How to Stay Safe on the Road During Springtime

Spring is officially here, and with nicer weather comes more traffic on the roads, new construction projects and busy schedules. With more distractions to deal with, we all need to keep safe driving and safe work front of mind. Even though you know what to do, reminders can be helpful.  We want to be sure you arrive to your destination safely!
 
Here’s what you can do:

Get enough rest.  Plan your day with your hours of service in mind so you’ll be alert when it’s time to drive.  Still, if you feel drowsy, pull over and take a rest and let someone on your team know how you’re feeling. Don’t risk driving while sleepy.

Prevent allergies. If you are prone to seasonal allergies, be sure to always have allergy relief in your cab. There’s nothing worse than constant sneezing during your trip while you’re just trying to focus on the road. Always ensure that whatever kind you get, that it is non-drowsy!

Beware of work zones. Lanes are often moved or redirected during construction; adjust your speed so you can follow the provided signage without endangering yourself, other drivers, or the workers.

Be aware of your blind spots. Small cars can be easily missed. Signal your intention to change lanes or turn well in advance, so that cars have enough opportunity to get out of your blind spot.

Maintain a safe distance from the cars in front of you.  You know that it will take you much longer to stop than an average car.  But does the driver of the car know it?  Defensive driving is a critical skill.

Regularly inspect your brakes. There isn’t always a convenient runaway truck ramp nearby to catch you if your brakes go bad.  Inspect your breaks frequently!

Follow suggested speed limits.  And when you’re in construction zones, remember that the speed limit may be further reduced and the fines for speeding increased.

Avoid aggressive drivers.  When you see a driver whose driving appears to be unsafe, sporadic or aggressive, avoid them or move out of the way whenever possible.  Also, call for the highway patrol to report this driver so they don’t cause injury to anyone on the road.

Thank you for your continued dedication and professionalism.  We appreciate having the best truck drivers in the nation on our team!


. . . and a Lily reminder:  keep Safety First!

Adjusting Your Travel for Spring

March is the time of new beginnings. For many of us in the northern areas, it’s the time we look forward to spring. Daylight savings time starts, which will make for longer daylight hours to enjoy. Just the ability to get out and about in milder weather makes for more enjoyable days.

As we begin this new change of season, it’s probably a good time to review some safety tips before we even begin our daily trips. Becoming a successful and safe truck driver doesn’t end when you obtain your CDL. We should all have an always-learning and “Safety First” mindset to further skills and confidence. Each season brings in a new challenge for truck drivers. Luckily for you, this time around is typically more mild when it comes to seasonal changes! But, we must always stay prepared and refreshed for the roads ahead.

The following Pre-Trip safety tips for truck drivers are great reminders no matter the season or how much experience you’ve had. Please take a moment to review:

5 safety tips before you hit the road

“How can I be a safe truck driver?” It all starts before you even get in the driver’s seat!

1. Take care of yourself.

The most important asset in the truck is you, so do all you can to become a healthy truck driver by eating, exercising and sleeping well. With allergy season coming up, it is a good idea to keep non-drowsy allergy medications in your cab at all times. You never know when you, or your driving partner may need it! It is also a good idea to apply sunscreen. With more hours of daylight, you will be exposed to more sun than before. Your future self will thank you!

2. Plan your route with care.

Make sure you stay up to date on weather, road conditions, traffic patterns, construction, low bridges and regulations that vary by state. These are just a few of the many important to check before you hit the road.

3. Adjust for bad weather.

According to the Department of Transportation, inclement weather is responsible for roughly 21 percent of all vehicle crashes. Check the numerous weather reports available to stay safe. March can be a more rainy time depending on your location. Be sure to perform a thorough pre-trip inspection before you hit the roads, and if you feel the roads are getting too slippery, pull over until the conditions are safer!

4. Get comfortable.

Adjust the steering wheel, seat height and back rest to stay comfortable during long driving periods and get your in-truck device’s navigation ready before you turn the key. Then plan to take breaks every few hours, and get out of your truck to walk around.

5. Hang up.

Put down the phone. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration restricts mobile use while operating a commercial motor vehicle.

. . . Enjoy the sights and sounds of spring and remember to keep safety first while you’re at it!

Trucking In The Winter- Tips For Truckers

The winter season is just around the corner, meaning new climate challenges will be faced in many parts of the country. The job of a truck driver becomes increasingly more challenging when handling something as large as a loaded tractor trailer. Even if you are a highly experienced driver, you can never be too prepared. If you travel through sunny states like Florida, lucky for you! But, for those of you who will have to truck through the snow this year, these tips are for you.

