FAQ: How National Nutrition Month Impacts Truckers

With long stretches of highway and limited options, it can be easy to forget the importance that National Nutrition Month has on truckers. However, with obesity and heart disease rates at an all-time high for drivers, it has never been more important to consider reevaluating those quick diet decisions. To help you keep it healthy, Gray Transportation has the answers you need about achieving a beneficial lifestyle on the road.

What can I bring on the road that is healthy but won’t spoil?

As a truck driver, you will need to plan ahead.  By packing meals and snacks that are better for you, you’ll be able to help maintain your weight.  Bringing fruits as a snack is always a good idea, but if you’re afraid of them spoiling, you can bring canned fruits that are in their own natural juice with no added sugar.  Anything whole grain is an important alternative to white breads, and tuna or sardines also come canned so they won’t spoil.  You could also eat high fiber cereal.  Make sure to drink more water and slow down on the sodas and energy drinks.

What are some appliances I can use to create my own healthy foods?

Try using appliances like portable coolers, lunchbox cookers, electric skillets, and mini slow cookers.  While you drive, your dinner can be cooking so that it is ready for you when you have a break.  Try using slow cooker liners to make cleanup easier.  Electric pressure cookers are also a good utensil because you can cook potatoes, rice, oatmeal, and soups all in minutes.

How do I lose weight since I’m on the road all of the time?

Losing weight can be hard when you’re constantly driving.  One way to help yourself with this issue is to count your calories.  By limiting your intake, you can decrease snacking and allow your body to burn excess fat for energy.  Additionally, try eating four to five smaller portioned meals per day instead of two or three main meals.  This will help decrease extra calories and can give you the chance to plan healthier options instead of trying to find three big meals to fill you up. To combat inactivity, try exercising at pit stops by doing five to ten minutes of brisk walking to keep your body healthy.

How or where do I start when trying to become healthier?

When deciding to make a change, finding out where to start is always the hardest part.  We recommend keeping it small.  Switch out some unhealthy meals or snacks with healthier food groups and slowly try to eat smaller amounts at mealtimes.  Don’t drink caffeine before going to bed and be sure to make time for a healthy breakfast. By incorporating these reasonable changes, you can make a big difference in your overall well-being.

At Gray Transportation, we put the health and safety of our drivers above the rest. Contact us with any questions or apply for one of our job positions today.

Why American Heart Month Impacts Truckers

At Gray Transportation, we put the health of our drivers above all else. Although truckers provide immeasurable service to our economy, life on the road does bring certain risks. Limited food options and long hours can lead to unhealthy diets and habits. To stay safe, Gray Transportation recognizes American Heart Month by looking at key preventative steps truckers can take to improve their health.

What Puts Truckers at Risk?

Every year, approximately 735,000 people suffer a heart attack in the United States. From this, habits such as smoking, high cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as limited exercise and excessive body fat, can further increase the risk of heart problems. With long hours, a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating, truckers are twice as likely to be obese compared to other professions. Additionally, they are more likely to smoke and have increased blood pressure and high cholesterol, putting them at a high risk of complications.

How Can Truckers Prevent Heart Attacks?

By exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet, you can help improve your overall health even on the road. Although fast food options are the most common along stretches of highway, you can still find healthy options on the menu by substituting a side salad in place of fries, and ditching the burgers for grilled chicken. Instead of potato chips while you are driving, fill up on veggies like carrots or celery that still offer a satisfying crunch. Additionally, do not put off important exercises even if you are in a time crunch. By taking fifteen minutes each day, you can keep your heart healthy and increase overall fitness. Above all, avoid smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke.

How Do You Detect Complications?

In the event of a heart attack, time is one of the most precious variables in limiting damage. If chest pains or feelings such as squeezing or fullness persist, it is not a time to be cautionary. Although this can be as simple as acid reflux, it is important to seek professional assistance in order to rule out the possibility of heart complications, particularly if is paired with back or jaw pain. Similarly, shortness of breath, anxiety, cold sweat, dizziness, fainting, fatigue and nausea are also important triggers.

Although truckers face an increased risk of heart complications, with proper preventative care you can improve your health and decrease the threat. At Gray Transportation, we are committed to providing our drivers with the tools they need to stay fit on the road. Contact us today to find out more about hiring opportunities in the area.

