Tips for Preventing Cargo Theft During a Haul

April 19th, 2019
Tips for Preventing Cargo Theft During a Haul
As a trucker, you are responsible for whatever you are hauling from the time you pull away from the loading dock until you get to your final destination.

As a trucker, you are responsible for whatever you are hauling from the time you pull away from the loading dock until you get to your final destination. Unfortunately, there are people out there that take advantage of truckers who are resting or taking a break and try to steal their cargo. Fortunately, there are some steps that can be taken to prevent cargo theft. 

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How to Make Your Truck More Comfortable

April 12th, 2019

When you work a typical 9 to 5 job, you’re usually in your comfortable office surrounded by your chosen office decorations. Well, a trucking career is vastly different from your typical office job! Most trucking jobs will have you working far more than the 9 to 5 schedule. Your truck cab is going to become your “home away from home,” so how do you make it more comfortable? Here are some helpful tips for making your truck more comfortable.  

How to Make Your Truck More Comfortable
Your truck cab is going to become your “home away from home,” so how do you make it more comfortable?

Start with the Driver’s Seat

Since you’re going to spend the vast majority of your time in the driver’s seat of your truck, it is the most logical place to start. With some shopping around in local stores and online, you can find the perfect seat cushion or a cushion and cover combination that will suit your taste. There are hundreds of different types of seat cushions and covers available, so it shouldn’t be hard to find something that’s right for you.

For a Truck with a Sleeper Cab

Not all trucks have them, but those used for long hauls will often have sleeper cabs. A sleeper cab can save you lots of money on lodging, but they aren’t always super comfortable. Fortunately, there are some small adjustments you can make there too. Purchase some super nice bedding and pillows for the bed, and you can even get a mattress pad for extra comfort. If you sleep during the day and drive at night, you can get curtains that block out the sun so you can get the rest you need! 

What You Eat is Important Too

It can be difficult to keep your diet healthy and balanced when you spend a lot of time on the road. You can avoid hitting the fast food by preparing meals and snacks ahead of time and keeping them in your truck. Most truck stops have microwaves that you can use to heat your food. If you have food that needs to be kept cold, you can easily use ice packs and a cooler for those items if you don’t have access to a mini-fridge. 

Staying Entertained in Your Downtime

If you don’t already have a tablet or even just a laptop, you should consider investing in one. Many places have Wi-Fi hotspots so that you can access streaming sites for music, TV, and movies or keep in contact with loved ones. 

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.

Maintaining Your Truck Tires

April 5th, 2019
Maintaining Your Truck Tires
When you work as a trucker, maintaining your truck tires is one of the most critical tasks that you are responsible for.

How often do you think about the wheels on your truck? Most of the time, you probably don’t until they need air or need to be rotated. When you work as a trucker, maintaining your truck tires is one of the most critical tasks that you are responsible for. Here’s a closer look at how to do this.

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Self-Driving Trucks and the Future of the Trucking Industry

March 29th, 2019
Self-Driving Trucks and the Future of the Trucking Industry
Self-driving cars are being tested now, and could soon be on the roads for actual use. And it didn’t take long to see the ways this technology could be applied to the trucking industry.

Once upon a time we lumped self-driving cars in with flying cars as futuristic stuff we’d probably never see, but the future is much closer to now than we ever thought. Self-driving cars are being tested now, and could soon be on the roads for actual use. And it didn’t take long to see the ways this technology could be applied to the trucking industry. Self-driving trucks are also in testing, though they likely won’t go into standard use as soon as self-driving cars will. However, for an industry that suffers from staffing shortages, the prospect of self-driving trucks is both a good thing and a scary thing.

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Reducing Fatigue on the Road

March 22nd, 2019
Reducing Fatigue While On the Road
Fatigue on the road can be deadly. Here are some tips to help you reduce fatigue.

