Fall Driving Safety Tips

Although we hate to admit it, summer is almost over and autumn is on the horizon. The fall season is beautiful, but it brings extra hazards to the road. School traffic, unpredictable weather, and deer are just some extra things drivers need to worry about. With these factors in play, it is important to take extra precautions while driving. Not every accident is preventable but knowing what to look for can help you out in the long run.

School Traffic: School is back in session which means 55 million children will head to school each week. Whether they travel by bus, car, bike, or are walking – drivers need to be extremely vigilant. Here are some tips to make your daily commute as smooth as possible.
  • School Zones: In the morning and afternoon hours, school zones are especially busy.  Speed limits are lower in school zones for a very good reason. “A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster.” (AAA)
  • Buses:  “Be sure to stop for flashing red lights or a stop sign on a school bus, regardless of which direction you’re headed. Continue your trip once the bus has moved, the flashing lights stop flashing, or the bus driver signals it’s OK to pass.” (Corsicanadailysun.com)
Weather: One day it’s a hot fall day, and the next is cold and rainy. Autumn weather is truly unpredictable, so as a driver, you must be prepared for the worst.
  • Leaves: If you come upon a pile of wet leaves on the road, make sure that you slow down for them. They can cause your tires to slide and that could potentially cause an accident.
  • Sun Glare: Around the time of the autumnal equinox, driving may be more difficult due to the sun. From 15 to 45 minutes after sunrise/sunset, the glare from the sun may be so bright that it makes driving tough. During these times of day, try driving north/south if possible, and be sure to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
  • Bridges: With dropping temperatures comes frosty mornings. Frost will often build up on the roadway, leaving icy patches. Approach bridges with caution in order to avoid potential accidents.
Wild Animals: “Watch out for deer. Autumn marks the beginning of deer breeding season and they will be more active in areas near the road. Deer are most active during sunset and sunrise so be extra watchful when driving near the woods and near deer crossing signs.” (Stonewall Agency)
  • Stay Alert After Spotting Deer: Because deer travel in packs, it’s imperative that if you see one, you look for others.
  • Do Not Swerve: If a deer walks/runs in front of your vehicle – DO NOT SWERVE. By doing this, you put yourself in a position that could harm yourself and others.
  • Night Driving: If there are no other vehicles around you, turn on your high beams. This will give you better a better view of your surroundings and potential animals that could get in your way. Just remember to dim them if an oncoming vehicle is within five hundred feet away from you.

We know that some of these tips may seem obvious, but it never hurts to have a little refresher. Drive safely!

Stress Management Tips

Most people wake up, go to work, go home, go to bed, wake up, and do it all over again. The days go by and the routine hardly changes. For a truck driver, the workday is anything but normal. For one thing, the location changes daily. On Tuesday you may go to sleep in New York, and by Thursday you are in Wisconsin. Deadlines are tight, meaning that there is not a lot of room for error. To say that driving truck is stressful would be an understatement.

When caught up in the stresses of the job and life in general, we sometimes forget how important it is to step back, unwind, and relax. There are many stress management and self-care options out there, and it’s time for you to make them a priority.

Fuel Your Body with Healthy Foods – With busy schedules and little space to prepare healthy meals, eating healthy on the road can be a challenge. Although it’s easy to load up on greasy fast food and high calorie snacks when you are putting on fuel, there are healthy option available at most places that you will stop. When grabbing a quick bite to eat, try to incorporate as many fruits and vegetables as you can. Swap out fried food for a grilled or broiled option. Aim to eat snacks that are high in protein and fiber and low in fat. Snacks like beef jerky, trail mix, popcorn, yogurt, fruits, and vegetables are tasty alternatives to chips, candy, and other fatty or sugar packed treats. These foods are not only important for physical health, but mental health as well.

Get an Adequate Amount of Sleep – Sleep is a key asset when it comes to good mental health. You’re working long, hard hours and a good night sleep is essential for making sure that you can work at an optimum level. Sleeping can often be tough while you are in your sleeper berth, but there are measures you can take to get the most of your sleep. One is to invest in a good pillow. If you sleep on your back, side, or stomach, there are specific types of pillows that can help you get a better night sleep. Having the wrong pillow can lead to headaches, neck pain, and arm numbness. Another step you can take is to block out noise and light with earplugs and eye masks or close the curtains on your truck. Every step you take to improve your sleep will help you feel better overall.

Exercise is Key – Sitting behind the steering wheel for extended periods of time leaves little time to hit the gym. Truckstop gyms are sometimes an option, but there are more practical ways to work out without even having to leave your truck.   Resistance bands, kettlebells, and dumbbells can easily be stored in your truck and with YouTube, there are enough exercise videos to watch that will guarantee you never run out of ideas. Some exercises can even be done while you’re driving. An example of one that can be done while driving is the abdominal crunch. Squeeze your abs and hold them from one mile marker to the next. Any activity that you can do is beneficial, because while you exercise, your body releases endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals produced by your body that help relieve stress and pain.

