Category Archives: Trucking

Driver Wellness Tour 2014

Bob Perry and the Rolling Strong Coaches at GATS
Bob Perry and the Rolling Strong Coaches at GATS

At  GATS in Dallas TX, this year was the lead off to a major event that will be taking place for driver health and wellness.  Rolling Strong, along with Freightliner, and the Truckers Rolling Against Hepatits-C Campaign, had a driver wellness pavilion at GATS.  At this pavilion one could have their blood pressure, weight and BMI calculated.  Talk to a health coach about their fitness level, try out the FIT System,  take the Big Rigger Fitness Challenge.  As well as be screened to see if they had Hepatitis-C.

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Bob Perry demonstrating the FIT System

The first on the road event will be taking place in Carlisle, Pa at the Petro Stopping Center on U.S. 11. It will be on Sept. the 23rd, and run from 10-6.  Bob Perry the Trucker Trainer will be there to encourage drivers to see how many times they can press a tire. This event and tires is being sponsored by Michelin. The winner of this Big Rigger Fitness Challenge will get a FIT System for their truck.  As well as qualify for a chance to compete against Bob and other qualifiers at an event in California in December.

I tried the challenge at GATS.  Lets just say I did not come close to meeting the 100+ of the winner and will be looking to redeem myself on Tuesday.  Due to my schedule at GATS I was not able to do many of the screenings, so will be using this opportunity to make use of the FREE  tests.

Coach Mary Zirk With a contestant
Coach Mary Zirk With a contestant

There will be workout sessions with Rolling Strongs CDL Wellness Coaches.  Their Master Trainer Laura York has already threatened me with a personalized work out session. Freightliner will have a Cascadia there to show off a fully installed FIT System.  Lastly and hopefully not least,  there will be some cooking demonstrations to show how easy it is too cook on the truck.  These demonstrations at to be done by Tom Kyrk from Road Tested Living.  (Note cooking demonstration has only been scheduled for the Carlisle event)

Tom cooking on a truck
Tom cooking on a truck

I have been given a challenge.  To bring nothing but my kitchen gadgets, (hopefully a few spices will be allowed), and a roll of duct tape.  (No I am not cooking the Duct Tape.) From this I will have to go shopping inside the PETRO, and cook a meal, and snacks with just ingredients I find inside.  The duct tape is to tape off an area the size I work with in the truck to show how easy it can be.

It is always a good idea to have an idea of where you stand on your overall health picture such as BP, Weight, BMI etc.  Being on the road it can be a challenge to find places to have these screenings done.  When you have a group of people who set up an event for drivers that is FREE it is a win-win in my opinion.

An additional screening that is being offered is the Hep-C screening. One reason this is such a concern is Hepatitis-C can not show symptoms for as long as 20-40 years.  By the time symptoms show it can already have causes severe liver damage.  Early detection can lead to treatments that can prevent this damage.  Further more new treatments have been developed ot ensure drivers do no have to miss work.  Ora-Sure Technologies have developed a test that can show if you have been exposed to Hepatitis-C with a drop of blood in about 20 minutes.  AbbVie is a bio-pharmaceutical company that has worked to develop a treatment with fewer side effects than past treatments.  This allows people to maintain normal activities during treatment.

The reason Hepatitis-C should concern drivers is this.  Those of the baby boom generation (who make up a large part of trucking), are more likely to have Hepatitis-C.  This occurs for a number of reasons.  The main causes are lack of proper sterilization of needles, as well as shared ink, and blood transfusions in the past.  During the 1990’s as awareness of this disease and how it was spread grew. This allowed the development of methods to prevent its spread.  As a result due to test of blood, single use needles, and ink.  The spread rate from these sources has been greatly reduced.

There have been some preliminary studies that show Hepatitis-C may be more prevalent in drivers than in some other populations.  As a result of this OraSure, AbVie, along with the HTAA has developed the Truckers Rolling Against Hep-C campaign.  Rolling Strong and its partners are working with them to provides screening at the Rolling Strong Wellness events.  Those who obtain a positive result from the screening, medical personnel will be on hand to discuss options.

One of the contest winners with her FIT system.
One of the contest winners with her FIT system.

All in all this looks to be the start of a great driver focused health and wellness tour. Here is the current schedule of locations.  All events will be from 10-6 local time.

9/23 — Carlisle, PA, Petro Stopping Centers, I-81, Exit 52/I-76, Exit 226,                   1201 Harrisburg Ave, Route 11. Carlisle, PA 17013

10/7 — Bordentown, NJ, Petro Stopping Centers, I-295 Exit 57, NJ Turnpike, Exit 7
402 Rising Sun Rd, Bordentown, NJ 08505

11/4 — Tampa, FL, TravelCenters of America, I-4, Exit 10,off Mango Rd., 11706 Tampa Gateway Blvd. Tampa, FL 33584

12/2 — Ontario West, CA, TravelCenters of America I-10, Exit 57, Milliken Ave.       4265 East Guasti Road Ontario, CA 91761

More pictures, videos, and stories about these events to follow.

