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Attention Truck Drivers: Contain Your Cargo

July 7th, 2015 · No Comments

Recently we examined the top 20 truck driver cargo securement violations which lead to commercial vehicles being placed out-of-service. Bay and Bay Transportation also challenged you to become a cargo securement superstar and post the top 20 list in the cab of your rig.

So…how did it go?

When you take the extra few minutes to look over the contents of your trailer, you reduce the amount of shifting, tipping, sliding, falling, and unnecessary crushing of trailer goods. Securing your cargo isn’t just about doing it by-the-book (although that’s part of it); it’s about being a professional.

Cargo that is not properly in place and tied down poses greater safety risks to those who unload trailers. It also increases distractions for you as a driver, and can hurt a transportation service’s reputation and safety ratings should they deliver damaged loads.

Let’s take a look at some pointers for containing your cargo:

  • Secure your other equipment, as well as your load. Items such as tarps, chains, spare tires, ratchets, etc. should be placed so that they do not shift around or fall while in route.
  • Use equipment that is in proper condition. Inspect your tie downs regularly for defects such as wear on synthetic webbing, and stripping on steel strapping or anchor points.
  • Check. And check again. Be diligent in ensuring that your load will not leak, fall, shift, spill, or otherwise create damage and instability for the vehicle. When in doubt, get a second opinion for how to transport unique shipments.
  • Do your research. Pick up a free copy of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association’s This outlines the minimum safety standards for safely carrying cargo.
  • Want to go the extra mile? Snag an easy to read handbook on cargo securement from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. It will run you around $35.

If you have some tips for how you pack your rig, let us know! Bay and Bay Transportation values safe, consistent, and quality transportation services for our customers. If you’re a cargo securement superstar, we want to hear from you. Contact us today to learn about our opportunities for professional growth in the transportation service industry.

 

How to Start Your Career in Truck Driving in Minneapolis with Bay & Bay Transportation

July 2nd, 2015 · No Comments

Some careers have a very clear path you must follow in order to qualify to do that job. To be a doctor, you have to go to college, attend medical school, and complete your residency. To be a teacher, you get a bachelor’s degree, apply for licensure, and have a year of student teaching. But how do you become a truck driver with a company like Bay & Bay Transportation? Here are the 5 steps you need to take in order to start your career in truck driving in Minneapolis, Minnesota:

1. Get Your GED or High School Diploma

While only some actually require a high school diploma, many trucking companies prefer that you have it. Also, a high school diploma or GED is the baseline level of education that will help you get a job in most industries. It’s in your best interest to finish your high school education.

2. Keep a Clean Driving Record

Before offering you a position, the transportation company will check your driving record for traffic violations. While having a parking ticket or two may not raise a red flag, several DUIs or crash reports could end your truck driving career before it starts. Having these items on your record makes you an insurance liability and unreliable hire. Many companies also participate in the Driver Pre-Employment Screening Program, which is an additional screening program sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Department of Transportation (DOT).

3. Get Your CDL

Because the vehicle is so much larger and heavier, truck driving is quite different from driving your car or pick-up truck. A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is required to become a truck driver and is issued by the Minnesota state government. Getting your CDL can be a long process as it involves obtaining a learner’s permit, practicing behind the wheel with an instructor, plus passing knowledge and skills tests. Many people choose to go to a CDL driving school to get the proper training to receive their license

4. Pass the DOT Medical Exam

Driving a commercial truck is a surprisingly physical job. Being healthy is important for your safety as a truck driver and also to those on the road around you. If you are unable to physically control your vehicle, you can do serious harm to other motorists, which is why you must pass a physical exam conducted by a licensed medical examiner.

5. Apply for Jobs

Once you have your license and all your certifications in place, it’s time to apply for jobs. The easiest way to find open positions for truck driver is by checking transportation company websites or online job boards. Bay & Bay Transportation is looking to hire company drivers and owner-operators, and with an estimated shortage of 20,000 drivers per year, many companies are eager to hire new drivers.

