Dealing with Road Rage as a CDL Driver

We’ve all been through it: You are peacefully driving along the interstate when a driver either unintentionally or maliciously cuts you off. Whether you are the culprit or the victim, cases of road rage in reaction to this scenario decrease the safety of everyone traveling on the highway. For those in the trucking industry, it is incredibly important to remain cool in these cases. There are probably many miles left to travel, and one incident shouldn’t determine your mood for the rest of your travels.

Here are a few tips to deal with road rage (yours specifically and that of others):

1) Mentally Prepare. Every driver you encounter on the road is not going to be perfect. Some are distracted, others are new, and almost everyone is dealing with some sort of personal problem. If you get into your truck expecting to encounter these types, then it will be easier to keep your cool. If you don’t run into any problems, then you are left feeling pleasantly surprised!
2) Avoid the Crowd. Always remember not to tailgate the vehicles in front of you. Quick braking or unexpected wildlife can quickly turn tailgating into a disaster. It can also cause nervousness on the part of the other driver, or anger, and tempt them to slam on the brakes just for the fun of it.
3) Patience is a Virtue. Though it may seem like someone cut you off on purpose or chose to drive way below the speed limit, other drivers are not out to get you. In the end, everyone has the same goal of getting to their destination safely. Time is a secondary concern when it comes to arriving versus not arriving at all.

Sometimes, you may find yourself on the receiving end of road rage. This can be frustrating as it wastes time, it’s dangerous, and it challenges one’s ability to focus on safe driving. The best response is to avoid confrontation. Do not respond to cursing or yelling, or roll down your window if another driver decides to have words with you. The best choice is to maintain a level head and leave the road rage behind.

If a person will not leave you alone, or follows your vehicle after you have left the initial scene, do not hesitate to contact authorities. If the encounter seems serious enough, you have the right to file a police report. Try to jot down the license plate number as well as make and model of the vehicle if this seems like the course you will need to follow.

Not every situation deserves a reaction. We all have bad days, and we fall on both sides of the road rage spectrum. Drive safely and courteously, and you will arrive on time with your load. Safety is one of the primary values of Bay & Bay Transportation and we reward drivers that are committed to it. If you would like to apply for one of our OTR truck driver jobs, or check out our owner-operator opportunities, please visit our Careers page.

Truck Drivers and Tornado Season: What To Do

Tornado Alley stretches from the South through the Upper Midwest, and severe storms can quickly create emergency situations. Since tornado season is almost in full swing, it’s important to review safety measures for truck drivers during this type of dangerous weather.

Early Signs
Remember the phrase “the calm before the storm”? That applies directly to tornadoes. Heavy rain storms may suddenly stop as the environment around you immediately quiets down. While in some cases it may just be the end of the storm, the heavy hitter may just be warming up. If the sky is dark or green, or there is a large, low-lying cloud, hail, or a loud roar, the storm is far from over. You may be dealing with a tornado that is in very close proximity.

Watch vs. Warning
It’s always important to keep an eye on the weather, but it’s especially important to know what those alerts coming through the radio actually mean. You can also sign up for weather alerts by state from the National Weather Service.

A tornado watch is issued by the National Weather Service when the conditions are right for a tornado to form. Stay on your toes and know where the nearest rest stop or exit is, just in case things get dicey.

A tornado warning means that a tornado has been spotted in your area. DO NOT try to outrun a tornado, and don’t take shelter under an overpass.

Taking Cover
If you cannot find shelter, the next best thing you can do is to get yourself as isolated as possible. Take cover in a ditch or gully and protect your head as best you can. Ideally, you will have enough warning to get yourself off the road and seek safety in an actual building, but that is not always the case. It’s best to prepare for all situations.

Most importantly, make sure you communicate with both your dispatcher and your family. Let them know if you are falling behind because of severe weather and when they can expect to hear from you next. This will relieve stress for everyone involved!

