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The Leading Monthly Digital Magazine for Truck Drivers

Inside the Issue

Here is what you will find in this months edition!

Will Self-Driving Trucks Affect Trucking Jobs?

As we all can see, the technology is advancing before our eyes, but whether it’s a good or bad thing is up to you. Will we have robot trucks in the near future?

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Dreams and Aspirations

The future is not a gift, but an achievement. If competitive challenge is what excites people, why then do we choose the easiest challenges?

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Trouble Staying Focused On A Long Haul

Taking a short break while driving is important because it gives your brain something to wake it up and kind of reset. Of course it is not as effective as music or caffeine drinks but it definitely helps you go just a little further to get where you are going.

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Truck Driving Industry Increasing/ Decreasing?

The trucking industry is really the center point for distribution in America so if you think about the effects that would occur if there was a decline in the trucking industry prices of goods could possibly skyrocket higher than they already are.

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Fitness Myths To Watch Out For

Get the truth about some of the widest spread fitness myths!

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Driving Behavior

After doing a little research there have not been a lot of articles published on different activities that long-haul drivers can do to keep going on the road while driving because people believe it will create a safety hazard.

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Crossword

Kill some time with our Trucker themed crossword puzzle.

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Word Search

Never be bored with our Trucking word search puzzle.

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Sudoku Fun

Are you good with numbers?

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Past Issues

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Will Self-Driving Trucks Affect Trucking Jobs?

by: Forrest Bevington, Senior Writer at Emedia

As we all can see, the technology is advancing before our eyes, but whether it’s a good or bad thing is up to you. The big fix among most people, not just the U.S., is the uprising of self-driving cars, but many truck, Fed-Ex, and UPS drivers are worried about self-driving cars taking their jobs. I personally think that there is little worry about jobs being taken by technology, and I’ll tell you why.

Just think about this, Tesla has created one of the more efficient self-driving cars and is still having problems with reliability, but imagine driving on the highway with your family in the back seat and you see an 800,000 pound truck barreling down the highway only running on technology? I’d be getting off the road so fast because I wouldn’t trust technology on the road, I can barely trust Siri to get me from A to B successfully. Some of the more large trucking companies can try and justify this by saying it would save more money in the long run, but that is not accounting the potential lawsuits that could occur from malfunctions in the self-driving technology. If there was a malfunction in the technology there is no telling what horrific things could occur.

Saying that this technology will take trucking jobs is like saying large airline companies like Southwest are going to replace pilots with this kind of technology. I wrote a paper for my Information Technology for Business on this topic, but I actually wrote about technology as a whole making jobs like this easier and effecting the environment in a positive way. Many truck manufacturers may look to automate certain aspects of trucks like braking or enhancing cruise control, which would allow for driver like yourselves to do less while allowing you to be more focused.

The factors that are leading to the disappearance and/or to the reduction. In the first phase of human intervention in the cabin, are pretty much the same that are used to justify the getting rid of taxi drivers and sailors, and before you know it, safety and cost. Getting rid of the cost aspect is just not realistic if you think about it, big companies are going to have to pay hundreds if not millions of dollars to add the software to their wide range of trucks along with training people to use it, which would entail hiring someone who knows how to operate the extensive software and pay them accordingly. Yes, like I said this will not be a cheap endeavor. Some add to the shortage of workforce, though this is somehow controversial to some people.

Daimler and Peloton Technology, is trying to sell big companies on the idea of creating truck pelotons that can further reduce the cost of fuel and carry a larger capacity of freight at a time. While a peloton or caravan of driverless trucks sounds pretty far-flung, technically it is quite feasible. The lead truck would have one driver in the cab who would lead the caravan of a dozen or so trucks along the highway. Peloton’s technology connects two or more trucks via cloud technology and uses safety features like active braking, which is already found on many passenger cars today. The lead truck driver would control all the trucks, but drivers will still be needed to maneuver the highway exits, city streets, and backing up to the loading dock. This is what worries me and absolutely should worry you most about nearly full autonomous semi-trucks. Semi-autonomous freight trucks might also help curve the driver shortage. The American Trucking Association says the trucking industry employs more than 7 million drivers, but the number of drivers have fallen in the recent years. The ATA estimates a shortage of about 40,000 drivers that could grow to about 240,000 by 2022. As you know, truck driving is a tough job and not everyone is cut out for what it entails. With self-driving trucks and the potential for pelotons, less drivers will be needed in the future. This is a easy way to sell big companies on the idea because it saves money but regardless of what technology they use logistics personnel will be needed to run these trucks, which in term just makes them a more pricey truck driver.

