At the start of every year, people make New Year’s resolutions to improve themselves or their lives. Usually they don’t really pan out for the whole year – just look at the drop off of people going to the gym after February. But I say stick to it! If you do it long enough, it will be routine and you’ll be happier in the long run.
Here are BigRoad’s Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Drivers in 2016.
Life on the road can really promote unhealthy options such as a lot of sitting, minimal exercise and mostly fast food meals. When you’re on the road, you’re busy and don’t have the time or resources for something better.
There are tons of resources online to help with a healthier trucker lifestyle whether it’s a blog or fitness/food tracking app on your phone.
Even simple things can help with diet: drink water instead of pop, get a salad instead of fries, don’t eat dressings, sauces or gravies, pack healthy snacks and balance your meal with all food groups. Checking nutritional information of what you’re eating can also help you make better choices and really open your eyes to what you thought was a healthier meal actually isn’t.
Exercise is trickier when driving in a truck all day, but it is totally doable! Go for a run or walk in your down time. Only have a few minutes? Do some stretches before and after you get out of the cab. It can really help combat any soreness from extended periods of sitting. Another great and simple option, park further away when going to run errands or eat. You’ll get in a few more minutes of walking and it can add it in a day.
Thorough Pre-Trip Inspections
The law requires drivers to inspect their truck and trailer before the start of a shift and once within every 24 hours when on the road. It is a driver’s responsibility to ensure their truck is safe and defect-free.
Completing a thorough pre-trip inspection can really save time and costs in the long run. It doesn’t have to take much longer either.
Some commonly overlooked items during an inspection:
- chocking your wheels
- checking brakes
- stocking an emergency kit
- checking seat belts
- having all the accurate paperwork (permits, receipts, etc.)
For more information on these overlooked items, check out our previous blog here.
Keeping the Truck Clean
Just like you clean and purge from your closet or home, you should do the same in your truck. Keeping a clean truck will benefit you immensely. You don’t lose crucial documents – everything will have it’s place.
A noticeably messy truck is a red flag for an inspection officer. If someone is openly messy, what else are they overlooking? Eliminate that thought and keep things tidy!
You can buy accordion-style folders for documents and other storage solutions to help out.
A clean truck is also better for your health – change air filters, vacuum, remove clutter, dust, clean the windows. Not only will it be more enjoyable, it will remove toxins from your work space and a better sleeping environment.
Transitioning to Electronic Logs
The ELD Mandate was published in December 2015. Those using paper logs and eLogs have a two-year grace period to transition to an ELD. Don’t wait to the last minute to switch, especially if you’re using paper logs.
Electronic logs can cut your time spent on logging in half (or more), but for some, it will take some practice and getting used to. It will set you up for success and the longer you benefit from an eLog, the longer you have to improve your safety scores in relation to your competition.
When the time comes, the transition to an engine-connected is simple. In the case of BigRoad, the app is the same and just need to hook up the engine-connected device. This system, called DashLink, is an AOBRD (automatic on-board recording device) and if installed within the two year grace period, the driver won’t have to install an ELD until December 2019.
To start your path to compliance, sign up for a free 30-day trial with BigRoad.
Enjoying the Little Things
It’s easy to get caught up on the road, doing paperwork in down time, rushing to the next destination, planning your routes. This year, don’t forget to take time to enjoy the little things.
Very few people get to travel as much as a driver. Take advantage of the locations you’re in while you can. Stop off to see a local attraction while off-duty, try some new cuisine or even just snap some pictures of your travels and share later with friends and family.
More carriers are providing pet perks for drivers, which allow drivers to have in-cab pets, specifically dogs. They can be a great companion on the road and will force you to get some more exercise during their walks.
What’s Your 2016 Resolution?
Is it one of these or something different? Share your resolution (and be a BigRoad user) to win a BigRoad ‘on the road’ prize pack! Not a BigRoad user? Simply download our free app or sign up for a free 30-day trial which includes our fleet management tools.