For a CDL driver who is away from their children for long periods of time, maintaining a strong family bond can be a challenge. However, there are a few things that a driver can do to help keep in touch with their children and maintain a strong relationship despite the distance.
One of the most important things a CDL driver can do is to make sure they are regularly communicating with their children. This can include phone calls, text messages, emails, and video calls. For example, a driver can schedule regular phone calls with their children during their breaks, or set up a regular video call using a platform like Facetime or Skype.
Another way for a CDL driver to maintain a bond with their children is to send them care packages or letters. This can include things like pictures, small gifts, or even just a simple note letting them know that the driver is thinking about them.
It is also important for the CDL driver to make sure they are aware of the likely stressors on their children and to be understanding of them. For example, children may feel lonely or anxious when their parent is away for long periods of time, and they may struggle to understand why their parent is not home. The CDL driver should make sure they are aware of these feelings and be available to talk to their children about them.
However, it’s also important to be aware that the long periods of time away from home can be stressful for the CDL driver as well. Drivers may miss their family, feel lonely or isolated on the road, and struggle to maintain relationships with their partner and children. They may also feel guilty for not being able to be home for important events or milestones.
In conclusion, maintaining a strong family bond while working as a CDL driver requires regular communication and understanding of the stressors on both the driver and the children. It is important for the driver to make sure they are regularly communicating with their children through various channels such as phone calls, text messages, emails, and video calls, and to be understanding of the likely stressors on the children. At the same time, it’s important for the driver to be aware of their own stressors and to take steps to manage them.
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that affects millions of people, including commercial drivers and CDL holders. It is characterized by repeated episodes of interrupted breathing during sleep, which can lead to a host of health problems, including daytime fatigue, decreased cognitive function, and increased risk of accidents.
One of the main reasons why CDL drivers should be mindful of sleep apnea is that it can greatly impact their ability to drive safely. When a person has sleep apnea, they often wake up multiple times throughout the night, which can cause them to feel fatigued and drowsy during the day. This can make it difficult for them to focus on the road and react quickly to potential hazards, putting themselves and others at risk.
There are a few different treatment options available for sleep apnea, including lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, quitting smoking, and sleeping on your side. Other options include using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which delivers a steady stream of air to help keep the airway open during sleep, or an oral appliance that repositions the jaw to help keep the airway open.
CDL drivers can also take steps to avoid developing sleep apnea in the first place by maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise, and avoiding alcohol and sedatives. They should also make sure they are getting enough sleep each night and avoiding working long hours or irregular shifts.
If you are a CDL driver and suspect you may have sleep apnea, it is important to see a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment. This can include a sleep study, which will monitor your sleep patterns to determine if you have sleep apnea and to what degree.
In addition to the above, CDL drivers should make sure to take regular breaks during long drives, to avoid drowsiness. Another way to avoid developing sleep apnea is to keep a regular sleep schedule, even when on the road, and make sure to get enough sleep each night.
In conclusion, sleep apnea is a serious condition that can greatly impact a CDL driver’s ability to drive safely. It is important for CDL drivers to be aware of the risks associated with sleep apnea and to take steps to prevent it, such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle and getting enough sleep each night. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, it is important to see a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Hand trucking freight from a truck down a ramp can be a challenging task, but with the right techniques and equipment, it can be done safely and efficiently. In this blog post, we will discuss the best ways to hand truck freight from a truck down a ramp, including safety for lifting, moving, and handling the freight, as well as common techniques to avoid driver injury.
First, it is important to understand the proper techniques for lifting and moving the freight. When lifting, it is important to bend at the knees and use your legs to lift, rather than your back. This will help to avoid strain on the lower back and reduce the risk of injury. Additionally, when moving the freight, it is important to keep the load close to your body and to avoid twisting or turning your body while holding the load.
