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Distracted driving has become one of the greatest dangers to motorists on American highways. As handheld technology continues to develop and become more sophisticated at a breakneck pace, the average driver is progressively more tempted to avert their eyes from the road and play with their phones, radios, etc.

Commercial Truckers and Distracted Driving

As a professional truck driver or small trucking company owner, you’ve doubtlessly heard a great deal about the perils of distracted driving—but what is distracted driving, exactly, and how many accidents are caused by distracted driving?
If you have endured a road accident and you weren’t at fault, and the other party in question was recklessly driving, you’ll want to hire the help of a law firm in your location, such as this law firm that handles road traffic accidents, https://diamondlawbc.ca.

What is Distracted Driving?

According to the federal government, distracted driving is “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” Anything that prompts you to look away from the road, take your hands off of the wheel or impair your focus on changing traffic conditions is considered to be a driving distraction, so it comes as no surprise that something like yellow night driving glasses are recommended to enhance clarity while driving at night. There are many ways that people can stay safe and focused while on the road.

Some of the most common distractions on the road include:

  • Texting
  • General smart phone use
  • Reading
  • Hair brushing
  • Makeup application
  • Eating and drinking
  • Watching videos
  • Navigating with a GPS program
  • Operating a car radio or audio player

There are, in theory, an infinite number of things that can distract you from save driving, but those listed above are the most common causes of distracted driving accidents. But just how big an issue is distracted driving, exactly?

Distracted Driving Statistics

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes for fatal accidents on American highways and roads. Here are some fast facts that will give you some idea as to the scope of the problems that distracted driving causes:

  • In 2014, distracted driving caused 3,179 traffic deaths and 431,000 injuries, according to government figures.
  • Mobile phones are now commonplace among the U.S. population, making distracted driving all the more common. Our society is constantly sending and receiving messages. In fact, Americans send nearly 2 trillion text messages per year—as smartphone sales continue to proliferate throughout the population, a larger and larger percentage of those text messages will be, unfortunately, sent by drivers.
  • Deaths caused by distracted driving occur most often among drivers aged 15-19.
  • As of 2014, 2.2% of drivers on the road at any time could be seen visibly playing with handheld devices or texting, and that percentage is gradually increasing.
  • An AT&T study suggests that as many as 70% of drivers in the United States use their smartphones behind the wheel. 40% of drivers check social media while driving, 30% browse the internet and 10% even go so far as to video chat while driving.
  • The average driver averts their eyes from the road for a whopping five seconds when they send text messages, per government figures.
  • Texting while driving is said to be 6 times more likely to cause a car accident than drunk driving.
  • 94% of American drivers support laws that forbid texting while driving, according to Edgar Snyder and Associates.

The morbid list of distracted driving statistics goes on and on. What is the takeaway? Distracted driving is a deadly problem that is plaguing our highway. So what can you, as a truck driver/small trucking company owner, do to mitigate the risk of being involved in a distracted driving accident? If you find yourself in a truck accident, you might be interested in seeking help or advice, it might be worth looking somewhere like https://www.gjel.com.

Distracted Driving Prevention for Truckers

There are two sides of every distracted driving accident— to make sure that you don’t cause an accident because you were distracted, consider these tips:

  • Always keep your cell phone in the glove box of your big rig.
  • Make sure that your GPS is calibrated and correct before beginning your journey.
  • Pull over when it’s time to eat. Eating while driving causes more wrecks than you may think—and you could use the rest, anyhow.

And on the flip side, to ensure that you don’t fall victim to a distracted driver, think about trying these things out when you see somebody on the road that is clearly texting or checking Twitter:

  • Take the license plate number and call the highway patrol. While they probably won’t get caught, if they are constantly on their phones or engaging in distracting activities, a highway patrolman might just catch them, and that, in turn, might just save a life.
  • Establish a firm rule for your fleet, and make your other drivers pledge to avoid distracted driving.

Taking steps to eliminate distracted company is good for your safety, society and your small trucking company. Make sure that you do not take unnecessary risks when you are out on the road. Do you also want to avoid unnecessary risks in your trucking company’s finances? If so, contact the factoring experts at EZ Freight. We will make sure that you find the funds necessary to guarantee the survival of your growing fleet.

