Night Driving Safety Tips

Night Driving Safety Tips for Truckers

As a trucker, you may prefer to drive at night to avoid all kinds of traffic, road construction, and glare. But night driving requires some extra care as it can be quite dangerous. Not only is visibility reduced but there is the fatigue factor to contend with.

Driving while extremely fatigued is almost like driving while intoxicated. You may have slower reaction times, feel confused, be easily distracted, and even hallucinate as you begin dreaming with your eyes open. Drowsy driving is the number one cause of trucking accidents on the road, which has led to formal regulations that dictate how many hours a truck driver can remain on the road in a given 24-hour period and how often they need to take a rest.

But driving while drowsy is not the only thing to think about when taking to the roads at night. Here are a few things to consider so that everyone on the road can stay safe around a trucker while driving at night. Safety is paramount to us as a Red Deer trucking company.

Get the Sleep You Need

Don’t be tempted to push it. Whether you sleep at night and drive during the day, or you prefer the other way around, make sure you get a full night’s sleep, even if your “night” is during the day. This will help you stay alert when you’re behind the wheel.

Ensure Your Lines of Sight are Clear

Night driving requires greater attention on the road and that means keeping your vision clear. Ensure that the windshield is clean, your dashboard lights are turned down, and for more robust vision, you can use night glasses to brighten up the road.

As well, avoid looking into oncoming traffic so that your eyes are unaffected by headlight glare.

Be Ready for Anything

Nightfall brings out more wildlife, both in nature and in humans. Be on the lookout for animals on the road and the occasional intoxicated driver. These dangers tend to creep up out of nowhere so maintaining a safe distance from the vehicles around the truck will give you ample time to react when necessary. Furry creatures crossing the road are more unpredictable but by staying alert and ready, it’s easier to deal with should the need arise.

Check Your Vision

It’s a fact that as we age, our vision tends to deteriorate. It’s important to check your vision regularly and speak to your eye-care professional about maintaining the right prescription glasses at all times. They may even have some suggestions on night driving glasses.

Stick to the Rules of the Road

Road rules are there to limit disasters, so ensure that you are always following those rules, especially when it comes to the speed limit. You may fall behind schedule but speeding will only increase the risks of traffic violation tickets, or worst-case scenario, a deadly collision as speed limits the ability to react to what you can’t control on the road.

Bottom line, take some extra precautions as a trucker when driving at night and get there safely.


Tips for the New Driver

Tips for the New Driver

You’ve made the decision to get on the open road and drive a truck. It’s a great and noble job that so many people and companies rely on. But as a new truck driver, there are some things to know before and while you get your feet wet in the business. The faster you understand them, the more successful you will be as a truck driver.

To prepare you for the job ahead, here are some important considerations to keep in mind that will get you through the initial stages of the trucking business with a trucking company Red Deer trusts like Nossack Transport Ltd.

What to Expect from Trucker Training

If you’ve already been through your CDL training, then you understand that it can be a little grueling and that maneuvering a truck takes practice. But if you have not been through formal training yet, don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t come naturally. There is more to trucking than just driving, as it can be a challenge to position a 70-foot-long truck just right for pickups, deliveries, and just parking in a rest area. These are all skills that you will eventually master and your training will ensure that you do.

Stay Flexible

Driving a truck is not always taking a load from point-A to point-B. Things happen and it’s up to you as the driver to handle anything that comes your way. That might include dealing with a canceled load after you’ve arrived for the pickup, being rerouted when you’re almost at your destination, and handling all kinds of road and weather conditions. Remember that you can only be on the road for so long during any given day and that communication with your dispatcher is critical.

When You’re Not Sure, Ask

In any new role, it’s important to do the job right but that doesn’t mean the process is clear. When something doesn’t make sense or you receive conflicting information, don’t guess. Check with the appropriate person and clarify so that you’re not stuck in a position where you’ve made the wrong choice and it affects so many other people down the line.