When hand trucking freight down a ramp, it is also important to use the proper equipment. A hand truck with large wheels is ideal for this task, as it will make it easier to maneuver the load and reduce the risk of the hand truck tipping over. Additionally, a hand truck with a strap or a bungee cord can be used to secure the load, which will help to prevent it from shifting or falling off the hand truck.
When hand trucking freight down a ramp, it is also important to take safety precautions to avoid driver injury. One common technique is to use a spotter, who can help guide the hand truck down the ramp and ensure that the load is stable. Additionally, it is important to use caution when turning or maneuvering the hand truck, as this can be a challenging task, especially when the ramp is steep or the load is heavy.
Another common technique to avoid driver injury is to use a hand truck with a brake. This will allow the driver to control the speed of the hand truck, which will help to prevent the load from getting away and causing an accident.
In addition to the above safety precautions, it is also important to use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when hand trucking freight down a ramp. This includes wearing gloves to protect your hands, safety goggles to protect your eyes, and a hard hat to protect your head.
It is also important to conduct regular maintenance on the hand truck and make sure it is in good working order. Make sure the wheels are in good condition, the handle is secure and the brake is working properly. Also, ensure that the load is properly secured to the hand truck so that it won’t fall off or shift.
In conclusion, hand trucking freight from a truck down a ramp can be a challenging task, but with the right techniques and equipment, it can be done safely and efficiently. By using proper lifting techniques, using the appropriate equipment, taking safety precautions, and using personal protective equipment, drivers can reduce the risk of injury and ensure that the freight is handled safely and efficiently. Remember to inspect the hand truck and make sure it’s in good working order and that the load is properly secured.
The life of a trucker can be a challenging and rewarding one, but it’s important to understand the different types of work available and how they can impact work-life balance. Two of the most common types of trucking jobs are over-the-road (OTR) and local home daily work, and each has its own set of benefits and challenges when it comes to balancing work and personal life.
Over-the-road (OTR) trucking refers to long-haul trucking, where drivers are often on the road for weeks at a time. OTR truckers may travel across the country, hauling goods and delivering them to various destinations. The pay for OTR truckers is often higher than for local drivers, and the earning potential can be significant. However, the lifestyle can also be demanding, as drivers may be away from home for extended periods of time, and the isolation and long hours can take a toll on personal relationships and family life.
On the other hand, local home daily trucking refers to drivers who work within a specific geographic area, such as within a state or region. These drivers typically work shorter routes, delivering goods to a variety of locations within a specific area. The pay for local drivers is often lower than for OTR drivers, but the schedule can be more flexible and the lifestyle can be more conducive to maintaining personal relationships and family life.
One of the biggest benefits of OTR trucking is the earning potential. OTR truckers can earn a significant income, and the pay often increases with experience and seniority. Additionally, many OTR trucking companies offer bonuses for safe driving, fuel efficiency, and on-time delivery, which can add to the earning potential. However, the demands of the job can also make it difficult to maintain a work-life balance. Drivers may be away from home for weeks at a time, and the isolation and long hours can take a toll on personal relationships and family life.
On the other hand, local home daily trucking offers more flexibility in terms of scheduling and lifestyle. Drivers are able to spend more time at home and maintain personal relationships and family life. The pay for local drivers is often lower than for OTR drivers, but the schedule can be more flexible, and the lifestyle can be more conducive to maintaining personal relationships and family life. Additionally, for some drivers, the ability to be home daily can be a significant factor in their decision to choose local driving over OTR driving.
Another difference between OTR and local driving is the physical demands of the job. OTR truckers often drive longer distances, which can lead to more wear and tear on the body. Additionally, OTR truckers may have to deal with adverse weather conditions and challenging road conditions, which can be physically demanding. On the other hand, local drivers typically drive shorter distances, which can be less physically demanding.
When it comes to work-life balance, it’s important to consider your personal priorities and goals. For some drivers, the higher earning potential of OTR trucking may be worth the demands of the job and time away from home. For others, the flexibility and lifestyle of local home daily trucking may be a better fit. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual driver to weigh the benefits and challenges of each type of work and make the decision that’s best for them and their personal circumstances.
