Tag Archives: attitude

Storytellin’ Truck Drivers

By Larry Pruitt

One thing that is as sure as death and taxes; if you talk to any truck driver for any length of time, you will eventually hear some story about the truckin’ life or some load they have hauled.  Before we go any farther here, let’s just say upfront that some stories are probably pretty much true, but we have all heard stories that have you saying to yourself, “Ain’t no freakin’ way.”  I have been known on certain occasions to not only say it to myself, but also say it out loud – and I should know better, but to no one’s surprise, that doesn’t stop me.
Continue reading Storytellin’ Truck Drivers

Summer Vacation

By Heather Hogeland & Kim Grimm

Kids are out of school so you have to be even more aware when you are rolling through a little town on a 2 lane highway. Kids on bikes, kids running out from between parked cars and kids playing and not paying attention to what’s going on around them are all dangers that are heightened in the summer. Rest areas, truck stops and service plazas will be crawling with children at this time of year so it is especially important that we all attach extra “antenna” to be able to notice and avoid any accidents!

If you work for a company that allows you to take your kids on the road with you, it can be something they will remember for a lifetime. It’s a chance for them to see where you go and what you do so that later, when you make that call home, they really know where you are. It can be an opportunity for you to get to know them better as well, the chance to really spend some quality time together. Sometimes, as our kids mature, it can be a lot of fun to take them one at a time (if you have more than one child of course!) It gives you time with each of them and them time alone with you. My son has lasting memories of whale watching in Cape Ann, Massachusetts, and going on the Boston Tea Party ship when he was eight years old. Since I have driven a truck his entire life, he has been many places and loved regaling his class with the stories when he got back!

You have to plan to have that extra little body on the truck. Pack all the things they will need, these days there are all kinds of electronic gadgets that can occupy their time when it gets “boring”, like while sitting at a dock. There are also the old fashioned things like coloring books and regular books, miniature games that can be played while traveling, they have games now that were created specifically for travel. You can play the old favorite license plate game, or my car, your car.

Speaking of docks, you have to be aware that some shippers and receivers don’t allow children on the dock or even outside of the vehicle, try to have a plan you can follow if this were to happen. Make sure you have something inside to keep your child occupied and safe.

Extra food in the fridge, including some healthy snacks like fresh fruit and veggies is a good idea. This might be a good time to take them to some of your favorite places to eat while you are on the road. Not all the same places that you have at home are chain restaurants across America. Make it a point to treat them to different places with different types of foods. Hopefully they will enjoy it as much as you do. Change it up a bit for them so they can get a little taste of what our country has to offer.

Trucking with dad or mom or mom and dad can be a great history and geography lesson. Postcards are cheap and usually include text about the picture and some of the history associated with it. You can make a game out of picking one up every time you stop so your child can write a little something on the back and keep a journal of sorts of the entire trip. It’s also a great way to teach them English and spelling, turning the trip into an entire learning experience for both you and your child!

We should always be aware of our surroundings and you can take this time to teach your kids safe practices while they are on the road. It’s never too early to learn how to be safe in your circumstances!

When school starts back up and they are asked to share with their class what they did over their summer vacation, they will be able to bring in their postcard ‘diary’ or journal, along with (hopefully) a photo of you with them by your truck. They will get to tell the story of trucking across America. They will be the coolest kid in their class!

Stay Safe Out There And Keep It Shiny!


Heather Hogeland and Kim Grimm are CDL holders and longtime friends with a combined 75 years and 7 million miles of driving experience. Both are writers and have a love for everything trucking, as well as, furry, four-legged friends. Kim is currently a full-time owner-operator and part-time writer. Heather writes for various trucking publications and enjoys traveling with her husband Roger.


 

Beating the Winter Blues

By Heather Hogeland & Kim Grimm

The nights are longer, the days are shorter and the cold can chill you to the bone! By the time winter is over most people are suffering from cabin (and “cab”) fever. Rather than let it get you down, find ways to beat it and keep you happy ’til April showers bring May flowers and the warmth of summer returns.

