Safety Tips for OTR Team Drivers

As with any trucking assignment, safety is the number one priority in an OTR team driving career. All the same safety tips apply to OTR drivers as they do to solo drivers, like giving the truck ample time to slow down and signaling early when turning or changing lanes.

But long-haul trucking presents some new challenges. Driving for long hours can cause fatigue. Changes in driving conditions require OTR drivers to stay alert. It’s important to avoid distractions and get enough sleep so you can stay focused.

Nonetheless, team drivers have a few advantages that other CDL truck drivers don’t. Mainly, they have a co-driver to watch their back and help them whenever they need it. If they get in a bind, they know they can rely on their co-driver to back them up.

Here are some of the most important safety tips for OTR team drivers:

Avoid Distractions

There are many different types of distractions out on the road, but they typically fall into three categories: visual, manual, and cognitive.

Visual distractions include anything that might take your eyes off the road. Historically, this category might include billboards, other drivers, being distracted by objects on the side of the road, or being distracted by the radio.

These days, the most common visual distraction is one’s cell phone. If a phone rings or buzzes, we almost instinctively look at it to read the notification or reply to a text. When driving, the safest thing to do is turn your phone off, put it in “Do Not Disturb Mode” or “Driving Mode,” or use a hands-free device if you rely on your phone for communicating on the road.

Manual distractions include anything that might cause you to take one or both of your hands off the steering wheel. Food and drink are common manual distractions, as are adjusting your seat or searching through your pockets. But your phone can fit into this category, too. If you need to eat or make a phone call, always wait until you park.

Cognitive distractions include daydreaming, being distracted by conversation, or being drowsy at the wheel. It’s always okay to inform your co-driver or anyone else you may be speaking to that you need to focus on driving.

It can be difficult to avoid daydreaming on the road, but you can beat it through practice. Avoid staring straight ahead and focus instead on your surroundings. Make a mental note to avoid daydreaming before you start driving and check yourself whenever you start to.  

Get Plenty of Rest

The best way to avoid fatigue while driving is to get plenty of sleep before you get behind the wheel. Getting restful sleep while a truck is moving can be challenging, but there are steps team drivers can take to make easier for both drivers to sleep.

Drivers can establish rules about noise, like how loud the radio can be and if it should be on at all. It’s also important to be conscientious of the sleeper, as sudden accelerations and jolts and disturb them. Generally, if you drive safely, your co-driver can sleep soundly.

Making the cab as comfortable as possible can also be conducive to getting enough sleep. Using a high-quality mattress can help make the bed more comfortable. Earplugs, blackout curtains, and a sleeping mask can help drivers sleep during the day, when they need to.

Also, team drivers should follow the hours-of-service regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to ensure they have enough time for rest.

Stay Aware of Road Conditions

Often, road conditions will change repeatedly when driving OTR. Drivers must be constantly aware of their surroundings so they can adjust their speed when needed. Changing weather conditions, traffic patterns, work zones, curves in the road, accidents, and daylight conditions may require drivers to slow down.

By staying aware and informed, OTR team drivers will be prepared for any and all road conditions so they can keep the truck moving.

Wear Your Seat Belt

Wearing your seat belt may seem like a no-brainer, but when you’re spending long hours in the cabin of a truck, it can be tempting to make yourself as comfortable as possible. But wearing a seat belt is the single best way to stay safe on the road. According to the CDC, seat belts reduce the risk of serious injury to drivers by 50% and reduce the risk of death by 45%.

Communicate with Your Co-Driver

Communication is key to making a good OTR team and is important for building trust with your co-driver. When an OTR team has trust, they can rely on each other to overcome tough situations and avoid risks on the road.

Start Your Next OTR Team Driving Career

Are you looking for your next OTR career opportunity or are you tired of driving solo and want to try team driving? Lily Transportation Corp. has a number of opportunities available for OTR team drivers. Visit our careers page to speak to a recruiter or apply online today!

