What Happens to Your CDL if You Get a DUI?

Drinking and driving is never worth the risk to your health and those around. According to study done by the CDC, a driver with a blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, of 0.10 or greater is seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal motor-vehicle crash. Not only is it dangerous, it could also cost you up to $10,000 in legal fees, court costs, and higher insurance rates. But it’s especially risky to drink and drive if you have a CDL. For those that drive trucks for a living, losing their CDL would mean loss of income. So what happens to your CDL if you get a DUI?

What Happens to Your CDL if You Get a DUI?

If you’re a first time offender when you get a DUI, your CDL is suspended for one full year. If it’s your second or third offense, your CDL will be revoked for a minimum of ten years. Having a suspension means that your CDL will be automatically returned after the year is up. If your license has been revoked, that means you’ve lost it completely and you’ll have to reapply after your time is up.

It’s highly important that professional drivers have tough standards. They need to stay clean in order to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents. The risk is so high to dissuade as many truckers from drinking and driving as possible.

Also, in most states the BAC is higher than it is for non-commercial drivers. For professional drivers, the BAC is .04 as opposed to the normal .08. If drivers are asked to do a BAC test, refusing the test means you automatically lose your CDL for one year depending on the state. Additionally, if a professional trucker drives their personal vehicle while intoxicated, they can have their CDL suspended for 90 days.

How to Prevent Flat Tires

Your tires are one of the most vulnerable parts of your truck. Flats and blowouts are often a cause of highway traffic accidents, or at the very least, a delay in your trip. Luckily, many flats and blowouts are avoidable if you know how to prevent flat tires.

Check Your Air Pressure Regularly

One of the most common causes of blowouts and flats are under-inflated tires with low air pressure. Under-inflated tires produce more friction, causing excessive heating that could cause a blowout. Not only is it dangerous to drive with under-inflated tires, it’s also more expensive as it hurts your fuel economy. Always use a quality air pressure gauge for correct inflation levels. When you’re going to check the pressure in your tires, make sure they’re “cold.” You have to let your tires rest for three or more hours to get the most accurate reading. Overinflated tires can be damaged from bumpy roads and potholes.

Check Your Tire Threads

The best way to determine if your tire treads are worn out is to pay attention to the wear bars on your tire. These bars are indicator marks located between the tread pattern of your tires. When the wear bar is level with your tires, it’s time to change them. Uneven wear patterns can cause your vehicle to have handling problems too, so look out for excessive wear at the center and sides of the tire.

Don’t Overload Your Truck

Be wary of how much weight your putting on your truck, and essentially your tires. Overloaded tires undergo more heat and friction, causing major issues.

Avoid Driving Near Construction Sites and Hazardous Roadways

Althought this can sometimes be unavoidable, look for alternative routes if you know you’ll be driving near a construction zone or poorly maintained roads. Nails, shards, glass, sharp rocks, and large potholes can cause flats or punctures. Whenever possible, avoid driving on the shoulder of the highway. The shoulder can be full of sharp rocks or debris from previous car accidents.

Tips for Saving for Your Retirement

When planning on retiring, the sooner you start saving, the better off you’ll be. Whether you’ve just started working or you’re coming up on your retirement, it’s vital to grow your nest egg. With saving, planning, and budgeting, you can save what you need to retire comfortably.

Create a Retirement Plan

You might be ready to retire soon, or it could be a long time from now, but it’s never too soon to start planning for retirement. Now is the time to start figuring out how much you want to live on each month during your retirement years. The amount you’ll be able to spend each month is dependent on how much money you have in the bank, and the interest rate your money is able to earn.

Start Saving Now

Create a savings account and start putting a portion of each paycheck into it. Even if it’s only $15 or $20 a week, it really adds up over the years. The earlier to you start saving and investing, the better off you’ll be.

Create a Budget

If you don’t already have a budget, it’s time to create one. Budgets will help you determine where you’ve been spending your money, and where you can reduce your spending. If you start saving money by packing your lunch everyday, that money can easily be added to your retirement fund. Each little bit you contribute adds up, so it’s definitely worth reigning in your extra spending.

Contribute to Your 401(k)

If your employer is offering a traditional 401(k) plan, take advantage of it! These plans allow you to contribute pre-tax money, giving you a significant advantage in savings. This allows you to invest more of your income before it’s taxed.

