24
Jul

How to Succeed as a Rookie Truck Driver

By MTS Staff

Becoming a trucker driver can be a rewarding and fulfilling career. Not only do you get to travel the country and become an important part of the national economy, you can also make a decent living at it. Trucking, however, is not for the faint. It requires long hours on the road away from your family and the ability to adhere to strict regulatory policies. In our previous post, How Do I Know a Career in Truck Driving is For Me, we cover a lot of the pros and cons of a career in trucking.

how a rookie can succeed as a truck driver

In today's post, we are going to give some tips on succeeding as a rookie truck driver.

Follow the Rules

Rules and regulations are the staple of the trucking industry. Why? Because they help protect you and the general public. However, even when a rookie truck driver follows the rules, he or she can get fatigued on the road. No matter how hard it is, take care of yourself and pull over for a short break when you start to become fatigued. According to a recent New York Times post, drowsy driving is leading cause of crashes and highway fatalities. The article went on to quote Mr. McLuckie, director of the department of federal legislation at the Teamsters union.

“Congestion on the highways is greater than ever, there are more vehicles on the road than ever before, and drivers have to be more attentive than ever,” Mr. McLuckie said. “Fatigue is even more of a concern now than it has been, and drivers need to get proper rest to do the job that they do.”

Needless to say, even as rules and regulations change, rookies need to make sure to stay updated and be sure to follow them.

Make Healthy Choices

One of the easiest ways to stay alert on the road is by taking care yourself. Limit the junk, sweets, soft drinks and fast food, and try to get exercise. Study after study shows that junk food leads to memory loss, causes anxiety, causes fatigue and can lead to depression. Now, we understand that limiting the unhealthy truck stop food may be easier said than done, so here are our tips to help you make healthier choices:

  • Pick up a "green juice" and drink it before you reach for any other type of food.
  • Pack your cooler with fresh fruit, cut veggies (such as bagged carrots) and high protein items (such as rotisserie chicken).
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Add in as much exercise as you can; pack a stowaway bike or running shoes; pack and use weights; download the 7-minute workout app.

Keep Your Mind Busy

The hardest thing about being on the road is all those hours of solitude and hours upon hours of driving monotony. If you're not keeping your mind busy, it can become easy to start thinking too much - not that thinking is a bad thing! - but, some truckers have admitted to dwell on issues, and that causes distracted driving. Keep your mind entertained (and maybe learn a few new things!). Here are some ideas of what you can listen to:

  • Audio Books
  • Language CD's
  • New Music

Take Pride in Your Rig

A clean professional looking vehicle can make a huge difference. Having it detailed with chome and lights means you are successful.

We recently spoke to a driver that had an older Freightliner, which was very clean, but rather plain. The driver invested in a used Peterbilt, and upgraded it with new chrome pipes, new lights and really took the time to make it look good. He was the envy of his peers. Rolling up in a nice truck is a status symbol of success. Also, it promotes your brand to the public.

When a truck is clean and bright, their customers notice. They are more willing to load their product quicker, with less inspections.  Trucks that are dirty with trailer defects will raise red flags and could cause delays at loading docks, delays cost money. A cleaner vehicle will keep help keep them loaded and rolling.

What are your tips for helping rookie truck drivers succeed? We'd love to hear them! 

LED lights | Magic Truck Supply

10
Jul

Exploring Chrome

By MTS Staff

Trucking is more than a profession, it's a lifestyle. And, trucks - Macks, Peterbilts and Kenworths - have long transcended being mere modes of transport. It's a culture that elicits its own embellishments and personalization. There is a freedom of expression when truckers customize their rigs and a power behind the metallics and chrome of a well-loved truck.

Chrome plating (less commonly chromium plating), often referred to simply as chrome, is a technique of electroplating a thin layer of chromium onto a metal or plastic object. The chromed layer can be decorative, provide corrosion resistance, ease cleaning procedures, or increase surface hardness. Sometimes a less expensive imitator of chrome may be used for aesthetic purposes. 

Prior to the application of chrome in the 1920s, nickel electroplating was used. In the short production run prior to the US entry into the Second World War, the government banned plating to save chromium and automobile manufacturers painted the decorative pieces in a complementary color. In the last years of the Korean War, the US contemplated banning chrome in favor of several cheaper processes (such as plating with zinc and then coating with shiny plastic). (Source: Wikipedia). 

There are actually three plating processes for Chrome (Source: National Metal Finishing Resource Center):

  1. Hard Chrome which refers to the process of electrodepositing a thick layer (0.2 mils to 30 mils or more) of chromium. This type of process is typically seen in smaller parts such as rods and cylinders, shock absorbers, etc.
  2. Decorative Chrome is when a thinner layer of chrome is deposited over nickel or copper plus nickel. You'll see this finish on bumpers, kitchen appliances, truck parts.
  3. Black Chromium uses a black coating rather than the traditional silver and is commonly used in solar applications.

Truckers have been embellishing their rigs with decorative chrome for decades.

Here are a few Vintage Big Rigs we found on the Classics Pinterest Board

.

