Myths about Diesel Engines

February 1st, 2019
Myths about Diesel Engines
Over the years, some myths have been developed about diesel engines.

The diesel engines used in commercial trucks are very different from the engines used in regular passenger vehicles in many ways. They require different maintenance and run very differently.  Over the years, some myths have been developed about diesel engines. Here are just a few examples of those and why they are wrong.

Checking the Temperature

In a regular gasoline vehicle, checking the coolant temperature will tell you whether the engine is warmed up or not. In a diesel engine, however, this is not necessarily true. Diesel engines were designed to carry immensely heavy loads, and they are very different from the engines used in regular vehicles. So, if the coolant in your truck is warm, that doesn’t always mean that your engine is as well.

Extended Idle Time

Idling for extended periods of time is particularly common in the winter time, when temperatures are particularly low. This is mostly because many truckers believe that it will keep the fuel from getting too cold. While it doesn’t use a whole lot of fuel, the fuel that is used can’t combust properly while the truck is idling. This increases wear and tear on the engine and increases pollutants in the air unnecessarily. If you need to stop for a while, just turn off the engine.

RPM and Engine Longevity

It is widely believed that most of the “wear and tear” on diesel engines is a result of the high revolutions per minute (RPM) rate. But the reality is that the majority of the normal wear and tear happens when the engine is started up and not allowed to warm up properly. When a diesel engine is started, it needs a minute to warm up to allow the oil to flow freely. Otherwise, you could end up causing unnecessary damage over time.

Middleton & Meads is Your ONE STOP Shop for ALL of Your Vehicle’s NEEDS.

Need to repair your truck or bus? Contact Middleton & Meads today! Middleton & Meads provides quality truck and bus repair, service, and fleet management for the Baltimore, MD area. We have over 90 years of experience in the trucking industry and will provide you with customer service like you have never experienced before! If you are interested in seeing how we can help your business, give us a call at (410) 752-5588 or visit us online today! For more articles and trucking tips, follow us on FacebookTwitterFlickr, and LinkedIn.

Keeping a Balanced Diet when Eating at Truck Stops

January 25th, 2019
Keeping a Balanced Diet when Eating at Truck Stops
While these facilities were designed to meet the basic needs of truckers everywhere, they don’t always offer the healthiest choices.

Throughout your trucking career, you’re probably going to see hundreds of truck stops. While these facilities were designed to meet the basic needs of truckers everywhere, they don’t always offer the healthiest choices. Here are some tips that can help you maintain some balance in your diet when eating at truck stops is your only option.

Plan Your Meals around Your Schedule

For many average shift-workers, it’s easy to plan breakfast, lunch, and dinner is at pretty much the same times each day. However, when you’re a trucker, mealtimes can vary based on the job. A good time to think about mealtimes is when you’re planning your route. Plan to eat every few hours, so that you’re not depriving yourself of necessary sustenance. For a long-haul or overnight job, this may mean that you have four meals in a day or that they are at “odd” hours. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as you’re eating when you need to. Building mealtimes into your travel plans also helps to cut down on last-minute stops where you just grab the first thing you see out of desperation and hunger. If you’re someone who likes to snack, then pack yourself something healthy to munch on between meals.

Keep an Eye on Portion Sizes

Truck stops across the country are famous for their diners, and the typical American diner serves colossal portions. Keep in mind that there is nothing wrong with having leftovers. Eating too much at once can make you sluggish and tired, neither of which are good things when you’re trying to drive safely. Eat until you feel satisfied and then stop. You can save the leftovers for your next meal, and probably save yourself some time!

Keep Proper Nutrition in Mind

It’s important to remember that there are nutrients that your body needs. Many years ago, it was almost impossible to get anything that wasn’t full of sugar or deep fried at truck stops. Fortunately, most truck stops nowadays have significantly more healthy options. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are crucial for maintaining a balanced diet. While all that fried stuff may look appetizing, it is essential that you choose to prioritize your health.   

Middleton & Meads is Your ONE STOP Shop for ALL of Your Vehicle’s NEEDS.