Stay Within Yourself

As a new truck driver, it’s easy to go beyond your capabilities after a couple of easy runs, but it’s important that you maintain the same level of focus and diligence. The next load might not be as simple as the last one, so stay on top of the instructions provided, and don’t over promise and under deliver. While failure is not what you’re looking for, ever, you certainly don’t want to stretch yourself too thin to succeed. That will only lead to burnout.

So learn from every experience while you’re out there, ask questions when you need to, seek insight from more experienced truck drivers, and always maintain the highest standard of safety. These are the ways you can improve as a driver, protect yourself from failure, and protect your truckload to gain confidence in yourself and from those you work for.


The Importance of Safety

The Importance of Safety in Trucking

Safety is always the primary concern when it comes to trucking. And in this industry, safety goes well beyond the well-being of the driver. There are so many reasons to take trucking safety into account, for the driver, for the company, and for everyone who does business or comes in contact with the truck.

Here are some important benefits that come as a result of putting the proper attention on safety in the trucking industry.

Maintain Good Scores with FMCSA’s CSA Program

Unsafe practices can result in lowering a trucking company’s score through the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program (CSA), run through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). As some shippers will not do business with a trucking company that holds low scores, it can dramatically affect overall business and the ability to remain competitive.

Attract More Drivers

Good drivers know how good trucking companies should operate and they will choose the ones with the better CSA scores to work with. They understand that any effect on the company’s score is reflected on their own driver’s resume. So drivers are increasingly unwilling to work with a company that is not focused on the best safety practices.

Improve Driver Retention

Drawing in more drivers is just one aspect of truck safety but you can also keep the drivers you have happy and working for your company. With industry turnover rates already at very high levels, many trucking companies understand that driver retention is important for the business.

Decrease Accidental Damage and Death

On busy roads, it’s a certainty that crashes will happen. The question is, who is at fault? Fatal truck crashes are on the rise and in many cases, these crashes are the result of poor driver decisions, including excess speed or aggressive handling, as well as inattentiveness. The proper training and responsibility can only drop these rising crash rates.

Safety is a Cost Saver

Enhancing safety can lower the costs of the damage repair as a result of collisions. Then there are the added costs for violations that arise due to improper safety maintenance and use of the vehicle. A single major truck accident can cost the company over $55,000.

Avoid Bad Publicity

Any negative news about a company can be the kiss of death. All it takes is one bad accident that is widely known or gets news coverage and the company image could be in ruin. Even if the crash did not result in death, the finger will be pointed at the trucking company for mishandling safety standards. Leading to not only costs associated with the crash but the loss of future business as well.

Safety Responsibility Extends Beyond the Driver

The driver is certainly responsible for the operation of the vehicle, but it also falls on the technicians, those who load the trailer, and the technological equipment installed in the truck that assists with its operation.

These reasons make avoiding safety hazards so critical to a trucking company. Maintain every aspect of the business to keep a grip on safety.


How is Truck Transport More Efficient Than Railroad?

Two of the most common forms of cargo transport are trucks and railroads. Both serve to take cargo across continents effectively every day. But which is more efficient? Which method is better in terms of speed, cost, and reliability?

While both remain key components of the economy, trucking accounts for over 70% of all freight running through the United States alone. That tells us something about the shipping industry. But let’s look at which is truly more efficient in the transport of goods, trucking or railroads.

Railroads as a Method of Shipping

For real efficiency in terms of fuel costs, railroads lead the way with about 400 ton-miles per gallon, so cargo can go a long way on very little fuel. The trains are perfect for hauling very large cargo over long distances quite effectively. Short distances tend to be a problem though and railcars are not as cost-effective for smaller cargo.

Plus, costs are much lower for rail than any other kind of transport system. The railroads also move quickly, on a set schedule, so you can have your cargo much sooner than you think via railway. However, trains can only go from station to station, which means you have to get your cargo to the station and pick it up on the other end. So even if you get it there by train, you still need a truck at both ends to complete the journey.

