Balancing Work and Family Life During the Holidays When You’re a Truck Driver

Juggling the holidays and work can be difficult for anyone, but it can be especially challenging for those whose work takes them on the road for long periods of time. Bay & Bay Transportation has some helpful tips to keep your holidays as peaceful and balanced as possible!

  1. Make your own celebrations! Many people who do not work a traditional 9-5 job are familiar with either missing a major holiday or celebrating it on a different day, close to the actual holiday.
  2. Keep in mind, and remind family members, that the actual day is not what is important, but the time spent with family or friends
  3. Try to be flexible, if possible, and enjoy your holiday celebration when you are able to. Sometimes those celebrations which take place just for your family can be even more special and memorable. Thanksgiving on Saturday? No problem!
  4. Keep in touch via technology! Truck drivers are no strangers to keeping in touch by using technology. Make sure you’re taking every advantage of technology to take part in as much of your family’s holiday celebration as possible. Use Skype or FaceTime to read a special holiday story to the kids, to participate in part of a family meal, or to watch presents being opened. Check to see if your place of worship has a streaming web feed of their service and attend worship services virtually.
  5. And of course, when you are on the road and don’t have time to stop and shop, don’t forget the ease of online shopping for gifts! Technology has truly changed the way we are able to spend time with our families and friends!
  6. Find others who are in the same situation! If you are stuck traveling on a holiday this year, try to make connections with others in the same boat. The truck driving community is a family, and a meal on Thanksgiving or Christmas when far from home feels less lonely if it is shared with a coworker or friend!

Bay & Bay Transportation understands the hardships of a life on the road. We hope to make it as easy as possible for you this holiday season! Call us today!

Living the Quality Life as a Truck Driver for Bay & Bay Transportation in Minneapolis, Minnesota

It’s an industry on the rise; there has never been a better time to become a truck driver. Or, if you’re already a truck driver, the time is now to make the most of your career. Bay & Bay Transportation, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is the transportation company to have your truck driving career with.

The trucking industry has definitely seen changes in the last few years. According to American Trucking Associations, the truck driving industry is experiencing a driver shortage of an estimated 35,000 to 40,000 drivers. This shortage is expected to increase as truckers retire. The industry is working to find solutions by raising pay between 8% and 15% and adding sign-on bonuses.

In another industry trend, there are companies creating luxury cabs that trucking fleets are finding to be an attractive way to both draw in new drivers and retain more seasoned drivers. Some companies such as Bolt and Legacy Sleepers are building new, fancy luxurious custom cabs for truckers. While the price tag is extravagant, when you spend 11 hours on the road, it sure is nice to have a custom built home-away-from-home in the truck with you. It absolutely beats the normal, federally regulated sleeper berth that we in the trucking industry know so well.

Of course, your choice of which carrier to drive for sets the tone for your career. We at Bay & Bay Transportation, in Minneapolis, MN, offer some of the best motivating incentives to join our company. In 2015, we were voted one of the top 20 best fleets to drive for by the Truckload Carriers Association and CarriersEdge. Bay & Bay offers drivers so much more, including:

  • New pay rates, plus bonus opportunities
  • A higher base pay
  • Full medical and dental benefits

On top of these, we offer so many diverse options for you, the truck driver. These include:

  • OTR and local truck driving jobs
  • Company drivers
  • Lease purchase drivers
  • Independent contractors
  • Various hiring locations throughout the United States, including Minneapolis, MN

At Bay & Bay, in Minneapolis and throughout the United States, we are a family owned company who believes in our truck drivers. Our goal is to provide you with the best opportunities to work with us and have a truly satisfying truck driving career. Give us a call today.

Basics of Winter Preparation for Your Truck Driving Career With Bay & Bay Transportation in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Winter is nearly here in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For truck drivers, this means that extra precautions must be taken everyday while out on the road. At Bay & Bay Transportation, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, we put the safety of you and your truck first, above all else. Whether you’re new in your truck driving career or a seasoned veteran of the open road, this is a good time to go over some of the basics of winter semi-truck driving.

It cannot be stressed enough: your pre and post trip inspections are absolutely key to your success in not only winter driving, but also in all of your driving. Checking these important essentials is vital to driving safely in the winter:

  • Wipers
  • Defrosters
  • Heaters
  • Tire pressure
  • Clean windows and mirrors

These are fundamentals that should be checked each time you drive. In winter truck driving, these items are even more critical to your success.