Driver Appreciation

American Trucking Association 2014 Driver Appreciation Logo
American Trucking Association 2014 Driver Appreciation Logo

The week of September 14th through the 20th is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. Many people will be writing articles on the importance of trucking and driver to our economy. While this is true I have decided to take a different approach to show my appreciation to my fellow drivers. Continue reading Driver Appreciation

Should I Travel The Road Less Taken?

 

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Indiana Toll Road Photo Credit: Dougtone via Compfight cc

This post originally came from my friend Jeff Clark a Freightliner Team Run Smart Pro.  Over the last several weeks we have had some debates on the advantages and disadvantages of Toll Roads.  As a company driver I am for the route that saves me the most time.  Where Jeff is looking for time, as well as cost savings.  While he has not totally convinced me yet. This post he did on a comparison of one of the non-toll routes verses the toll road in Indiana caused me to take a second look. Continue reading Should I Travel The Road Less Taken?

A tour of the “Caffcadia”

Bob and Linda Caffee  Freightliner Team Run Smart Pro’s are saying goodbye to their current truck.  Their new truck is being built, and they are running their last load in this truck, before turning it over to its new owners.

This seemed like a great time to post a link to another one of Linda’s videos.  This one is a tour of her truck and she shows off some of the devices she uses for cooking on her truck, as well as their care, and maintenance.

Linda is fortunate to have a truck with a custom sleeper. However even if you don’t have that luxury you can still do a great deal to live comfortably in a OEM sleeper.  I hope to be sharing both pictures and videos of my sleeper as well as other drivers in the near future to show what is possible.

When a Wrench gets thrown into your day…

At the Road Angel near Brownstone Illinois.
At the Road Angel near Brownstone Illinois.

About a week ago I had one of those loads truckers sometimes enjoy.  I had about 1000 miles on my trip, 8 hours a day I could legally drive, and 5 days to drive it in.  The best part is that the receiver was a drop so I could get it there early if I wanted to. Loads like this are nice as it gives you the time to stop and do things such as visit sites, stop by a casino, or restaurant you enjoy, maybe even do a little shopping. I was able to work my trip so that on Wednesday I could stop at the Road Angel near Brownstone Illinois, for the night.  Free showers laundry, and Wi-Fi who could ask for more? Continue reading When a Wrench gets thrown into your day…

The Road Angel

Entrance to the Road Angel Brownstone Illinois.
Entrance to the Road Angel Brownstone Illinois.

In our daily travels as drivers we are often ignored, or treated in ways that are less than respectful by others that we meet in our travels. It is truly a blessing to find those places that treat drivers with respect and a true compassion. I will try and feature a few of these places, and individuals each year as I find them in my travels.

 

The first one I wish to focus on is the Road Angel just off exit 68 near Brownstone, Illinois. This facility is run by the Association of Christian Truckers, Continue reading The Road Angel

Another take on Power Inverters

By:  Bob Caffee

Bob Caffee a Freightliner Team Run Smart Pro along with his wife Linda agreed to let me share this with my readers.  Bob a few weeks after my Watt’s an Inverter wrote this more technical piece.  Bob has spent years as a diesel mechanic as well as researching the best inverter for their purposes.  Thanks to him for this great article.

400 Watt inverter by Cobra
400 Watt inverter by Cobra

What is a power inverter? Power inverters are described as a device or circuit that changes direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). Voltages, input and output are dependent upon the device in use. For our use we will be talking about an inverter that would be installed in a truck, voltage 12 DC in and 115 AC out. Continue reading Another take on Power Inverters

Watts an Inverter???

An inverter is a device that takes your car or truck current DC and turns it into AC. It allows you to plug a household device into your car or truck. Do you need one??? Maybe not but it can make your life easier.

400 Watt inverter by Cobra
400 Watt inverter by Cobra

While there are a variety of devices designed to work off your car current. Ranging from 12 volt cooking devices to chargers for your phone and other electronic devices an inverter can be very handy. From personal experience a 400 watt inverter which is the largest most cigarette lighters can handle. Will handle most small personal electronic devices including a computer as well as a small crock-pot. Some small TV’s may work on a 400 watt inverter but you need to read the instructions to see how many watts it draws. Continue reading Watts an Inverter???

Cabbage-etti A great recipe for those who want spaghetti, but not the guilt of noodles.

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A recipe for the Rolling Strong Newsletter

Here is one of my first recipes, it is featured in the April Rolling Strong Newsletter.

This recipe was a result of my wanting a healthier alternative to pasta, that was simple and easy to fix on the truck.  From start to finish I can have this meal prepared and cooked in less than 30 minutes. The Cabbage noodles also work well in almost any other dish where Pasta is an ingredient.

Cabbage-ettie with eggs and fresh Asparagus.
Cabbage-ettie with eggs and fresh Asparagus.

Continue reading Cabbage-etti A great recipe for those who want spaghetti, but not the guilt of noodles.

You cook where???

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  At the recent Mid-America Truck show in Louisville Ky, I had the opportunity to talk and get to know several drivers. Topics were wide ranging, as one might expect when you get a group of drivers together. Yet two topics that seem to be coming up more and more often is how to eat healthier and how to cook on the truck. Many drivers are cooking whether microwaving dinner, or using some type of grill on the catwalk (the walkway behind the cab of the truck and before the trailer), others have a variety of appliances, such as crock, pots, griddles, and rice cookers.  Continue reading You cook where???