If you are fortunate enough to run south in the winter, maybe you can take a me day and find a beach, watch the sun set into the gulf, or the moon come up out of the ocean. Have lunch or dinner at a nice little place overlooking the ocean and listen to the soothing sound of the waves crashing on shore.

If you happen to be in a place like Vero Beach, you can park at the truck stop, call a cab or get an Uber and head to the beach. If you don’t have time for that, just get out of the truck and into the sunshine. It will be just what the doctor would order. Not everyone has the luxury of running Florida or the southern coast states in the winter so you might have to find other ways to have fun and beat those winter blues before they beat you!

A lot of theaters have enough room to park a truck. Get a big tub of popcorn with lots of butter, a big Coke and take in a good movie. Hopefully they have a good comedy playing as they say laughter is the best medicine. Go take a big spoonful!

So many malls won’t let us park there anymore but if you can find one that will you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a good time. Here you can “mall walk” and get some exercise and when you’re done with that sit down and people watch. I have found that can be quite entertaining. If there are a few things you need to shop for hopefully what you’re looking for is on sale. Sometimes a little retail therapy can go a long way, for women and men!

If a friend’s house happens to be in your flight path stop and visit. I have always liked to stop and see friends when the opportunity presents itself. I make a point to do this even more, we aren’t getting any younger and it seems that so much is happening time spent with friends is priceless.

It is always nice when you can get a hotel room. Get out of the truck, watch TV, order a pizza or Chinese to be delivered and just relax. See if there is something close by worth checking out. Anytime you can take a break, get away from the truck for the night, just get out of there and treat yourself to a ‘mini’ vacation, it will refresh you and give you a new outlook on life. Sometimes, we just need it.

A friend introduced me to K1 Go Kart racing. There are several places across the country where you can do this and boy is it fun. Take out a little frustration and go have a good time! Let’s face it we’re drivers and this is driving for fun as well as a little friendly competition!

Book a spa day where you go and you have a massage (this is a great stress relief). If you’re a lady driver, get a mani/pedi. Maybe be daring and try one of the polishes that change colors when it’s hot or cold. It’s fun and there is nothing wrong with doing something that makes you feel better or pretty.

For the guys, maybe you could stop into a Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shop kind of place and wander around for a bit. Some have a shooting range so you could do a little target practice. Whatever you do make it fun. It’s the best way to beat back the winter blues until spring has sprung!

Stay Safe Out There And Keep It Shiny!


Heather Hogeland and Kim Grimm are CDL holders and longtime friends with a combined 75 years and 7 million miles of driving experience. Both are writers and have a love for everything trucking, as well as, furry, four-legged friends. Kim is currently a full-time owner-operator and part-time writer. Heather writes for various trucking publications and enjoys traveling with her husband Roger.


 

Christmas Dinner in the Truck

Christmas Dinner in the Truck | Trucker Tips Blog

By Heather Hogeland & Kim Grimm

Thanksgiving is over once again and Christmas is quickly approaching. In our business it’s a fact of life that not everyone gets to make it home for Christmas. Many truck stops have a really nice buffet dinner, but maybe you’d rather make your own dinner. Are you one that wants a more “being at home feel”? We believe being on the road for this holiday is the hardest of all. It’s a time to be with family and the ones you love. If you are able to prepare some of your family favorites, made the way Mom does, it can go a long way to help lift your spirits. You may also want to put up some festive decorations and colorful lights in your truck to keep your mood cheerful when forced to be away from home during the holidays.

thanksgiving_turkey_500pxUnless you have the luxury of a big bunk with an oven, you probably won’t be able to cook an entire turkey, but a bone-in turkey breast a great option instead. There are a variety of 12-volt cookers available these days. Back in the day, we had an inverter and I used a rectangular metal crock pot with a small little griddle at its base to make our turkey. The drippings from that I put into a small pan to make gravy. Microwave a couple of potatoes and mash them up. If you want a healthy version of mashed potatoes, try cauliflower! Bake it and mash it the same as you would potatoes. Sweet potatoes are another healthier option, unless you add the brown sugar and marshmallows to make them extra yummy. I say, “Go for it. It’s Christmas after all!” I’ve said this before, but lunchbox cookers with foil pan liners work great for cooking, including sweet potato casserole. They make clean up easy. You simply throw out the pan when done!