Bay & Bay Transportation values safety for our truck drivers above all else. If you’re up for the challenge of combating Mother Nature on the road and have more than 1 year of OTR experience, we encourage you to apply today!

Preparing for Your First Year on the Road

Your first year as a truck driver is the most essential. This time proves that you are ready to meet the challenges of the road, working to perfect your skills, and can open a whole other world of truck driving job opportunities. So what can you expect from your first year on the road solo?

High Expectations
Transportation companies will expect a lot out of new drivers and new hires. You need to prove that you are a safe and reliable driver, and consistently. Truck driving is about more than just shifting gears and maneuvering tight spaces. You’ll also need to have excellent management skills and put them to use to increase your fuel mileage and meet tight deadlines. Additionally, you’ll need to learn the procedures your company has in place and adhere to the company standards.

Establish Relationships
Most importantly, as a new driver, you’ll need to make friends with your dispatcher. Though you have entirely different jobs, you are both working towards a common goal of delivering goods on time. Communicate clearly and constantly and you’ll both stay on the same page and be happy.

Rookie Mistakes
No one is expecting you to be absolutely perfect your first year. That fact holds true across all job functions. Everyone makes mistakes, but what matters is the severity and how you handle them. You may get lost and delay delivery. Handle it with grace and sincerity, then do your best to ensure that it never happens again.

By the end of your first year, you might still be driving, but your classmates may have left the industry. Truck driving has a notoriously high turnover rate. Safe, efficient, timely drivers are highly valuable to transportation companies all across the United States. The more experience you attain as a truck driver, the more established you will become in your career.

Truck drivers that make it through their first year of solo OTR trips will find that many more opportunities open up for them. Experience, in addition to seniority, will help you start to get the miles and trips that you want and are excited to take.

Bay & Bay Transportation is continually looking for experienced company and owner-operator drivers. You can find current openings by visiting our Driver Opportunities page or you can click here to apply online immediately.

What Makes Bay & Bay One of the Best Fleets to Drive For?

best fleets to drive forBay & Bay Transportation was recently named one of the Best Fleets to Drive for in 2015, and we are very proud of that fact! We were nominated by some of our fantastic drivers, and are excited that so many of our core values line up with those of the award. So what exactly does it take for a Bay & Bay to be a #BestFleet15? Let’s find out!

OTR truck drivers are among the highest in demand in the industry. The average salary for first-year truck drivers in Minnesota is $36,000. Though we require experienced drivers, we well surpass and compensate our employees. Company drivers can expect an annual salary starting around $57,000.

Bay & Bay also offers additional means of earning bonuses for our drivers. From excellent fuel management to extra fuel mileage, we reward those that safely and effectively transport good to clients. Additionally, our retention rate is high because of the quality of job satisfaction that our employees have while driving for us.

Drivers at Bay & Bay Transportation receive great compensation and excellent benefits to match. After 60 days with us, drivers are eligible for full medical insurance. Additionally, we offer company paid life insurance so you can plan for your future and the future of your family. Add in paid holidays, vacation time, and a pension, and it’s easy to see why Bay & Bay was nominated by its drivers as one of the Best Fleets to Drive for.

Bay & Bay Transportation is a company focused on treating employees like family. We value your safety and time home with your real family. We recognize your achievements and celebrate them with you. Most of all, you are people to us, our family, not just a number on the roster. We are driver-focused, ensuring that you are truly a part of the Bay & Bay family.

Professional Development
We continuously invest in some of the most advanced technology, the latest model of freight liners, and other new equipment for our drivers. Additionally, we make sure our drivers continually receive the best training, like our driving simulation program. This gives drivers a chance to practice maneuvering out of dicey situations without the potential risk of practicing in real life.

Bay & Bay is committed to providing quality transportation services to our customers and making sure our drivers have every opportunity to advance and achieve. We have many positions open in our company for experienced company drivers as well as owner-operators. For more details about our truck driving opportunities in Minnesota, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and throughout the country, please visit our Driver Opportunities or check out our Hiring Locations.