Vintage Big Rig Collage

And, we love how some Truckers TRICK out their modern rigs with lots chrome. Here are a few we found online...

Tricked Out Trucks Collage

But, most of all we love what OUR customers do with chrome. Here are a few of ours ....

MTS Chrome Collage

The beauty of chrome is never-ending. Whether its Chrome Hub Caps, Light Bars/Flap Hangers, or Lug Nuts. We'd love to help you personalize, accessorize, and awesome-ize YOUR rig!

Contact us today.

26
Jun

The Cost of Neglect: Semi Truck Maintenance

By MTS Staff

Proper semi truck maintenance consumes about 10% of the annual cost to run a commercial truck. This amounts to roughly twelve cents per mile for a year. Simple maintenance upgrades - such as  replacing semi truck LED lights makes a lot of sense when you consider the real potential costs associated with poorly maintained rig lights. When you fail to care for your rig a whole slew of unexpected costs can emerge.

ledlights Collage

The Cost of Neglect-related Damages

Proper maintenance ensures that your rig runs well. Neglect will inevitably lead to a damaged engine if you're not careful. Semi truck engines costs thousands of dollars (labor not included). Heavy truck mechanics charge in the $100 an hour range for road calls. An on-call lot jump for that battery not yet replaced might cost you $40. These costs can add up over the lifetime of a trucker. Just avoid these potential expenses with proper maintenance instead.

Improper Maintenance Related Delay Costs

One of the most obvious expenses for failing to keep up your rig is the cost of delays. Weather related delays are naturally expected on 23% of America's roadways, even if you properly maintain your truck. Bottlenecks, special events, road work zones and traffic accidents are enough for any trucker on a schedule to contend with. If you add an unexpected need to replace a few semi truck LED lights while on the road -- a good chunk of time will be lost -- and only you can calculate that potential cost.

The Real Expense of Service-Related Detours

Imagine how stressful and expensive it would be to have to detour towards the city for service as your lighting system fails. What if you've used up your spare lights and have no other choice? Not only will you incur added travel costs -- you'll also run the risk of being gouged by unscrupulous mechanics who know you're in a jam.  You know the kind: those good fellow types who utter, "Hey bub, so, what are these worth to you?"

The Cost of Poor Maintenance Related Accidents

Aside from risking exposure to rural renegade price-gouging mechanics and paying more for gas to get to a qualified parts and service center, failing to keep up your rig before you hit the road can cost you yet again in the worst imaginable way: an accident. Not only will your insurance premiums rise for a long time, hospital and insurance deductibles will also need to be paid. Major tractor-trailer accidents cost the nation upwards of $20 billion a year. You can't afford to become part of such high-dollar statistic.

Proper semi truck maintenance pays in more ways than one.

With all the potential unexpected costs of improper maintenance in mind, it surely makes better sense to not scrimp in this area of your rig's annual operating costs. Prudent truckers understand the long-term financial benefits of investing in regular maintenance. The cost of properly caring for your semi truck LED lights, brakes, tires, fuel system and engine are miniscule in comparison to what you have to lose. So make a firm commitment to maintain your rig and avoid costly accidents, profit-destroying delays, gas-eating detours, and mafia-style mechanics who prey on truckers who cut corners.

led lighting

22
Jun

El costo de la negligencia: Mantenimiento Semi Truck

El costo de la negligencia: Mantenimiento Semi Truck

Por MTS Personal

Mantenimiento de camiones semi adecuada consume alrededor del 10% del coste anual para ejecutar un camión comercial. Esto equivale a unos doce centavos por milla para un año. Actualizaciones de mantenimiento simples - como la sustitución de las luces LED de camiones semi hace un montón de sentido si tenemos en cuenta los posibles costos reales asociados con las luces de los equipos de perforación en mal estado. Cuando usted no puede cuidar a su equipo una gran cantidad de costos inesperados pueden surgir.

LEDLights Collage

El costo de los daños relacionados con la negligencia-

El mantenimiento adecuado asegura que su equipo funciona bien. Negligencia conducirá inevitablemente a un motor dañado, si no tienes cuidado. Motores de camiones Semi cuesta miles de dólares (mano de obra no incluida). La mecánica de camión pesado cobran en los $ 100 un rango horas para llamadas de carretera. Un salto montón de guardia para que la batería aún no sustituido puede costar $ 40. Estos costos pueden aumentar con el tiempo de vida de un camionero. Sólo evitar estos gastos posibles con un mantenimiento adecuado en su lugar.

Los costos de mantenimiento de retardo Relacionados incorrectas

Uno de los gastos más obvias para no poder seguir el ritmo de su equipo de perforación es el coste de los retrasos. Relacionados con el tiempo los retrasos son, naturalmente, espera que el 23% de las carreteras de Estados Unidos, incluso si usted mantiene correctamente su camión. Cuellos de botella, eventos especiales, las zonas de trabajo de carretera y los accidentes de tráfico son suficientes para cualquier camionero en un horario que lidiar. Si agrega una inesperada necesidad de reemplazar algunos de camiones semi luces LED en el camino - una buena parte del tiempo se perderá - y sólo usted puede calcular que el costo potencial.

