What Does Being a Safe Trucker Look Like in Summer 2020?

There have been a lot of new trucking industry trends to keep track of in 2020, especially when it comes to ensuring trucker safety. With COVID-19 dramatically changing the way our country runs, the efforts needed to be a safe trucker look a bit different than they usually do. 

To help drivers keep themselves and those around them healthy this summer, we’ve outlined a few things that define what safe trucking looks like in 2020.

Following the CDC’s COVID Safety Guidelines

When it comes to summer trucking safety in 2020, one of the most important things to do is follow the CDC’s safety guidelines for COVID prevention. According to the CDC website, being a safe trucker means:

  • Limiting close contact with other people by maintaining six feet of distance 
  • Wearing a cloth face covering or mask in public when staying six feet apart isn’t possible
  • Frequently cleaning and disinfecting the surfaces you come into contact (door handles, steering wheel, seat belt, turn signal, etc.)
  • Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds every time you enter or leave the cab
  • Packing food, water, and supplies, so you don’t have to make as many stops on the road
  • Wearing gloves whenever you venture outside of the truck

Here at Lily Transportation, there’s nothing more important than trucker safety. To support our drivers’ safety, we’ve equipped them with advanced cleaning supplies (like a lithium-ion sprayer that we use to clean and disinfect the interior of their trucks) to ensure nothing less than the safest working environments. 

Making Summer Trucking Safety a Priority

Looking beyond COVID, summer trucking comes with its own health and safety recommendations for truckers. The summer season can be unpredictable. You never know if you’ll be driving through a heatwave, rainstorm, or heavy winds. That’s why Lily Transportation provides its drivers with a collection of summer trucking safety tips and guidelines to help them embrace the safe trucker lifestyle.

Some of the most important ways a trucker can prioritize their safety include taking actions like:

  • Checking the weather so you can prepare yourself for day’s travel
  • Making sure you stay hydrated
  • Having a healthy selection of snacks (fruits, veggies, trail mixes, granola, etc.) 
  • Wearing sunscreen if it’s sunny outside (it’s still possible to get sunburnt even when you’re inside the truck for most of the day)
  • Paying attention to traffic trends
  • Maintaining the areas of your truck that are especially affected by the summer heat (cooling and air-conditioning systems, coolant levels, tires and tire pressure, and the brake system, for example)

Being a safe trucker in 2020 looks a bit different than it did in years prior, but with the truck driver safety tips and guidelines above, you can keep yourself strong, healthy, and ready for whatever the season throws your way.

The Benefits of a Career at Lily

How Did the COVID Pandemic Affect Operation Safe Driver Week?

Every year, The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) picks a specific focus area for its annual Operation Safe Driver Week, and this year was no exception. Even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CVSA was committed to identifying and deterring unsafe driving behaviors and ran as scheduled between July 12th and 18th.

However, like many events in 2020, Operation Safe Driver Week 2020 was affected by the ongoing pandemic. Here are a few ways that the CVSA used Operation Safe Driver to address some of the trucker safety concerns that COVID-19 has called attention to.

Less Traffic = More Speeding

With so many people staying home, traffic has dropped, and roadways across the country have emptied. For example, The Washington Post reported in May 2020 that some of the busiest highways in Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington had seen an over 50% drop in traffic. 

While fewer cars on the road would seem like a good thing for trucker safety, emptier highways have led to an increase in the number of people speeding. The average speed on the highways in the areas listed above, for example, has increased by as much as 75%. To address this trend, the CVSA chose to focus this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week on the issue of speeding.

The Benefits of a Career at Lily

“As passenger vehicle drivers are limiting their travel to necessary trips and many commercial motor vehicle drivers are busy transporting vital goods to stores, it’s more important than ever to monitor our roadways for safe transport,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police.

In addition to the focus on speeding, the CVSA also made a point to reference distracted driving, failure to use a seatbelt, following too closely behind other vehicles, improper lane change, and reckless or aggressive driving as behaviors they wanted to closely monitor in order to promote better driver and trucker safety.