  1. Bundle up

You can never be too prepared for the cold. Make sure you are bringing extra gloves, hats, scarves, with you on the road. You never know when you may need them!

  1. Give yourself extra space

Truckers should always have ample space to maneuver, and leave plenty of time to break smoothly. In winter, make sure you emphasize this even more! Black ice is very dangerous and can be nearly impossible to spot.

Here are 5 driving tips for dealing with black ice:

  • Resist the urge to hit the brakes.
  • Keep the steering wheel straight.
  • Slow down by decelerating or shift to lower gear.
  • Head for areas of traction.
  • Stay calm.
  1. Pay attention to the tire spray

This is one of the most important (and commonly forgotten) winter driving tips. A good way to assess the road condition is to observe the water coming off the tires of vehicles around you. If there’s a lot of water being sprayed, the road is definitely wet. If the tire spray is relatively less, it means that the roadway has started to freeze and you need to exercise additional caution.

  1. When in doubt, pull over

If the weather conditions are too severe to drive, think about your safety first. Delivering a late shipment is such a better option than putting your life in danger. Find a safe way to get off the roadway and wait until the weather is clear and it’s safe for you to drive. It is also a great idea to check weather ahead of your route, plan for the cold/snow, and take all the right precautions pre and post trip. A nervous truck driver is just as dangerous as a careless driver!

Bottom line, , safety on the road should always be your #1 priority. It is crucial to take these extra steps especially when you will be driving in these unideal weather conditions. Winter driving can be nerve-wracking, but staying up to date on safe driving techniques will help you feel more prepared. A smart trucker is always prepared for bad weather conditions and uses their best judgment and common sense – remember, you are in charge of the truck. Stay safe!

Fall Safety: Tips For Truckers

 The fall season is here! The leaves will start to fall, kids are starting school, temperatures begin to drop, and so on. Just like the season is changing, so will your trucking lifestyle. Here are some tips to keep in mind while you adjust to these seasonal changes. 

Leaves falling + rain= slippery roads! Falling leaves along with increased rain and fog are often challenging this time of year. Unfortunately, snow and ice start becoming issues in some areas as well. Piles of wet leaves can make your tires slide and potentially cause an accident. If you see leaves in the road, be on the safe side and slow down. Another thing to be mindful of is more frequent stops due to school buses. More children will be on the streets meaning you should take extra precautions especially around school zones and bus stops. Also, lookout for more children in residential areas as they may be playing in leaf piles! Summer is not the only time kids are out and about. 

Another tip to be mindful of is wildlife. During autumn, deer are more active as it is their mating season. And they are a problem to drivers during the dusk or dawn. Look extra carefully for deer crossing signs and keep that in mind when adjusting speed. Hitting a deer is the last thing any trucker wants! 

Shorter days along with the daylight saving time change put more motorists on the road at dark. Please adjust your driving habits to accommodate these conditions! Speaking of shorter days, also be prepared for a brighter morning. With the time change, there is more sunlight during the early morning hours. We need to be aware of the change, but just as importantly, we need to understand the challenges of lesser trained drivers who share the road. As the autumn and winter proceed, the sun travels more to the south. Roads that were not an issue in the past become a real problem when the sun is rising in the middle of the road. Less experienced drivers may not think about how this changes visibility on roads they travel frequently. Be prepared! Bring sunglasses on the road, and even sunscreen. Even in the fall, the sun can give you a burn especially when it is at its peak brightness like this. Some people will assume that since it is fall they won’t get burned, which is completely false! Especially for drivers who are spending consecutive hours on the road facing that bright sun. Sunscreen on your arms, hands, and face are still very important for drivers.

Overall, seasonal changes are a big deal for truckers. If you are an experienced truck driver, you probably know what to expect by now, but you can never be too careful. As for new drivers, take notes! There is more to fall than just some leaves changing and temperature drops,  think about these tips and how you can incorporate them into your daily trucking routine!

5 Tips for Surviving the Summer: Summer Trucking Safety

5 Tips for Surviving the Summer: Summer Trucking Safety

Truck drivers are often warned about the dangers of trucking during the cold, winter months. But something that is often looked over is how the summer heat can also be a danger for truckers. Being on the roads during a long period of time while the sun beats down on you can definitely take a serious toll on your body. It is very important to take all the precautions possible to stay safe and healthy. You must think of the long-term, as well as short-term effects that the heat can have on your body. Luckily for you, we have compiled five things you may not have thought of to stay safe while trucking in the summertime!