Need to repair your truck or bus? Contact Middleton & Meads today! Middleton & Meads provides quality truck and bus repair, service, and fleet management for the Baltimore, MD area. We have over 90 years of experience in the trucking industry and will provide you with customer service like you have never experienced before! If you are interested in seeing how we can help your business, give us a call at (410) 752-5588 or visit us online today! For more articles and trucking tips, follow us on FacebookTwitterFlickr, and LinkedIn.

What is a Runaway Truck Ramp and Where Can You Find Them?

January 18th, 2019
What is a Runaway Truck Ramp and Where Can You Find Them?
Driving at higher elevations can be much more dangerous than at ground level.

When you’re a trucker, you never know where your next trip will take you. Maybe you’ll be in the mountains. Driving at higher elevations can be much more dangerous than at ground level. That’s why runaway truck ramps are in place to help you when you need them.

What Are They?

A runaway truck ramp is built on a downhill highway. It must be built with different trucking conditions in mind, though. That’s because gear settings could prevent downshifting, and brakes might be inoperable. These ramps help reduce the number of incidents where a trucking accident could cause a road to be shut down for other motorists. Two other problems that these ramps help solve are the potential for serious injury or even death as caused by these accidents.

Places to Look

There are several places around the country where you can look for runaway truck ramps. One is found at Monteagle Mountain in Tennessee. At the very top of the mountain, there is a ramp that leads to an inspection checkpoint. During this stop, you can make sure all of your tires, gears, and brakes are in good condition. You’ll also get more information about what the road ahead is like and how to navigate through it safely. Although trucks must stay to the right while going down the mountain, the runaway ramps are on the left side.

The second place to look is Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado. Uncontrolled speed on the western side of the Pass is what leads to most trucking accidents. There are two ramps to be found here, both on the right.

The third place you can find a runaway truck ramp is Teton Pass in Wyoming. The ramp here is covered with sand to help slow you down. But as in Monteagle, you’ll need to cross the road to get to the ramp. To enter it safely, keep to the center as much as you can.

The fourth place to look is Mount Rose Highway in Nevada. This is State Highway 431, which has been known to give truckers trouble. This ramp features a crash arrestor that will help guide you into safety webbing that will catch you and prevent you from sliding off the highway, which comes as a huge relief given that over 5000 vehicles a day travel along this road.

Of course, these are not the only runaway truck ramps in the country, just a couple of examples.

Middleton & Meads is Your ONE STOP Shop for ALL of Your Vehicle’s NEEDS.

Need to repair your truck or bus? Contact Middleton & Meads today! Middleton & Meads provides quality truck and bus repair, service, and fleet management for the Baltimore, MD area. We have over 90 years of experience in the trucking industry and will provide you with customer service like you have never experienced before! If you are interested in seeing how we can help your business, give us a call at (410) 752-5588 or visit us online today! For more articles and trucking tips, follow us on FacebookTwitterFlickr, and LinkedIn.

Questions to Ask when Shopping for a Refrigerated Trailer

January 11th, 2019
Shopping for a refrigerated trailer does require some extra consideration.

There are many different types of trailers used to haul freight, mainly flatbeds, closed trailers, vehicle carriers, and refrigerated trailers. Most of these are pretty standard. However, shopping for a refrigerated trailer does require some extra consideration. There is a lot more that goes into making them functional than other types of trailers. Here are a couple of important questions you should ask when you’re shopping for a refrigerated trailer.

How strong is the refrigeration system?

One of the most important elements of your refrigerated trailer is the actual refrigeration system. This system is responsible for ensuring your cargo stays properly preserved until you’ve reached your final destination. Most refrigeration systems run on their own diesel engine, separate from your truck. Look carefully at the specifications of the refrigeration system you’re considering. It should be rated to cool a space the same size as or slightly larger than the interior of the trailer. Longer trailers will need ductwork to ensure that everything stays cool.

Is the trailer insulated well enough?

Perhaps nearly as important as the refrigeration system itself is how well the trailer is insulated. Much like your home, your refrigerated trailer needs quality insulation in order to function efficiently. When you’re driving down the highway during the day, there is little to no shade. With the black asphalt attracting sunlight, the heat produced by vehicle engines, and friction from tires, there is quite a bit of heat that gets created. The trailer’s insulation should be able to block all of that out so that the refrigeration system doesn’t have to work harder to compensate.

How does it open?