I personally do not see jobs being affected by technology, but I jobs being made easier, which would allow for other improvements to be made on the drivers end. What are your thoughts on this? Comment below what your opinions are on this subject and I will do my best to reply.

Dreams and Aspirations

by: Forrest Bevington, Senior Writer at Emedia

I am currently a senior at the University of Texas at Dallas pursuing a degree in Business Administration. Up to this point in my life this going to school and graduating was something I thought I had to do because of the way I was brought up. I am 23 and about to graduate but I just now realized what I want to actually do with me life, I want to pursue a career in professional brewing with aspirations of opening my own brewery someday.

Some people would call it bad parenting, but I actually started drinking small amounts of beer with my dad at the age of 16 and my passion grew from there. Just like wine, beer is a taste that needs to be acquired and from when I started drinking beer till my 21st birthday I acquired not just a taste for it but also a passion. I live right outside the city of Dallas in Richardson, Texas and all around me are so many breweries popping up around the urban area; we’ve got 3 Nations, Braindead, Community and many more, so you could say that my passion is well fed.

It wasn’t until a good friend of mine got me hooked on the “hobby” of homebrewing. I had never explored this option, but given my passion for beer it was something worth looking into. One year and many batches of beer later I have found something that I love doing on a regular basis. Down here in Texas the craft brew seen is growing, but nothing close to how rapidly the scene is growing throughout the west coast. I wasn’t sure about pursuing a career in this industry because the pay is not wonderful, but what really pushed me to do it was that if you love what you do then you will never work a day in your life.

Most people I know have a dream. In fact, I’ve asked hundreds of people about their dream. Some willingly describe it with great detail and enthusiasm. Others are reluctant to talk about it. They seem embarrassed to say it out loud. These people have never tested their dream. They don’t know if others will laugh at them. They’re not sure if they’re aiming too high or too low. They don’t know if their dream is something they can really achieve or if they’re destined to fail. I am big into motivational speeches/ movies and what not, but below is one of my favorite quotes:

The future is not a gift, but an achievement. If competitive challenge is what excites people, why then do we choose the easiest challenges? It’s easy to be boxed in a limited life, tougher to compete for expansion. When you have plan B, plan A never works. You have a choice, whether to be a mad man or a bold genius. What’s the difference? A mad man is somebody who does the same action over and over and over for an unknown destiny. A bold genius is somebody who does the same action over and over and over again for a known destiny. We choose to, rise, not fall. We choose to live, not die. I believe in you, and I know you can do whatever you want. You have unlimited potential. I hope you enjoyed this video, please if you did don’t forget to share the i nspiration with your friends and family.

I know there are a lot of you truckers out there who think that truck driving is the only option whether it be because you never went to school or don’t speak much english, but no matter what you should do what makes you happy even if that means taking some time off work to follow your dream. You Do You, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

I know this was not a typical article, but I hope someone that feels like they are not doing what they were meant to do saw this a is going to do whatever it takes to do what they love.

What are your dreams, aspirations, or something you’ve always wanted to do but never did? Leave a comment below!

Trouble Staying Focused On A Long Haul

by: Forrest Bevington, Senior Writer at Emedia

In one of my previous articles I talked about creative driving behavior because I was interested to hear what y’all did to pass time and what not. I got a lot of comments about drivers who struggle to stay focused on long hauls, which isn’t uncommon believe it or not, therefore that is what I will be addressing today.

I moved a lot during my teenage years and when I became of driving age my dad would always have me drive all over place and I had THE hardest time staying awake so I somewhat understand where all you truck drivers are coming from. I did some research just recently on what are some of the best ways to stay alert and awake. Here at my top two ways to stay focused and alert on the road, I won’t go more than two because I want y’all to enjoy these posts as much as I enjoy writing them.

“Embrace Bluetooth Technology.” Any distractions whether it be phones, or radio can be dangerous while driving. From what I know 90 percent of all semi trucks are now equipped with bluetooth so you can call, ask for directions, etc while you're behind the wheel. I know y’all are probably thinking “oh well I’ve heard this so many times” or “I never get on my phone,” well I say both of those things at least twice a week, but I still find myself on my damn phone. It’s hard I know, but to be more alert on the road please stay off the phones.

Stop using cruise control. Yes I know a lot of you are like “Forrest you’re crazy,” but hear me out. Cruise control is used for you to maintain a constant speed, which in the long term means you get better miles per gallon, but to constantly be aware and focused on the road you need to be engaged and with cruise control it makes it super hard to stay focused because I am just steering. It may sound stupid right now but for those who use cruise control give it a shot and let me know what you think.

