How Truck Drivers Can Avoid Jackknifing

Bay & Bay Transportation urges drivers to be especially careful in the icy conditions this winter.

How to Avoid JackknifingIce is particularly treacherous for the transportation industry and especially for truck drivers in Minnesota. Jackknifing is one of the most dangerous situations that a truck driver may have to maneuver out of safely. Bay & Bay Transportation  wants each of our drivers to have all of the safety tips needed while they are out on the road, so we’ll explore how jackknifing happens and how to avoid it.

What is jackknifing?
Jackknifing is when a truck cab and its trailer become out of sync with each other. This usually creates an L or a V shape, which is similar to what a pocket knife looks like when folded down.

How does jackknifing happen?
Usually, a truck will jackknife because of a loss of traction. This can be the result of either slick roads, improper braking, or a combination of the two. Tires will then skid across the pavement instead of rolling. This sliding friction is not nearly as powerful as the static friction of braking on dry roads. Slamming on brakes in this scenario can cause them to lock up, which is especially dangerous for the trailer portion of the rig. When the wheels lock up, the trailer can swing out to the side, causing a jackknife.

Another common jackknife situation occurs when a truck driver is backing up. This usually has to do with positioning and is not the specific type of jackknifing we are talking about since it is more controlled.

How do I avoid jackknifing?
1) Check your mirrors frequently for trailer swing. If you see your trailer start to swing slightly, you can still avoid jackknifing by releasing the brakes. Increasing your speed slightly may also help you gain control again.

2) Keep your trailer full when you can. The more weight in your trailer, the more traction you will have, leaving less room for tractor swing.

3) Leave enough room for braking. DO NOT slam on your brakes in icy situations. This winter, be sure to leave extra room between you and other vehicles.

Bay & Bay Transportation invests time, money, and training in keeping each of our truck drivers safe while out on the road. If you are interested in working for a company that cares about you as a person, not just a number, apply online.

Dense Fog Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

Driving in dense fog near Pittsburgh? Follow these tips from Bay & Bay Transportation.

fog truck drivingWeather can be dangerous to drive in, no matter what kind of vehicle you drive. However, when you’re a truck driver, weather isn’t just in incidental, it’s a major part of your planning. Usually, in the winter, we immediately think of snow and ice when it comes to poor weather. Truck drivers in Pittsburgh, PA should be aware of dense fog this season while making long trips with Bay & Bay Transportation. Here are some tips to make your journey safe:

  • If you must drive in the fog, drive slower. Fog is very unpredictable and can become thicker or denser at any time, making it especially hazardous for truck drivers with large vehicles. Do not drive faster than you can see ahead of you.
  • If needed, turn on all your lights to help you see and be seen by others. Do not turn on your brightest lights, however, as they do not penetrate dense fog as well as low beams do. When changing lanes or signaling drivers, use your hazards for extra precaution.
  • Use the lines on the road as a guide for staying straight. These lines can help guide you better than looking straight in front of you.
  • Be ready for emergency stops by cars and other trucks. Turn off all distractions, as many cars may be pulled over or moving slowly. This may require you to slow or stop suddenly.
  • If you absolutely cannot see or feel unsafe driving on the road in the fog, find the nearest rest area or truck stop. If possible, avoid pulling off to the side of the road, as it may be difficult for cars to see you as well. Turn your hazard lights on immediately when pulling off the road. Truck drivers should use their best judgment when driving in the fog.

Fog is not always an expected bad weather condition, but for many truck drivers, it’s the most difficult situation to drive in.  Bay & Bay Transportation urges truck drivers to be cautious on the road this holiday season in all kinds of weather.

If you are interested in joining the Bay & Bay Transportation team, apply online!

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Bay & Bay Truck Drivers Deliver Wreaths to Remember America’s Fallen Heroes

Bay and Bay - Wreaths Across AmericaLast year, Bay & Bay Transportation participated in Wreaths Across America to honor fallen military heroes. We have long been an active force in honoring the men and women that serve in our military and provide safety and freedom for us. During the holidays, we are especially grateful for all of the sacrifices that have been made so we can continue enjoying our family and loved ones. Once again, we participated in the Wreaths Across America program to honor those fallen heroes.

Wreaths Across America is an organization with a mission to Remember, Honor, and Teach.  Most notable is the wreath laying ceremony at Arlington in Virginia, coordinated with other local ceremonies through the country. Each year, over 300,000 wreaths are delivered to grave sites of military personnel across the country.

This year, Wreaths Across America took place on December 13th. Bay & Bay truck driver Julia Jimenez delivered wreaths from Maine to Arlington, VA, the main ceremony location. Kent Klausing, Tony Miller, and Tom Quintus joined Julia at the site as representatives of Bay & Bay. Be sure to check out the photos from their East Coast trip.