In conclusion, being a trucker can be a challenging and rewarding career. The choice between OTR and local home daily work will depend on the driver’s personal priorities and goals. OTR drivers can earn a significant income, but the demands of the job can make it difficult to maintain a work-life balance. On the other hand, local drivers have more flexibility.
As a truck driver, maintaining a clean motor vehicle record (MVR) is crucial for a number of reasons. Not only is it important for staying compliant with federal regulations and avoiding penalties, but it can also have a major impact on career opportunities and earning potential.
One of the most obvious reasons for a truck driver to keep a clean MVR is to stay compliant with federal regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict rules in place for commercial drivers, and a history of traffic violations or accidents can result in penalties or even disqualification from driving professionally. This can have a major impact on a truck driver’s ability to earn a living and support their family.
Another important consideration for truck drivers is the impact a clean MVR can have on career opportunities. Many trucking companies and carriers conduct thorough background checks on potential drivers, and a history of traffic violations or accidents can make it difficult to find employment. Additionally, some insurance companies may also require a clean MVR for coverage, which can also impact a truck driver’s ability to find work.
Beyond the legal and career implications, a clean MVR can also have a positive impact on a truck driver’s earning potential. Many companies offer bonuses or other incentives for drivers with a clean MVR, and a history of violations or accidents can make it difficult to secure higher paying job opportunities. Additionally, having a clean MVR may also make it easier to negotiate better rates or terms with shippers or other clients.
It’s worth noting that a truck driver’s MVR is not only affected by the actions they take while operating a commercial vehicle, but also while driving their personal car. This is because, in most cases, the state records all the driving records of a driver, regardless of the vehicle they were driving. Therefore, a truck driver should be mindful of their actions while driving their personal car, as it can also impact their MVR.
In conclusion, a truck driver’s MVR is an important consideration for compliance, career opportunities, and earning potential. It’s important for truck drivers to be aware of the impact that their actions, whether it’s in their personal car or commercial vehicle, can have on their MVR, and to take steps to maintain a clean record. By understanding the importance of a clean MVR, truck drivers can take the necessary steps to ensure their continued success in the industry.
We are seeing aggressive increases in driver pay. In fact we have been watching the trends in CDL Driver pay for a long time, and can’t remember anything quite like it.
Here’s what we know so far.
Freight Waves recently wrote in an article (where they go on to cite numerous specific wage increases at carriers across the country) –
“Demand for truck capacity remains high but the lack of qualified drivers to meet the need is even greater. Elevated consumer spending has resulted in a peaklike freight market for more than a year now, and the reasons why driver employment has been lagging are well known.
Many of the drivers who left the industry at the pandemic’s onset over fears of contracting the virus have yet to return. Low driver school enrollments due to COVID protocols and some 85,000 operators with failed drug tests (according to Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse data) are just some of the obstacles the fleets face.
According to BulkTransport Kim Beck vice president of benefits consulting at Cottingham & Butler said –
“average pay increased 10% year-over-year in the tank/bulk segment. “We’ve seen this driver-pay average increase every year now since we’ve been doing this survey, and this year was the most significant increase we’ve seen,” she said.
Average per-mile pay was 55 cents for tank/bulk drivers with less than three years of tenure, 58 cents for three to six years, and 61 cents for more than six years. Those numbers are lower in other segments, Beck said. Forty-five percent of per-mile drivers made $60,000 to $69,999—and no carriers that pay by the mile had drivers averaging more than $100,000 per year.
Compensation by revenue or load increased the most. “We saw a 10-15% increase over the last 18 months in the amount of average pay for the drivers they’re paying by percentage of revenue or load,” Beck said. “On the tank side they were slightly higher, at $74,700 average annual pay, and bulk was $68,300.” As with mileage, 45% averaged $60,000 to $69,999 per year, but 4% of carriers paying by percentage reported drivers averaging more than $100,000 per year.