Trucker's Healthy Lifestyle

Lack of sleep and driver fatigue is one of the largest causes of traffic accidents. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found through its research that you are twice as likely to be involved in a wreck if you haven’t gotten appropriate sleep and you are not well rested. And, for truck drivers, long trips and strange hours are just a part of the job, and it is easy to lose out on proper sleep. So, what can you do to stay as alert as possible behind the wheel? Check out these tips to maximize your attentiveness and stay awake on the job!

Tips for Truck Drivers to Stay Awake

  1. Drink water, stay hydrated. Seems pretty simple, but yes, staying hydrated is one of the best ways to fight fatigue, according to WebMD. Be sure to keep a (full) water bottle with you throughout your trip, and if you need a snack, pick fruits and vegetables—they are full of water and natural sugars that keep your mind alert and awake.
  2.  Keep it cool. Literally, keep the truck a little bit cold, just enough to be slightly uncomfortable. Cold temperatures make it hard to fall asleep, while warmer ones naturally make you drowsy. If you find yourself nodding-off, crank the AC or turn off the heat and let the cold wake you up and keep you out of harm’s way.
  3. Do a bit of exercise. Even during work hours, do a little bit of exercise to keep your body and your brain awake. When you are at rest stops, do some push-ups, sit-ups, jump rope, or even run a little bit. Doing this each time you stop will get your heart pumping and the oxygen flowing throughout your body, keeping you at your best. It also behooves you to work out on your own time. A physically active person gets better sleep at night, and is therefore more productive during the day time.
  4. Pull over.If you are so tired that none of those strategies can keep you awake, do yourself and the rest of the drivers on the road a favor—pull over and rest. The risks of driving while fatigued definitely do not outweigh the benefits.

Invoice Factoring for Truckers

Implementing those tips should assure you safe, alert driving. Why not stay safe as you fund your trucking company? Avoid the hassle and the risk of bank loans, and consider letting.

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snacks

When you’re always on the road, it’s easy to let your stomach do the shopping in truck stops and convenience stores. But, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice nutritious foods every time you need a quick snack. This is also the case if you have little ones to feed as well, so it could be worth checking out the best travel snacks for inspiration.

These 15 healthy snacks keep you feeling full and satisfied between meals without making you loosen your belt buckle.

