda containers fit easily into cup holders, they’re usually loaded with caffeine and sugar. These can leave you feeling fatigued and be harmful for your long-term health. It’s best to stock up on water or have a cup of unsweetened coffee.

 

Snack Wisely

You can help your metabolism, heart, bones, and teeth by eating properly. Healthy snacks include carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, apples, grapes, bananas, almonds, pears, and oranges. Eating high-fiber foods every couple of hours keeps you alert and avoids overheating at fast food establishments.

 

Plan Your Route

Planning your day not only ensures you get to your destination. It also helps set up rest stops to get out and stretch every couple of hours. Even if you work an 11-hour day, proper planning can lead to a more relaxed schedule and a healthier diet, exercise, and sleep routine.

 

Stretch/Exercise

While you don’t need rigorous exercise to get through the day, it is wise to stop, get out, and stretch. Your back can get stiff after hours in the same position. Stretching your back and shoulders can loosen your muscles and prevent pain. Leg stretches also help alleviate and avoid cramps.

 

Here are some exercises to try that can improve your day:

 

  • Stretch your back by standing straight. Then circle your shoulders backward about five times, extend your arms overhead, and arch them back a little. Lower your arms after a few seconds and repeat one or two more times.
  • To relieve leg cramps, stand in a lunge position with your left knee in front and right leg behind with the heel touching the ground. Put your hands on your hips and hold the position to stretch your legs and gluteal muscles.
  • Relieve shoulder tension with your chin parallel to the ground and your head drawn back; repeat a few times. This stretches your upper spine and shoulders.
  • Clots can form in your legs when sitting for more than four hours whether you’re a truck driver or car passenger. To avoid this situation, flex your feet using ankle rolls or alternative flexing and pointing of feet.

 

Improve Your Posture

Poor posture can lead to pain and discomfort, disrupt blood flow, and leave you feeling tired. Sit up straight and adjust your seat properly. If you start to feel tension coming on, stretch a little or shift your position. When a break is in order, be sure to listen to your body so you’re ready for the next run.

 

Get Enough Sleep

An irregular, unpredictable schedule can make it difficult to sleep well, but you should always try to get eight solid hours of sleep every day. Whether you need earplugs, a white noise machine, or a night mask, do what it takes. Don’t indulge in your smartphone before bed; the light can fool your brain about the time of day and disrupt your sleep pattern.

 

Get Plenty of Rest

Your quality of rest is critical. Suburban Seating & Safety carries InnerSpace and Bostrom and Serta truck mattresses in different sizes. Each item is easy to install, is insulating, and helps regulate temperature. Our product line also provides the support to help your body rest and recover.

 

Upgrade Safety Equipment

Make sure you have the latest safety equipment and that it’s in working condition. When necessary, you can find lap belts, tether straps, full seat belts, brackets, backup cameras and monitors, digital mirrors, and heated side mirrors. Digital wireless transmitters, noiseless back-up alarms, pedestrian spotlights, and road temperature monitors maximize safety as well.

 

Accessorize Your Cab

While they may sound optional, truck accessories can make your life easier and safer. These include universal bungee cords to secure items, mobile device holders, slide rails, and USB chargers. Other options include seat swivels, dash mounts, repair tape, document holders, and laptop mounts.

 

Update Your Seat

A quality seat has a major impact on your wellness. The wrong seat, a worn-out seat, or the wrong-positioned seat can leave you with strains and sprains that impact your quality of life. Look for features such as suspension and isolation, firm cushions, fore/aft adjustment, high lumbar support, arm rests, air compression, and other ergonomic elements.

 

red and white truck on road during daytime

 

Shop at Suburban Seating & Safety

We hope our long distance driving tips help you. The leader in truck seating, we’re the largest authorized distributor for several aftermarket truck seating manufacturers, including National Seating, Bostrom Seating, and ISRI Seating.

 

Serving owner-operators, nationwide fleets, and government agencies, we also supply products that can improve the quality of life for truckers on the road. We have truck mattresses, accessories, and safety equipment in stock, and we can assist you at our Lodi, NJ showroom or when you call us at 844-727-7328. Reach out today for help or information.