Hourly tank/bulk drivers averaged $63,400 annually, up 3.4% from 2020, and salaried, or per diem drivers averaged $55,700. “In over-the-road trucking—dry van, refrigerated, and the other segments of trucking—per diem is a little more popular and a little higher pay because they’re out longer,” Beck said. “There’s more of a justified reason for paying per diem.”… FULL ARTICLE
According to Matt Cole writing for CCJ company drivers are looking for more than just immediate pay –
“A recent study by the American Transportation Research Institute into truck drivers’ motivations for choosing a particular employment status – either company driver or independent contractor/owner-operator – found that fleets should consider bolstering healthcare and retirement savings options when looking to recruit and retain company drivers. The full survey report can be downloaded on ATRI’s website.
A total of 2,097 truck drivers responded to ATRI’s survey, which was open from Aug. 18 through Sept. 17. The majority of respondents (66.2%) where either owner-operators leased to a carrier or owner-operators with their own authority. The remaining 33.8% of respondents were company drivers.
The study found that the top motivations for drivers choosing to be company drivers were: Job Security/Stability, Income, and Healthcare/Retirement Savings.” – FULL ARTICLE
To bring it a little closer to home, here at GoCDL.com we have seen steady increases across all segments of CDL truck driver pay. In fact our CDL drivers are averaging 50% more than just a few years ago, and we have literally dozens of jobs most local or regional with $1,600 – $1,800, and even $2000+ weekly guarantees. We have local delivery routes and shuttle runs with 40 – 5- hour weeks paying in excess of $1,600. These positions simply did not exist a few years ago.
When will driver pay stop growing, we estimate no time soon. We do foresee a tight job market for some time to come, and carriers will continue to respond with wage increases. In the short term this means CDL drivers and being shuffled from carrier to carrier, but with the cdl truck driver pay increasing regularly, it should attract new talent to the market, but if it will be enough, and soon enough is anybody’s guess.
In a recent interview Danny Wan the executive director of the Port of Oakland and president of the California Association of Port Authorities was asked by NPR why the ports were backed up, he attributed the ports problems to numerous factors, including a lack of drivers, saying:
“Well, there are several chokepoints in the supply chain. Each link in the chain is contributing to this. One, there is space in the harbors on the land side in terms of availability to store the containers once they’re unloaded, then there’s shortages of truckers to move that container from the port onto these sites where the warehouses are. There’s limitations of warehousing space. And then, of course, there’s a rail connection that’s also a chokepoint, as well. So each link in the chain has its own problems that’s contributing to the backup. Of course, the main cause is the surge in the consumers buying these goods and inability for the capacity to accommodate that.” FULL INTERVIEW WITH NPR
Wan’s analysis jibes with what other industry insiders are seeing with port congestion and truck backlogs. Numerous sources are citing the lack of chassis for shipping containers as another constraint. Cargo Link reports:
“This particular issue proves to create a very problematic scenario for both the truckers and also for the shippers. So far, the industry has seen an enormous uprise in re-delivery costs, port storage, equipment and chassis storage because of the appointment system.
The average street dwell time has increased to 7+ days, and this means that a good portion of chassis are stuck at warehouses and trucker lots for more than a week. Especially with the import surge in September, port utilization rose to 90 percent, which ultimately contributed to the existing problems. ” ARTICLE
There is also another problem, empty containers are building up as well. According to news reports – “U.S. ports have been inundated with cargo since the pandemic shifted spending away from restricted entertainment like travel and dining out to physical goods. COVID-19 also reduced labor needed to keep goods flowing smoothly. Aging truckers retired early, while infection control measures have limited dock and warehouse staffing.