  1. veggies and hummusVeggies & Hummus — This snack is perfect for filling you up and keeping you full. Better yet, two tablespoons of hummus with a handful of your favorite veggies (carrots, red peppers, and snap peas are especially delicious!) only adds up to about 100 calories. You can’t go wrong with this tasty snack since it contains tons of iron, Vitamin C, fiber, and protein. *Snacking Hack: put two tablespoons of hummus at the bottom of a travel mug and layer your veggies on top vertically to make for easy eats on the road.*
  2. snacksHard Boiled Eggs — The incredible egg is a perfect source of protein, amino acids, and lecithin, which help to transport and metabolize fat to build muscle. With only about 70 calories and 5 grams of fat per egg, you can’t go wrong with these guys. Plus, hard boiled eggs are really easy to prepare at home, then take on the road. Don’t want to make them yourself? No worries. Most truck stops sell pre-cooked eggs in their refrigerated section. If you do make them yourself, just make sure to keep them in a cooler during your drive. No one wants a cabin smelling like sun-baked eggs!
  3. fruitsDried Fruits — Dried fruit is the perfect remedy for a sweet tooth. Dried plums and dried apricots are especially good sources of fiber. Researchers even discovered that fiber-rich dried fruit favorably impacts blood sugar and keeps you feeling satisfied longer. When shopping for dried fruits, keep in mind that some have a lot of added sugar. Try to opt for brands that are as natural as possible.
  4. almondsMixed Nuts — Here’s the thing: Dry roasted, unsalted nuts are excellent sources of protein BUT they contain a high calorie count and fat content. Good news though, the fat in nuts is monounsaturated (aka HEALTHY fat). Not only do mixed nuts contain a bunch of minerals that help energize your body, but they also could reduce your chance of heart disease! Plus, they’re easy to eat on the road and are perfectly nonperishable. If you’re watching your sodium intake, go for unsalted varieties.
  5. applesApples — I could go on for years about an apple’s health benefits. But, I’ll control myself and just name a few. Apples are rich in antioxidants and fiber, which help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. We should take the deadly consequences of a heart attack very seriously. This is why we should all visit somewhere like Coast2Coast in Toronto to learn CPR. As if that weren’t enough, apples have also been proven to wake you up just as much, if not better, than coffee does. With their natural sugars and carbohydrates, apples allow your body to wake up and stay energized longer. Apples make the perfect on-the-road snacks because they can hold their own really well. They don’t require refrigeration and their bodies aren’t soft and easily squished. So, whether you
    need a sugar fix, a filling snack, or pick-me-up, reach for an apple.
  6. meatJerky — You don’t have to give up meat on the road, and jerky is the perfect way to get it. But, let’s be sure to be a little picky when we’re shopping for these salty snacks. Opt for low-sodium beef or turkey jerky made by a natural brand. Avoid the sugar heavy, super salty brands that are popular in stores. Jerky is an excellent source of protein–a one ounce serving contains 9 grams of protein!
  7. tunasTuna Pouch — Speaking of protein, tuna is loaded with it. With no need to refrigerate or drain these pouches of tuna, these make for easy protein fixes (about 16 grams per serving!) while on the road. Tuna is also great source of selenium and Omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your heart and eyes. Eat it just with a fork, or put it on some crackers.
  8. musclesEnergy Bars — Energy bars are a great option for a snack or a meal replacement. Be wary that many energy bars contain high amounts of sugars and not very many health benefits. Check out Cooking Light’s list of healthiest energy bars, so you chose the right kind. With their convenience and protein and fiber contents, they make the perfect tie-over snack.
  9. pepitasPumpkin Seeds (Pepitas) — Never thought of these, did ya? Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of whole-food protein, containing about 7 grams per serving. Even better, none of their 5 carbohydrates are sugars, meaning they’re a healthier protein option than others. Gentlemen, good news: You can use this crunchy snacks as a testosterone-boosting zinc source.
  10. waterWater — Okay, I know it’s not a food. But, it’s necessary to mention. Staying hydrated with water will make your body thank you throughout the day. So, ditch the soda! Drinking sugars instead of eating them makes your body think it’s still hungry. Whereas, water and water-rich foods help you feel full. Water speeds up metabolism, keeps your muscles, skin, and organs healthy, and helps with digestion. Overall, water is the best option to satisfy your thirst and keep you going.
  11. cheeseString Cheese — If you have a cooler to store them, keep these around. String cheese is a good source of protein with very little carbohydrates, so it’s a good option to reach for when hunger strikes. Try to opt for reduced-fat versions to reduce your calorie intake. Plus, string cheese’s calcium levels will keep your bones and teeth happy and healthy.
  12. chocolateDark Chocolate — That’s right, chocolate made the list. If you want to indulge, dark chocolate is the way to go. Now, hold on, before you start jumping for joy, remember that this only counts if you go for anything with at least 60 percent cocoa content. The intense flavors of this dark chocolate will keep you satisfied with less than one ounce. Not to mention, research shows that eating dark chocolate reduces risk of heart disease, helps influence metabolism, and even lowers body fat. How can it get better than that?
  13. kaleKale and Bean Chips — Freeze! Put down the potato chips. If you need something salty and crunchy, kale chips and bean chips are the way to go. Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on Earth, containing nearly every vitamin in the alphabet. Kale chips have a lot less carbs than potato chips and are just as tasty (I promise). If you want something a little more crunchy and substantial, go for black bean chips. These snacks have about 4 grams of protein per ounce and are great paired with low fat dips.
  14. yogurt3Yogurt — Think Greek or Icelandic, here. Comparably, these yogurts contain tons of calcium, protein (over 20 grams per serving), and probiotic bacteria. They’re made by straining away extra liquid, so they are delightfully thick and creamy. Toss some plain or vanilla Greek or Icelandic yogurts in your cooler and add fruits to them to cut back on sugar intake.
  15. celeryCelery — We already talked about how healthy water is for your body. Lucky you, celery is 95% water, meaning it is comprised of practically no carbs. This versatile vegetable is chalk-full of vitamin K, which is a pro at bolstering bone health. Not only is it great by itself to satisfy hunger cravings, but it also the perfect vessel to smear nut butter for extra protein.

Want more tips? Check out Body Building’s top 26 healthy snacks for both on and off the road.

Freight factoring keeps your wallet full, while these snacks keep your stomach full. After all, maintaining a healthy diet is just as easy as maintaining solid finances. Check out how truck factoring can get you on the road to a healthier cash flow.