Why Truckers Are Winter Warriors

The arrival of winter can mean holidays, family fun, and warm fires, but it can also signify a potential increase for danger on the road. Ice, snow, sleet and low temperatures can cause complications for even the shortest of trips. The impact of the winter season is particularly evident for truck drivers, as the long days spent on the road can become increasingly difficult. At Gray Transportation, we understand the commitment that truckers make each day. To show our appreciation, we offer these key reasons you should thank a driver this winter:

  • Inclement Weather

The next time you are contemplating driving in the snow, remember that a trucker has to get their job done no matter the elements. With the arrival of snow and ice, big rigs are at an increased risk of losing control. This puts, not only the driver in danger, but raises the hazard for everyone else on the road. Drivers must have the smarts, control and foresight to securely maneuver on these slippery highways to safely deliver their goods.

  • Holiday Deliveries

Every year, millions of Americans search the stores for the best deals on the perfect gifts for friends and family. In order to make this possible, truckers work tirelessly to ensure that each store is stocked. Due to the traffic of the holiday season, this can often correlate with earlier hours and longer days. It is this commitment that helps make this time of year possible.

  • Keeping the World Digital

With the increase of technology, more people are relying on online shopping to provide groceries, gifts and more. This is especially prevalent in the winter, when harsh weather slows outdoor travel. However, online orders don’t arrive magically. Every time you shop, you are helping employ a trucker. With rates of online shopping expecting to skyrocket in the next five years, truckers will continue to be a vital part on the execution of the digital world.

Although winter brings an abundance of obstacles, truckers stay committed to keeping America rolling. It is a direct result of their hard work and dedication that we are able to access the vital items we need each and every day. If you have what it takes to help make a difference, Gray Transportation is now taking applications for drivers. Contact us for more information on the benefits of joining our team.

3 Tips to Avoid Road Fatigue this Holiday Season

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With the arrival of the holidays, truck drivers are faced with increased workloads and longer hours. Due to this, sleep can further fall to the back-burner. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the loss of sleep can contribute to 30 to 40 percent of all highway collisions. Sleep deprivation is constantly ranked as a top concern for both truck drivers and safety administrations. This holiday season, help keep the road safe with these important tips from Gray Transportation.

  • Treat Caffeine with Care

Although a day driving can seem impossible without assistance from caffeine, the stimulate is not a cure all. According to the Sleep Education foundation, caffeine not only makes it difficult to go to sleep but it delays your body’s internal timing. This reduces your total sleep time and limits the amount of deep sleep your body enjoys. To combat this, you don’t need to give up caffeine completely. Instead, try to practice moderation. Limit your intake to no more than 300 to 400 milligrams a day which equals about 3 to 4 cups of coffee (8 oz.).

  • Stop Smoking

Cigarettes contain the stimulus nicotine, which can disrupt your sleeping schedule. A study from the University of Florida found that for each cigarette a person smoked, they lost 1.2 minutes of sleep due to the nicotine’s stimulating withdrawal effects. Smokers also wake more frequently during the night and feel more restless in the morning.  Even more alarmingly, smokers are 2.5 times more likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea as the act of inhaling smoke irritates the tissue in the nose and throat, causing swelling.

  • Maintain a Healthy Weight

About 65% of Americans are now overweight or obese and the condition is particularly damaging to truck drivers. As fast food restaurants and gas stations are often the only choice on long stretches of highway, it can be challenging to practice healthy eating habits. However, this can lead to complications. Not only does obesity lead to an increased risk of sleep apnea,  but getting too little sleep actually helps cause weight gain as well. To fight this vicious cycle, make realistic changes to your diet. Switch from soda to water. To limit snacking during the day, avoid skipping breakfast. Even fast food restaurants now have healthier options, so trade in the bacon cheeseburger for a salad with grilled chicken. Also, don’t be wary of preparing your own food on the road. By using crock pots, you can control the ingredients you use, and have leftovers for the rest of the week.

The holidays mean increased time on the road which can come with potential risk of sleep deprivation. By using these tips, you can improve your sleep quality and increase road safety for yourself and your fellow drivers.

At Gray’s Transportation, our driver’s safety is always our number one concern. Find out more about joining our team today.

4 Reasons to be Thankful for Truck Drivers this Thanksgiving

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With the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to share our joy with loved ones. At Gray Transportation, we salute all the drivers that make this time of year possible. In appreciation of their personal commitment, here are our four reasons to be thankful for truck drivers this Thanksgiving.