Christmas Dinner in the Truck | Trucker Tips Blog

The traditional favorite green bean casserole also cooks great using the lunchbox style cooker. Open a can of french cut green beans, drain them, put contents in a foil liner. Add a can of cream of mushroom soup, stir together and top with crispy fried onions, and cook until bubbling. If that’s not possible, warm up your favorite veggie and make the best of it. It’s still cooking at home. Cranberry sauce is another one of my favorites. It makes no difference if it’s right out of the can, from the deli or homemade! It’s a necessity with turkey and a requirement for a homemade feel to your Christmas dinner.

If you can’t cook everything yourself, the deli case at a nearby grocery store might be a good way to get a lot of variety without a lot of leftovers; especially if you don’t have much room. Maybe a new salad could be added to your list of favorites for the holiday dinner. A cabbage salad, ambrosia or other fruit salad is always a great addition to any holiday meal and you can usually find these in most delis.
We can’t forget dessert! Many stores and many truck stops have bakeries, so you can probably find your favorite pie or cake by the slice. You do have options! Many times all you have to do is ask. Also, if you get to go home before the holiday, maybe you can bring some of your favorite treats from home back out on the road with you. It is always fun to talk with other drivers too and see what some of their favorite treats and traditions are. It’s a great way to connect with others and also keep your spirits up during the holidays.

Speaking of favorites and traditions; I would like to share a southern tradition with you that happens to be one of my favorites. For southerners, this is quite possibly the most important meal of the year. We always followed this particular menu, once Roger introduced me to it. He was born and raised in Alabama. I was from southern California; a different kind of southern. He taught me the practice of eating black eyed peas, hog jowls, greens and cornbread every year on the 1st of January. It CAN be done on the truck, either with canned peas and greens and deli ham and corn muffins or slow cooker made black eyed peas with chunked pork and greens on the side in your choice of cooker. You can buy, bake or fry the cornbread. The point here is that you take part in the tradition. The belief is that the peas represent luck, the pork is for health, greens for dollars, and cornbread for gold. The more of each you eat, the more of each you will have in the New Year!

Stay Safe Out There And Keep It Shiny!


Heather Hogeland and Kim Grimm are CDL holders and longtime friends with a combined 75 years and 7 million miles of driving experience. Both are writers and have a love for everything trucking, as well as, furry, four-legged friends. Kim is currently a full-time owner-operator and part-time writer. Heather writes for various trucking publications and enjoys traveling with her husband Roger.


 

Kindness, Pass It On

By Heather Hogeland & Kim Grimm

A while back, we read a Facebook post that asked people what they did on their time off. Some of the answers were really impressive. Many involved volunteering. That got us thinking about some ideas we could share with you of things you could do to help others.

Lately it seems that there are more people standing on street corners begging for money or food. I have a niece who lives in the Phoenix area. She recently took her two young children with her to pass out food and water to people in their community who are in need. She wanted to teach them that not everyone is as fortunate, or as blessed as they are and they need to learn to share their blessings. What an inspiration!

We’ve read about women who crochet or knit and donate hats they’ve made to cancer patients who lose their hair. Some give hats to preemie babies or to the homeless. What little thing could we do to make a huge difference in another person’s life?