Continuing to Make Trucker Safety a Top Priority

In addition to targeting reckless, distracted, and speeding drivers, law enforcement also said that the goal of Operation Safe Driver Week “was to educate drivers while watching for problems on the road.” And with truck drivers playing such an essential role in keeping our country going during COVID-19, the CVSA felt that it was especially important to ensure Operation Safe Driver Week continued as scheduled.

Lily Transportation is committed to doing its part in making sure that safe truck driving remains a top priority. We equip all of our drivers with meticulously maintained equipment, only put them behind the wheel of brand new or late model trucks, offer them ongoing driver safety training, and provide them onboard safety equipment that can go with them wherever they go.

We’re so proud of our truck drivers and honored to work with them and all the law enforcement officers who worked with the CVSA to make this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week happen. 

The Benefits of a Career at Lily

Why Is There Such a High Demand for Truck Drivers?

The trucking industry is bouncing back in a big way. After years of dealing with a shortage of drivers, the industry is now home to 3.5 million of them, and that number continues to grow. The demand for truck drivers has never been stronger, so if you’re looking for trucking jobs, you’re in luck!

More Opportunities Than Ever Before

Trucking has always been a major backbone of our country’s economy. Without trucker jobs, online shopping would grind to a halt and affect the lives of countless businesses and consumers. And since the number of people shopping online continues to grow, it’s safe to assume that the demand for truck drivers won’t be going away anytime soon.

There’s more good news, too! The industry is more diverse than it’s ever been before, as companies (like Lily Transportation!) are actively hiring women, veterans, and anyone interested in seeing what the truck driver lifestyle has to offer. 

As soon as you get your commercial driver’s license, a whole new world of opportunity will open to you. Whether you’re looking for trucking jobs that will let you see the whole country or just your local area, Lily Transportation has openings for you. We’ll work with you to find a role that finetunes your skills and helps you find your place behind the wheel of one of our beautiful trucks.

The Importance of Truck Drivers Is Never Going Away

One of the best things about trucking is that just about anyone can do it. The demand for truck drivers has remained strong for years, and even as the industry continues to evolve, that isn’t going to change. Just look at our country today as it deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. With so many people sheltering themselves at home, it’s our country’s truck drivers that have ensured everyone has access to the essential supplies they need.

Even when the pandemic is over, online shopping will remain a staple of our country’s economy (maybe more than ever), which means our way of life will continue to need dedicated and professional truck drivers. 

This is why Lily Transportation is always pursuing, recruiting, and hiring truck drivers. We’re blessed to have so many amazing truck drivers on our team and we’d love to help you become a part of the Lily Family. 

“Lily made me feel comfortable and gave me the opportunity to change careers. It’s a great company to work for and I just want to ask you (other drivers): “What are you waiting for?” Join us!

— Yessica Licona–Amador, Driver

The demand for truck drivers isn’t going anywhere, so if you want to find truck driving jobs that will compensate you well and make sure you and yours are well taken care of,  reach out to one of our recruiters today at 800-248-LILY.

The Benefits of a Career at Lily

The Female Trucker Lifestyle: What It Means to Part of Lily’s Ladies

Just a few years ago, women made up less than 6% of the drivers working in the trucking industry. As of 2019, however, that number has risen to 10%—and it’s still going up. The female trucker lifestyle is continuing to grow and improve, and Lily Transportation could not be more excited about it.

Here at Lily Transportation, we’re always looking for new ways to improve and showcase the female trucker lifestyle. If you’ve ever wondered what kind of jobs in the trucking industry are available to women, or what a day in the life of a female trucker looks like, you’ve come to the right place. 

Supporting You and Yours

On average, jobs in the trucking industry pay around $45,000 annually. But at Lily Transportation, the salaries we provide to all of our truckers range from upwards of $50,000 to $95,000. We’re committed to supporting our Lily Family in every way we can, which is why we offer competitive salaries and a variety of additional benefits, including things like:

  • Paid holiday and vacation times
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Medical and Dental Insurance
  • Matching 401k
  • Health and Wellness Programs
  • 24-hour dispatch
  • Quarterly and annual bonuses for safe driving

Whether you’re driving solo or with a partner, locally or cross-country, Lily Transportation will ensure that you have the constant support you need to be the best driver (and person) you can be.  