Driving for a long time can cause you to get tired. Unfortunately, driving while fatigued is not a sign of toughness. When you’re tired, you’re more likely to make careless mistakes that can endanger you and other motorists. Here are some pointers for how to reduce fatigue while you’re out on the road.

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Purchasing a Truck: To Buy Brand New or Used?

March 15th, 2019
Purchasing a Truck: To Buy Brand New or Used?
When you start shopping, the first big question you’ll need to figure out is if you will be purchasing a new or used truck.

Buying a new truck is a significant investment. As a trucker, your truck is your livelihood. When you start shopping, the first big question you’ll need to figure out is if you will be purchasing a new or used truck. Both of these options have their own advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to do as much research as you can before making your decision. 

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Tips for Driving a Truck through a City Safely

March 8th, 2019
Tips for Driving a Truck through a City Safely
Large cities are everywhere all over the country, and whether you’re going coast to coast or going from one end of your state to the other, you’re bound to pass through a city at some point.

Do you know where you’re going next? Most of the time, your next destination is going to be inside a city. Large cities are everywhere all over the country, and whether you’re going coast to coast or going from one end of your state to the other, you’re bound to pass through a city at some point. Here are some tips for how to get to your destination on time, and more importantly, safely.

Make Your Plans

Having a plan makes anything easier. It doesn’t matter if you’re going on a fun road trip or driving for work. Making a plan before you go anywhere will cut down on the frustration caused by traffic, changing weather conditions, and unexpected road closures. Know your route before you leave, even if you’ve traveled it hundreds of times before now. Using a GPS can help you find shortcuts and avoid traffic jams.

Knowing what the weather will be like ahead of time also makes a huge difference. Winter may be turning into spring, but that doesn’t rule out the possibility of more snow, or even fog and rain on any given morning. Keep an emergency kit for if you break down, and make sure you have a warm coat and boots to deal with all kinds of weather.

Slow and Steady

Different cities have different traffic regulations. No matter where you end up, follow the speed limit. Instead of rushing and speeding up to beat a traffic light or shave a few minutes off your commute, breathe deep and exhale. Calm down and relax. You’ll get there eventually even if you have to slow down. After all, you don’t want to cause an accident or get into one because you weren’t paying attention to changing road conditions. If you’re concerned that slowing down to deal with city traffic will make you late for a delivery, simply leave earlier. It’s better to arrive a few minutes earlier than to be late. Be responsible and considerate, and you’ll get out of the city and back onto the highway to your next stop in no 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.

How to Stay Awake During a Long Haul

March 1st, 2019
How to Stay Awake During a Long Haul
It is extremely important for you to be able to stay awake while on the job.

Driving when you’re tired is never a good idea. When you’re a truck driver, you’re spending many hours of your day on the road. It doesn’t matter if you’re a long haul trucker or a short haul trucker. It is extremely important for you to be able to stay awake while on the job. Here are some tips that can help.

Take Short Naps

If you have a pet cat, then you might notice that they sleep all the time. These are affectionately known as cat naps, and you can benefit from them, too! The best time to do this is before your next trip. Even an hour or two can help you feel refreshed. Remember to get adequate amounts of sleep at night as well– staying rested is the key to a long and successful trucking career! If you’re on a trip, find a safe place to pull over. Then take a short nap, because if you resist the effects of fatigue for too long – not only is it unhealthy, but it’s also potentially risky.

Eat Better

It’s also important to stick to a balanced diet. In other words, make an effort to eat better. The longer you stay away from fast food and other junk, the better you will feel. Choose whole grains, fresh produce, and protein, all of which will keep you feeling full for longer. These are all snacks that you can keep close to hand and that you know won’t be loaded with salt, sugar, or fillers.

Get Moving

Trucking involves sitting still for a long time. This can be taxing to your mind, as well as your body. One way to fix that sluggish feeling is to get moving. This will help your circulation start flowing again. Plus, stretching and walking around can help wake you up or help you calm down.