Instead of giving someone money, how about giving a lunch sack with something simple like a peanut butter sandwich, a little bag of chips and a bottle of water? And if that person has a dog with them maybe have another baggie full of dog food and give them a second bottle of water? That animal may be the only companionship this person has. Don’t be too quick to judge you don’t know what may have happened for someone to be in that situation…

When it’s cold out, maybe you could keep a few small fleece blankets on hand? Make a day of going to the local thrift stores when you are home or laid over and pick up some winter scarves, mittens and hats. These things could be priceless to the people you share them with. You can carry quite a few of these items in your truck without using up all of your storage space and without spending a huge amount of money.

Years ago, at a dock in Oakland, there was a homeless man where we were delivering. I took him to the lunch truck and told him he could have whatever he wanted and I would pay for it. I will never forget how polite he was and asked if each thing he got was ok. He got a meal, something to drink and a snack for later. He was not there begging for money and he appreciated the food.

The “pay it forward” idea has also become very popular. One day when I went through the Oklahoma toll booth, the lady working the booth said that a driver in front of me had given her $20.00 and told her to use it until it was gone for the drivers behind him. It was only a $4.00 toll, but it still made my day!

Get creative with showing kindness to others. It doesn’t cost anything to say hello or give a wave to another driver. We see so much hate and negativity on the news and maybe even in person. If each of us would work a little bit harder at being kind and sharing, it may just become contagious and help to make our world a better place! Smiles are free and my favorite saying has always been, “If you see a man today without a smile, give him one of yours.”

We drivers could get out of our truck and help watch for the trailer for a driver who is backing into a tight space. When a new driver asks you a question, help them out instead of giving them a sarcastic response. If you’ve been driving a long time, share your knowledge.

The other day in a parking lot there was a trainer with three students. They were admiring our trucks and we chatted with them. The trainer was so nice and he really loved our trucks and appreciated the time we took to talk to his students. We hope that we inspired them to work hard and a goal to work toward in their careers.

If you can’t hand out lunches, knit hats or pass out blankets, be that driver who takes a few minutes to be nice to another driver. We all know how stressful and challenging it can be on the road. A joke to make us laugh or a friendly hello can help make a crummy day better.

Stay Safe Out There And Keep It Shiny!


Heather Hogeland and Kim Grimm are CDL holders and longtime friends with a combined 75 years and 7 million miles of driving experience. Both are writers and have a love for everything trucking, as well as, furry, four-legged friends. Kim is currently a full-time owner-operator and part-time writer. Heather writes for various trucking publications and enjoys traveling with her husband Roger.


 

Trucking & Multi-Tasking

Trucking & Multi-tasking | Trucker Tips Blog

By Heather Hogeland & Kim Grimm

Drivers who have been driving for any length of time know all too well the challenges of getting everything done at home when you are on the road. It makes no difference if you are running team or if you are alone. There is always more to get done than there are hours in the day. Having someone at home all the time helps but it doesn’t mean there still won’t be plenty to do when you do get that precious home time.

Planning can help you make the most of the hours you do get at home. If the lawn needs mowing, hopefully the weather will be on your side. Being on the road means that sometimes we end up missing so much! It’s always nice if you can make it to the kids ball games or school programs. Scheduling doctor appointments can be a challenge, making an appointment a year from now is crazy, but that’s the way it is sometimes. Hopefully you will have a dispatcher that understands the importance of your appointment and a doctor that understands your crazy lifestyle.

If you are an owner/operator there is even more to do, like all of the paperwork that has to be done. Sometimes you just have to give it up and hire someone to do things like this. It’s a tax write off and it frees up some of your home time. It’s also nice to have a shop near home that can do your scheduled maintenance. Anytime you know you are going to be home, try to schedule it with the shop. If you can give a week or two notice, odds are you’ll be able to get in. Waiting might mean they are too busy to get to you, forcing you to get the work done on the road at a shop you don’t know. A good relationship with a shop at home is always wise, if there is a problem you are more likely to have them stand behind their work. Read more Trucker Tax Tips here.