Truck Shipment Efficiencies

Go where trains can’t with a truck, which can provide door to door transport every time. Trucking may cost a little more, but the conveniences and speed far outweigh that extra cost to create better value. There is no set schedule, so trucking can offer a delivery system based on when you want to ship your cargo.

What differentiates trucking from rail, even more, is the ability to track your cargo every step of the way. While a truck may be slower than rail over longer hauls, they do have the flexibility to adapt to road conditions and weather patterns, which is not possible for train transport. But in any event, you can know where your load is through a GPS tracker.

Since trucks can get cargo to its destination relatively easily, especially on shorter runs, it is by far the better choice over rail. It may cost a little more to ship but trucks can handle just about any size load in any configuration, which is difficult to do with railcars.

Trucking is involved with just about all aspects of cargo shipments, so the efficiencies of trucks are felt globally throughout many industries. Because if you think about it, everything you have was brought to you by truck, whether the truck took the whole journey itself or it was part of the process. So trucking is so efficient that even railroads need it to make their shipments. That’s how much more efficient trucking is over railroads.



What is LTL Trucking?

There are several ways to ship bulk items, car, rail, boat, truck, and air all have their advantages and drawbacks. One of the most common methods is by truck and even then, there are various options available. Here we will have a look at one of the most prevalent shipping methods, known as LTL trucking, to find out what it is, how it works, and when to use it.

What Does LTL Trucking Mean?

Trucks come in all kinds of sizes to accommodate various loads that can be shipped in them. But what happens if you need to send something by truck and it doesn’t take up the space that a full load would? That’s when LTL freight shipping comes in. LTL, or Less Than Truckload, is ideal for a shipment that does not require an entire trailer of space to haul it.

Typically, LTL freight is used to loads that weigh 150 to 15,000 pounds. This way, the shipper only pays for that portion of the truck that is used to carry to shipment. The additional space on the truck is usually taken up by other LTL shipments that are traveling in the same direction.

How Can You Benefit from LTL Shipping?

There are several ways a shipper can benefit from sending items through LTL shipping:

  • Lower shipping costs: Because you only pay for that portion of the ruck that is needed to hold the shipment, the cost is reduced, as other loads take up the extra space in the trailer.
  • Increased security: As most LTL shipments are loaded onto a pallet so that it can be placed on the truck, it is a more secure method of delivery than using multiple handlers to take smaller parts. Everything arrives in one piece, at the same time.
  • Added service options available: LTL shipping gives you access to other service options, including liftgates and inside pickup and delivery.
  • Tracking: The ability to track a shipment makes LTL an excellent way to go for any business delivery.

When is LTL Shipping Appropriate?

LTL is perfect for any business that wants to save on costs. As long as the shipment is under 15,000 pounds and it does not take up an entire trailer, LTL can get it there on a budget. Keep in mind that since the shipment is traveling by truck, you have to also consider the time it takes for the delivery. If you need something halfway across the country by the next day, LTL may not be the right choice. But given time to make the journey, LTL can save money and reliably deliver. Just remember, anything under 150 pounds can probably go via parcel shipping.

Any business wants to be efficient and cost-effective in their methods. With LTL freight, businesses have the option of low-cost shipping that is secure and trackable. And since LTL is a very common way to ship bulky items, it’s easy to find a reputable shipper that can handle the load.


Reasons to Use Refrigerated Trucking

Sometimes, you need more than just the average truck to make a shipment work. Refrigerated trucking solves a lot of problems in its ability to handle perishable items during a long haul. There are many reasons to use refrigerated trucking for shipments, which have been used for about 150 years in one form or another.

Those businesses that use refrigerated shipping methods today can reach a wider customer base, lower costs, and provide value for their customers as well as their bottom line, and here’s why.

Multiple Layers of Protection

While the right packing for any shipped cargo is important, a good refrigerated shipping company utilizes the tools at their disposal to provide the appropriate temperature control settings for a stable environment while en route for total protection. This helps to keep cargo from being wasted in transport. The less waste for a business, the higher the return on their investment and the great ability they have to deliver for their customers. That means more goes to the bottom line.

