Keeping Drivers Hydrated

We have experienced many hot, humid summers across large stretches of the United States as of late, which are not only uncomfortable to drivers, but potentially dangerous. When drivers are suddenly exposed to such heat waves, their bodies may not be acclimated to the heat, which can cause sudden and unexpected dehydration effects. Here we offer a few tips on keeping drivers hydrated because their lives are more precious than any freight they are transporting.

Stay Hydrated, Even Before You Feel Thirsty

When it comes to water, our bodies are not the best at indicating whether we’re hydrated or not. When we feel dehydrated, the situation is much worse than that and many drivers may not drink enough water to replenish what has been lost. Keeping a fully stocked supply of water inside the truck is exceptionally helpful in making sure you have enough to drink, especially when on the road. Keeping watermelon or cucumber inside your cooler is also a helpful and refreshing treat. Drinking water ahead of time before exhibiting any symptoms of dehydration also helps make sure you won’t get dehydrated while driving, which helps keep drivers alert.

Avoid Caffeinated Beverages

Energy drinks and coffee are popular in order to stay alert, but the sugar and caffeine can cause dehydration. If you wish to stay alert, then you’ll need to consume an equivalent amount of water in order to remain hydrated on top of the recommended daily ounces of water (90 for women, 125 for men). Adding extra water or fruits/vegetables to counteract the sugar and caffeine is never a bad strategy.

Avoid Large Meals

Digesting large, calorie-dense meals causes the body’s temperature to rise, which can be hazardous inside a cab during a heatwave. Eating salads, leafy greens, fruits and vegetables will be easier on your stomach during hot days and replenish water in your system. While preparing these meals ahead of time will take a little more additional time, you will feel better and less likely to feel fatigue than you would if you had a larger meal.

If You Feel Any Symptoms of Dehydration – Pull Over

If at any point you feel dry mouth, nausea, headaches, confusion or dizziness, stop immediately and notify your company’s dispatcher. Your life is more important than any delivery so please treat it accordingly. Your carrier will work with the customer and they will also agree that your life is more important than the shipment. Schedules can always be revised so please be sure to get the rest you need.

Here at Zip Xpress, we understand the hard work every driver performs, and since we’re based out of Michigan, we’re exposed to every type of weather imaginable. We want all drivers to be prepared, because we value their hard work and we know that they’re the face of a carrier. A driver has an immense responsibility, so the more we can do to keep them safe, the better they can do their job. To see this commitment to drivers for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Safety on the Side of the Road

Breakdowns are an inevitable part of a truck driver’s life. No matter how advanced our trucking technology becomes, every driver is sure to be affected by mechanical failures at some point. In some cases, minor issues can be assessed at the next exit, or even at the next major truck stop. However, urgent situations often require the driver to pull off onto the shoulder of the highway. It isn’t ideal, but sometimes it’s the only option. This exposes the driver to certain hazards that are not to be taken lightly. In order to minimize risks, certain precautions should always be taken on the side of the road.

Try to Get to an Off Ramp

If you are beginning to feel the signs of mechanical failure, get to an off ramp if there is one in striking distance. They aren’t as safe as a parking lot, but they are better than the side of the main expressway thanks to lower speeds and fewer vehicles.

Stay in the Truck Whenever Possible

The more time you spend outside, the more you are exposing yourself to cars and other trucks traveling well above 50 MPH. If the mechanical failure doesn’t involve smoke or fire, it is best to remain inside your cabin as much as possible.

Use All Available Emergency Signaling

Your flashers should be on even before you begin to pull over to the shoulder, and they should remain on until you’ve received roadside assistance. Set up triangles or flares as quickly as possible and tilt up your hood to let passersby know that you are broken down.

Stay Aware

This is no time to sit back and relax, but you also don’t need to panic. Using your eyes and your mirrors, pay attention to the traffic around you and the weather conditions. Even if roadside assistance is only a few minutes away, it is important to be aware of your surroundings.

At Zip Xpress, we understand that safety is top priority for every driver on the road. It is the goal of every carrier to bring their drivers home safe and sound. That’s why we have set procedures for every driver in case they need assistance while also keeping regular maintenance schedules to ensure our vehicles are working properly for every delivery. Keeping our drivers safe is one of the most important values we have here at Zip Xpress, because we know that they’re the ones who will get your freight to you undamaged and on time. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Tips for Safer Driving

Spring is in full swing, and with a few exceptions in some parts of the country, we won’t have to worry about snowy, icy conditions on the roads until this winter. However, even with clear skies and no precipitation, there are still a wide range of hazards that can make a trip dangerous. Truck drivers need to be diligent about preparing their trucks for safety before their trips as well as practicing safe habits while they are driving. Here are some quick tips we use to ensure that every driver arrives safely at their destination.

