Posts Tagged ‘trucking-tips’

Tips for Driving a Truck through a City Safely

Friday, 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

Friday, 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

Friday, 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.

3 Tips to Help You Through Your Next Long Haul

Friday, February 8th, 2019
3 Tips to Help You Through Your Next Long Haul
Whether you’re preparing yourself for your first long haul or you’re a seasoned professional, these tips can help make the road ahead more comfortable.

When you choose a career path that requires a lot of driving, like trucking, you know that you will be spending lots and lots of long hours on the road. Sometimes you will even be driving through the night. Whether you’re preparing yourself for your first long haul or you’re a seasoned professional, these tips can help make the road ahead more comfortable.

Fuel Yourself

Every responsible trucker knows to keep a careful eye on fuel use and fuel economy for their vehicle. It is just as important that you make sure you keep yourself properly “fueled” as well. Always drink plenty of water. Stock your truck with nutrient-rich snacks for the journey. When you’re on a long haul, you’ll likely stop at a few truck stops along the way. Grab a couple of pieces of fresh fruit or some granola if you need to re-stock quickly.

Try Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy can make a huge difference in making your long haul more pleasant. Different scents can help you stay more awake and alert for the long drive. When it comes time to stop and sleep for the night, there are essential oils and sprays that can help to create a more relaxing atmosphere when you’re trying to sleep hundreds of miles from home.

Adjust Your Posture

Bad posture can effect many aspects of your physical health and how you feel. When you’re sitting and driving for the majority of your day, it is extremely important to make sure you’ve got good posture. If you’re constantly slouched over the steering wheel, it can cause your back, neck, shoulders, and even hips to misalign. These misalignments can lead to all sorts of soreness and pain. If the problem becomes serious enough, it can even potentially require surgery.

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.

Myths about Diesel Engines

Friday, 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

Friday, 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?

Friday, 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

Friday, 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.

How The Hot Weather Can Take A Toll On Long-Haul Drivers

Friday, July 7th, 2017

long-haul

The humid summer heat can take a toll on long-haul truck drivers.

Summer is in full swing, and the hot and humid weather is taking a toll on just about everyone working outside. Long-haul truck drivers are no different, and hot weather can make days and nights on the road pretty miserable. How can hot weather take a toll on long-haul drivers? (more…)