After following these five steps, you will be well on your way to a rewarding career in truck driving. If you are interested in joining the team of truck drivers at Bay & Bay transportation, give a us a call at 888-801-3026 or visit our driver opportunities page.

 

Bay & Bay Transportation Encourages “Uncommon” Courtesy on the Road in Indianapolis, IN

June 29th, 2015 · No Comments

bay and bay Indianapolis truckBay & Bay Transportation in Indianapolis, Indiana, gives you the opportunity to learn and use some amazing new skills while earning competitive wages. We also offer the chance to be the best truck driver you can be—and your fellow drivers will appreciate you for it. Sure, you may be tired of kids on the roadside or riding in cars next to you signaling you to honk that horn for the thousandth time, but you’re also gaining new experiences, which are valuable on and off the road.The etiquette on the road may seem a lot more complicated than your average common courtesy. When a car merges onto the freeway, we easily forget that it is that driver’s responsibility to yield. Average drivers take a lot more risks on the road than is advised by state driving regulations. Here are a few refreshers on how to “go the extra mile” as a truck driver:

  1. If you’re going slower, stay right. You are legally required to keep on the right hand side of traffic in the state of Indiana. For the sake of traffic flow and safe conditions, stay right even if the vehicle ahead is only going a few miles per hour slower. No one wants to be stuck in either lane behind vehicles going practically the same speed, so simply try to put yourself in the other drivers’ shoes when overtaking other vehicles.
  2. Give extra warning. Your truck is much longer than a car or minivan. It makes sense that you should signal long enough to give warning to all behind or ahead of you. Especially when slowing or stopping, remember that trucks carrying several times more weight than cars need to brake earlier and longer.
  3. Mind your merges. Merges are one of the hardest parts of any vehicle operation, but following the zipper merge model will help your awareness of traffic conditions and your interactions with other vehicles on the road.

Remember, at the end of the day, you are the one responsible for your safety, your vehicle’s condition, and the company whose name you carry on the vehicle. It’s a badge of honor, and choosing “uncommon” courtesy will allow you to rest easy every time you safely reach your destinations in and around Indianapolis, IN with Bay & Bay Transportation.

 

Bay & Bay Transportation is hiring truck drivers in Indianapolis! Visit our careers page or contact us today to learn more!

 

Your Bay and Bay Transportation Summer Truck Driving Tips

June 26th, 2015 · No Comments

Most of us know the importance of packing our own winter driving survival kit, but did you know it’s just as important to have one for the summer? Whether it’s dehydration, heat exhaustion, hunger, or even a sunburn, it’s important to be prepared while on the road. Here are some truck driving tips from Bay and Bay Transportation:

Make sure to hydrate properly.

Dehydration increases your risk of injuring yourself or other motorists, so make sure you hydrate. When you are thirsty, your body craves water. When choosing a beverage, why not drink exactly what your body wants most? Drink 5-7 ounces of water every 15-20 minutes, not just when you feel thirsty. Keep a cooler in your cab so you have cooled water. Your system will most easily absorb cool water over warm or cold water. Limit drinks with caffeine and sugar, as they are diuretics that will deplete your body of essential fluids. Never drink alcohol while you are working.

Eat right.

We give you permission to be a picky eater, as long as it’s good for you! Avoid hot and heavy foods as they will weigh you down and make you feel sluggish, or even tired. Limit salty and sugary snacks. Instead, reach for fruits and vegetables as much as you want. Fruits and veggies will help you feel fuller longer, and maintain your glucose levels so you don’t experience a crash after eating them.

Stay cool.

Fans are a glorious thing. Clip-on fans are even better. Fans can provide a gentle breeze to maintain a comfortable temp in the cab of your truck. You can also use damp towels on your neck to further regulate your body temperature on especially hot days. Make sure to rest when you need it. Pull over if you feel dizzy or sluggish, and find a way to rest in the shade. After a long drive, consider taking a cool shower or bath to gently lower your body temperature and prevent overheating.

Take care of your skin.

