The challenge for owner-operators to stay healthy is everywhere, from selecting healthy food on the road to getting enough exercise and sleep.
Sleep: The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults 26 to 64 years old get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night and adults 65 years and older get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Too little sleep effects daytime alertness and performance. Sleep apnea also affects performance. The disorder disrupts breathing during sleep and can cause low blood oxygen levels, which can lead to hypertension, heart disease, as well as mood and memory problems, and increases the risk of drowsy driving. Anyone who snores loudly, has a hard time staying awake and is tired even after they think they got a full night’s sleep should consider consulting a doctor.
Diet: Unhealthy eating habits can impact an owner-operator’s overall health in a negative way. According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion eating healthy foods with appropriate calorie levels and maintaining a healthy weight will dramatically reduce risk of chronic disease. Consuming foods that are low in added sugars, saturated fats and sodium helps keep your diet on track and reduce your risk for disease. Because it’s more challenging to make healthy choices on the road, consider planning ahead and cooking healthy meals ahead to take with you on the road or cook in the truck so you’re not be faced with high calorie and high fat choices often found at truck stops.
Exercise: Research done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that people who are physically active live longer and have lower risks for a variety of diseases and conditions. Fitting exercise into your schedule regularly is important and can help overall health. The CDC recommends adults between the ages of 18 and 64 get at least 2 and a half hours of moderate to intense aerobic activity every week.
According to the CDC, regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can help:
- Control your weight
- Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
- Reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
- Reduce your risk of some cancers
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve your mental health and mood
- Improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you’re an older adult
- Increase your chances of living longer
Learn more about these benefits at: CDC.gov
*Check with your doctor before starting any exercise routine.
Health and Fitness are this month’s Safety Thursday topics. Join us on the Safety Thursday Conference Call: dial 877-717-5921 August 18, 2016. The call starts at 12 p.m. EST.
The Sleep Foundation
The Sleep Foundation: Disorders, problems
CDC.gov: Physical Activity
At Landstar, safety is the number one priority on every load dispatched. Every agent, BCO and carrier at Landstar expects valid information regarding the freight they are agreeing to transport and that information plays a crucial role in the transport.
Landstar customers expect their shipments to be picked up and delivered to the destination on time and without accidents or claims. Agents play an important role in the process by using Landstar’s Complete and Accurate dispatch procedure.
Various items are included in Landstar’s Complete and Accurate dispatch check list:
- Freight description including height, weight and dimensions
- Accurate shipper and consignee information
- Hours of service status
- High risk procedures needed
- Equipment requirements
- Specific instructions needed for complete and accurate dispatch
Inclement weather can also disrupt safe and timely travel. Agents, BCOs and carriers should remember that communication in these situations is key to successful shipments.
Landstar BCOs and Agents can reference Landstar’s Complete and Accurate Dispatch check list at any time by logging into LandstarOnline.com.
Join Landstar on the Safety Thursday Conference Call, Thursday April 21, 2016 at 12 p.m. EST. Dial 1-877-717-5921 to join in.
For the fifth consecutive year, Landstar received top honors and was recognized among the “Top 20 Best Fleets to Drive For,” during the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) 2016 Annual Convention. Landstar Vice President of Safety and Compliance Mike Cobb attended the convention, held March 6-9 at the Wynn Las Vegas Resort.
“Landstar was honored to receive TCA’s National Fleet Safety Awards again this year. We were pleased to also receive an exclusive honorable mention of being the only large fleet named in the ‘Top 20 Best Fleets to Drive For’ for five consecutive years,” said Cobb.
Landstar was also honored with two National Fleet Safety awards during TCA’s convention. Among 17 trucking companies to earn National Fleet Safety Awards, Landstar was recognized in the Division II 5-14.99 million miles and the Division VI 100+ million miles categories. Division winners were selected based on their accident frequency per million miles, as verified by an independent audit.
This is the eighth year of the TCA survey which is open to all U.S. and Canadian fleets that operate 10 or more trucks. To be considered, fleets must be nominated by one of their drivers, either a company driver or an owner-operator.