El gasto real de los desvíos de servicios relacionados

Imagínese lo estresante y costoso que sería tener que desviarse hacia la ciudad para el servicio como su sistema de iluminación falla. ¿Qué pasa si usted ha agotado sus luces de repuesto y no tienen otra opción? No sólo va a incurrir en gastos de viaje añadidos - usted también corre el riesgo de ser arrancados por los mecánicos inescrupulosos que sabes que estás en un atasco. Usted sabe la clase: "¿Hey bub, por lo que, ¿Qué es esto vale para ti" esos buenos compañeros de los tipos que se completa,

El Costo de los accidentes Pobre mantenimiento relacionados

Además de correr el riesgo de exposición a renegados rural mecánica manipulación de precios y pagar más por el gas para llegar a una las piezas y centro de servicio cualificado, en su defecto para mantener su equipo antes de salir a la carretera que te puede costar una vez más de la peor manera imaginable: un accidente . No sólo sus primas de seguro aumentará durante mucho tiempo, también tendrán que pagar los deducibles del hospital y de seguros. Principales accidentes de tractor-remolque le cuestan al país más de $ 20 mil millones años. Usted no puede permitirse el lujo de ser parte de esa estadística de alto costo.

Mantenimiento de camiones semi adecuada paga en más de un sentido.

Con todos los posibles costos inesperados de mantenimiento inadecuado en mente, seguramente tiene más sentido que no escatima en esta zona de los costos anuales de operación de su equipo de perforación. Camioneros prudentes entienden los beneficios financieros a largo plazo de invertir en el mantenimiento regular. El costo del cuidado adecuado para su camión semi LED luces , frenos, neumáticos, sistema de combustible y el motor son minúsculos en comparación con lo que tiene que perder. Así que hacer un compromiso firme para mantener su equipo y evitar costosos accidentes, retrasos con ánimo de destruir, desvíos de gas de alimentación, y la mecánica mafiosas que se aprovechan de los camioneros que cortan esquinas.

12
Jun

LED Lights and Truck Safety: A Perfect Combo

By MTS Staff

 

Every mile on the road in a semi truck increases the odds of a mishap. Safety and trailer lights reduce those odds, which makes them a perfect combination for mindful truckers. LED lights are exceptionally visible from a long distance in low visibility conditions. Truckers and their LED equipped rigs stay seen and safe in some of the worst weather conditions, such as sudden snowstorms, heavy fog and flash downpours of rain.

magic truck supply | led lights and safety

There are many reasons why LEDs are ideal for semi truck safety -- and every trucker in the market for a new rig or an update of an old one can benefit from knowing why adding LED lights are a wise choice.

Why LED Lights?

 

LED lights are easier to see in low visibility situations because their beams of light have unique wavelength characteristics. The inherent directionality of the beam itself makes LEDs superior to other light sources -- instead of a sphere shape spreading of light, LEDs output light in a single direction -- thereby increasing visibility by cutting down the amount light scatters. Wavelength frequency is another advantage LED lights have over other types of lighting units. Such characteristics increase visibility because light emitted from an LED is better able to interact with water droplets or water vapor particles in the atmosphere.

 

An even distribution of semi truck LED lights emit light that's exceptionally visible in moist weather. Recent research reveals that yellow and red LED lights, in particular, do a better job in reducing interference from reflections than any single high intensity light sources and blue or green LED lights. Another reason yellow and red LEDs increase safety is because they are better at reducing uncontrolled light that can impair vision.

 

When a rig features LEDs in dense fog or heavy rain, there is no bright veil for drivers to attempt to see beyond when the semi truck LED lights are on a parked rig. Your rig's shape stands out as being strategically illuminated by the red and yellow lights distributed around the entire vehicle's body. Drivers won't have to negotiate masses of scattered light to see your rig. Highway and road travelers just see you, and when they see you, wherever you might be parked, everyone is safer, no matter what happens while you're on the road.

 

Blue and green LEDs might look cool, but when safety's on the line, you're better off with red and yellow lights. Many consider LED lights as the only reliable light sources that remain visible for up to 1500 feet during foggy days or nights -- and that's the type of distance drivers need for a safe negotiation of a potential road hazard. LED lights light up faster than incandescent lights, about 200 milliseconds faster, which equals an increased reaction time of about one car length when traveling at 65 MPH. In high-risk situations, that's a great advantage.

 

Semi truck LED lights also outlast their incandescent predecessors. "For applications like brake lights and turn signals, it seems a ‘no-brainer’ in the sense that LED devices tend to be much more efficient," states Dr. John Bullough of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He praises the merits of the LED and confirms they're longer lasting than incandescent lamps, about 100 times longer lasting, according to some sources.

 

Light scientists and Department of Transportation experts all seem to suggest combining safety and trailer LED lights on a single rig is one of the smartest safety decisions any trucker can make.

 

Are you ready to upgrade your LED Lights? Check out our online supply at http://magictrucksupply.com

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