Drink Caffeinated Drinks (obviously)!!! Whether it be coffee, espresso, energy drink or those 5 hour energy shots they have all opened up new avenues of increased metabolism and makes your brain and body speed up and keep you more aware and awake when you start to feel drowsy.. You'll want to keep consumption pretty steady instead of gulping down a massive amount, but caffeine is the backbone of conscious cross-country/ long-haul driving.

Taking a short break while driving is important because it gives your brain something to wake it up and kind of reset. I remember when I was driving my truck cross country to my father's new job and I had been driving for 13 straight hours and was barely awake so I pulled over to the shoulder of the road and walked up and down the should for like 10 minutes to keep me going. Of course it is not as effective as music or caffeine drinks but it definitely helps you go just a little further to get where you are going.

Listening to talk radio is definitely another good alternative to help you keep your mind active while long-haul driving. I am personally not into the NPR stuff, but one of the more interesting talk shows that I like to listen to while driving is ESPN, especially the early morning and late night stuff. I have been a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan my entire life so every morning I like to listen to Mike and Mike because they always seem to have great topics up for discussion and given my knowledge of what there talking about I like to create my own side to the argument, which I know sounds crazy but for me it keeps my mind going and alert rather than just listening to music and having a rhythm going with does help but not as much as talk radio.

Probably one of the more obviously tips to have someone else in the car with you. I have obviously never driven and long haul like most of you truck drivers have but I don’t think more of you have a so-called “partner in crime” to help you make these drives; I think it would really help all of you. Think about it, you got someone to make conversation with, or someone to annoy you (I have two sisters so that’s more from my perspective) but you get what I mean. Defiantly talk to your superiors and see if that is something that they would be willing to do for you.

Truck Driving Industry Increasing/ Decreasing?

by: Forrest Bevington, Senior Writer at Emedia

Have you ever seen that Amazon commerical with the drone dropping of packages at people's houses? I read a lot of articles, mostly by crazy people, talking about how technology is overtaking many industries, which is true for quite a few industries such as the the automotive industry because it actually makes sense, but for people who believe that technology is TAKING OVER the trucking industry is crazy.

Of course as technology continues to become more advanced the more technology that will be added to industries because it saves companies major loads of money, but for a lot of companies from a moral and ethical standpoint can’t seem to justify the complete take over like Tesla and their search for fully automated vehicles are taking over the automotive industry. The trucking industry is really the center point for distribution in America so if you think about the effects that would occur if there was a decline in the trucking industry prices of goods could possibly skyrocket higher than they already are.

A 2016 Investigative Report for the trucking industry was done by Road Scholar Transports and I have posted their results directly from the report. This industry alone is the impetus behind the movement of almost 70 percent of the freight shipped in the United States. Knowing what is forecast for 2016, and many years down the road, helps industry insiders plan accordingly while also creating viable solutions to any challenges that may arise.

Truckloads
In order to meet the continued demands of the recovering economy, experts within the trucking industry expect the number of truckloads moved by carriers around the country to increase in 2016. According to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), 81 percent of the total revenue seen in the shipping sector was the result of activity by trucking companies. Steady increases are expected with revenues swelling by 66 percent by 2022.

LTL Freight
Already the rates for LTL freight have seen increases that are set to go into effect early in 2016. First, FedEx Freight, the country’s largest carrier of LTL freight, announced in October 2015 that they would start imposing a rate increase of 4.9 percent in January 2016. The second largest carrier of LTL freight in the United States, Con-Way Freight, soon raised their rates as well. Con-Way freight’s rate hike of 4.9 percent, slated to go into effect in fall 2015, is limited only to those businesses that are not under a contract with them and that also use rates that are based on tariffs.

Diesel Fuel Cost Expectations
According to the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), 2016 should see a continuation of the trend of low energy costs. While diesel fuel is predicted to fetch a price no higher than $2.87 a gallon in 2015, a slight jump to $3.12 the following year is expected. There are several factors that continue to support this prediction. Middle Eastern countries — most notably Saudi Arabia — opted to purchase market shares by dropping prices, but not production while the United States saw its producers of shale oil increase their output. As Denton Cinquegrana, an Oil Price Information Service chief oil analyst noted, domestic producers of shale oil are better at their jobs and more productive these days. Fluctuations in fuel prices could still be expected regionally in 2016 though the overall pricing structure is predicted to remain low.

These numbers and information are as relevant as you will find and they speak solely for themselves. No matter what professional analysts or heads of big technology corporations say, there is no doubt that the trucking industry is huge and there are no signs of it decreasing anytime soon.