Staying up to date with various state laws for winter driving is also important. For instance, Colorado and Oregon, among others, require chains for your tires while driving in winter conditions. Many states’ websites have their own safety tips for winter driving. For instance, the North Dakota Highway Patrol prepared an online handbook with vital information for truck drivers. Washington State, the Department of Labor and Industries in Washington State, Texas, Maryland and, of course, Minnesota, among many others, all have crucial information for winter truck driving.

Another key factor to remember is your pre-trip preparation. Do you have extra blankets, food, and warm clothing? If you become stranded due to bad winter driving conditions, do you have enough fuel and supplies to last a few days? It’s important to remember to check how road conditions may have evolved over the course of your journey. You don’t want to be caught unprepared for winter road changes. For instance, in November of 2014, truck drivers were forced to spin and fume in the snow with the Interstate closed to commercial traffic in New York State.

As for all vehicles on the road in snow or ice, one rule is necessary and it cannot be overstated: slow down, slow down, and slow down! When you are driving a big rig, you need at least six seconds and 500 feet to stop your truck. In the snow and ice, you are likely to require more room than that. Keeping your speed down and keeping a safe following distance will go a long way to avoid accidents or other serious problems. Always know that in bad weather, the posted speed limit is too fast.

Here at Bay & Bay Transportation, your safety on the road is imperative to the success of our company. We want all of our drivers to stop in and complete the winter driving training course on the simulator. As a truck driver, it is a helpful tool to have this training.
If you do your inspections and necessary preparation for winter driving, serious problems while on the road will be greatly reduced. At Bay & Bay Transportation, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, your safety as a truck driver is the most important element of our company. Together we can have years of success, no matter what winter brings to bear.

How to be a More Fuel Efficient Truck Driver

What would you say if we told you that there is a simple way to increase your job security and potentially your pay as a CDL driver? Impossible? Crazy? Genius?!

It’s not rocket science, but commercial trucks aren’t exactly fuel efficient. However, if you are able to increase your fuel economy, you can reduce your total operating costs by about 30%.

Let’s break this down a tad:

Reduced operating costs = Profit increase!

Profit increase = You are a rock star driver!

Rock star driver = Better job security for you!

Overall results = Win! Win! Win!

Bay and Bay Transportation of Minneapolis, Minnesota, works hard to provide top-notch support to our drivers. That’s because we see our drivers as more than hard workers – we see them as family. A win for you is a win for us, so let’s talk about how you can influence your fuel usage and maximize your potential benefits.

While there are plenty of things that you can do to ensure that you are maximizing your fuel efficiency, there are some other factors to keep in mind. There are uncontrollable factors that will inevitably alter the rate of fuel usage. While you can’t do anything about them, it’s just as important to be aware of how they will impact you so you can adapt as needed.

 Factors that you can’t control:

 The Vehicle – The truck that you drive has an enormous impact on fuel performance. Fuel usage varies based on a vehicle’s type, age, condition, equipment, and load. If you plan to lease your own truck, it is worth doing research on a truck’s fuel economy before picking your rig.

 Traffic Conditions – Fuel use is greatly impacted by traffic conditions and the type of road that you are travelling. You will use more fuel the more often you change gears and each time you brake or accelerate. The stop-and-go movements of heavy traffic congestion can alter your fuel efficiency as well.

 The Weather – During the winter you can expect to see your fuel efficiency drop as much as 10% compared to the summer months. Fuel consumption can also increase by up to 3% when changing over from ‘summer grade’ diesel fuel to ‘winter grade.’

Despite all of these uncontrollable factors, there are still measures you can take. The best way for you to control your fuel efficiency is to make sure that your driving technique limits any unnecessary strain to the vehicle.

 10 Ways You Can Become a More Fuel Efficient Driver:

  1. Maximize fuel economy by using cruise control when appropriate
  2. Minimize gear changes
  3. Be gentle on your brakes
  4. Slow down and drive at or under the speed limit. You reduce your fuel consumption by 22% when driving 50 MPH instead of 56 MPH.
  5. Keep your tires properly inflated. Correctly inflated tires offer less resistance on the road, improve your fuel economy, and reduce the risk of accidents by giving greater vehicle stability.
  6. Turn off your engine when you are excessively stationary in traffic.
  7. Do regular maintenance on your truck, including regular oil changes.
  8. Use the correct fuel grade for the season.
  9. Use your exhaust brakes when possible instead of your foot/friction brakes.
  10. Position your load so that the truck is weighted for maximum aerodynamics.