Why Now is a Great Time for Women to Enter the Trucking Industry

It’s no secret that the trucking industry has a wealth of new opportunities for drivers. Recently, the industry experienced its fastest pace of growth since 2015, according to Supply Chain Dive Magazine, a news publication of the supply chain industry.

Transport Topics, a transportation industry publication, also noted that the trucking industry also added 18,500 new jobs in the first quarter of 2018. To keep up with demand, the trucking industry needs to hire tens of thousands of new drivers over the next several years.

Trucking is often viewed as a male-dominated profession. The stereotype of the male trucker is prevalent in TV, movies, and other media. But women have long made vital contributions to the transportation and logistics industries. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation:

“From wagons and horse carts to bicycles, automobiles, trucks, trains, ships, airplanes and space vehicles, women have served as inventors, pilots, engineers, drivers, administrative professionals, conductors, executives and in a host of other vital occupations.”

If more women are encouraged to enter the trucking industry, it would be less of a seismic shift and more of a return to form.

Despite the stereotype, there are already many women truck drivers on the roads and plenty of women truck driving jobs available. At present, women comprise between 4.1% and 6% of the entire truck driver population. They are still a minority, but those numbers are expected to go up as companies expand campaigns and provide more truck driving jobs.  

There are plenty of reasons trucking is an attractive career for women. In other industries, women often face salary disparities compared to their male counterparts. In the trucking industry, drivers are typically paid by the mile.

Transportation companies, governments, and businesses that support drivers along the road are also becoming more aware of the needs of female drivers. That means there are more female-friendly facilities and more customizable equipment for women.

Trucking Companies Are Actively Hiring More Women

One non-profit organization is leading the charge to encourage companies to hire women and to encourage more women to pursue a career in trucking.

Women in Trucking (WIT) was founded in 2007 and has spent over a decade promoting career opportunities, working to improve working conditions, and serving as a resource for women in the trucking industry. Lily Transportation Corp. has long been a supporter of Women in Trucking as well as a sponsor and participant in WIT events.

Companies continue to recognize the unique contributions women make to their teams and are actively seek more women drivers. According to Ellen Voie, president of Women in Trucking:

“Women can bring a different perspective to the business, be it the driver’s seat, the boardroom, or the executive office.”

Safety is a top priority for most trucking companies, and it’s another reason they are seeking women truck drivers. According to studies by the United States Institute for Highway Safety and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, women are statistically safe drivers. Those accidents that do occur are typically less serious than those of their male counterparts.

Start Your Career as a Driver with Lily Transportation Corp.

If you’re a woman considering a new career in the trucking industry, look no further than Lily Transportation Corp., the company named after mom! We’re searching for women truck drivers to join our family. We provide our drivers with competitive pay, health benefits, paid holiday and vacation time, custom branded clothing, and other great benefits!

For more information on careers at Lily, visit our jobs page or talk to a recruiter at 800-248-5459.

Why Military Veterans Make Excellent Truck Drivers

If you’re a military veteran, you’re in a unique position to excel in the trucking industry.

Even if you don’t have experience driving trucks or heavy vehicles, there are several training programs available that can help. While many of these programs use GI benefits, Lily Transportation Corp. offers a training program that won’t deplete your GI Bill benefits at all!

If you have at least two years of experience driving military trucks, you may even qualify for a military waiver for your CDL skills test, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (though you’ll still have to take the written exam). The FMCSA also notes that this waiver is currently available nationally.

You’re positioned to benefit from the current job market as well. Transportation and logistics companies are actively seeking veteran truck drivers. The skills you learn in the military aren’t just transferable to this career type – they’re the types of skills companies actively seek in their drivers.

Communication Skills

The ability to communicate clearly and effectively is essential in the military and just as important in the trucking industry. Trucking and logistics require a great deal of coordination and accurate timing to be successful. When drivers are on the road, their ability to communicate effectively with dispatchers and other drivers is key to overcoming challenges and staying safe.