Part of the Lily Family

The female trucker lifestyle at Lily goes beyond competitive pay and benefits; it means joining a family that takes care of its own. No matter what your background is, Lily will work alongside you and make sure you’re set up to succeed in a role that will enrich your personal and professional lives.

“I encourage a lot of women to come and work for Lily Transportation. It’s worth your while. It’s an awesome, awesome place to work.”

— Renata Sczuroski

There are more jobs in the trucking industry for women than ever before. Companies like Lily Transportation actively pursue and recruit female truckers, and we’re taking great care to promote a culture that supports those drivers in the essential work they do. If you’re already one of our Lily Ladies, then check out our Facebook group! We’d love to see you there.

If you have any questions about the female trucker lifestyle or want to learn how to become one of Lily’s Ladies, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! We would love to talk to you.

Driving Diversity

4 Summer Trucking Tips to Keep in Mind This Coming Season

Each season brings new kinds of weather and driving conditions along with it. For winter, it’s snow. For spring, a higher chance of rain and wet roads. When it comes to summer trucking, the biggest thing you have to keep in mind is the heat. Not every summer day is going to be hot, of course, but the warmer weather and busier streets will affect your day-to-day routines.

To help keep you safe and cool out there, we’ve put together some summer trucking tips that can go a long way toward making sure you’re ready for anything. 

1. Check the Weather

Checking the weather is an important part of truck driving safety in every season, and that doesn’t change in the summer. Summer has just as much chance of extreme weather as any season, so always look ahead to see what kind of conditions you might be driving into. Checking up on the chances of heavy rain, flooding, fog, wind, or other weather is one of the best summer driving tips out there—you’ll know what to expect every time you hit the road.

Weather changes depending on the area you’re in, too, so keep tabs on it when driving across the country. Some states can have tornadoes or floods, for example. While these are not as typical, you’re going to want to know if there’s a warning in the state you’re about to drive into. So, check the weather and use it to set a schedule that’ll keep you safe and on schedule.

2. Take Care of Yourself

Alongside the winter months, the summer is one of the most important times to make sure you’re taking care of yourself when you’re behind the wheel. 

The summer sun can be harsh, so you’re going to want to have the right kind of supplies (and snacks!) to keep you focused and cool. This means having sunglasses on-hand to cut down on glare and harsh lights that can be distracting. You also need to be hydrating regularly, so keep a good-sized water bottle (or other healthy alternatives) next to you during the day.

Summer trucking also means wearing sunscreen, which might sound unnecessary, since you’re spending the day inside your truck but is still incredibly important. Even though you’re “inside,” there’s still a high chance that you’ll be exposed to the sun’s rays, which means you can still get sunburnt.

3. Expect More Traffic

Everyone loves the summer, which means there’s a higher chance that the roads will be busy when the sun is out, and the weather is nice. This can affect your daily schedule, but it can also increase the risk of encountering an accident. As always, it pays to think ahead and use a traffic-tracker (Waze is a popular option) to get an idea of the driving conditions you might encounter.

There also tends to be more construction on the road during the summer—it’s easier to work outside when the ground isn’t covered in snow, after all—which can also cause extra traffic or even diversions. 

4. Pay Attention to Your Truck

Each season affects your truck in different ways, which is exactly why you have to stay on top of maintenance at all times. The higher heat in summer, for example, means you’ll want to pay special attention to:

  • The cooling and air-conditioning unit system(s)
  • Coolant levels
  • Tires (heat can make the rubber in your truck’s tires breakdown faster)
  • Tire pressure
  • Brake system (higher heat can cause malfunctions)

Regular maintenance is always a part of the truck driver routine, which is why getting in the habit of checking your equipment before (and sometimes after) your route is so valuable. The more in-tune you are with your truck, the safer you’ll be on the road.

The Benefits of a Career at Lily

Semi-Truck Interior Cleaning: How to Properly Sanitize Your Cab

The truck industry is taking extreme care in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since truckers are a huge part of keeping our country going during this challenging period, making time to properly clean and sanitize the equipment truckers use has never been more important. 