Bay and Bay Transportation is a Minneapolis, MN based transportation company that strives to provide safe, consistent, and quality transportation solutions. We hope that these fuel efficiency tips have inspired you to become a more fuel efficient truck driver. If you have at least 1 year of OTR solo driving under your belt and aren’t already a part of the Bay and Bay family, check out our opportunities to become a Company Driver, Owner Operator, or a member of our Lease to Own program.

How to Maximize Your Time and Become an Insanely Efficient Truck Driver

What’s the difference between a good truck driver and a great truck driver? Efficiency.

A good truck driver knows how to get the job done safely and on time. A great truck driver knows how to maximize his or her time so that they can log as many miles as is legally, safely, and physically possible in any given week.

A great driver is insanely efficient. Bay and Bay Transportation of Minneapolis, MN wants to help you become an insanely efficient truck driver. Sound like a good plan? Stick with us.

If you’re already a CDL driver, during your training you learned about the safe operation of large vehicles on the road. However, chances are you did not receive classroom training about how to make the best use of your driving time.

Every driver is different, so efficiency is best discovered and practiced while on the road. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Timing is Everything

Plan to drive when road conditions are the most in your favor. Rather than wasting precious time and fuel sitting in traffic congestion, plan your routes for when the roads are prone to be empty (or for when most people are asleep).

The first step is to calculate how you can be off the road altogether before the evening rush hour (starting around 4:30 – 5:00 pm). Take it one step further by figuring out where the most generally traffic-heavy areas of your route are and drive them around 3–4am when traffic tends to be light (if there is any at all).

Load and Unload Like a Boss

Meeting deadlines is extremely important. Missing deadlines results in losing miles, loads, and sometimes even your job…and we don’t want that!

Plan ahead to load and unload early so that you can not only meet your deadlines, but also exceed them. When you know you are on track to arrive early, call your DM to get in touch with the shipper to see if they can arrange for an earlier pick up time than originally scheduled. This will allow you to make the delivery earlier than planned.

Doing this consistently will boost your reputation and increase your chances of being requested for loads in the future.

Sleep Like Your Job Depends on it

Because it does! Getting enough rest is absolutely imperative to being a healthy and efficient truck driver.

When you allow yourself the proper time to rest, you are able to think more clearly and safely respond to issues and driving conditions as they arise. When you push yourself to drive when you are exhausted, your body releases more adrenaline to keep you going. The more adrenaline in your system, the more recovery time you need to make up for your exhaustion.

Continuing the pattern of pushing yourself past exhaustion creates a chronic deprivation of sleep and increases stress to your body. It’s not doing you any favors.

Rather than putting your nose to the grindstone and driving through your exhaustion, recognize that even a 20-minute nap can do wonders to help you feel refreshed and ready to go.

Meticulously Gauge Your Fuel Usage

An efficient truck driver is a fuel efficiency expert. Even just a slight decrease in your fuel usage can boost your job security and even your pay! In a previous post we outlined specific ways to become a more fuel-conscientious driver. You can read that post here.

Some basic tips for saving fuel are to keep your tires properly inflated and to turn off your engine when idling for a significant amount of time.

Slow(er) and Steady Wins the Race

While probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of getting things done quickly, it’s actually more efficient for a trucker to drive within the speed limit.

Driving fast can lower your truck’s miles per gallon (of fuel) usage. Cruise control, within the speed limit, is a much better way to conserve fuel. Also, trucking over the speed limit is wasteful and dangerous. Increasing your chances of a crash and/or fines simply isn’t worth the costly risk.

Becoming an insanely efficient truck driver is the key to a successful career as a CDL driver. With careful planning, skillful driving, and a lot of practice, you will become the kind of driver that is every transportation company’s dream! If you think you have what it takes to be an insanely efficient truck driver (and have 1 year of solo OTR driving experience), contact Bay and Bay Transportation of Minneapolis, MN today to hear about our wonderful opportunities for company drivers and owner/operators.