Another approach is to have a shop on the other end of the country, one you visit regularly, which is what Roger and I did all the years we owned our own trucks. We would call ahead and schedule any repairs or maintenance we may need so that when we arrived they had a spot open for us and were able to get us in and out right away. A good relationship with a shop is invaluable and also frees up time at home for personal things so you can actually step away from the truck while you are there. From the time you set those air brakes until the time you have to push them in to leave again is time you should be able to enjoy as much as possible. After all home and the people you love is what you are out there working for! Read more about Maintenance Records here

If you have down time before you get home, sometimes it is worth doing laundry on the road. For one thing, you won’t have to drag it out of the truck and drag it back in. If that doesn’t work, put in a load of laundry and go out and start mowing. When you take a break, put the wash in the dryer and start another load then finish up the mowing. Try to make the most of the miles you have running errands without having to back track a lot. Try to spend only one day of your home time taking care of the things you can’t take care of while away.

Even the best laid plans go awry sometimes and you always have to be ready with a Plan B, C, D… Sometimes dispatch will have an emergency forcing you to cut your time at home short. If possible be flexible and do them a favor, hopefully they will remember they owe you one.

Above all, TRY TO RELAX while you are home! Home time is precious and scarce so use it to reconnect with those in your life you love. Do your best to take care of those things that need tending to but don’t neglect the PEOPLE in your life! We try always, to take care of business and personal business while away in order to take the most advantage of our home time to nurture the relationships that make life worth living!

Stay Safe Out There And Keep It Shiny!


Heather Hogeland and Kim Grimm are CDL holders and longtime friends with a combined 75 years and 7 million miles of driving experience. Both are writers and have a love for everything trucking, as well as, furry, four-legged friends. Kim is currently a full-time owner-operator and part-time writer. Heather writes for various trucking publications and enjoys traveling with her husband Roger.


 

Oh, the Places You’ll See!

Take Pictures | Trucker Tips Blog
(Be sure to take pictures)

By Heather Hogeland & Kim Grimm

Today it’s so easy to take lots of pictures. The digital age is phenomenal and has made it so simple! You can see your photos instantly and either keep them or delete them just as fast. You can edit them quickly, so there is no reason not to take them. You can file them, label them, put them into albums, store them on a cloud and on your computer. Many times your device will even know when and where the photos were taken. Such a huge leap over the old Polaroids and Instamatics of our early days where as you actually had to write that info on the photo!

As the quality of cameras in smartphones and tablets keep getting better, it is easier for you to have lots of great photos! Most EVERYBODY has a smartphone on them, almost every moment, so there’s no excuse for missing a shot. You can shoot some pretty amazing videos too! It may not seem like it now but these are memories that one day you will cherish.

Take Pictures | Trucker Tips Blog
Traffic jam on I-70 before it was completed alongside the Colorado river, circa 1984

Looking back through pictures that we took back in the day, we get to relive that race down the drag strip in Topeka or the water fights at the Walcott Truckers Jamboree, even the run we made together up and over the grapevine! Those old photos are in pretty poor condition considering the age, the film and processing, not to mention the ‘equipment’ we had to shoot in the mid ’70s, but thank God we have them! We don’t have many, but those we do have are very precious to us! We get to remember the friends and family who are no longer with us, but we get to see that smile or funny face that we loved so much. Where we’ve been helps make us who we are and it’s a pretty nice place to revisit from time to time.

Take Pictures | Trucker Tips Blog
An unusual sight! Semi Truck Parking Only sign in Gloucester, MA, circa 1983

For drivers just getting on the road today, take our word for it, 20 years will go by faster than you can even imagine! So start taking lots of pictures of your first days and years on the road, it’s will be fun to go through them years later. It’s also a great way to share all the places you’ve been with family back home. It brings your stories to life, paints the picture of your day for them, so they can feel more a part of your world.

No matter where you run, all 48 or a dedicated run, the photo opportunities are endless! The sun comes up the sun goes down and in so many places this can be quite spectacular. When the snow stops and the sun comes out it creates an entirely different kind of beauty! There is beauty in a rain storm or a moonlit night sky. Fall presents a plethora of landscape changes that are among my personal favorites to shoot. I am forever searching for that perfect backdrop to use to frame my truck amidst the changing colors of fall leaves. Springtime itself has its own multi colored beauty which oftentimes go unnoticed in our rush to just see green after a long cold winter, but look for it, it’s there!