The door of the trailer also makes a lot of seemingly insignificant differences. Depending on the type of door on the trailer, it can increase or decrease efficiency of the cooling system. For example: roll-up doors are easier to open and close, but harder to seal and insulate. Rubber curtains in the back of the trailer can help to keep the cold air in, but these do need to be replaced periodically because they do break.

Middleton & Meads is Your ONE STOP Shop for ALL of Your Vehicle’s NEEDS.

Need to repair your truck or bus? Contact Middleton & Meads today! Middleton & Meads provides quality truck and bus repair, service, and fleet management for the Baltimore, MD area. We have over 90 years of experience in the trucking industry and will provide you with customer service like you have never experienced before! If you are interested in seeing how we can help your business, give us a call at (410) 752-5588 or visit us online today! For more articles and trucking tips, follow us on FacebookTwitterFlickr, and LinkedIn.

Trucking Safely in Dangerous Winter Weather Conditions

January 4th, 2019

Trucking Safely in Dangerous Winter Weather Conditions

Any combination of snow, ice, rain, fog, and high winds can happen at any time during the winter and they can create some pretty dangerous road conditions.

As a trucker, you will likely be driving in all kinds of weather conditions. There are a variety of different climates within the boundaries of the continental U.S. This time of year especially, you will need to be on the lookout for winter weather and all that brings. Any combination of snow, ice, rain, fog, and high winds can happen at any time during the winter and they can create some pretty dangerous road conditions. Read the rest of this entry »

Tips for Sleeping Better while On the Road

December 21st, 2018

Tips for Sleeping Better while On the Road

Sleep is a critical part of feeling good.

Sleep is a critical part of feeling good. When you’re a truck driver, you need to rest as often as you can. Here are some tips to follow the next time you hit the open road. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Avoid Eye Strain when Trucking at Night

December 14th, 2018

How to Avoid Eye Strain when Trucking at Night

When you do a lot of driving at night, you have a drastically increased risk of developing eye strain.

No matter what profession you’re in, eye strain is a real problem. When you do a lot of driving at night, you have a drastically increased risk of developing eye strain. All of the bright lights of headlights, signs, billboards, and even some outdoor lighting from businesses coupled with the darkness on the road can cause your eyes to struggle when trying to focus on the road. When it’s dark outside, your eyes are drawn to whatever light source they can find. All of this straining can cause headaches and migraines, and over time can cause your vision to deteriorate faster. Follow these tips to fight the effects of eye strain when driving at night. Read the rest of this entry »

Healthy Foods You Can Stock in Your Truck

December 7th, 2018

Healthy Food to Stock in Your Truck

A healthy lifestyle can be tough to maintain when on the road. Here are some healthy foods you can keep in your truck!

When you’re always on the road, it can be difficult to eat healthily or make changes to your diet. Luckily, there are several ways to cook on the road that allow you to make healthier choices. Keeping appliances in your truck like a rice cooker, pressure cooker, portable grill, or portable blender will make it easy to cook a variety of your own meals with minimal ingredients to keep it healthy, and homemade while on the road. Using these appliances, you can turn simple ingredients into nutritious meals that will promote a healthier lifestyle. Here are just a few foods that you should keep in your truck to make healthy meals and snacks. Read the rest of this entry »

Performing a Thorough Truck Safety Inspection

November 30th, 2018

Performing a Through Truck Safety Inspection

Before you can hit the road as a trucker, you need to inspect your truck.

Before you can hit the road as a trucker, you need to inspect your truck. Thorough safety inspections are essential, both before you start moving your cargo and after you have completed your most recent haul. Your truck is a complex machine where over a hundred components must work together. Three of the most important components that you will need to keep a close eye on are the lights, the tires, and your fluid systems. Read the rest of this entry »

Benefits of Automatic Transmission in Your Truck

November 16th, 2018

Benefits of Automatic Transmission in Your Truck

In trucking, the manual transmission is still quite prevalent.

Since the beginning of motorized transportation, drivers have been shifting through gears manually. In trucking, the manual transmission is still quite prevalent. Many states even require new drivers know how to shift correctly before they can even earn their CDL. Because manual shifting can be so difficult to learn and master, the trucking industry has slowly started to shift to the use of automatic transmission. Here are just a couple of the reasons to make the switch. Read the rest of this entry »