Sunscreen. Sunscreen. Sunscreen. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of using a sunscreen with a high SPF. Apply it to all exposed skin about 30 minutes before you will be out in the sun. Make sure you reapply to all areas every two hours before the sunscreen’s protection properties wear off. Limit the amount of heat trapped closed to your body by dressing in light-weight, light-colored, and loose-fitted clothing. Consider wearing a sun sleeve to protect your window-side arm.

Protect your eyes.

Let’s face it, you need your eyes in prime condition while out on the road. Sunglasses are more than a fashion accessory; they can be essential tools in safeguarding your eyes. Do your research to procure quality sunglasses designed to protect your eyes. When choosing sunglasses, look for a label or sticker that says the lenses block 99-100% of UVB and UVA rays, meet ANSI Z80.3 blocking requirements, or offer UV 400 protection. While polarized lenses reduce glare, they can also make it difficult to read GPS or dashboard devices. Stay up-to-date on your eye care, and invest in quality prescription lenses or contacts should a doctor recommend them to you. Lastly, there’s a reason the trucker hat is so popular. Find a hat that is comfortable enough for daily use and practical enough to provide an extra level of shading for your eyes.

Your Basic Summer Survival Kit:

  • Water
  • Towels
  • Fans
  • Healthy snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • Light-weight, light-colored, and loose fitted clothing
  • Sun sleeve
  • Tinted UV window film
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat

Is there anything that we missed? What summer truck driving tips would you add? Let us know by commenting below or emailing us at recruiting@bayandbay.com.

Bay and Bay Transportation is hiring drivers! Visit our careers page or give us a call today at 888-801-3026 to learn more!

 

It’s Possible to Stay in Shape in Indianapolis with Bay & Bay Transportation

June 24th, 2015 · No Comments

When you are centrally located with Bay & Bay Transportation in Indianapolis, IN, you stand good odds of driving long stretches out on the road. You may find that as time goes on, it becomes easier to become accustomed to these long stretches. Much like an office job, the hours on the road can necessitate the need to get up and move from time to time. There are simple exercises that will prevent your muscles from undue tension or weakening due to disuse.

Before you set out for each trip, try to get 20-30 minutes of cardiovascular movement. Biking, running, walking, and swimming can not only get your blood moving well, they keep that circulation on a better course for the rest of the day. Adequate water intake is especially important. You are more likely to tire easily, get headaches from motion and sun exposure, and find your muscles cramping during your drives if you become dehydrated. The following tips can also help you maintain better health and stay in shape when out on the road:

  1. Spread out your water intake. Instead of gulping down a big bottle of water rapidly, consume it slowly. This will allow you to keep your body hydrated, while helping you prolong your time between stops.
  2. Wear UV-protective eyewear. Over time, squinting can cause unnecessary tension in muscles, causing your eyes to ache from attempting to dim the exposure and your head to ache from excessive strain. Wearing proper sunglasses will save you from that discomfort.
  3. Breathe deeply. Get into the habit of breathing over several counts. This will also help your circulation and alertness.
  4. When possible, rotate your joints and stretch. It’s possible to safely stretch your arms and rotate shoulders and wrists while driving, but even when you stop, take 2-3 minutes to intentionally stretch out your legs and neck. This will relieve tension and prevent cramping

Making sure you maintain good physical health is just one of the ways to enjoy a career with Bay & Bay Transportation. We value your well-being and know that good habits will make your experience even better! We’re hiring! Contact us today to learn more.

 

A Roadcheck Check-in with Bay and Bay Transportation

June 22nd, 2015 · No Comments

Last week marked the 28th year of the International Roadcheck run by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). June 2nd-4th marked the marathon of inspections, with over 10,000 CVSA-certified federal, state, and local inspectors conducting approximately 70,000 inspections on trucks and buses over a period of 72 hours. Inspectors performed full 37-step North American Standard Level I inspections which look at both the driver and the vehicle, with a special emphasis this year on cargo securement.

You’re probably wondering why we are still talking about it, since this is almost literally last week’s news.