  1. Sunscreen is an absolute MUST!

   If you are not applying and reapplying sunscreen during your trips, it is never too late to start! Sun damage for truckers is very real. Even in the winter months, applying sunscreen to your face, hands, arms, and any body part that is exposed is essential.  Reapplying sunscreen every few hours is key. If you can’t find the time to reapply, you could always wear a visor, or invest in a sun sleeve!

  1. Keep Plenty of Water in Your Cab

       Staying hydrated is very important year round. But you should make sure you carry multiple large water bottles in your cab especially in the summer. The sun can make you very fatigued. It is important to combat that by drinking plenty of water to keep from heat exhaustion. As well as preventing many other unwanted effects such as heat stroke, fainting, or dizziness. All of which can cause danger to yourself as well as the others on the road!

  1. Make Fun Frozen Snacks!

       Nothing cools you off like a nutritious frozen snack! These can be easily made since there is no baking involved, and you can incorporate your favorite foods! Frozen yogurt bites for example, is a simple yet delicious recipe that can be made in 10 minutes! You will need:

  • 1 cup fruit of choice, cut into small pieces as needed
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup of your favorite granola

       INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Arrange 24 mini cupcake liners in a mini muffin tin, on a plate, or on a baking sheet and set aside.
  • Make the fruit & yogurt filling: Add the fruit to a medium bowl and drizzle the honey over top. Mash the fruit with the honey, until the fruit is smashed, with small pieces remaining. Stir in the salt and Greek yogurt and mix until combined.
  • Place a teaspoon or two of the granola in the bottom of each cupcake liner. Top with a spoonful of the frozen yogurt mixture. Pop a piece of fruit or a sprinkle of granola on top of the yogurt for a fun garnish.
  •  Freeze at least 2 hours before serving. Enjoy!
  1. Be Aware of Heavier Traffic

       When summertime rolls around each year, families around the country love to take advantage of the season and be outside and travel as much as possible. Due to this, the traffic will unfortunately increase, creating a higher chance of an accident. This is why it is always important to stay hydrated as well. Hydration helps you stay awake, and causes your body and mind to be more alert on the road.

  1. Make Sure Your Cab Stays Cool

       Keeping a cool cab will always improve your work environment. This can be achieved by using a sun shield as well as a steering wheel cover. When you leave your cab, make sure to leave the windows down to keep air circulating. Another great idea would be to invest in ventilated seats, as the truck seats do retain a lot of heat!

Fall Driving Tips: 4 Ways to Keep Stay Safe In The Fall Foliage

It’s no secret that the autumn months provide some of the most incredible scenic driving in the world. Whether that be in colonial New England or the Pacific Northwest, fall driving rewards operators with cooler weather and stunning foliage, an incredible combination for those who work on the road. With a new season upon us, we must also remember how that affects truck driving in terms of safety and common practice. From wildlife to foliage, each fall offers aspects unique to other seasons. Let’s take a look at four unique tips that will keep drivers safe in these cool-autumn months.

Watch Out For Leaves and Tree Debris

While the beautiful colored leaves offer gorgeous scenery, stationary leaves on road can create hazards dangerous to all drivers. Traffic hazards are serious issues and a patch of damp leaves can trigger accidents if drivers and operators are not paying close attention. What is the best way to handle areas of road covered in leaves? Slow down and approach carefully– avoid sudden braking and swerving.

Pay Attention For Wildlife

Deer and other large game animals are traditionally most active during the fall months. While some trucks may be equipped with protective guards, all drivers should be wary and cautious when driving through heavily wooded or deer populated areas. Most commonly active during the morning and evening, it is not uncommon to see deer alongside highways and roads alike. Keep an eye out for crossing signs and avoid sudden braking and swerving.

Weather Variation

The transition from fall to summer provides a welcomed cooling across the country. While most appreciate the cooler mornings and nights, it is crucial to remember significant daily weather variations can create hazards on the road. With many areas of the country experiencing the first freezing temperatures of the season, drivers need to be cautious of their surroundings and vehicle. Wind and rainstorms can trigger significant debris droppings from the changing foliage. If possible, look ahead at local weather and prepare accordingly.

Stay Aware of Sun Glare

With the sun setting earlier in the day across the country, it is crucial that drivers recognize and prepare for the risk of sun glare. Shorter days and daylight savings create sun glare, making it far more challenging to see pedestrians, road debris, other drivers, and more. In order to protect yourself and other drivers, keep your windshield clean and carry a pair of sunglasses at the ready.

Keeping these four tips in mind, make sure to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage while on the road. There simply is not another career which provides such a privilege and opportunity!

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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.

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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.

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“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. 

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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.

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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. 

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