Take Pictures | Trucker Tips Blog
A beautiful sunset

I personally like taking pictures of my truck and trailer in some of the “challenging” docks and places I have to deliver. It looks pretty impressive to see where you can get that rig without hitting anything! This is a skill and you never stop learning!

Hopefully you will never have to take pictures of an accident but if that ever happens and if you are able, make sure you get a lot of photos, because you are probably going to need them before it’s over.

Taking pictures is a passion for both of us, we have been doing it for years and we encourage others to shoot pictures of lots of different subjects; such as a snowplow at work in the winter or a hummingbird mid flight. There is beauty all around us, things worthy of being photographed, especially a beautiful truck in an unusual or scenic setting. The places we go, this industry we are a part of, is an ever changing entity. It evolves quickly and the equipment itself changes too. What is here today may not be tomorrow. TAKE PICTURES! You won’t regret it. We promise!

Stay Safe Out There And Keep It Shiny!


Heather Hogeland and Kim Grimm are CDL holders and longtime friends with a combined 75 years and 7 million miles of driving experience. Both are writers and have a love for everything trucking, as well as, furry, four-legged friends. Kim is currently a full-time owner-operator and part-time writer. Heather writes for various trucking publications and enjoys traveling with her husband Roger.


 

A Trucker Network

A Trucker Network | Trucker Tips

By Heather Hogeland & Kim Grimm

If you have been driving for a long time, you probably have a network of friends and other drivers you have met over the years. If you are just getting on the road, it’s not a bad idea to start creating your own network. Building such a network will be one of the most worthwhile things you ever do for yourself. It is priceless. Reliable people in our industry, those who have each other’s backs, are still out there. We know many and we can count on them as they can us.

People you can trust to give you good information when you are in their neck of the woods, or the areas where they run, are invaluable. It’s nice to have someone you trust that lives in the area to tell you the best route to take. They might know about safe places that you can stop or the places that might not be so safe that you should avoid if possible. We can not tell you how many times we have utilized advice from a friend, or given advice to a friend of a friend in order to keep them safe or save them from driving useless, unnecessary miles. Once you have established a core network, your friends all have friends and it’s arms reach out forever.

Trucker friends who have delivered to the stops you go to can be a wealth of information about things like whether or not you can park there; how long before your appointment they will let you in; if the lumpers are reasonable or they are going to charge a lot; how long you can anticipate being there, etc.

We developed many of our lasting friendships at truck shows and can count on our friends for accurate advice. If they don’t know they will tell us that too. The recent flooding in Louisiana and wildfires in California are prime examples of what we are talking about. I got a call from my best friend who had just pulled into the truck stop in Hesperia, CA to change drivers and had just seen the sign telling her that I-15 was closed due to the fire. We had lived and run there for almost all of our 40 years so I was able to give her a detour route that was less crowded than those being used by most of the rest of the traffic. This helped her get through with less of a delay than she would have otherwise experienced. Calling me was her first thought, she knew I would have good, dependable information and that she could trust me. She knew that I wouldn’t put them out on a restricted route or give her advice that would get them into any trouble. Like I said before, a good, reliable network is worth it’s weight in gold! Once you have developed your network you can share your contacts with others you meet who need their help and the entire network expands across the whole country! It’s a truly beautiful thing.

Sitting in the waiting room at a receivers dock to check in where there is a long line of drivers can sometimes be a place for conversation and information gathering pertaining to a drop you have after the one you are at. At these places a lot of times there will be drivers that run local and are familiar with the area. They know about current construction zones and streets you want to take and ones you might want to stay off of. Use this time to find out as much information as possible. It will make your day easier in the long run!