Well, consider this; the very first year of Roadcheck was in 1988. Bay and Bay Transportation was founded in 1941, so our drivers have participated in the world’s largest “mass inspection” of commercial motor vehicles since it first started. It has been estimated that over the last 28 years, the Roadcheck extravaganza has prevented 5,840 injuries and saved 318 lives! Isn’t that remarkable?

Each year of inspections has a primary focus on a specific category of safety violations. This year’s focus was on cargo securement, which is the fourth leading cause of violations that lead to commercial vehicles being placed out-of-service. This year was meant to educate drivers and the public about the importance of cargo securement so items pose less of a safety risk from shifting, tipping, sliding, or falling.

As a reminder to drivers, please take care to ensure you are following procedures to avoid OOS violations. Here are the top 20 cargo violations to watch out for, as they are the most common and are all easily avoided:

  1. 9A2: Failing To Secure Vehicle Equipment
  2. 100A: Failing To Load/Equip Vehicle To Prevent Load Shifting/Falling
  3. 100B: Leaking/Spilling/Blowing/Falling Cargo
  4. 110B: Insufficient Tiedowns; Without Headerboard/Blocking
  5. 9A: Failing To Secure Load
  6. 104F3: Loose/Unfastened Tiedown.
  7. 130: No/Improper Heavy Vehicle/Machine Securement
  8. 104B: Damaged Securement System/Tiedowns
  9. 9A1: Failing To Secure Cargo/§§ 393.100-393.136
  10. 9: Driver Load Secure
  11. 100: No Or Improper Load Securement
  12. 134B3: Rear Of Container Not Properly Secured
  13. 126: Fail To Ensure Intermodal Container Secured
  14. 100C: Failure To Prevent Cargo Shifting
  15. 134: No/Improper Securement Of Roll/Hook Container
  16. 128B1: Vehicle Not Secured—Front And Rear
  17. 116: No/Improper Securement Of Logs
  18. 110: Failing To Meet Minimum Tiedown Requirements
  19. 106B: Cargo Not Immobilized Or Secured
  20. 110C: Insufficient Tiedowns; With Headerboard/Blocking

Do you have what it takes to become a cargo securement superstar? If you are a CDL truck driver, and especially if you drive for Bay and Bay Transportation, challenge yourself to take extra special care when securing and checking items that you load. For the rest of June, post this top 20 list in the cab of your truck and take note on your performance.

We want to hear from you! Comment below and let us know how things go. Were you inspected during Roadcheck? Let us know how it went!

If you are an experienced, motivated, and cargo-conscious driver, contact us to find out more about how to start your career with Bay and Bay Transportation.

 

Why Become a Truck Driver with Bay and Bay Transportation

June 19th, 2015 · 1 Comment

“What you are going to be when you grow up?” is a question that has been on your mind since you were a child. Back then, you might have said a firefighter, ballerina, or a professional ice cream taster. The thought of driving a truck never crossed your mind. Now that you’re older and wiser, maybe you should reconsider a career in truck driving. Here are 5 reasons to become a truck driver and work for Bay and Bay Transportation:

1. Minimal Education Costs and Timeframe

As far as post-secondary education goes, getting your commercial driver’s license (CDL) is one of the more affordable options. Costs to attend a truck driving school range from $3,000 to $7,000, a price tag that is considerably cheaper than that of a four-year university, and closer to the tuition of a community or technical college. Just like the traditional college route, you can receive student loans to help cover the costs of CDL training. However, truck driving school has yet another advantage over even community or technical colleges: training is only 7 weeks long at most, and some programs are as short as 4 weeks. This means that while others are stuck in classrooms, you could be starting your career.

2. Competitive Wages and Benefits

Because the transportation industry is in high demand, a career in truck driving has the potential to be quite profitable. Across the nation, there is an estimated shortage of 35,000 drivers, which means that businesses have increased wages and begun offering signing bonuses. At Bay and Bay Transportation, drivers have an annual wage between $56-70,000, with additional bonuses and full medical and dental benefits. Plus, because they are salaried rather than paid by the mile, drivers always take home a steady paycheck.