Additionally, Greg Post picked up a load of wreaths in Illinois and delivered them throughout Wisconsin, South Dakota, and Minnesota, including Fort Snelling in St. Paul. The entire program runs completely on volunteers, including the donation of time, money, and, in our case, truck drivers.

At Bay & Bay Transportation, we thoroughly believe in being an active part of our community and standing by the family values that have helped us thrive from the very beginning. We want to extend our sincerest thanks to active military personnel and their families. We wish you all a very happy holiday and a safe return home!

Truck Drivers Help Make the Holidays Special Around the Country

Bay and Bay’s truck drivers work long hours this time of year to provide a magical holiday season for all.

Holiday Truck DriversIn the midst of Black Friday and the holiday shopping season, it’s important to think about how you’re getting your holiday gifts and materials. Truck drivers are Santa’s helpers, transporting holiday supplies to businesses and families all over the country. After Black Friday, businesses rely on transportation to get their stock back up for the busy month of December. Our truck drivers in Pittsburgh, PA and surrounding areas are very much appreciated this holiday season.

From refrigerated transportation for bringing cold Christmas foods to dry tank transportation providing last-minute materials for finishing up projects before the holidays, our truck drivers are the heart of the Christmas spirit. Without their dedication and sacrifice of family time, we wouldn’t have the smooth holiday season that so many of us experience. Truck drivers in both large cities like Pittsburgh down to the smallest rural towns help each family have happy holidays.

If your business is looking for last-minute transportation this holiday season, consider Bay and Bay Transportation’s wide variety of moving options. Our truck drivers offer refrigerated, dry van, brokerage, dry tank, and flat bed transportation across the country to met our customers’ needs.

We are thankful for our truck drivers and everything they do. Continue to be proud of your time as truck driver, bringing supplies and goodies to people and businesses around the country. You are an essential piece in making the holiday season special.

Bay and Bay Transportation has provided quality transportation for many years, bringing holiday spirit to people around the country.

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Holiday Gift Ideas for Truck Drivers

Truck Driver Gift IdeasBuying for the loved ones in your life can sometimes be a struggle. It can be even harder when they are on the road with limited mobility and access to electronics! After all, what fun is a new tablet when you rarely get to use it? Bay & Bay Transportation has compiled a list of stocking stuffers for that special truck driver in your life!

Gift Cards
The old standby is, of course, gift cards! These are especially useful for truck drivers since they frequently stop at gas stations or big box retailers. Be sure to gift them a card to somewhere common so they don’t have to search very far to find their favorite store.

Travel Mugs
It’s no secret that truck drivers work long hours. Help them keep up with their caffeine intake by giving them a travel mug. You can find 12 oz mugs to 64 oz jugs to keep your driver trucking along.

Leather Work Gloves
No one likes to be cold! When truckers are preparing their rigs for travel, a nice pair of durable work gloves can help speed up the process, preventing frostbite and small scratches.

Polarized Sunglasses
Sunglasses are especially important during the winter. Rays bounce off of snow and glare up at you. A nice pair of polarized sunglasses can help truck drivers protect their eyesight and look stylish!

Truck stop showers can sometimes be a little iffy. Though winter seems like a crazy time to purchase sandals, they make for a great stocking stuffers. Keep your feet and the rest of your body clean by boldly strolling confidently into any truck stop shower room.

We wish the families of all of our truck drivers a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Hopefully these few tips will help you stuff those stockings full of treats that any truck driver would be ecstatic to find!

If you’d like to become a part of the Bay & Bay family, be sure to check out our driver opportunities page.

Tips for Safe Winter Truck Driving in Minnesota

Winter Truck Driving in MinnesotaThough winter doesn’t officially start until December 21st, we are surely in the beginnings of the season in Minnesota. Now is the time to get in the habit of proper winter truck driving practices so that you won’t be caught unaware when the next snow storm hits. Follow the tips below from Bay & Bay Transportation for a safe trip and return home.

Plan Your Trip
This should be a common practice, but it is especially important in the winter. Bad weather can hit at any time and you must be prepared. Leave extra time when travelling in case you have to drive through a storm or aftermath of one.

Inspect Your Truck
This should be done before every trip, but there are items to take special note of during the snowy months. Make sure your wiper blades actually clear your windshield instead of just smearing salt and sludge around. Additionally, ensure that your rig is fully stocked up on washer fluid. Some other items to have on hand are anti-gel for your diesel tank and jumper cables.

Know Your Limits
We’re not just talking about speed limits here. If the roads are slushy or a little icy, know how much longer it will take to stop your truck. Don’t let other drivers (truck or commuter) pressure you into maneuvers or speeds that you are uncomfortable with.

Pay Attention to Surroundings
When you head out on the road, there are a few things about your surroundings that can clue you in to road conditions. First of all, an iced windshield means that there are iced roads. Proceed with caution if you find a frosted, iced layer when you get to your truck. When you’re out on the road, the tire spray of the vehicles around you can tell you how conditions are changing. Slushy, wet spray can be inconvenient, but tells you that the temperature is high enough to avoid ice. However, when the roads look wet, but there is little tire spray, it’s time to hunker down because you are probably heading into an area with a lot of black ice.