  1. Every year, the day after Thanksgiving signals the start of a shopping extravaganza. Fighting your way through the lines to get the latest deals may make you lose focus about the meaning of the season. Truck drivers fight sleet, snow and ice every year to deliver the goods in the bleak early morning hours, working on sleepless nights and crushing deadlines. Don’t forget to take a moment to show your gratitude.
  2. When you stop by the supermarket to pick up your annual turkey, it’s easy to take for granted the aisles of frozen foods. 88 percent of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving resulting in the delivery of about 50 million birds to your local grocery stores. Without truck drivers, your plate and your table would be a whole lot emptier.
  3. The next time you are stuck during a holiday traffic jam, remember that drivers have to deal with it as well and to a greater degree. Deadlines add extra pressure, and hours of driving during the holidays can take its toll. As you make your way to holiday parties, be sure to give space to the trucks on the road. After all, it’s their commitment to transportation that makes this time of year so special.
  4. During the holidays, families gather together to enjoy the annual parades. However, truck drivers are one of the main reasons it is possible. Each Thanksgiving Day parade balloon is filled with approximately 12,000 cubic feet of helium. Without truckers to haul the helium tankers and other parade supplies, one of our oldest holiday traditions would cease to exist.

 

At Gray Transportation, we know our most important asset is the one sitting in the drivers’ seat. If you think you have what it takes to join our team, view our open positions and apply today for your chance to make a difference this holiday season.

How to Maintain Good Health as a Truck Driver

Maintain Your Health as a Trucker Driver

As a truck driver, maintaining good health can be especially difficult.  With a hectic schedule, long working hours, an overall sedentary lifestyle and poor food choices, the obvious list of culprits for common health problems is endless.  However, with these standard health choices, your truck driver lifestyle could also be a healthy one!

  1. Drink more of water – keeping your body hydrated keeps you fuller longer, preventing you from overeating on the road.
  2. Choose complex carbs – instead of reaching for meals with white bread, bagels, pretzels or cereal, choose fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains which keep blood sugar levels stable and slow digestion.
  3. Get your breakfast in – they always say it’s the most important meal of the day, and for good reason. A healthy breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism and helps you control cravings throughout the day.
  4. More healthy fats – most people think all fats are bad, but in truth, there are food fats that help fight disease and reduce blood pressure. Choose avocados, nuts, seeds, cooking with extra virgin olive oil and fish!
  5. Natural is best – stay away from foods that are high in sugar, corn syrup or transfats. Your best bet will be foods that are as natural as possible, unprocessed and whole!
  6. Be lean with protein – increase your intake of dairy, eggs, fish, beans, nuts and seeds. These foods are high in protein and will give you sustainable energy throughout the day.
  7. Keep your body and mind working – for at least 30 minutes each day, you need to do something to boost your mood and boost your heart rate. Even a small amount of exercise each day will keep your mind and body in working order.
  8. Diary your food – it sounds like a habit for a teenage girl, but knowing exactly what you’ve eaten for the day can be very beneficial. You will eat healthier if you’re more aware of what you’re consuming and when.

You don’t have to start all eight tips in one day, but you should give a few of these a try.  You’ll see great benefits within the first week, at which you can start introducing a few more tips into your hectic lifestyle.  If you have any questions about driving truck or would like to join our team, reach out to Gray Transportation today!

3 Tips to Keep You Alert While Driving

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Temperatures dropping, shorter days and longer nights – all signs that fall is officially here. At Gray Transportation, we understand it’s harder to stay awake and alert when the weather is putting you to sleep. That’s why we are sharing the top ways to bring your A game when on the road.

  • You are what you eat. Energy drinks, caffeine pills and sugar will raise your alertness for a reasonable amount of time, but not indefinitely. Instead of filling your body with sugar, consider munching on an apple, orange or even a lemon to keep your taste buds awake. However, whatever you decide to intake, make sure to pace yourself. If you eat, take small bites. If you drink, take small sips. The more active you are, the easier it will be to stay awake.
  • Keep it cool. The temperatures are getting lower each day, but that is no reason to crank up the heat! Set the temperature in your vehicle to just a bit colder than you would like – that way your body has to work harder to keep you awake and will help you be more alert.
  • Sing along! It’s hard falling asleep in a loud car, but it’s even harder falling asleep when you are singing along to your favorite music. Make a playlist of your favorite songs and rock out! If music is not your thing, talk radio is another good option. It keeps your mind working by offering an endless variety of viewpoints and ideas.

Being a truck driver is not easy, and it can really take a toll on your sleep patterns, but we hope these tips help improve your time on the road. Do you have any other tips to stay alert when driving long distances on little sleep? Leave them in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!

Top New Driver Tips

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Are you brand new to truck driving?  We’ve all been there, and we want you to succeed.  See what the Gray Transportation experts say about how to have a successful start in driving truck.

Be Timely
Stay on schedule and show your carrier your dedication to timeliness.  Always call ahead to inform the customer of your arrival time and arrive early if possible.  If you want to impress the customer and your carrier, run your truck like you’re the owner.