Wear a Seatbelt

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is impossible to overstate the importance of seatbelts. Some accidents are unavoidable, but a seatbelt can go a long way in reducing your chance of injury or even death. Clicking the seatbelt needs to be a part of every driver’s initial checklist before getting on the road and we can’t overemphasize the importance of protecting every driver.

Put the Phone Down

Cell-phone related accidents continue to rise, even with strict laws in place in most states. Texting or reading on your phone is highly distracting, and should only be done when you are parked. If you must talk on your phone, make sure to use a hands-free device, and remember that paying attention to the road is your most important task.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Tired driving can be just as dangerous as distracted driving. Even if you can force yourself to stay awake, your reaction time and decision making skills will be impaired. Make sure to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night before heading back on the road.

Inspect Your Truck Before and After Every Trip

Even if you’ve only completed a short local run, it is essential to make sure that everything is always in working order. A small puncture in a tire could lead to a blowout on the road, which could cause an accident. Review your truck maintenance inspections to ensure that small issues don’t become large ones.

Drive Defensively

As a professional driver, it is up to you to set examples on the road. You may be frustrated by other aggressive drivers, but it is important to keep your distance, take it slow around curves, and allow for plenty of time for braking and passing. Your patience on the road will save lives.

At Zip Xpress we understand the hard work that goes into being a truck driver. Between safety protocols and delivering shipments undamaged is hard work, which is why it’s so important to treat drivers with the respect they deserve. Here at Zip we do our best to treat our drivers with respect and make them feel like valuable members of our team. They understand that they’re part of the customer experience and are more than willing to greet customers with a smile. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Preparing for Tough Terrain

Driving a truck is no simple task, and it becomes exponentially more difficult when a driver encounters rough terrain and sub-par roads. You may picture the Rocky Mountains or Appalachians when you think of difficult drives, but the truth is that there are challenges everywhere in the country. Even flatter areas with moderate climates can suffer from road erosion and lack of maintained infrastructure. Nevertheless, shipments still need to arrive. For drivers embarking on these routes, it is imperative that proper preparation routines and maintenance schedules are practiced.

Maintenance is vital for any truck, but improper maintenance is easily exposed on sub-par roads and in tough terrain. Drivers and fleet managers should inspect tires, electrical systems, brakes, and lights on a regular basis. If they notice even minor issues such as worn tread or a faulty switch, they should be addressed immediately. Doing so will minimize the chance that something disastrous could happen out on the road. These routine maintenance schedules help protect the drivers as well as give them trucks they prefer driving since they’re well cared for and the driver will in turn care for the truck.

Ahead of the trip, drivers should ensure that they are familiar with the roads on which they will be traveling. They can map out the route and note which roads may be unpaved or uneven, and try to find detours around them if possible. It is important to ensure that communications devices are fully charged and that the truck is stocked with emergency equipment in case of a breakdown or if the truck gets stuck. This prevents drivers from being stranded and allows the carrier to notify the customer and work through a contingency plan.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of routine maintenance schedules in keeping our fleet in prime condition. Ensuring all minor maintenance issues are addressed prevents risks to the driver and the shipment, helping us to get every shipment to the customer on time and undamaged. Our drivers understand and appreciate the care we show for our vehicles, which makes them satisfied and able to provide great customer service. We believe that doing the little things right add up, which is why premium is the standard at Zip Xpress. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

A Great Time to be a Trucker

The world will always need truck drivers, but now may be as good of a time as ever to get into the industry. With economic optimism ramping up thanks to the new vaccination, there are bound to be plenty of shipping opportunities throughout the country. However that isn’t the only reason any interested parties should jump at the chance to get their CDL today.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced on January 29th that there would be a two-year delay on a rule that is intended to make it more difficult for entry-level drivers to obtain their CDL. Known as the Entry Level Driver Training Rule, this rule was supposed to be passed on February 7th of 2020, but last minute talks between the FMCSA and USDOT ended with an agreement to delay the rule’s implementation until 2022.

This extension allows the Training Provider Registry and individual state licensing agencies to update their systems to provide for a smoother transition when the law is enacted. The extension also means that potential new drivers can take advantage of a smaller learning curve in order to obtain their CDLs. This isn’t to say that the new requirements aren’t worthwhile – they will certainly contribute to the safety and experience of drivers in the near future – but it should signal to hopeful drivers that now might be their best window to get certified.