Use Resources
Planning your trip is just the first step. Weather conditions can change in the blink of an eye. Check The Weather Channel before heading out so you know what you are driving into. Also, you can always call on your fellow truck drivers over the CB radio to get a heads up on conditions. And finally, each state posts up-to-date information about the condition of their roads. Visit the Minnesota 511 website for information about Minnesota road closures and conditions.

Most importantly of all, return safely. At Bay & Bay Transportation, we work to provide our drivers with the best technology and safety practices so they can deliver the load and return home safely. If you are interest in applying for a job with us, please click here to apply online or visit our Driver Opportunities for more information.

CDL Tips for Truck Drivers in Minnesota

Bay & Bay Transportation wants you to be prepared for your commercial driver’s license permit exam.

Minnesota CDL

A CDL, or commercial driver’s license, is required to operate a commercial motor vehicle. These vehicles are those that carry more than 16 passengers, transport hazardous materials, or have a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds. CDLs are required for truck drivers in Minnesota and drivers employed by Bay & Bay Transportation. Before you take your CDL exam, or even after, there are a few things you need to know to maintain your license.

What not to do:

If you already have your CDL and receive a moving violation when you are younger than 20 years of age, you must retake all exams related to obtaining a CDL. There are also more severe instances of violations that can cause you to lose your CDL.

  • Driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over .04
  • Driving while under the influence
  • Refusing to take a blood or breath test while operating a vehicle
  • Not stopping for an accident you were involved with
  • Using a commercial motor vehicle to commit a felony
  • Lying on the application for a CDL

Committing any of the above mentioned actions will earn you a one-year disqualification, but if you are convicted, it is upped to three years.

How to Prep for the CDL Exam:
The first step is to gain your commercial driver’s instruction permit (CDIP), which will allow you to legally practice driving a truck and trailer. To obtain the CDIP you will need to pass a written exam, similar to that associated with a traditional driver’s license. This test will most likely involve multiple choice questions that relate only to commercial driving questions and issues. You can prepare by studying the CDL manual of your state and taking a few practice tests.

In addition to knowing the nuances of truck driving in theory, you will also be expected to put them into practice. This includes inspecting the vehicle, successfully performing typical maneuvers, and knowing how to react to different scenarios.

There are certain things during the driving portion of the CDL exam that will automatically fail you. They are:

  • Running a red light
  • Getting into an accident
  • Forgetting to check your peripherals
  • Jumping a curb
  • Other major moving violations

Fear of failure shouldn’t stop you from practicing or pursuing your CDL though. Through practice and studying, you’ll be just fine when it’s time to take your CDL exam. After you’ve acquired 6 months of OTR solo driving, come back and check out the truck driving jobs offered by Bay & Bay Transportation.

Winter Emergency Kits for Minnesota Truck Drivers

Bay and Bay provides some winter truck driving tips for drivers in Minnesota and throughout the Midwest.

winter truck driving minnesotaWith winter quickly approaching (or is it already here?), motorists across the United States and Minnesota are preparing for inclement weather and scary road conditions. Now more than ever, it is important to ensure that you are prepared for the worst case scenario when you are away from home.

Stay Warm Inside…
Always tuck a few blankets away in your rig. If you are stranded in the middle of a storm, you don’t want to deplete the energy of your truck by running it the entire time. Also pack a contained candle and a lighter or book of matches in your truck. If you crack the window slightly and light the candle, it will provide your cab with hours of warmth.

And Outside.
Always be sure to pack a backup pair of mittens, gloves, boots, and a hat or ski mask. If you have to travel away from your vehicle at all, or go outside for a small repair, you’ll want to be sure you can bundle up. This is especially important if we have another winter anything like last year.

Survival Snacks and Water
Keep high-energy foods in the cab, like protein bars, dried fruits, and granola in case you are stuck for an extended period of time. Even if you are not stuck, it’s important to have a supply of healthy snacks to keep you focused on the road ahead. Bottled water, well that’s just a no brainer. You can survive for much longer without food than you can without hydration.

Small Repair Tools
Truck drivers are very familiar with their rigs and are usually more than capable of performing small repairs or maintenance tune-ups. It’s a smart idea to keep basic repair tools in your truck to keep it running perfectly. Tow straps and tire chains are also something to consider carrying during winter.

First Aid and Flashlights
Things rarely go wrong in the middle of the day. With shorter daylight hours until the end of December, you’ll want to keep a flashlight and batteries, or a hand crank flashlight on hand in case of breakdowns at night.

For more tips on truck driving in Minnesota, check out more of our blogs about driving. If you are interested in applying for the truck driving job in Minnesota with Bay & Bay Transportation, click here to apply online!