Teamwork and Leadership

Whether you’re a solo driver or an OTR team driver, it takes a team of highly trained professionals to accomplish the mission. On every job, an entire support team is working to make sure a load gets from point A to point B safely. Strong teamwork skills are essential for any team OTR assignment, as you and your partner will need to manage your time effectively and work together to accomplish your goals.

Likewise, leadership is an important skill in logistics, and not just for managers. Drivers need to be assertive, observant, and task-oriented to be successful. In many situations, drivers need to take the lead to resolve problems and stay on course.  


Self-discipline is a skill that is taught to, and expected of, every military professional. In the trucking industry, self-discipline is necessary for making deliveries on time, but also for driving a truck over long distances. It can be tempting to get distracted on the road, but self-discipline will keep you safe and laser-focused on the task at hand.

As a veteran, you also understand the importance of following through on a task and leading by example. Trucking companies seek these traits in all their drivers as they can lead to more efficient operations and a more productive working environment.

Problem Solving Skills

When driving for long periods of time on public roads, problems will inevitably arise. The ability to think quickly to solve problems is essential for completing your mission and staying safe. It’s also an important skill set for identifying problems that others may have missed. Veteran truck drivers can bring their problem-solving skills to the table not just to resolve issues, but also to make operations more efficient and effective.

Commitment to the Mission

Perhaps the most important skill among veteran truck drivers is their commitment to the mission. Most trucking companies have a mission statement or ideological higher purpose. But to achieve that higher purpose, they need professionals who are focused on carrying out their daily activities with focus, determination and attention to detail.

Military veterans make excellent truck drivers because they possess the skills, talents, and attributes that every trucking company looks for. Not only does your military experience make you an excellent candidate for a position in trucking, but it’s also exactly what you need to thrive on the road and in this competitive industry.

Trying to find veteran truck driving jobs? Start your new career  with Lily! Visit our jobs page or talk to a recruiter at 800-248-5459.

What Makes a Good OTR Team?

OTR team driving can be a lucrative and rewarding career path. When you drive as part of an OTR team, you can keep the truck rolling longer – not only can you earn more, you get to share the entire experience with a driving partner. That’s why team driving is so attractive to couples (father/son, mother/daughter, best friends, cousins, partners, married couples, siblings, and more).

Like any career, team driving requires professionalism and a can-do attitude. A successful OTR team is built on a common set of principles. When both drivers can reach an understanding, they become a formidable, reliable team that can earn a good living and have a great time in the process.

So, what makes a good OTR team?


If you’re a part of an over the road team, one of you will often be driving while the other is sleeping. It’s important that you’re able to trust your partner to handle the truck and look after your safety while you’re not at the wheel. Likewise, your partner needs to be able to trust you to do the same.

Establishing trust is the foundation of a good OTR team. If you aren’t already acquainted with your co-driver, you should take the time to get to know them. Discuss each other’s driving styles and lifestyle habits. Establish that safety is your number one priority. You’ll need to depend on one another out on the road.


If you become an OTR team driver, you’ll be spending a long time in close quarters with another person. So, it’s important that you’re both considerate of the other’s needs and personal space.

Learn about your partner’s habits, likes, and dislikes. Establish rules for the radio and be considerate of each other’s music choices.

A Positive Attitude

To form a good team, it pays to have a positive attitude. You’ll be interacting with your partner often and for long periods of time, so interpersonal skills are key. If your partner is having a bad day, keeping a positive attitude can keep you both on track. Your positivity may even rub off on them.

The best teams can enjoy long conversations and long periods of silence. A good attitude will not only make driving together more pleasant, it will help you overcome tough situations together and stay safe on the road. When each driver is prepared to help the other, they can solve problems faster and reduce each other’s stress levels.

A Reliable System

Since OTR driving teams share responsibilities on the road, it helps to establish ground rules for how you’re going to operate. This includes rules for stops, driving rules, and rules for your responsibilities regarding your cargo.

For example, you may decide that one of you is in charge when loading cargo and the other is in charge when unloading. Or, you may decide that you are both equally responsible. You’ll also need to decide your sleep schedule. It could be that one of you is more comfortable driving at night while the other prefers to drive during the day.