“Landstar’s owner-operators help make Landstar an industry leader by providing excellence in safety and service. We are proud that the owner-operators leased to Landstar feel they have freedom, opportunity and the support services they need to successfully run their own businesses,” said Landstar Executive Vice President of Capacity Development Rocco Davanzo.
Landstar’s Field Safety Managers are responsible for contributing to the safety dialogue between Business Capacity Owners (BCOs), customers and agents.
“Our main goal is to reduce accidents and cargo claims,” said Landstar Field Safety Manager Kip Kaske. “Field Safety Managers provide a great resource for our Landstar agents, BCOs and customers.”
When Field Safety Managers assist in promoting Landstar’s safety culture, overall safety awareness increases.
“As Field Safety Managers, we help keep our nation’s highways safe,” said Landstar Field Safety Manager Jared Fritts. “Our job makes a difference in people’s lives.”
Field Safety managers are key to the following important safety initiatives at Landstar:
- M.U.S.T. (Mutual Understanding of Safety Together) – A unique program that brings Landstar representatives and customers together so that freight is delivered safely, on time, damage-free and in a professional manner.
- No-Zone Events – Providing safety education to the public about the No-Zone, and teaching motorists how to safely share the road with big trucks.
- Law Enforcement – Field Safety Managers promote Landstar’s safety message and build relationships by participating in local law enforcement events.
- Data & Information- Safety managers provide performance and participation data to Landstar Safety Officers (LSOs) and regional representatives. This includes promoting the LSO of the Month program and the Safety Thursday Conference Call.
- Safety Meetings – Safety managers help facilitate meetings across the country for BCOs, LSOs and agents. The meetings help Landstar communicate safety regulation changes and company and industry statistics, all while identifying best practices to reduce accidents and cargo claims.
Join Landstar Field Safety Managers on the February 18, 2016 Safety Thursday Conference Call. The call starts at 12 p.m. EST. Dial 1-877-717-5921 to join in.
The road to success starts with a healthy lifestyle, here are some key elements to keeping your health at its peak.
Studies show that how long a person sleeps is an important regulator of body weight and metabolism, and especially the levels of leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is a hormone, made by fat cells, that decreases your appetite and ghrelin is a hormone that increases the appetite. Sleep loss leads to higher levels of ghrelin that trigger the appetite and lower levels of leptin which tells your body when it is full. Simply put, less than 8 hours of sleep can change those hormones and in turn, cause weight gain.
Read the 10 effects of sleep loss from WebMD.com
Nutritionists say eating five servings of vegetables each day can help people live healthier lives. Choosing the right vegetables to consume is also a very important part of the process. Color is a good indicator of a vegetable’s level of nutrition. Vegetables with vibrant colors such as red tomatoes or dark green broccoli and spinach are a healthier choice than non-vibrant vegetables like potatoes and iceberg lettuce. Preparing vegetables in a healthy way is important too. Avoid adding too much salt, butter and cheese to your veggies to keep them healthy. Do not overcook your vegetables either, the closer a vegetable is to its natural state, the healthier they are.
More from FruitsAndVeggiesMoreMatters
Exercise: The Center for Disease Control recommends people exercise 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes. A brisk walk is a good way for BCOs to get exercise while out on the road. Taking a walk during stops and before going to bed at night will not only help your sleep patterns, but can help improve your health in general. Walking around a 53’ trailer 32 times is the equivalent to walking one mile.
Here are the guidelines from the CDC for improving overall health and decreasing the risk of chronic diseases: CDC Guidelines
Join the Landstar Safety Thursday Conference Call on the third Thursday of every month at 12 p.m. (noon) ET, dial 877-717-5921.
Winter means wet, cold and in some places freezing weather. The most important practice to combat Mother Nature during the winter months is planning. Keep up to date with weather reports in your immediate area, if snow or ice is predicted, plan to leave earlier or arrive later.
Always put safety first:
When traveling on icy roads, slow down, increase following distance, and avoid any changes in speed or direction. If chain laws are active, consider finding a safe place to park until restrictions are lifted and roads are cleared.