Put on Some Music

If you feel like you’re in danger of falling asleep, then it’s time to pump up the music. Choose lively, upbeat music that will keep you stay awake but won’t completely drown out noises from the world around you. Loud music can be fun, but it’s still important to be aware of your surroundings.

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.

Tips for Conserving Fuel

February 22nd, 2019
Tips for Conserving Fuel
Saving fuel on your next trip will also save you plenty of headaches. You’re on a schedule, and stopping frequently to re-fuel can mess with your delivery time.

Saving fuel on your next trip will also save you plenty of headaches. You’re on a schedule, and stopping frequently to re-fuel can mess with your delivery time. Plus, frequent re-fueling can get pretty expensive. Here are some handy tips for conserving fuel.

Be Responsible

No matter what size truck you drive, you’ve got to be responsible every time you’re out on the road. Other drivers won’t be as considerate, so you need to keep yourself safe. Follow the speed limit as often as you can. When you speed up, you start to use more fuel than if you went more slowly. That said, you want to maintain a reasonable speed – driving too slowly can be just as dangerous as going too fast, especially around sharp turns. Don’t idle your truck, which can eat up unnecessary amounts of fuel. Be sure to turn the engine off every time you get out of the cab, and try using cruise control sometimes, since this can also help you save some gas.

Observe Traffic Patterns

Next, observe the traffic patterns. Stop and go traffic can guzzle more gas than you expect. So getting stuck in it will make you use a lot more than normal. Slowing down and stopping at the right times will make a difference, though. Before your next cargo haul, take a minute to look at the gear shift on your truck. If it’s manual, you’re in luck. That’s because you won’t need to keep shifting gears all the time, which also helps you conserve fuel. Avoid stomping on the brake unless you have to because this tactic also burns too much fuel.

Track Oil Levels

Keep an eye on the oil levels in your truck. Like any vehicle on the road, it will require occasional oil changes. Be sure to use the right type of oil, because when you do, you can increase your overall gas mileage. Make sure you top off your diesel fuel tank before getting on the road; the more gas you have, the farther you can go.

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.

Do You Want to Be An Owner-Operator?

February 15th, 2019
Do You Want to Be An Owner Operator?
When you purchase a truck and operate independently, you become what’s known as an owner operator.

When you first start out your trucking career, you’ll probably be hired by a company to be a part of a fleet. For a lot of truckers, this path is just fine. Some, however, want to be their own boss. When you purchase a truck and operate independently, you become what’s known as an owner operator. Here are some of the things you should consider if you’re thinking about becoming an owner operator.

Tracking

The first thing you should do if you’re considering becoming an owner operator is to start tracking all of your expenses. Tracking time, fuel costs, maintenance costs, and all expenses associated with the jobs you do. Track all of these things until you feel like you have a reasonable sample of what you should expect to spend as an owner operator.

Financing

When you choose to become an owner operator, you’re starting a business. Even if it’s just you and your truck, it’s your very own small business. Starting a business requires an investment. Careful budgeting can help you save up enough to get your business started off right.

Choosing Your Vehicle

The largest expense of starting your owner operator business will be purchasing the truck. You will want to be absolutely certain that you’re choosing quality equipment because without a good truck, your business won’t get very far. A popular option among owner operators, especially when they’re first starting out, is to purchase a used truck. This way, you can pay off your initial investment and save more to turn around and sell that truck and invest in a better one. However, this plan only works if you keep all of the trucks you own well-maintained while you have them. No one will want to purchase an old, worn out truck.

Lifestyle Changes

Trucking is a largely solitary lifestyle. When you become an owner-operator, it can be even more isolating. When you work for a larger company, you have coworkers and dispatchers that you will need to communicate with. As an owner operator, you are your own dispatcher. There is also a lot of personal accountability and discipline involved. You have to be able to hold yourself accountable for staying on schedule and getting your jobs done.

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.