I do not fully trust my GPS unit. If I’m in doubt, I will at call a shipper or receiver and hopefully, if I can’t talk to a live person, they have a direction line that will tell you the right way to get there with a truck! If I am running behind, I will call my next pickup or drop and the people on the other end of the phone are usually very nice, appreciate the call and tell you that doesn’t happen much anymore. Be the driver that does this and it will usually make your life easier. This can also help establish your network. If you make personal contact with your shipper/consignee, be personable and polite. Hopefully, they will remember you and treat you with the same respect and possibly be flexible when you need it!

Stay Safe Out There And Keep It Shiny!


Heather Hogeland and Kim Grimm are CDL holders and longtime friends with a combined 75 years and 7 million miles of driving experience. Both are writers and have a love for everything trucking, as well as, furry, four-legged friends. Kim is currently a full-time owner-operator and part-time writer. Heather writes for various trucking publications and enjoys traveling with her husband Roger.


 

5 Tips to Make Team-Driving Work

By Heather Hogeland and Kim Grimm

Running team is favored by many companies. Husband and wife teams became highly desired in the early 1980’s. Having a couple together on a truck not only cuts back on the need for home time, it also provides stability and security that companies would otherwise be lacking.

Back in the days before cell hone and everything technological, there were many funny stories where one driver would leave their co-driver in a variety of places. A rest area was a common place for a driver to go in and, not knowing that their co-driver had done the same, and after doing their business would leave without verifying their co-driver was in the sleeper so they were accidentally left there.

5 Tips to Make Team-Driving Work- Running team is favored by many companies. Husband and wife teams became highly desired in the early 1980's. Having a couple together on a truck not only cuts back on the need for home time, it also provides stability and security that companies would otherwise be lacking.
Heather & Roger

Thankfully this never happened to us, even though we came close once! We have heard so many stories about another driver giving the one left behind a ride; then catching up to their truck and passing them while the driver who is supposed to be in the bunk is waving like a crazy person. The puzzled look on the faces of those drivers when they turned around to look in the bunk, and sure enough nobody was home, must have been priceless!

We said all of that to say this: It’s imperative that when running as a team, whether it be with a spouse, significant other or simply a co-driver, you must have a system in place to notify one another anytime one of you is out of the truck.

Today it’s probably less likely to happen than when we were dependent on payphones. However, if you phone is in the truck and you are not, there are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening. (Also keep in mind that these days it’s less likely another driver will let an unauthorized passenger in their truck and catching up to the other truck may be harder to do!)

DEVELOP A SYSTEM and put it to use EVERY time you get out. Leave a pillow on the steering wheel or set something specific in your seat so your co-driver knows that you are out of the truck. Pick anything that is obvious and will make sure your co-driver is aware that you are not there! In addition, ALWAYS leave the curtain open when you are supposed to be occupying the bunk but have left for whatever reason. This can also help ensure that you don’t get left behind. Make sure you take your mobile phone with you as well, JUST IN CASE!

BE CONSIDERATE of your co-driver when it’s their turn to sleep. Some people can’t sleep with the radio too loud and some like quiet radio noise to help muffle conversations the other driver may be having on their headset. Work out the details with your partner so everyone gets the rest they need and you are both safe at all times.

Talking on a mobile phone has replaced running with friends on the CB, so the noise can actually be quieter now than it was back in the day of scratchy CB noise. Conversations with others via your mobile phone can help keep you more alert, especially when you have to run the night shift. Remember to always use hands-free when you are driving. Not only is it safer, it’s the law!

Running team in such close quarters will also try any relationship at times. If you company allows, get out of the truck when you are sitting someplace interesting and go SEE THE LOCAL SIGHTS. If you are driving with your spouse or significant other, have a fun date on the road. Go to a movie; many huge theaters allow truck parking. Always make sure the truck and trailer are secure before going on an adventure!