With that in mind, here are some semi-truck interior cleaning tips that will help you keep yourself (and those you interact with) as safe and healthy as humanly possible.

Regularly Clean Your Truck’s Interior Surfaces

According to a report done by The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), COVID-19 can live on the following surfaces:

  • Cardboard (for 24 hours)
  • Copper (for 4-8 hours)
  • Plastic (for up to 3 days)
  • Stainless steel (for 2-3 days)

As you can imagine, this means that semi-truck interior cleaning should be done at the end of your day or shift. That way, whoever uses the truck next will have a clean and safe space to work in. However, you might want to consider cleaning some of the higher-contact areas (like gearshifts, selectors, door handles, steering wheels, etc.) more frequently. 

If you’re driving with a partner, then make sure you’re communicating with them, so you’re both exercising the proper social distancing and safety practices whenever you’re outside of the truck (like the two Lily drivers example in the featured image above!). When your day is done, work together to wipe down and clean the cab’s entire interior thoroughly.

Use the Right Cleaning Materials

When you’re cleaning the inside of your cab, not just any rag will do. If you want to truly sanitize a surface, then you’ll need to work with the disinfectants the United States Environmental Protection Agency recommends for use against the virus.

The list from the EPA is a long one, but ultimately, it comes down to this: you need to use disinfectants, not simple cleaning supplies. As Trucking Info explains, disinfectants can kill the virus but, “common cleaning products may just transfer the virus from the surface to the rag or wipe.” 

Cleaning trucks is important all the time, but since this virus is so unpredictable, it’s absolutely essential that you take the time to properly and thoroughly use truck cleaning supplies on all the surfaces you come into contact with. Wearing masks when outside the cab is important, too, but it’s not a substitute for proper truck interior cleaning practices.

Keep a Fully Stocked Truck Cleaning Kit

To keep your truck clean, you’re going to need to have the right supplies in your cleaning kit. Even if you know exactly how to sanitize the cab, running out of the right supplies will make it hard to put that knowledge to good use. So, always double-check your truck cleaning kit before hitting the road. Do you have your mask? Gloves if necessary? The right kind(s) of disinfectant? 

There’s nothing more important than the continued health and safety of our truck drivers, which is why Lily is committed to making sure everyone on our team is continuously informed about any new policies and processes which can help us all stay safe. 

The Benefits of a Career at Lily

Truck Driver Safety Tips: How to Drive in Heavy Rain

When it comes to spring and summer driving, it’s only a matter of time before you find yourself in some heavy rain. This is especially true for all of the men and women truckers who spend their days behind the wheel. Driving in heavy rain isn’t fun, but with these truck driver safety tips, you can keep yourself (and everyone you share the road with) safe and sound.

Plan Ahead

One of the most important things you can do before hitting the road is to check the forecast. Is it going to rain? If so, how much? How much of your route that day will be in the rain? Are there any supplies (umbrellas, rain jackets, etc.) that you’ll want to have with you in preparation for the day’s weather?

These are the kinds of questions you’re going to want to have answers to before you start your day. Weather is unpredictable, but the more prepared you are for what the season might have in store, the safer you’ll be.

Prepare for Slippery Roads

When it comes to truck driver safety tips, one of the best things you can learn about is skid control and prevention. Driving in heavy rain (or snow during the winter) probably means driving through slippery road conditions. To help you stay safe, make sure you’re familiar with the following tips:

  • Ease off the accelerator and avoid heavy, sudden braking
  • Give yourself lots of extra time to slow down
  • If you start to slide, turn your front wheels in the direction you’re starting to spin toward
  • After regaining control, immediately turn away from the slide and return to a straight line

Be Patient

Maintaining trucker safety sometimes means slowing down and being patient. If you don’t feel comfortable maintaining your usual speed during heavy rain, then slow down. Truck driving in bad weather means giving yourself a lot of extra time to decrease your speed, increasing the distance between you and other drivers on the road, and often going slower than the posted speed limit.