- Consider your load. If you are empty or hauling a light load (20,000 pounds or less) your stopping distance will increase and your stability will decrease: NHTSA
- Be aware of fast-freezing road surfaces like bridges and overpasses: Icy Road Safety
- Wait out the weather at a truck stop, parking lot or rest area.
- Be sure to inform the agent and customer when stuck in a weather delay.
Know your equipment:
There are many factors that affect a skid; including speed, road surface, tires, wind speed, weight and the load’s center of balance.
Follow these links for more tips and information on driving during winter weather:
Follow this checklist to prepare for winter driving:
- Always perform a pre-trip inspection before leaving.
- Check windshield wiper blades to ensure they work properly.
- Check tire pressure; under or over inflation can reduce the tires gripping action.
- Scrape ice and snow from every window, exterior mirrors and the hood of the truck.
- Always use safety belts, both lap and shoulder straps.
- Always drive with your lights on, low beams are often more effective than high beams in heavy fog or snow.
- Keep the fuel tank at least half-full; the extra volume can reduce moisture problems with in a fuel system and adds extra weight to the vehicle making the truck less susceptible to high wind gusts.
- Stop often in safe areas to make sure snow and ice does not accumulate on the tractor, trailer or exterior lights.
- Drive slowly, remember posted speed limits identify the maximum speed allowed in ideal weather conditions. Law enforcement can write citations to drivers if weather conditions warrant a slower speed.
- Never be a “sitting duck,” remember, Landstar does not allow parking on the side of any road or interstate unless it’s a true emergency.
- Be alert to other drivers, anticipate vehicles coming from side streets and increase following distances.
- Don’t use a cellular phone or a hands free device to make a call when driving in ice or snow. Even with hands-free options, driving during inclement weather should be done with no distractions.
Additional sources for winter driving safety:
American Trucking Association, Snow Removal Laws by state: American Trucking Association
IcyRoadSafety.com: Icy Road Safety & Icy Road Driving
Winter Driving 101: Trucks & Winter Driving
Join the Landstar Safety Thursday Conference Call on the third Thursday of every month at 12 p.m. (noon) ET, dial 877-717-5921.
A load at rest is a load at risk!
Cargo thieves do not take holidays off, they use the holiday season to capitalize on poorly coordinated dispatch. Cargo thieves are always on the lookout for unattended equipment loaded with High Risk Cargo (HRC) or other lucrative cargo which is easily marketed for a quick profit. It takes less than 5 minutes for a cargo thief to steal your truck, trailer and load.
With approaching holidays in Canada and the United States, Landstar is reminding all BCOs, Carriers and 3rd Party Logistics providers to be mindful of their trucks, trailers and cargo during this high-risk time.
Businesses will be closed as Canada celebrates Canada Day on Wednesday July 1st and Friday, July 3rd for Independence Day in the U.S.
Here are some tips to keep you secure:
- Verify your shipper’s and receiver’s holiday schedule.
- Remember to use your locks!
- HRC cannot be taken home for any reason.
- Secure yards available across the country, but they fill up quickly around holidays.
If you need assistance, contact Landstar Security and Cargo Loss Prevention at 800-872-9103.
April is Distracted Driver Awareness month and to combat distracted driving, the Department of Transportation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is leading an effort to stop texting and cell phone use behind the wheel.
The campaign, “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” is an effort designed to crack down on distracted driving nationwide. From April 10th through the 15th, state and local law enforcement will aggressively ticket drivers who are found to be texting or using their mobile devices while driving.
The NHTSA campaign is also designed to save lives. NHTSA data shows at least 3,154 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2013 and that 424,000 Americans were injured in distracted driving accidents.
NHTSA recommends motorists follow these guidelines in order to prevent distracted driving:
- Turn off electronic devices and put them out of reach before driving
- Be good role models for young drivers, talk to teens about distracted driving
- Speak up if you are a passenger and the driver is using their electronic device while driving
- Always wear your seat belt. Seat belts are the biggest defense against unsafe drivers
Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation has launched a variety of creative campaigns to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. You can learn more about the U Drive. U Text. U Pay. campaign on the official U.S. Government website for distracted driving: http://www.distraction.gov/
Follow this link from the NHTSA for more information and statistics on distracted driving: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812132.pdf.