Department of Transportation Increases Fines for Trucking Violations

The Department of Transportation has increased the cost of violating a trucking regulation.

Each year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration must raise the fine amount to adjust for inflation. This is a law that was put in place by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015.

The prices for violating trucking regulations are up 1.02 percent since 2017.

Some of the violations include failure to respond to a subpoena, falsifying records, transporting hazardous materials improperly, evading carrier regulations and many more.

Next year’s price increase will be announced around the same time as last year.



Cooking on the Road

Saving Money by Cooking

Driving on the road for long periods of time can be hard and not having any money can make it even hard. If you want to eat, spending money on food isn’t always financially beneficial for you. Cooking on the road can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Cooking meals in your truck is a great option for saving money. There are many tools out there that doesn’t require you to do much. Including portable stoves, microwaves, crock pots, electric skillets and more. Your bank account will thank you in the long run if you cook on the road over stopping a million times to eat.

There are many ways to save money while driving on the road and cooking in your truck is number one.

Trucking Industry Numbers

About one of every 15 workers in the U.S. is employed by the trucking industry, according to the American Trucking Association. There are about 3.5 million professional truck drivers in the country and the total number of people employed by the industry, including positions that do not entail driving, exceeds 8.7 million. These figures indicate that trucking is a stable industry to get into and will most likely produce many more jobs in the coming years.

The annual shortage of truck drivers is around 20,000. This figure is expected to grow into a shortage of about 111,000 truck drivers.

Healthy Road Trip Snacks

Being a truck driver doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice healthy living. Eating right and exercising are just as important–if not MORE important–in this profession as any other. So, rather than opting for fast food or truck stop meal options, consider taking along homemade snacks to ensure you are getting the nutrients you need to live healthy and drive safely.

Here are the top road trip snacks for the long haul:

  • Apples
    • Apples are great for road trips because they keep well on their own. They don’t bruise or perish easily. And, they’re great to dip in peanut butter or any other nut butter for protein. Also, apples are loaded with the energy you need to keep going all day without the sugar crash!
  • Broccoli florets, Snap Peas, Carrots
    • Reach for these to get your veggie fix. Like apples, these vegetables hold up well on their own and don’t require refrigeration. Carrots are great for dipping in hummus, guacamole, or ranch. But, make sure to get some variety. (Remember: the darker green the vegetable, the better!) Broccoli and snap peas are mild dark green vegetables that make for some great snacking options.
  • Nuts
    • Nuts are excellent road trip snacks because they are low maintenance. They’re super snackable and come in many different varieties, so you don’t have to worry about getting bored with one flavor. They’re also packed with important healthy fats and protein.
  • Jerky
    • Snacking on the road doesn’t mean giving up meat. If you’re a true meat eater, bring along some jerky to satisfy your cravings. But, remember to reach for the natural stuff. There are types that do not have a bunch of additives (and are better tasting, too!).
  • Dark Chocolate
    • Yes, you can have something sweet, too! When chocolate cravings come to play, always go for dark. Like… DARK dark. Anything 80% or higher is great in moderation. Not only does dark chocolate have heart health benefits, but it also contains important antioxidants.

How to Stay Awake on Long Drives

As a truck driver, it can be difficult to keep yourself entertained during long drives. If you find yourself struggling to stay awake, try out these tips to ensure that you are safe and alert on the road.

  • Turn up the radio
    • by listening to music or books on tape, you are stimulating your brain in ways that wouldn’t be possible if you were to just sit in silence. Books on tape allows you to interact with what you’re hearing and engage in some sort of consideration. Listening to loud music you don’t typically listen to keeps your brain stimulated. Want to get more involved? Sing along!
  • Have a snack
    • By eating foods that are tart or take a long time to chew, you are forcing yourself to stay awake longer. Carrots are good for this because they take a while to chew and they can be eaten with one hand. Have an apple or an orange for something tangy to wake up your taste buds.
  • Move it
    • If you feel yourself getting tired, wake up your body by pulling over for some exercise. Just a quick round of jumping jacks can help raise your heart rate and keep you awake longer.
  • Open the window
    • By keeping the temperature in your truck’s cabin cool, you avoid the risk of getting too comfortable. Open the window for a quick refresher, or just turn the AC on for a while.

Drug and Alcohol Clearhousing for Commercial Truckers Released

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has finally released a rule establishing a national drug and alcohol clearhouse for commercial truck and bus drivers. The rule will go into effect January 4, 2017.

Once the rule becomes effective, motor carrier employers will require background checks for current or prospective employees who have unresolved drug or alcohol violations. These violations will ultimately prohibit them from operating a commercial motor vehicle.

Additionally, motor carriers, administrators, and medical review officers will be requires to report any driver who tests positive for drugs or alcohol, refuses drug or alcohol testing, or admit themselves into a rehabilitation process.

With the implementation of these rules, the FMCSA hopes to ensure the safety of truck drivers and other motor vehicle drivers, and prevent crashes due to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.