You might have a lot of questions when you have to get some work done on your truck. From handling a breakdown to costs, you can feel pretty lost, especially if you need new parts. Some common truck part questions tend to throw many drivers for a loop. Knowing the answers to these questions can help you make the best decision for your truck’s needs…
Common Truck Part Questions: Tractor Trailer Safety
Are more expensive parts better?
Everyone knows of the age-old saying “you get what you pay for”. However, sometimes this isn’t always the case. This explains why wondering if the more expensive parts are always better is one of the common truck part questions.
The answer is that more pricey parts don’t always mean better performance. Sometimes, these parts will be more intricate, and end up being more likely to break down the line. This means that future repairs will also be more costly. Ultimately, it’s a good idea to do some research and asking around for what parts will give you the most bang for your buck.
Are aftermarket parts safe?
Another one of the common truck part questions is in regards to aftermarket parts. Aftermarket parts can be an appealing option, as they tend to be cheaper than manufacturer parts. However, this raises concerns over what kind of “catch” might come with that.
Aftermarket parts usually enter the market without going under safety tests. This means that their quality could be sub-par at best. These parts are often stand-alone, meaning they might not properly fit or work with the rest of your truck’s systems. Overall, manufacturer parts are usually a better, safer option.
Rebuilt vs. re-manufactured
One of the common truck part questions which is similar to the previous is the difference between rebuilt and re-manufactured parts. On the surface, the two terms appear to mean similar, if not the same thing. However, there is a quite distinct difference between them.
Re-manufactured parts are completely taken apart to fix whatever issue they had. Rebuilt parts only fix the main issue with them. This could mean that the rebuilt parts might still have issues which aren’t immediately noticeable.
Like most industries that are predominately male, women in truck driving are automatically labeled female truckers, and not just truckers. Women face this in plumbing, in medicine, and all over other sorts of careers. But is that gender label the only adversity women face in trucking?
Female Truckers: Combatting Struggles
Breaking the Stereotype
Since the Baby Boomers have all retired, there has been a need for truck drivers. Women have began filling the open spots, taking advantage of the lucrative career choice that is trucking. Some companies have also began recruiting female truckers! These campaigns are a great way for women to feel welcome in this new field.
Additionally, women are notoriously better drivers! Safety wise, there are less accidents or issues with female truckers. Whether driving in teams or solo, women are proving there is a place for them in the trucking industry.
While women should be able to do any job without fear, sometimes female truckers face trouble because they are simply that: women. While safety is an issue for all women, regardless of industry, female truckers should be aware of their surroundings. It is best to not stop at night in unfamiliar or unlit areas. You should also not roll down your window for anyone other than law enforcement or people you know.
Bad attitudes clutter every stop and dock. Do not let the bad attitudes of these few ruin the amazing career path that is trucking. female truckers are strong, independent, and awesome. If you face criticism from some, don’t let it get to you. If you focus on your work, you will become more efficient and your employer will notice!
For anyone in trucking, creating a balance between home and work is difficult. For men and women in trucking, using technology like Skype and FaceTime makes it easier to stay connected with your family and friends.
As trucking becomes more and more popular, you might not be the only woman at the truck stop for long! Female truckers are growing in popularity, and hopefully soon they’ll simply be labeled as “truckers”… Just like the rest of them.
The trucking industry is evolving with the development of new technology. Therefore, many companies are facing an issue they never have before: driver shortages. Perhaps you know about all the benefits companies are offering their drivers now. In order to maintain competitive, companies are offering paid time off, 401k’s, benefits, and dedicated home time. If all of these things sound good and you are ready to get a new start, here’s what you need to know about CDL training.
CDL Training: What to Know
In order for you to begin your CDL training, you will need a few different things. For starters, you will need a reasonably clean driving and criminal record, a clean drug/alcohol history, a clean bill of health, and a recent & verifiable work history.
Before you begin your CDL training, make sure you’ll be able to continue. Moving violations, along with tickets regarding insurance and registration, all add up to be big red flags for trucking companies. If you know about tickets on your record, make sure you be upfront about them.
Your employment history is important for future employers. This record is an indication of the type of employee you are. Especially if you are pursuing a paid CDL training program, employers will want to make sure the investment is worth it.
You might have had problems with drugs and alcohol recently. Therefore, a CDL training program might not be the best idea for you right now. When driving is involved, drugs and alcohol can become major safety concerns.
Past criminal offenses should be taken into consideration before beginning CDL training. Someone who has an assault charge might have a short fuse and get irrationally angry. Others might have a theft charge, making them unlikely to be trustworthy with company equipment. It’s important that if you do have minor charges on your record that you are transparent during the application process.
If you feel like you have a clean history and have an interest in starting a career in trucking, that’s great! Before you begin a CDL training program, you should ask yourself if the trucking lifestyle is one you are willing to lead. It isn’t easy, and there’s a lot of time spent on the road.
When traveling long distance, it’s difficult to maintain a healthy diet. Because of the ease of fast food and pre-packaged food, eating healthy seems to become a chore. Perhaps you are looking to make a lifestyle change on the road. Or maybe you’re starting your trucking career and have a concern about staying healthy on the road.
Staying Healthy: Tips for Long Hauls
If you eat out of habit, make sure the foods you are putting into your body are doing more good than they are bad. Snacks like nuts, trail mix, and granola are great and easy to keep in reach. Staying healthy, for you, could mean snacking in moderation, or changing your go-to road snack!