Even if you stick to all of the best truck driver safety tips, rushing through intense weather will increase the risks of an accident. So, don’t use your cruise control, keep your lights on, and be patient.

Here at Lily Transportation, we consider our drivers to be part of the family. We’re committed to ensuring that everyone on our team is fully equipped with the tools, insights, and skills necessary to manage whatever conditions the open road may throw their way. 

The Benefits of a Career at Lily

What Kind of Trucking Supplies Should You Have During COVID-19?

As most of the country continues to hunker down in their homes and practice social distancing to help stop the spread of COVID-19, truck drivers remain committed to keeping essential stores stocked with all of the products people need to keep themselves safe and healthy. But to do their job well, and to stay safe while doing it, drivers need to make sure they have the right kind of trucking supplies.

While there are plenty of supplies that truckers are accustomed to having with them on the road (gloves, dashboard mounts, tool kit,  dashcams, etc.), the COVID-19 virus has created a need for additional trucking supplies. Here are some of the resources drivers should make sure they have on-hand during these trying times.

The Most Important Trucking Supplies to Have Available

If you’ve been watching the news at all—and even if you haven’t—you’ve probably heard of the things you can be doing to protect yourself and others from getting exposed to the COVID-19 virus. The most important supplies you’ll want to have with you on the road are:

  • Cloth face covers/masks 
  • Gloves to wear when working outside the cab of your truck
  • Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol 
  • Disinfectant wipes or spray to clean the inside of your cab 

For example, in the image that headlines this blog, you’ll see one of our drivers using a lithium-ion sprayer that we provide to our team members to disinfect the cabs of their trucks. We’re always looking for new ways to provide for our drivers, and we have even more advanced cleaning supplies on the way to ensure nothing less than the safest, cleanest working environments.

However, always remember that you need to wear a face mask or covering and, ideally, a pair of gloves anytime you venture outside of your truck. You’ll also want to try and limit the number of surfaces you touch to minimize your risk of exposure.

CDC Recommended Truck Driver Safety Tips

“Professional truck drivers are on the front lines of the global COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr. James Voorhees, president and CEO of ITI, says. “It is vital that they know how to protect themselves and others.” To that end, here are some truck driver safety tips to help keep you healthy during your day-to-day routes.

  • Clean (or avoid) high-touch areas outside of your vehicle.
  • Stay informed of any regulatory changes that might affect your job (hours of service, CDL expirations, etc.).
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water (or hand sanitizer, if soap and water are unavailable) whenever you’re in public.
  • Sanitize the inside of your truck at the start and end of every day. Pay special attention to areas like door handles, the steering wheel, turn signals, shift levers, and other high-touch surfaces.

“The American trucker sits at a vital intersection in society,” Trucking.org says. “They are the critical link between the valued goods we produce and the demands of our most pressing needs.”

With the supplies and truck driving safety tips above, you can keep yourself safe, healthy, and productive during this trying time.

The Benefits of a Career at Lily

5 Reasons the Importance of Truck Drivers is Clearer Than Ever Before

The trucking and transportation industry has been a staple in the United States for generations. It’s a crucial part of our economy, equips us with the products we need, and keeps the gears of the country turning. And now, with the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically affecting the way we live our lives, the importance of truck drivers and the work they do for us is perhaps more vital than it’s ever been before.

Here are five of the (many) reasons the importance of truck drivers and the trucking industry at large deserves an extra round of applause during this difficult time:

1) A Backbone of Our Economy

In 2018, the U.S. freight and trucking industry generated approximately 800 billion dollars in revenue. Truck drivers are almost single-handedly responsible for keeping countless businesses and services, the ones we often take for granted, alive and well. And like Trucking.com says, over 70% of all freight tonnage in the U.S., which equates to over 10 billion tons of cargo, is transported by truck drivers.

The Benefits of a Career at Lily

Without truckers, we wouldn’t have access to many of the products and services we rely on, and, as a result, our economy would run the risk of collapsing in on itself.