Specialized Training

When dealing with refrigerated trucking companies in Red Deer, you can expect everyone involved to be fully trained in this specialized method of transport. It takes more than just a cold truck and a driver to handle these kinds of deliveries. When you have cargo that requires a specific temperature and a certain turnaround time, you need the qualifications of someone that knows how to take care of that shipment.

Certifications and Qualifications

To ensure that your refrigerated cargo is transported efficiently, effectively, safely, and on time, you need a qualified transport service with the right temperature-controlled systems to make it happen. That requires the proper certifications to keep your cargo safe throughout the trip.

Total Control

In many cases, you need a very high degree of temperature control to maintain the integrity of the cargo. There is a very big difference in an environment with just a 2-degree difference in temperature. This is especially critical when there is any kind of shipping delay, as businesses need to have assurances that their cargo will remain viable at the proper temperature.

Customized Shipping

No matter what you need to have transported, shipping it in a refrigerated truck not only keeps it at the right temperature for the cargo, but each shipment can be customized to fit the needs of that cargo. Through different vehicles, refrigeration equipment, and personnel, a business can rely on just one trusted trucking company to ensure different measures according to what is being shipped.

Stay Fresh

In today’s world of healthier lifestyles and sourcing local products, providing the freshest possible items to customers is very important. With refrigerated trucking, any business can deliver top-quality, fresh foods to customers and stores, and restaurants. It’s a way to give people what they want quickly and reliably.

There is incredible value in utilizing the services of refrigerated trucking companies for all sorts of products. It’s just a matter of getting it delivered at the right temperature.


What Training is Required to Become a Truck Driver in Alberta?

There is no better job than the one you love doing every day. So if you enjoy driving, becoming a truck driver in Alberta may be for you. There are some things you need to know to make sure you achieve your goal of becoming a truck driver the right way, giving you the freedom to work while enjoying the open road.

You Need a Class-1 License

To obtain the proper license to drive a truck in Alberta, you will need to go through mandatory training, along with a road test as undertaken by the provincial government. This will provide you with the Class-1 license that you need to drive commercially and work for a trucking company in Red Deer or anywhere in the province.

How to Obtain your Class-1 License in Alberta

There are several hoops to jump through before you can say you have your Class-1 license and are ready to start driving commercially in the province of Alberta.

First, you must ensure that you meet the following qualifications:

  • You are at least 18 years of age
  • To take the Class-1 training course, you must first have a Class-5 or a Class-5 GDL operator’s license
  • A Class-5 issued by the province of Alberta is essential, so if you are from out-of-province, you will need to update your certification
  • Ensure that you can pass the medical prerequisites before applying, including a vision test for a minimum of 20/30 vision

Second, enroll in a training program that is officially licensed by the Alberta government.

This means you will need to attend classes for both Class-1 licensing and air brake endorsement (Q) training. Once these courses are passed, you will be issued a form that permits you to take the next step.

Third, the next step is the knowledge test. This is based on your knowledge of air brakes as well as the Alberta Commercial Driver’s Guide. You will need to answer correctly on at least 25 of the 30 multiple-choice questions for each of the two tests.

Fourth, is the medical exam that is required.

You will need to get a report for the attending doctor, which will then be submitted to the local registry agent. These medical reports are valid for up to 6-months.

The final step in the process is the road test.

This can only be done after the first four steps are completed successfully. Apply for a test permit and schedule an appointment at an approved testing location. You will need to supply your own tractor-trailer combination with a minimum of three axels and an air brake system.

Your test begins with an inspection of the vehicle, so it’s important to know the inspection processes. You can ten expect the driving portion of the test to last about 1.5 hours but when you pass, you can pick up your Class-1 license and begin driving commercial trucks in Alberta.

For a small investment of time and money in yourself, you can do what you love as a truck driver.