3. Opportunities for Travel

Obviously, truck drivers travel a lot—in fact, nearly all of your day is spent cruising down highways and winding through towns. Typically, at Bay and Bay Transportation, company drivers go out on the road for 7-14 days or 14-21 days at a time to haul freight across multiple states and back. You will see a lot of US countryside; from Grand Forks, ND to Richmond, VA, and down to Houston, TX, plus meet a variety of people along the way. If you’ve had a feeling of wanderlust and a need for new surroundings your whole life, becoming a truck driver means that you get paid while fulfilling those desires.

4. Independent of a Supervisor

When you’re on the road, there is no one looking over your shoulder every minute of the day, or a supervisor telling you when to go on a break or assigning you tasks. It’s up to you to get the delivery made on time, but you get to decide when to pull over to stretch your legs or where to stop for dinner. As a truck driver, you get to enjoy a sense of independence and freedom that is often missing in other employment settings.

5. Develop into an Entrepreneur

You can take your career in truck driving to the next level by becoming an owner-operator. As an owner-operator, you own and maintain your own rig while contracting  independently to transport products for clients. Bay and Bay Transportation also contracts with owner-operators and offers incentives such as fuel discounts and paid tolls as well as access to repair shops. Owning your own rig is expensive up front— a new semi can cost between $80-150,000, which is why you’ll probably wait until you have worked for several years and have some money saved up. However, making that leap from company driver to owner-operator can give you a sense of achievement and pride that only comes with being an entrepreneur.

It’s not the sweet life of a professional ice cream taster, but becoming a truck driver certainly has benefits of its own. Bay and Bay Transportation is always looking for qualified drivers for positions as company drivers or owner-operators. If you are interested in furthering your career in truck driving with Bay and Bay Transportation, apply today!

 

Construction and “Cabin Season” Affect Truck Driving in MN

June 3rd, 2015 · No Comments

After spending nine months in hibernation, we Minnesotans are ecstatic to finally emerge and celebrate our three-month break from living in a frozen tundra. By the time it hits 50 degrees, we’ll be meandering about in t-shirts, shorts and flip flops.

During these three glorious months of summer, driving hazards take on a whole new persona. From traffic jams to construction detours, it is important to be prepared for the unique circumstances that truck drivers experience while driving through summertime Minnesota. We at Bay & Bay Transportation would like to provide you with some tips for how to stay safe on the roads this summer.

Be cautious and be prepared when it comes to construction zones. There is nothing more frustrating than a surprise detour when you are on a time crunch. Take the time to plan and know your route before you get on the road. Utilize resources such as the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s website to inform you of road and weather conditions before you travel.

When you see orange cones or flashing lights, you know you need to be on the lookout for extra hazards. Construction projects and detours can come with lots of lane changes, narrow lanes, cars or trucks that cross over into opposing lanes, cars stopping suddenly, construction workers that step outside of cones, etc. Stay on your game and make sure you always have an exit route in mind. It’s best to aim for the path of least resistance or least amount of obstacles and potential injury.

And then there’s what’s known as “cabin congestion.” On the weekends, Minnesotans like to do a little something called, “goin’ up north to the cabin.” The funny thing about it is that everyone else also has that same idea. With increased weekend traffic from cabin-goers, it’s especially important to gear up with your defensive driving habits.

Practice being ultra-aware of your blind spots. Make sure you are scanning your mirrors to be aware of cars around you. Shadows can be helpful indicators of a 4-wheeler’s location in the event that it sneaks into your blind spot.

With more cars on the road, speeding becomes an even more dangerous risk. Be vigilant and prepared to slow down. Allow for an approximate 7-10 seconds of following distance to come to a safe and complete stop. Control what you can, and prepare for what you can’t.

Lastly, exercise patience. Drivers may cut you off, suddenly slow down or stop, and can generally be unpredictable. Keep your cool. Take a deep breath, and don’t let another person’s driving get to you. If you find yourself agitated to the point that it is distracting from your driving, pull over. You cannot control the other person’s driving, but you can control how you deal with it.