2) Employing Millions of Americans

Not only is the trucking industry responsible for a significant chunk of our country’s economy—all of the online retailers we rely on wouldn’t be able to exist without truckers, after all—but it’s also an essential career path for millions of hardworking Americans from all walks of life. 

According to a 2019 report from the U.S. Census Bureau, the trucking industry now provides more than 3.5 million people with trucker jobs. And that doesn’t even take into account the millions of other trucking jobs the trucking industry generates!

3) Stocking the Shelves of Our Stores

The odds are very high that just about everything you see on the shelf at the grocery store spent some time on a truck and wouldn’t be within arm’s reach if it hadn’t been for America’s truck drivers. If you were to imagine our country without truckers, for example, then you’d be seeing a world where ATMs would be cashless, “gas stations would run out of fuel,” and “essentials like bottled water, powdered milk, and canned foods would be gone.” 

4) Keeping Businesses Afloat

“The American trucker sits at a vital intersection in society,” Trucking.com says. “They are the critical link between the valued goods we produce and the demands of our most pressing needs.” The importance of truck drivers is impossible to overstate, especially when it comes to keeping the businesses we rely on—both local and otherwise—active and afloat.

5) Providing the Country with the Goods it Needs

With so many brick-and-mortar stores currently closed on account of COVID-19, truck drivers are playing a crucial role in keeping our homes stocked with the supplies they need. Even when the rest of the world is hunkering down, “factories and meat-packing plants are still running at full operation,” and there are so many supplies (food, toilet paper, etc.) that need to get to stores and consumers. “That means drivers, as always, are needed on the road.”

The Benefits of a Career at Lily

Inspiring Examples of People Working to Support Truckers

COVID-19 is changing things that we once took for granted. Whether that’s playing in a park or going to a movie theater, the way we live our lives has changed for the time being. But one thing that hasn’t changed is how important our truck drivers are, and especially right now, how important it is to support truckers in as many ways as we can.

Here at Lily Transportation, we consider our drivers like family, and we’re so proud of their hard work and bravery during these trying times. And we’re not the only ones! Here are some inspiring examples of people reaching out to support truckers and the essential work they’re doing for our country!

Free Food for Truckers

With so many truck stops either closing down or limiting the services they offer to help combat the spread of COVID-19, truck drivers may find it tricky to get the kind of meals they need to keep going during the day. And with truck driver health being more important than it probably ever has, making sure they’re well-fed and energized is an absolute necessity. Thankfully, there have been so many examples—too many to count!—of people and businesses providing food and help for truckers who may need it.

“The Iowa Motor Truck Association,” for example, “provided 1,000 complimentary boxed lunches for truck drivers at two truck stops along Interstate 80.” Trucking Info also reports that “McDonald’s has begun curbside delivery for truckers,” and Fleet Owner says that the “Taco Bell Headquarters in Irvine, Calif., has transformed into its first-ever Truck-Thru,” where they’ll be providing free meals for “for heroes of the highway.”

Even the kids are getting involved, as there’s a 13-year-old boy in West Virginia who set up a table alongside the road to give free food to passing truckers. 

Expressing Gratitude

“Resourcefulness, sacrifice, resilience—are deeply rooted in the trucking industry. They’re embedded in the heart of the American trucker,” American Trucking Association (ATA) President Chris Spear said in late March. “As Americans across the country are witnessing, truckers have an enormous role in this national fight against COVID-19. It’s imperative they are empowered to keep rolling, so they can deliver those loads critically needed to get us all through.” 

Charities like Truckers Relief Fund are also making sure to support truckers. They’re urging everyone to donate to truckers and their families as a “thank you” for all the work they’re doing for us. 

It doesn’t stop there, either! There are countless social media posts (Transport Topics spotlights just a small percentage of them here) from people expressing their gratitude for the truckers who are keeping our country running right now. “Please let drivers know how appreciative the American people are for their tremendous effort and extra time they are putting in to get what is needed for us to get through this crazy time,” one person said. “Can’t say it enough — we love Truck Drivers! Thank you.” 

We couldn’t have said it better. Thank you, truckers! 

The Benefits of a Career at Lily

Topics: Truck Driver LifestyleTruck Driver Safety