Although the industry is continuously growing I am always one for making other people's life easier while saving money, but if I was an executive in one of these large trucking corporations would not allow for self-driving trucks to overtake the industry for two reasons; one, it would more likely than not cause more accidents involving semi-trucks because of the fact technology has more room for error than a person and second, for a company's perspective it would cost a large amount to create the technology and then they would have to train someone to use this technology and would probably have to pay them much more than they pay truck drivers now, and in the long run what would this achieve? In my opinion nothing, but enough about what I think what are y’alls thoughts on this?

Also, if you’d like to read more of the report I mentioned about, Click Here.

Staying Fit On The Road

Fitness Myths To Watch Out For

by: Bobby Wilson, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Coach

Myth: Drinking water can help you lose weight

Fact: Many sources tout drinking copious amounts of water to be the all-curing panacea of the Gods. If you've heard that drinking lots of water improves your skin tone, or that it flushes toxins from your body, you know what we're talking about. But the fact of the matter is, the evidence for such catch-all health benefits is lacking.

Doctors at the University of Pennsylvania have found that both the aforementioned "benefits" simply aren't true. Another myth is that drinking lots of water will make you less hungry. Sorry to tell you this — you may eat less because you're too busy trucking back and forth between the bathroom and dinner table, but that's about it.

Oh, and that whole "recommended eight glasses a day" thing? Also false. You should drink only when you're thirsty, and this is done just to replace the amount of water a healthy adult loses every day — about four to six glasses.

Myth: Vegetarian diets are healthier than meat-inclusive ones

Fact: Sure, eating lots of veggies is healthy. But in general, cutting out an entire food group — even if it is one that can be high in saturated fat — is bad idea. Meat is a key source of iron, which keeps your energy levels up, allows you to think clearly, and produces enzymes that fight infection. Moreover, researchers at Pennsylvania State University have shown that iron deficiency increases a woman's risk for postpartum depression.

Vegetarians often try to get their iron fix through lentils, beans, fortified cereals and tofu. However, you're still missing protein. Make sure to eat eggs, dairy products, or soy at every meal to get your animal-friendly dose.

Driving Behavior

by: Forrest Bevington, Senior Writer at Emedia

After doing a little research there have not been a lot of articles published on different activities that long-haul drivers can do to keep going on the road while driving because people believe it will create a safety hazard. I have never been a truck driver making long cross-country trips on a regular basis, but I have driven a lot of long trips including a cross country trip from where I drove my 1960 F100 from Colorado to Georgia. While just staring at the road for four straight day I found myself struggling to keep my mind active.

Given that truck drivers are on the road more than probably any other occupation it is interesting to think about the different behaviors they have to keep their mind on top of things. My grandpa's brother is in his mid-80's and retired from driving trucks a few years ago due to some reoccurring health issues, but I had the opportunity to hear some of his stories of his days on the road and what he did to keep his mind sharp. Some of the more interesting things he did involved doing a rubik's cube with one hand or he also carried some smaller dumbbells that he would lift during his long drives. To me those sounded quite dangerous, but again I have never been in those situations and he said that they worked wonders for him.

According to the statistics, on average, 10% of the injuries lead to death and about 3,000 people are killed per day due to traffic accidents around the world Similar to other human factors, the behavior of a driver is influenced by conscious and unconscious factors called “cognitive-behavioral characteristics”. Based on a study, driving errors are responsible for 93% of accidents, 34% due to operational deficiencies, and 12% due to vehicle issues. The results confirm reports that indicate the role of human factors in road accidents.. More and more states are spending a lot of taxpayer dollars on these kinds of studies with hops of decreasing a lot of the statistics listed above. Texas is making even looking at your phone while driving illegal. This, like many laws like it, have its pros and cons, but in the long run I do think this law will save more lives than anyone can imagine.

Obviously some driving behavior is good and some can be quite dangerous to other drivers on the road. We have all made that long drive with our families at least once in our life and there is that one person you hope doesn’t have to drive because they scare the crap out of you, which means more times than not their driving behavior is not good. My sister is a really good example of this because she is one of those people who think they are the best drivers in the world and can do their makeup while driving. She insists on doing it even though it defiantly affects her driving, believe me it does. She also refuses to wear shoes while she drives for some reason which scares me even more. My dad is one of the better drivers in my family, but his driving behavior after driving for a long time starts to change dramatically. When he gets tired he either starts tapping his leg along with whatever song is one because he “feels” that it helps him stay awake OR he will hug the steering wheel and squint real hard at the road, but believe me neither of them work and when I see him start to show this behavior I will wake myself up and convince him to let me take over for him.

What types of things would you see be done in terms of this topic and why? Leave a comment, and I will either reply back or write a blog addressing on all ideas and giving my thoughts as well.

What do you think?

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