Try to eat three meals within the day. This adds to your goal of staying healthy because it prevents you from over-eating after missing a meal. If you eat regular meals throughout the day, the weight will be easier to keep off.
Not Just Eating
Exercise! Try taking a small walk during a stop. Staying healthy will be easier for you if you’re doing more than just eating better. You can start small and gradually add to your walks/runs. Your body will begin to notice the difference, and this small boost of activity will increase your energy, as well! Your walk can be as short as 10 minutes or as long as you would like!
After your outdoor activities, you can work out on the road, too! You can do things like shoulder shrugs (bringing your shoulders to your ears and holding for a few seconds). This will release tension in your neck and shoulders. Staying healthy isn’t difficult, you just need to consciously make the choice! Also, you can try abdominal crunches. Squeezing your abs and holding it for a period of time (think, 2 minutes or the length of a song).
If you can, start a journal of what you’re eating and when. In addition, log what kind of exercise you did for the day. By nothing this, you’ll be able to see your progress and potentially be able to spot problem areas if you’re not seeing results.
Marriage and relationships can be difficult as is. However, when you add a career into the mix which takes one partner away for extended periods of time? Times can be even more trying. There are many different career paths that might lead to these types of relationships. Maybe your spouse is in the military, you’re taking a job in a different city, or maybe you’re in the truck-driving industry… While each for these fields are inherently different, they have one thing in common: long-distance relationships. Today, we want to focus in on truck driving difficulties in terms of relationships. Furthermore, we want to help you learn how to manage them, and maybe even grow a bit within the process…
Truck Driving Difficulties: Managing Intimate Relationships
Give yourselves something to look forward to during the week
Let’s face it, depending on your spouse’s schedule, you might only see each other for a few hours a week. Therefore, it’s important to find ways to make the most of that time. Whether you dedicate two hours of that time towards having a lunch out together, or maybe just taking two hours behind closed doors… every couple is different. Furthermore, the ways in which you connect will vary too.
When facing truck driving difficulties from either side of the relationship, you might take to online forums that will remind you that you’re not alone. However, when looking for advice on how to cope and spend your time, remember to customize your experience. We all have our own means of bonding and connecting, don’t rule that out because of what works for DriversWife123.
We encourage having activities to explore with each other on those long-awaited days off. However, we also encourage managing your expectations in terms of what that time off looks like for your partner. You miss them and they absolutely miss you. But, at the same time, their job is exhausting. Both mentally and physically, your partner needs to relax and decompress in preparation of their next journey.
Arguably one of the largest truck driving difficulties for the stay-at-home partner, is to not hit the ground running when their partner gets home. Give them a bit of time to rest up, relax, and enjoy the comfort of their own home. As we’ve mentioned, you miss them and they miss you. However, they also miss the comfort of their own home.
Don’t belittle each other’s roles
As your partner gets started out on the road, there will be a few growing pains. You see it all the time in couples who are figuring this thing out: that issue of managing expectations. As a driver, you have a lot of time on the road to yourself. This can lead to some resentments in terms of how hard you’re working, and how difficult the job can be. However, on the flip side, your spouse is taking care of everything at home.
From school drop offs, practices, lunches, tending to the home, and also making sure everything is squared away for when you get home. Therefore, on both sides, there might be some feelings of ill-will in terms of how hard you’re working. Truck driving difficulties come in many different forms, and are not limited to the driver. Your chosen career path is not for the faint of heart, and we commend you for that. We also encourage you to follow these steps, and create your own, for avoiding common issues that arise for trucking industry families.
Trip planning is a crucial skill for all truck drivers. Properly planning ahead can make your trip much more smoother. That way, you can be prepared for anything which might come your way…
Trip Planning: Prepare For Your Drive
Check your route
Your trip planning, of course, will probably begin with you plotting out your route. Now, you’ll want to make sure you plan the best route you can. This means using multiple resources to check the road ahead, even if you have a “favorite”. A new one might give you a time advantage that you would’ve never known about otherwise.
A GPS will be your best friend in this situation. These can help you plot out the best route before you begin driving. Plus, apps like Google Maps or Waze let you turn your smartphone into a quick and efficient GPS. These apps also have a nice advantage, as they will update in real-time and alert you to accidents, detours, or faster routes.
Plan for breaks
It’s also important to make room for brakes in your trip planning. Some drivers think that they can just push through their drives and don’t need to take breaks. However, this can lead to increased fatigue and burnout, which can impact the trucker’s driving ability. This kind of risk isn’t worth any potential time-saving you think you might get.
A generally rule of thumb is to plan for both longer and shorter breaks. Longer breaks can be ones where you take some time to stop and get something to eat. Shorter breaks can be for when you stop for fuel, to use the bathroom, or to just stretch. Make sure you plan these breaks in safe places, and have backups in mind just in case.
Watch the weather
The weather might get overlooked when you do your initial trip planning. After all, if you’re in your truck, then it won’t matter if the sky is clear, right? However, the biggest thing is to look for when the weather is being not-so-pleasant.
Inclement weather like heavy rain or snow can really get in the way of your trip. You can expect not only a tougher time driving, but also a lot more traffic than usual. Plus, some roads might be in so poor shape that you can’t drive on them. As a result, it always helps to double-check before you head out and have a backup just in case.