Take Advantage of Catch-Up Contributions

If you’re aged 50 or older, you’re eligible to go beyond the 401(k)’s limit with catch-up contributions. If you’re over the years and haven’t been able to save as much as you would have liked, catch-up contributions can really boost your retirement savings.

Benefits of Working With a Truck Driving Staff Agency

Benefits of Working With a Truck Driving Staff Agency

There’s a lot to think about when deciding on the future of your truck driving career. A lot of staffing agencies are looking for qualified and experienced drivers, and are willing to offer quite an array of benefits to provide their clients with the best driver for the job.

Flexibility

You decide when and where to work. A good truck driving staff agency will offer CDL drivers the flexibility to choose when, where, and how much they drive. At MNTDL, we have a no forced dispatch policy. You decide which jobs to take and create your own flexibility. Staffing agencies also keep your name on one resume for the length of your employment. This way, your resume and employment history doesn’t have too many jobs or companies, but still shows your dedication.

Competitive Compensation

Most staffing companies, MNTDL included, offer competitive compensation packages. These packages can include health care coverage, 401k, life and disability insurance, health care coverage, and more. Staffing agencies want to secure the best professionals, and are willing to pay better to attract and hold quality drivers.

Support Available

The best staffing agencies will offer support whenever you need it. Moments Notice Truck Driver Leasing offers you support 24/7/365.

Direct Placement

Staffing agencies already have connections with the companies you’ll drive for. With a good agency, your application should be hand delivered to the top.

Respect for Drivers

Any good truck driver staffing agency understands that drivers are professionals and will treat them as such. It’s much easier to find a staffing agency that will treat their drivers with respect and offer their drivers what they need to succeed.

Temp-to-Hire

Temp-to-hire is like the ultimate job interview. While you work for the staffing agency, you also work for their client. This client can decide, over time, that they want to hire you full time.

Steady Jobs

In recent times, companies have started to hand over their entire transportation needs to driver staffing agencies. Because regulations are constantly changing, it might be more practical for these companies to outsource this area. That means there’s a constant need for qualified drivers employed by staffing agencies.

A Guide to Highway Safety

Countless vehicles traverse our highways on a daily basis, for a variety of purposes. There are a number of danger on the highways wherever you look. Some are weather related, some from vehicles, and some dangers are caused by the drivers themselves. Whatever the danger is, it’s important to be prepared with highway safety.

Vehicle Dangers

There are plenty of risks involved when it comes to vehicle malfunction. It’s up to the driver to make sure that their vehicle is well maintained and safe to drive. Maintenance such as brake functionality, tire pressure, checking for adequate tire tread, and making sure that lights and turn signals are in proper working condition. By making sure that vehicles are safe for all types of driving conditions, drivers are greatly reducing the chance of an accident.

Weather Dangers

The most uncontrollable danger is weather. From extreme heat and cold, to rain, wind, and snow, weather can reek all types of havoc. Accidents can be prevented by slowing down, making sure vehicles are equipped to handle extreme weather, and by having proper tires and windshield wipers.

Driver Dangers

The most unpredictable component on any road, but especially highways, are the drivers. Being in charge of your own safety and vehicle is one thing, but you can’t control the drivers around you. Following all state established rules and laws of the road, such as the speed limit and road-signs, is an important step towards safety for all drivers on the road.

One of the most common problems is when drivers get behind the wheel while not in the proper condition to drive. Drivers that are intoxicated are a danger to themselves and to others. Other factors that are a huge danger are drivers that are distracted by cellphones that aren’t hands free. Leave any texts and calls for when your vehicle is stopped.

The most important aspect of highway safety, is that all driver take responsibility for their own vehicles and driving.

Tips for New Truck Drivers

Truck driving is an essential part of the shipping industry, so there’s a lot riding on new drivers.¬†There’s a lot to learn in order to be a proficient driver and find steady work. We’ve rounded up some of the best tips for new truck drivers.

Trucking School Tips

  1. Before choosing a trucking school, check with local trucking companies to ensure that the education being offered meets current standards.
  2. Find out if you qualify for any grants, loans, or scholarships being offered by the United States Department of Transportation. This can greatly help offset the cost of your truck driving school education.
  3. Be sure to look out for one-on-one training programs, small class sizes, job placement assistance, behind hte wheel training, and access to late model equipment for the best education.