Whatever you decide, make sure you stick to your system. Staying consistent will ensure that both of you know what to expect on the road.

Start a New Team Driving Career

It takes a commitment from both drivers to run a successful team operation. But good OTR driving teams are some of the happiest and highest-earning professionals in the trucking industry. It’s an attractive option for both new and experienced drivers.

If you’re preparing to start a new career as an OTR team driver or looking for a change from your current OTR position, consider a career with Lily Transportation Corp. We’re always on the lookout for safe, experienced team drivers. We provide excellent benefits, competitive pay, custom clothing, and top-of-the-line equipment.

For more information, visit the Jobs Page on our website.

What is the Military CDL Skills Test Waiver?

Obtaining a CDL and becoming a commercial truck driver is an excellent opportunity for veterans to transition into civilian life and start a lucrative career. While every truck driver needs to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate a truck, there are several unique programs for veterans that can help them obtain training and become gainfully employed.

There are also plenty of programs available to help veterans obtain a CDL. One such program is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Military Skills Test Waiver Program, which was finalized in May of 2011 as a provision of the Commercial Learner’s Permit rule and is now available in every state.

If you are a military service member who has experience driving heavy trucks/equipment, you may benefit from this program and embark on a new career in commercial trucking.

How the Military CDL Skills Test Waiver Works

To obtain a CDL, drivers need to pass a written exam and take a skills test. The military waiver allows you to skip the skills test. However, you’ll still need to take the written exam and meet certain requirements.

You can obtain a waiver for the skills test if you have two years of experience operating military trucks or buses that are “equivalent to civilian commercial vehicles,” according to the FMCSA. To qualify, you must be 21 years old or older and apply within one year of leaving a military position in which you operated a commercial vehicle.

You must also certify that you:

  • Have a history of safe driving experience
  • Have not held more than one license in the past two years (except a U.S. military driver’s license)
  • Have not had your state-issued driver’s license suspended, revoked, or canceled
  • Have not had any convictions in any type of motor vehicle for any disqualifying CDL offenses

The FMCSA has posted an application form for the waiver on its website. However, the administration notes that each state manages its own skills test waiver. To get more information about your state’s requirements, you should visit the State’s commercial driver’s license website.

The type of CDL you will be eligible for (Class A, B, or C) depending on the type of truck driven during your military career.

Start Your Career in Commercial Trucking

Transportation and logistics companies are actively seeking military veteran truck drivers, not just because of their experience, but also because of the unique attributes they bring to the industry. Veterans with two years of experience driving heavy trucks in the military can also expect substantial pay and recognition for their service, according to Fastport, a veteran employment software firm.

In addition to the military CDL skills test waiver, many trucking schools and businesses offer veteran programs for military CDL truck driving. Most programs, however, require you to deplete your military benefits.

But Lily Transportation Corp. has a one-of-a-kind program that is fully paid-for and doesn’t require you to drain you GI Bill benefits. Once you acquire your CDL, you can join Lily’s training program and:

  • Get paid a salary of $800 per week, including company benefits
  • Receive an annual compensation in the $70,000 range upon graduation

In exchange for the many benefits of the program, Lily only asks for a minimum one-year commitment in an over the road assignment. Currently, 15% of Lily’s drivers are veterans. We’re committed to grow that number by 10% each year.

Looking for military CDL truck driver jobs? Visit our jobs page or talk to a recruiter at 800-248-5459.

The Advantages of OTR Team Driving

If you’re considering a career in the trucking industry, or if you’re looking for a change from driving solo, you might want to consider becoming an OTR team driver! Team driving isn’t for everyone, but if you find the right partner, it can be a lucrative and rewarding experience for both of you. You can even form a team with your spouse if you’re both licensed commercial drivers.

If you’re adventurous and you love to see new places, OTR driving is a great opportunity. Here are some of the other advantages of OTR team driving:

You’ll Be More Efficient

When two people can drive, you can spend more time on the road and log more miles, which means increased earnings. While one driver takes the wheel, the other can rest or sleep. Because OTR drivers must cover such long distances, team driving is an ideal way to increase productivity.