Minnesota is a central hub for several major U.S., State, and Interstate Highways, making Bay & Bay Transportation’s headquarters an ideal location for truck driving jobs. If you are an experienced CDL driver, contact us today about truck driving job opportunities.

 

Year-round Safety Tips for OTR Trucking Jobs

June 2nd, 2015 · No Comments

Distractions occur no matter what time of year it is. As over-the-road drivers, we experience plenty of distractions on the road caused by other people or even the weather. Your chances of an accident are doubled after being distracted for as little as 2 seconds! That is why it is so important to limit (and even eliminate) the amount of distractions that you encounter when on the road.

Use technology wisely and safely. We know that OTR driving means long hours, and sometimes you just need to relax. However, watching YouTube videos on your phone can wait until the next rest stop. Phones are one of the largest sources of distractions for OTR drivers, and if not used properly, increase the risk of getting into a crash.

If you need to make a phone call, initiate the phone call once you are parked. If you need to be able to answer phone calls on the road, use a Bluetooth device. Ask your employer about their specific policies regarding hands-free calling. When talking on the phone, whatever is in front of you on the road ALWAYS comes first. If you come across a road hazard, stop talking, focus on what’s in front of you, and then come back to the conversation once you are ready.

The same concepts apply to using a GPS or other location device. Alter your routes and settings when you are safely off the road and parked.

Learn to be picky about what and how you eat, and examine your “on-the-go” eating habits. Eating soup or noodles from a bowl (and with a fork!) are probably not the safest options. Eating some chips or drinking water will pose less of a safety risk to you as a driver should you run into road trouble.

Lastly, the single most important way to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes is to wear your seatbelt. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wearing your seatbelt doubles your chances of surviving a motor vehicle crash. Doubling survival by buckling your seatbelt? We like those odds!

At Bay & Bay Transportation, we are committed to taking excellent care of our drivers as well as our clients. If you are a safe, experienced CDL driver looking for a job with a company as dedicated to you as they are their clients, consider becoming an OTR driver with Bay & Bay Transportation. Visit our careers page to apply today!

 

7 Ways to Meet People While Truck Driving

May 26th, 2015 · No Comments

At Bay & Bay Transportation, we believe that truck driving provides unique opportunities to meet people all across the country. Not quite sure how to make a new friend or start connecting? Here are some tips for how to socialize anywhere your route takes you.

Smile and pay it forward.

Learn how to exude positivity; and mean it! Find opportunities for random acts of kindness with anyone you meet. Do this to make an unforgettable impression wherever you go. Who knows, maybe you’ll start the next pay-it-forward chain at a local coffee shop!

Start a low-stakes conversation.

Ask for directions, offer to take pictures for fellow travelers at a landmark, or comment on the weather (us Minnesotans can’t help it). If conversation flows, go with it.

Carry a deck of cards.

Shoot the breeze over late night pancakes and a solid card game. Learn some classics to have in your back-pocket, and be prepared to learn new ones along the way.

Explore local attractions and food hotspots.

This is obvious, but go where the people are! If you already spend a lot of time traveling the roads, you may as well see some of the famous landmarks you are driving past. Visit local Ma-and-Pop restaurants to get a real feel for what the locals are like.

Use social media to your advantage.

Update friends on your travel itinerary using sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Document your adventures in a travel blog. Your friends may know of people willing to meet up as you travel through different areas.

Try out a social app.

Create your own profile and search for people who are traveling to or live in cities along your route using apps such as Badoo, BeWelcome and TravBuddy. On Meetup.com you can search for groups and events based on common interests like reading, photography or card or board games!

Be you.

Be proud of your achievements, find humor in your quirks, and invest in experiences you find interesting.  When you are comfortable with you, people will naturally be more at ease when they meet you.

 

At Bay & Bay Transportation, we are committed to ensuring that our drivers are treated like family both on and off the road. Email us at hr@bayandbay.com  to learn how to join our fleet or visit our Driver Careers page for more information about current job openings for truck drivers in Minnesota and throughout the Midwest.