Find Humor – They weren’t lying when they said “laughter is the best medicine.” Studies show that laughter has a number of benefits. For one, it helps with your blood flow. When laughing, blood flow increases and that can help combat against heart attacks. Laughing also causes the release of some hormones and chemicals into our bodies, and that causes us to be happy! Call up an old friend, watch a funny movie, read the comic section from a newspaper… whatever measures you need to take in order to laugh a little – do it!

Stress relief is different for everyone and it is important to find what works for you. Although your stress won’t disappear all together, finding little tricks to help manage it will benefit your overall well being in the long run.

Cooking On the Road

As drivers, you know that living on the road is not always convenient; especially when it comes to cooking. Fast food and truck stop meals are always readily available, and it is easy to forget that you can actually cook in your truck. And no, I’m not talking about making sandwiches or heating up something in the microwave. Sometimes we just need a tasty home cooked meal. With a slow cooker, you can cook a variety of meals that are not only delicious, but healthy as well. While most slow cooker meals require an extensive list of ingredients, there are many that only require a couple.

Slow cookers are pretty much fool proof. You throw in your choice of protein, a base, maybe some seasoning if you are feeling crazy, turn it on and voila – your meal will be ready in a few short hours.

There are three things that I recommend when trying to make these meals. The first thing is obviously a slow cooker. They come in many different shapes and sizes, so you should not have a problem finding one that will conveniently fit in your truck. The Road Pro 12 Volt Slow Cooker is very popular among truck drivers for many reasons. For one, the 5’ cord plugs directly into your cigarette lighter. Another appealing feature is that the 1.5 Quart inner casing is easy to remove and it’s dishwasher safe. You can find them at many different retailers across the country for around $30.

RoadPro 12 Volt Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker liners are essential when using your slow cooker. Instead of having to find some place to wash out your cooker, you’re able to put the liner in, cook your meal, and throw it away. Easy as pie. You can find a 4 pack of these at any Walmart, Target, or grocery store for $3 or $4.

Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners

The last thing that you should invest in is a meat thermometer. It is important to make sure that your meat is fully cooked before consumption. Temperatures do vary from meat to meat, so I have attached a handy guide that will help protect you from food borne illnesses.

Habor Meat Thermometer

You can make really anything in the crock pot. Soups, roasts, desserts, appetizers – you name it and it can probably be done. I’m choosing to write about a couple easy meals that you can use as a base and grow on. You can doctor these meals to be your own by adding vegetables, grains, or spices.

Pork Chops:

  • 1 Package of Pork Chops (about a pound or so)
  • 1 Can of Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 Packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dry Mix Seasoning

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients and mix, put them in the slow cooker for 4/6 hours on high.

Mexican Chicken:

  • 1lb of Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Package of Taco Seasoning
  • 1 Can of Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients and mix, put them in the slow cooker for 4/6 hours on high.

Grape Jelly & BBQ Meatballs:

  • 32oz Bag of Fully Cooked Meatballs
  • 18oz Jar of Grape Jelly
  • 18oz Bottle of Barbecue Sauce

Directions:

Combine jelly and barbecue sauce in the base of the crockpot. Add meatballs and stir until they are all coated. Cook on high for 2 to 3 hours.

 

The possibilities are endless when it comes to what can be made in a slow cooker. If you ever run out of ideas, all it takes is one quick Google search for “slow cooker recipes” and you’ll have thousands of results!

Welcome

Welcome to the S&S Transport Blog! Whether you’re one of our drivers, a potential driver, a staff member, or someone else who stumbled across our blog; we welcome you.

It all began in Grand Forks, North Dakota in 1981 with a borrowed truck and two drivers. Today, S&S Transport has grown into one of the most modern, well-equipped fleets in the Midwest. While the company has evolved, our mission holds true. The goal of S&S is to provide excellence in customized logistics services, adding further value to our customers’ businesses that assists them in achieving their own company’s goals. Our core values include but are not limited to conducting ethical business practices, focusing on customer needs, developing partnerships with all our customers, and practicing continuous improvements.

Ever since Pat and June Seng started the company, the trucking industry has changed substantially. In the last (almost) 40 years, trucks have become more environmentally friendly, Hours of Service have changed, ELDs have been mandated and many drivers have turned into numbers. As a family owned and operated company, we pride ourselves on maintaining that family feel, even after our “family” has grown significantly. At many companies, drivers never get the chance to meet anyone within the corporate office. When you are in our office, you can talk to everyone face to face. From the president and payroll to dispatch and recruiting, we are all under one roof and happy to help you.

While the family aspect remains, the biggest change we have seen since the 1980’s is the size of our fleet. We no longer have one borrowed truck, but instead over 130 trucks of our own. With the average age of the trucks being a year and a half old and a comprehensive maintenance plan, you can guarantee that we have one of the most immaculate fleets on the road today.

We are excited to begin our blogging journey. To follow along, click here for the latest on company updates, trucking news, and everything in between!