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Fast lane to trucking funding

Long-distance trucking can be a tough job. It requires an attentive worker who can remain focused for hours at a time as they conquer hundreds of miles. You guys deserve a break! We’re not talking a 10 minute stop at a fast food joint, you need a place to kick your feet up, sit back and get away from work for a bit—that’s what we’re here for. We have compiled a list of the most popular truck stops in the country for your convenience; if you ever find yourself in the area, make sure you don’t miss out on a great opportunity to unwind and forget about the rest of your drive for a couple hours!

Top Ten Must-See Truck Stops in the U.S.

10. Jubitz Travel Center and Truck Stop: Located on I-5 in Portland, Oregon (exit 307 to be exact), this truck stop has plenty of amenities, making it one of the best. It has jacuzzi tubs, a truck scale, lottery games, a lounge with TVs and lounge chairs, and even a dog washing station. With 300 parking spaces and a trucking service center, you can fill up your tank, have a bite to eat and relax, and even get your truck fixed and inspected, all in one place.

9. Wheat Montana: “We Sow it, Grow It and Dough It!” This sign has been greeting travelers in Three Forks, Montana for years. This stop, located at the intersection of US I-15 and US Hwy287, will fulfill your wildest carb fantasies! Wheat Montana features a menu of over 30 specialty grains which can be purchased in pails up to 45 pounds. This place even has Kamut, a grain thought to be extinct until it was found in the depths of Egyptian pyramids. Wheat Montana is one of the most famous truck stops in the United States, so be sure to stop the next time you get the chance.

8. Mars’ Cheese Castle: Remember that weird dream you had? It’s real! Located in Kenosha, Wisconsin, this stop features a castle full of cheese. The Cheese Castle has gained a reputation of some of the best cheese in the country, so it’s no surprise that the rest area claims the cheese state. The stop also has a great restaurant inside who has perfected their craft in adding cheese combinations to all sorts of food. If you’re taking the time to stop at a crowded rest stop, you might as well stop at one of the best ones, right?

7. Johnson’s Corner: If you find yourself driving through Colorado and feeling a little homesick, this place is for you. Located in Johnstown, Johnson’s Corner doubles as an old-fashioned restaurant and bakery. The home-style cooking and welcoming hospitality are legendary throughout the state, Travel & Leisure magazine even declared that the stop served one of the top 10 breakfasts in the world, surely making it a top rest stop in the U.S.A.

johnsons-corner-truck-stop

6. Cabela’s: If you like to hunt, fish, eat, and shop, welcome to heaven. This Midwestern outfitting company has evolved into a traveler’s Mecca of outdoor merchandise. Cabela’s is almost always located right off of the highway, so make sure you don’t pass up on a chance to marvel at a taxidermy collection that rivals any in the world!

5. Tiger Truck Stop: Can you guess what you’ll find inside this truck stop? Yeah, tigers; but not just one of them, 8 live tigers! Located in Grosse Tete, Louisiana, Tiger Truck Stop has been attracting truckers from all across the south for the past 23 years. The truck stop also provides delicious food 24 hours a day and digital poker games.

4. South of the Border: Hardly a truck stop, this South Carolina rest area is an oasis for any traveler. The stop features a golf course, reptile lagoon, and even a wedding chapel in case you’re in a rush. This Southern landmark attracts tourists from across the country as it even has a 200-foot Sombrero Observation Tower. It’s a fun place to stop if you find yourself having an extra hour to kill on the road.

3. Billy Bob’s Texas Truck Stop: If you ever find yourself driving through Texas and in need of a little R&R, Billy Bob’s is the place for you. Billy Bob’s has over 30 individual bar stations, made possible from the 127,000 square feet of space. Located in Fort Worth, the stop has hosted concerts to some of country music’s largest names, professional bull riding, and, of course, a dance floor for everyone to unwind on.

Iowa 80 Truck Stop - One of Best Truck Stops in US

Iowa 80 Truck Stop

2. Whiskey Pete’s: Who’s to say that this Midwestern landmark even qualifies as a truck stop? Located on the Nevada side of the state border it share with California, Whiskey Pete’s offers the world to its residents, providing hotels, casinos, shopping malls, and even a roller coaster. It also has a 24-restaurant and a business center for any affairs that still need to be settled.