With so many things happening in the world of trucking – and global commerce in general – the field could become saturated rather quickly. If you’ve dreamt about life on the road, there is no better time than now to start your training – especially with the recent extension from the FMCSA. With freight orders up across the nation, you are bound to have regular, consistent work, no matter where you prefer to travel.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the desire to become a truck driver. It is a noble profession, one full of opportunity and it is these professionals who are the face of a logistics company. Their expertise, attitude and interaction with customers are vitally important, and drivers need to be treated with the utmost respect. Here at Zip Xpress, we do our best to make our drivers feel appreciated for their hard work and ensure that every customer is well cared for. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Truckers to the Rescue (Again)

Although there was plenty of bad news throughout 2020, a glimmer of hope emerged at the end of the year that may allow us the possibility of normalcy. What we’re talking about of course is the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine brings about logistical challenges, since it won’t be available for every individual – it must be distributed through a tiered system. However, we’d like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the Truck drivers stepping forward and manning the logistics of getting those vaccinations where they need to go. 2020 was a year where truck drivers proved to be as crucial on the front lines as many other professional heroes.

In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 saw a lot of hardship across the United States, as panic buying and natural disasters left store shelves ravaged and distribution centers struggling to keep up with demand. Nobody could have predicted that this would happen, but what we did know was that we would be relying on truck drivers to continue to deliver the goods that we need to survive. Our nation’s carriers certainly lived up to and even exceeded expectations. With so little time to get shipments delivered when panic hit, drivers were still able to answer the call for last-minute emergency service and keep our country moving forward in the face of adversity.

The same can be said with the rollout of the COVID vaccine, as pharmaceutical companies, medical workers, and citizens will be relying on large shipments to help get the public immunized. It won’t be an immediate fix, and there will likely be thousands of truckloads of critical vaccines in transit over the next year. Fortunately, we have a skilled, hard-working population of drivers who are willing to work the frontline, albeit behind the wheel, as the country continues the healing process.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the challenging times we live in. We also understand that there are many individuals who will rise up to those challenges – one group being the drivers that represent all of the great carriers of our nation. We believe that drivers deserve the recognition for their hard work and ensuring our logistical needs are met. If 2020 showed anything, it showed that logistics was crucial in providing stability during a time when many needed it most. We’re here to help with whatever challenges you have and to see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

A World Without Truck Drivers

Truck drivers affect our everyday lives, whether or not we are consciously aware of it. From our food to online retail orders to industrial machines that manufacture the world around us, the vast majority of American products are delivered by truck. Even though some material may have come by boat or plane, there’s a good chance that a truck driver provided the final route for delivery. A world without truck drivers would indeed look very different – and probably not in a good way.

If drivers were to disappear, the first consequence would be a major decrease in available medical supplies. Since medical facilities receive multiple deliveries on a daily basis without this consistent schedule of replenishment, hospitals and trauma centers would run out of necessary goods to assist patients. Anyone receiving medical attention wouldn’t be able to get the care they’d desperately need.

Shortly after this, food supplies in almost every area would run low. Grocery distribution centers receive large deliveries every day, and they allocate these to local stores based on demand. But without truck drivers, these deliveries would not be fulfilled. You might look at a large grocery retailer and think there’s no way it could be picked over within 2 or 3 days, but a lot of people work behind the scenes to keep those shelves fully stocked – and truck drivers are an essential part of that.

Third we would start to see manufacturers begin shutting down because they can’t source the materials and machinery needed to make their products. Jobs would be lost because these companies have to shut down and countless other products would become unavailable to consumers and other businesses. As you can see, the American supply chain is a tight-knit, interconnected network and it is all built upon drivers ensuring those goods get delivered. It is important to remember the hard work and dedication these drivers have in getting their deliveries in on time.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the dedication drivers have in ensuring every delivery is made on time and undamaged. They are the face of every carrier and we pride our drivers on their friendliness and professionalism. We like to believe that every company who works with our drivers understands the peril we’d all be in if we didn’t have such dedicated individuals making these deliveries. If you’d like to experience working with us and our professional drivers for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Drivers – Making the Most of Your Break

Driving a truck is tough work – the hours are long, the routes can be treacherous, and you often have to spend weeks away from your friends and family. While some drivers don’t agree with the newer rules about breaks, there is no doubt that every driver needs to get off the road and take a break regularly. While much of the longer breaks are spent sleeping (a well-needed asset), there is a lot more that can be done during breaks that can help drivers remain healthy and happy.