Stay Safe
Keep your safety training in mind each time you drive.  Don’t forget to get out of your truck and look before backing up, comply with your safety department’s requests and always practice overall safe driving.

Stay Healthy
One of hardest lessons to learn for new drivers is how to stay healthy.  Create a plan for maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regularly.  We recommend keeping your carbs low and exercising for at least 15 minutes before your shift and during your mid-day break.

Work Hard
The transportation industry recognizes hard work so you’ll get what you put in.  If you work hard, you’ll be considered for promotions for important jobs. If you do the bare minimum, you’ll be given the bare minimum.

Dispatcher Dedication
Your dispatcher is your lifeline to more loads.  Get to know your dispatcher and learn how you can get the priority loads.

If you would like to grow your career in truck driving, apply now to work for Gray Transportation.  We offer driving careers with various pay grades depending on experience, miles and more.  We also offer great pay and bonus programs!

Top Tips to Stay Cool on the Road

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Contrary to popular belief, winter is not the most dangerous season for driving. Research shows that the number of fatalities increases substantially between July and September. At Gray Transportation, we want all drivers to be as safe as possible while on the road, so we are sharing some top tips and tricks on staying cool while you’re on the road, without turning the AC on.

  1. Protect your truck from the sun.

You shouldn’t be in the sun without protection, and neither should your truck. Try finding shade when you pull in the truck stop. If covered areas are unavailable, buy a sun shade. This little metallic accessory is inexpensive but will stop sun from getting trapped in your car and the temperature from rising. An alternative is putting a blanket over your seat – the blanket will be exposed to direct sunlight but your seat will not be.

  1. Let your truck air out.

Leave your window a few inches open to let the air out when you are not in the truck. Inside temperatures can rise up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit when it is 80 degrees outside, so letting even a little air out can help a lot and save you from a potential heatstroke when you enter the cabin.

  1. Give your truck time to cool off.

Don’t enter the truck straight away. If leaving the doors open is not an option due to security reasons, wait a little while before entering the cabin. Having the door open just for 5 minutes can decrease the temperature significantly and give you enough time to stretch or check on the rest of the truck before you hit the road again.

  1. Protect yourself from the heat while driving.

If the AC makes you feel unwell, seek alternative ways of cooling down while driving. A spray bottle filled with ice and water will keep you hydrated and keep your body temperature low even when the temperatures are high. Another possibility is a cooler full of not just cold drinks but also frozen wash rags or bandanas that you can wrap around your neck while driving.

Do you have other ways of staying cool while on the road? Let us know by leaving them in the comments section on our Facebook page or sending them straight to our Gray Transportation team. Also remember, making sure you are cool while driving is just the start when it comes to summer road safety.

Keeping Your Home Safe While on the Road

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Summer is here and that means it is primetime for home burglaries. FBI reports that 1 in every 36 homes is broken into every year, with an average of $2300 stolen. So how do you keep your home safe while you are on the road? Gray Transportation has some easy tips on how to make sure all of your things are still in place when you come back from a long trip.

  • Secure all entrances

Most burglars enter the house through the front door, so making sure it is unbreachable is key. Fasten all windows and if you have sliding doors leading to the back yard, leave a pole or a nail in the track to prevent it from being open by force. In case your front doors have decorative glass, check if the security alarm is not visible from outside. That way burglars won’t be able to see if your alarm is on or off.

  • Check what’s under your windows

Planting roses is a good long-term way to prevent burglaries. Thorny shrubs such as rosebushes under your ground-floor windows will not only add beauty to your house, but also deter burglars. If you have a two-story house, don’t store firewood on the side of the house, as it can serve as a ladder to the upper windows.

  • Make the house look alive

No one except for you needs to know the house is in fact empty. Cancel the newspaper subscription to avoid it piling up at your doorstep. Set up timers to turn on lights, to give the impression that someone is home. Go the extra mile and put your radio on timer or simply leave it on during your entire absence. No one has a perfectly silent house and neither should you.

Burglaries aren’t the only thing that can happen to your home if you’re gone for an extended period of time. Here are some tips on what to check in order to avoid any accidents:

  • Unplug unnecessary appliances

No one will be using the microwave or the TV while you are gone, so why keep them plugged in? Unplugging them takes only a few extra seconds and can save you from an electrical malfunction that can start a fire.

  • Turn off the water

The water hose attached to the washing machine can often leak water when unused for a long period of time. To avoid flooding, just turn the valve off.

Gray Transportation wants to keep you on comfortable the road while traveling, and we know the importance of coming back to a safe home.