1. Iowa 80: This truck stop is well respected as the best in the country. The king of all travel domains, Iowa 80 has over 20 private showers, a movie theater, trucker museum, barber shop, dentist office, and even a truck wash to keep your vehicle fresh on its reluctant departure. All of these features without even mentioning the nationally acclaimed food service, this is the kind of truck stop that you look forward to all year, and maybe call in sick so you can spend a couple extra days there.

Next time you are on the road, make it a point to stop at these great places– they will help you make the most of your trip. Looking for ways to make the most of your trip financially? Give us a call and ask about trucking fuel cards and the multifarious benefits of freight factoring.

a truck driving at night with freight found on a load board

For small fleet owners or owner-operators, online load boards can be a useful, profitable tool. Particularly for those that are new to the industry, these programs are a great way to drum up business quickly.

Load boards are essentially online programs that provide a venue for shippers, freight brokers, and various industries in need of transport services to find each other and negotiate some of which who deal with something similar to this ltl freight. As is the case with all products and services, there is a huge variance in the quality of different load boards, some with reputable histories and others with mixed reviews—and some that are outright scams.

Nonetheless, if done correctly, using load boards can be the right route to take for small fleet owners, owner-operators, and newcomers to the industry. By identifying the pros and cons, the following will help you develop an understanding of the online load board system and should point you in the right direction of the type of load board site that is right for you.

What are load boards?

Before you decide if you should use online load boards for your benefit, you need to understand how they work. The basic premise of a load board is to set up truckers or brokers with loads from shippers. A lot of load boards have search features to make it easier to find loads that are right for your trucking company. There are some load boards that are free, while others have a monthly fee to use them. Some of the paid load boards have better options, but free ones still work well. These resources are especially helpful for new owner operators and truckers who are just getting started in the transportation industry.

Why should truckers use online load boards?

These sites certainly boast a handful of advantages. For starters, they have the innate benefit of being internet-venues, so they are available 24/7 and are accessible from anywhere—a must for those in the transportation industry. But aside from that, they provide load matching services, give access to credit information of those you are looking to make a deal with, offer messaging boards and areas to leave reviews/comments on previous clients, track days to pay, reduce your deadheading miles, and, to top it all off, the majority of them are free or very inexpensive.

Here are some tips to maximize the benefits of using online load boards:

Be smart and avoid scammers. There are a number of actions that you can take to ensure that you don’t get ripped off. Make sure that there is transparency between you and potential leads. Running credit checks, reviewing/requesting identification information, asking for insurance verification, and joining an online monitoring service (such as the Transportation Intermediaries Association) can greatly reduce the risk of getting scammed.

Establish a bottom-dollar rate. Having a fixed rate is just good business sense. It helps you keep track of your company’s finances and can guarantee that you are turning a profit.

Have a presence on several boards. Why limit yourself to just one? Diversify your options and see what the various websites can put forth.
Establish relationships and try arrange future deals outside of the online load board. If a particular transaction worked smoothly, keep the information of your business partners and try to work with them again down the line. Again, one of the primary advantages of these boards is the networking potential that they offer.

Do your research, find the best sites. While it may seem like a given, make a conscious effort to single out the right board for you. Read reviews, check out their websites, and find one that you feel comfortable using.

What is the catch?

While they are undoubtedly convenient, there are also some down sides online load boards.

While many of them are free or cheap to use, if you are seeking some of the more complex services that their websites offer, the prices can be on the higher-side, some being as much as $100 a month. What is more, the very nature of the load boards is risky, as you are making transactions and agreements with total strangers. In this regard it is almost like online dating—you can never be completely sure of what you are truly working with. Scamming is a rampant issue with online load boards (but, there are ways to be safe—more on that later). And lastly, you will typically have to offer your services for a lower price than what you normally would.

Again, these instruments are a great way to get your foot in the door of the industry, to be sure, but they should not be a part of your long term strategy. When possible, start relying on your own ability to contract with clients.

How can I use online load boards safely and wisely?

There are right ways and there are wrong ways to go about using online load boards.

factor freight bills

Where should I start?

There are tons of well-reviewed online load boards out there. Here some of the very best to get your search going for the best load:

TruckersEdge

TruckStop.com

GetLoaded

DAT Loadboard

Fr8Connect

If you regularly find loads using load boards, freight factoring companies offer free credit checks to ensure you’re hauling for trustworthy customers. It’s just another reason to consider freight factoring.