You’ll Always Have Company

Some commercial truck drivers enjoy their alone time on the road. But going without conversation for extended periods of time can impact your mental health and even increase fatigue. When your part of an OTR team, you always have someone to talk to.

Conversation isn’t just a great way to pass the time. It can also help OTR drivers stay positive if they are missing their families and their home. Nonetheless, you’ll be spending a lot of time with your OTR partner, so it’s important to work with someone you trust and get along with.

You’ll Always Have Help

Whether you need a navigator or just someone to bounce ideas off of, your OTR partner is always available to help. Breakdowns and traffic jams happen. Having someone right by your side to help you through them can make them less stressful. You can combine your knowledge to solve problems – two brains are better than one.

You Can Earn More

Every commercial driver is subject to Hours of Service Regulations and must take breaks after driving for a specific number of hours. Simply put, solo drivers must stop driving to rest periodically while teams can switch drivers and keep going. Because OTR team drivers can log more miles in less amount of time, they can often earn more.

Consider OTR Team Driving with Lily

Lily Transportation Corp. is a family owned and professionally managed business. We believe our people are our greatest asset. We’re proud to provide all of our drivers with competitive pay, excellent benefits, and meticulously-maintained equipment.

For more information about career opportunities at Lily, visit the Jobs Page on our website.

What to Look for in a Trucking Job

Whether you’re looking for a change from your current driving position or you’re starting a career as a truck driver, it’s important to do your research. Not every company is equal, so it’s important to compare what each company has to offer. In addition to competitive pay, you’ll want to be sure your company is committed to its driver’s well-being and safety, and that they provide plenty of home time.

Here are some other qualities to look for look for in a trucking job:

A Stable, Experienced Company

Companies with decades of experience have grown and adapted to become the best in the business. They’ve established a solid reputation and will have more stable, consistent freight lanes so you can meet your mileage goals more effectively.

Competitive Pay

Look for companies that offer competitive pay and are forthright with how their drivers are compensated. This may include weekly pay, pay per mile, as well as stop pay and loading/unloading pay.


You can tell a lot about a trucking and logistics company by the way they treat their equipment. The best companies to work for use late model vehicles and the latest safety features, such as forward warning systems and lane departure warning systems. If you’re environmentally-conscious, you should also consider a company that’s committed to making its fleet eco-friendly through aerodynamic vehicles and alternative fuels.

A Record of Safety

A driver’s safety is paramount, so you should work for a company that places your safety above all else. You can check the safety ratings of trucking and logistics companies easily through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website. Companies with a good safety record will have a DOT rating of “Satisfactory.”

Additionally, look for companies that promote their own comprehensive safety program and commit to safe hiring practices. Well-maintained vehicles and state-of-the-art onboard safety features are often a sign of a strong safety commitment, as these will ensure every driver at the company operates in the safest manner possible.

Key Benefits

Your chosen company should provide excellent benefits, like health and dental insurance, paid vacation and holiday time, and a matching 401(k) retirement plan. Look for companies that also provide generous incentives for safety and other key benefits like cell phone allowances and company-supplied uniforms.  

A Veterans Program

If you’re a veteran or you’re just looking for a company with integrity, identify those companies that have a program for veterans. This may include paid training program. Not only do these companies value the skills and characteristics of US military veterans, they also value their military service.

Find the Right Trucking Job

Whether you’re just starting out or you’re searching for another opportunity, it can be difficult finding the right job. Look for a company and job opportunity that meets your specific needs, such as pay, benefits, and home time. If you’re a new driver, some companies may require a minimum amount of experience. But with a positive outlook and some hands-on research, you’re bound to find a job that suits you.

Trucking Jobs at Lily

Lily Transportation Corp. is a family-owned and professionally managed business. We take great pride in our dedication to our employees and are able to provide competitive pay, exciting benefits, and excellent equipment. For more information about career opportunities at Lily, visit the Jobs Page on our website.