With 30 minutes required for every 8 consecutive hours of driving, it is best not to take the break sitting in the truck. Driver’s should get up and, at the very least, walk around to get some exercise. If motivated enough, a half hour is plenty of time to get some intense cardio in or even lift weights. You don’t need to have an entire gym to get this done – a few pairs of dumbbells in the truck is enough to provide an effective workout.

Physical exercise is important, but mental exercise is just as vital. Drivers should bring plenty of reading material on the road – whether they prefer long novels, short stories, magazines, or nonfiction books. Keeping your mind sharp can go a long way in staying happy on the road and improving concentration. Even games such as crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and trivia can all be entertaining and beneficial.

Driver breaks are an essential part of the day, as they allow drivers to take some time away from the road and refocus. It is also important to socialize during these breaks so as to prevent too much isolation, which can really take its toll on mental health. Phone calls and Facetime are great socialization tools, and planning routes with other friends in the industry so that you can speak in person is also a great way to stay in touch.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of remaining happy and healthy, especially with our drivers. We do our part to ensure they get the rest they need because we understand the dedication and determination they make to ensure every shipment arrives on time and undamaged. Our drivers are the key to customer satisfaction since they’re the face of the company. As a result we believe it’s important to show them the respect they deserve and help however we can. To see how one of our drivers can help with your next shipment, start today with Zip Xpress!

Trucking and Disaster Relief

Although Hurricane Laura did not reach the catastrophic levels that were predicted, it still devastated areas of Louisiana and is considered the strongest to have ever hit the state. 2,000 miles west, California is fighting their own natural disasters with wildfires and extreme heat ravaging the state. The US is a highly diverse geographic region, making it susceptible to multiple types of disasters at any given time of year. Fortunately, our interstate highway system and dedication to expedited logistics allows carriers to provide relief to those in need. At the center of many of these relief efforts lie some of the hardest workers in the country – truckers.

Although immediate catastrophe generally requires helicopter and water rescue, trucks are essential for bringing relief products to affected areas. FEMA shipments can be filled with food, medical supplies, and pop-up shelters for those who have lost their homes to disaster, and without the expansive trucking network in place in the USA, much of this would take longer to get where it needs to. It should be noted that drivers are often taking risks heading to these areas, so they can rightfully be seen as heroes in instances where they are willing to fight inclement weather in order to bring supplies to those in need.

Whether it’s a hurricane, wildfires, or a blizzard, the people of our nation are more than willing to help each other out, even those across the country. Truckers who move disaster relief materials are doing a major service to our nation and to our people, and it is important to recognize their efforts in aiding other disaster relief workers during difficult times. It isn’t easy to take on these jobs, both from a logistical and personal standpoint, but somebody somewhere is willing to do it.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the hard work drivers put in when reaching these disaster zones. Communication is key with the receivers in the affected areas. Circumstances can change very quickly and unexpectedly in a disaster zone so staying current as the situation develops is crucial. We honor and respect the arduous task before drivers as they ensure crucial items are delivered even in hazardous conditions and are willing to help whenever needed. To see this dedication to service for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

A New Career in Trucking

Americans have been hit hard in recent months, with layoffs or furloughs being the latest threat to job security. We’re facing many difficulties and uncertainties in the job market, but as the economy opens back up, new positions will become available. One of these positions presents an unexpectedly lucrative opportunity since it will always be needed – the truck driver.

Traversing the open road and delivering goods may not be what most have in mind when considering a new career path, but it can be a very lucrative – and fulfilling – job to take on. There is no one-size-fits-all solution in truck driving, and people have many different options from which to choose. If you’ve always wanted to see different parts of the country and enjoy your independence, you might consider a long-haul career. For those who don’t mind being away for a few days but still want to get back home for the weekends – regional driving jobs are abundant. And even if you want to come home every night and sleep in your own bed, you can become a final-mile or local driver.

No matter what route you choose, there is still a strong need for more drivers in this country, and many companies are willing to pay for or co-sponsor your training to ensure you have all the tools required to succeed. This career path is one of the most stable, essential and customizable around. Many logistics providers do their best to accommodate their drivers and treat them with the respect they deserve. You will go home knowing you’ve done honest work for one of the most crucial sectors of the economy – after all, there will always be a need for groceries, clothing, furniture and other goods to be delivered across the country.

At Zip Xpress, we understand that most people don’t realize that trucking is a viable career choice. It is an opportunity to serve a grateful customer base and share in the joys of delivering their purchased product. Drivers are the “face” of most logistics companies and with a can-do attitude and hard work ethic, they will inevitably find success. To work with one of our smiling drivers in your next shipment, start today with Zip Xpress!