Tips for Finding Jobs

  1. Look into getting truck driving education from a trucking company that has its own school to be guaranteed employment.
  2. Find career opportunities through recruiters, placement agencies, and job boards.
  3. Check online job boards to search opportunities by state or certification.

Safety Tips

  1. Always make sure you have enough room in front of you to stop safely.
  2. Watch out for vehicles that will try to pull in front of you and then suddenly slow down or break.
  3. Take the time to pre-inspect your vehicle before heading out. Check your breaks, windshield wipers, horn, mirrors, tires, reflectors, fuel levels, and cargo. It’s ¬†always a good idea to double check your equipment.

Accident Preparedness Tips

  1. Be very cautious around highway construction zones. Slow down, adjust your mirrors, and allow plenty of room to maneuver. Be sure to stay alert to your trucks blind spots.
  2. Always wear your seat belt. If an accident happens, a seat belt will keep you stationary and help you to contain control of the truck.
  3. Stay up to date on state and federal regulations by joining the local state trucking association. This will also help you gain valuable contacts for assistance and available jobs.

Fuel Saving Tips

  1. Maintaining a consistent speed will decrease aerodynamic drag and use less fuel. Use cruise control when appropriate and avoid quick accelerations to use less fuel.
  2. The higher your cargo is loaded, the more drag placed on the truck and the more energy it takes to keep moving.
  3. Plan your route to avoid traffic because idling is a huge fuel waster. Many public truck stops have idle reduction facilities available.

Getting a Traveling Companion

If you’re tired of driving for days or weeks at a time all by yourself, it might be time to consider getting a traveling companion! Having a dog along for the ride has tons of benefits, so here’s what you should know about taking your pet along for the ride.

Trucking Company Pet Policies

Unless you run your own company, it’s best to find out what your company’s pet policies are. Some trucking companies can charge a refundable or non-refundable deposit to cover cleaning, repair, or other fees for your pet. Any additional cleaning or damage that was caused by your pet could be charged from your deposit or be deducted from your paycheck. Also, you should always have your pet’s vaccinations and other health documents with you.

Benefits of a Furry Trucking Companion

It’s been scientifically proven that just 15 minutes spent with your pet can improve your mood. It also helps to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Owning a dog helps boost immune systems, relieve stress, and encourages more socialization. They also can encourage a more active lifestyle since they’ll need daily walks. Your pet can also help you feel safer, since most dogs will bark at strangers.

Pet Proofing Your Truck

It’s important for both your truck and the safety of your animal to pet proof your truck. Be sure to train your dog to stay away from your clutch and breaks. Make sure to create a designated spot for your pet so they can be safe and comfortable. It’s also a good idea to store any important or irreplaceable items out of your pet’s reach. Storing puppy pads or towels in your truck will help keep your truck clean in case it rains.

Tools to Bring on the Road

Always keep a leash handy for truck stops, potty breaks, or any time your dog is leaving the truck with you. Be sure to always use a leash, no matter how well trained your pet is. Accidents can and will happen, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Make sure you always have an entire trip’s worth of their brand of food with you. Switching food brands or diets can cause for upset stomachs, so it’s best to keep your preferred food and treats on hand. Other important tools are cleaning supplies, poop bags, and enough toys and rawhide chews to keep them busy. It’s also a good idea to buy a travel crate in case the facility you’re delivering to doesn’t allow pets inside. Bringing extra blankets is a great extra precaution against cold weather.

Best Breeds for Trucker Dogs

It’s important that your dog fits your lifestyle. Since you’ll be driving most of the time, getting a more relaxed breed or an older dog that doesn’t require tons of exercise is key. Short-haired dogs will leave you with less clean-up and maintenance. Having a dog under 50 pounds will also help with any space or comfort issues. Just a few examples of the best breeds for the job are:

  • Bulldog
  • Pitbull
  • Boston Terrier
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Dachshund
  • Chihuahua

Other Types of Traveling Companions to Consider

Dogs aren’t the only good traveling companion, they’re just the most common. Some truckers travel with cats, birds, or even rodents. Find an animal that suits your needs! If you’re looking for a new pet, try adopting from Pet Finder.

Other Tips to Remember

  • Never ever leave your dog or pet in a hot truck. It’s illegal and cruel.
  • Don’t leave them alone, they’ll get scared or they might even get stolen.
  • Always keep your pet’s documents with you.
  • Train your dog for their safety and your peace of mind.