There are now roughly 65,000 empty containers on the Port of Los Angeles docks, up about 18% from just a couple of weeks ago, said the port’s executive director, Gene Seroka. He added that “sweeper” ships are inbound to shuttle some of those boxes back to factories in Asia.” REUTERS
Some commentators have laid the blame at the pay structure for truck drivers, where drivers are paid by the load and have to sit in their truck and wait idling at no expense to shippers. According to a NBC report:
“We don’t have a truck driver shortage at the ports,” said Steve Viscelli, an economic sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania. “The problem is that these truckers’ time is used so inefficiently. The cranes, the longshoreman labor, all that gets priced and used efficiently.”
In the port ecosystem, truck drivers are paid by the load, not by the hour, making them some of the most vulnerable workers, Viscelli said. Other port workers get overtime pay and belong to unions, but truckers are classified as independent contractors. As such, they aren’t considered employees and don’t get any of the benefits or protections associated with that status.
“Truck drivers are the shock absorbers,” he said. “If the cranes are running behind, you can just keep the trucker there idle. You can back them up for hours, because they’re not being paid.”
Because of how they’re classified and compensated, truck drivers wait around until they’re needed, at no cost to the shipping companies. That means there’s little incentive to change and use them more efficiently, Viscelli said.
In contrast, efforts to reduce inefficiencies in other areas of the ports continue and have been successful. For instance, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach announced a plan last month to fine shipping companies that leave their cargoes on the docks for too long. The promise of fines proved so successful that the ports have delayed implementing them because early compliance led to a 26 percent drop in lingering containers. FULL ARTICLE
Nimesh Modi, CEO of BookYourCargo in a recent opinion piece in Transport Dive argues that the whole model is broken when it comes to recruiting drivers for the ports. “One of the most critical issues for drayage operations, domestically, is the exodus of drivers and the lack of any real pipeline to recruit and retain new ones.
Though “driver shortage” tends to be a concept thought of mostly in terms of trucking’s long-haul segment, the driver shortage has become dire at the ports, where drivers have been fleeing drayage work in droves.
It’s time to figure out solutions that make drayage workable in the modern world, so that drayage carriers can attract and retain a vital driver workforce….
….Like the broader driver shortage plaguing other segments of trucking, it will take a multi-pronged approach. But first and foremost, we must listen to dray drivers, hear their concerns, and take these concerns seriously. FULL OPINION PIECE
We will be watching this topic closely, so watch for updates.
America needs to keep on trucking: The $791.7 billion industry hauls 72.5% of all freight transported in the United States and employs about 6% of all full-time workers. But an aging workforce combined with the recent surge in labor shortages could spell disaster for the vital industry.
The ongoing truck driver shortage is now estimated at 80,000, up from 61,000 just three years ago. A new study by Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Associations (ATA), estimates that the industry will have to recruit 1 million new drivers within the next nine years to replace retiring drivers.
Many factors contribute to a lack of drivers, said Costello, including….. READ ARTICLE
WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – One of the fastest growing sectors of Pennsylvania’s economy is Transportation and Logistics. Even so, companies simply cannot find enough truck drivers and warehouse workers to meet the demand in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania. No matter where you turned, companies that move freight by truck or warehouse items for major retailers were advertising for employees today. Employers told Eyewitness News reporter Andy Mehalshick that the challenge was just getting people to even consider a career on the open road. In the past five years, Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania has become a major center for warehouse operations. Just about every industrial park in our area has distribution centers for nationally known companies. That translates to a lot of jobs but relatively few…. FULL STORY
A company created by former Google employees is working to introduce driverless trucks to highways around the country, taking self-driving technology even beyond the tech giant’s push for the widespread use of self-driving passenger cars. … full article
According to Motor Trend:
With more than 1.6 million Americans working as truck drivers, truckers hold the most common job in 29 states. If those jobs are replaced by self-driving trucks, it would mean 1 percent of the U.S. workforce would be unemployed. But the ripple effects could be even more devastating to the American highway as we know it. Truck stops, motels, gas stations, diners, and many other businesses will struggle to stay open without a steady flow of truckers coming through. – full article