Many people think that when you are running as a team you see each other all the time because you are together 24/7. In reality it’s not as much as you would think, one of you is driving while the other one is sleeping. So while running hard, as teams do, you oftentimes see each other as you pass through the curtain; one to driver and the other to bed.

We really advise that BOTH OF YOU DO EVERYTHING, load, unload, drive in all weather conditions, forward, back-up, big city, two-lanes. If something happens to “the main driver” who back into docks, drivers in the bad weather or through the big cities, the other driver could be in a tight spot if they don’t have any experience.

It takes effort and commitment from both drivers to run a successful team operation. COMMUNICATION is the key when working so closely together, and trust is mandatory to be able to sleep when the other is driving. If done right, team driving can be a great experience; one we have both had and been successful at. It just takes work. But the work is worth it, especially when you find the right partner.

Stay Safe Out There And Keep It Shiny!


Heather Hogeland and Kim Grimm are CDL holders and longtime friends with a combined 75 years and 7 million miles of driving experience. Both are writers and have a love for everything trucking, as well as, furry, four-legged friends. Kim is currently a full-time owner-operator and part-time writer. Heather writes for various trucking publications and enjoys traveling with her husband Roger.


 

Count Your Blessings

By Heather Hogeland & Kim Grimm

Count Your Blessings- This has been an amazing year for both of us! We are both blessed and thankful for each and every one of those blessings.

This has been an amazing year for both of us! We are both blessed and thankful for each and every one of those blessings. We would like to thank Heather DeBaillie and the Iowa 80 family for giving us the opportunity to write this blog for Iowa 80 Group. We are proud to be a part of the Iowa 80 family!

The Mid America Truck Show kicks off the truck show season in March and we were blessed to be able to attend the show together. Getting to share in seeing some new things in the industry, meeting up with old friends and having a good time, taking pictures of the beautiful trucks, and spending time together with trucks and truckers.

I am blessed and so grateful that this year I became an owner-operator again. Leasing my truck and trailer on with D & G Transportation was like going home, in fact I was going back to my last home as an owner-operator. Now, being back for nearly a year, I know it was the right decision and I look forward to many more years here.

Judging at the Walcott Truckers Jamboree in July was a highlight of our year and we already can’t wait for next year’s event! We get better at it each year and are so grateful to be able to use our experience in this way. We both KNOW how it feels to BE judged, and neither of forgets that, for even a second, when we are judging. We are happy to report that this year we did the pre-trip on the golf cart and judging lights was accomplished without a breakdown.

One load this summer took me to New York, and while the visit with Roger and Heather was too short, it was better than no visit at all. Any time it works out to spend even a little time with friends is a blessing. You never know what tomorrow may or may not bring. This is one lesson we would dearly LOVE to impart upon each and every one of you, that the people in our lives are what makes our lives worthwhile! If it works out in you travels to see old friends, make the most of it!

We are thankful for little Emma Jean, baby daughter of our friend and driver Brian & Lynda Higbee, who celebrated her 1st birthday this year on April 18th. She wasn’t supposed to even be named, according to her doctors. Her parents were told not to bother because she wasn’t going to make it. Kim got to go and take her 1st birthday pictures! She’s a little miracle girl and we are thankful for her and her family.

2015 has been a great year and we are looking forward to 2016 with great excitement! We want to thank all of you who follow our blog, and ask you to leave us comments. We welcome any ideas about subjects that you would like to see us write about.

Thank you God for the new people you have brought into our lives this year and for all the blessings you give us every day. We join our friends out there reading this in thanking you too, for whatever blessings that have been brought into their lives this year.

We hope that your blessings are many and that you were able to make it home to your families for the holidays, to be with the ones you love and work so hard to support by being gone. Most of all, thank you for helping keep our nation moving.

Stay Safe Out There And Keep It Shiny!


Heather Hogeland and Kim Grimm are CDL holders and longtime friends with a combined 75 years and 7 million miles of driving experience. Both are writers and have a love for everything trucking, as well as, furry, four-legged friends. Kim is currently a full-time owner-operator and part-time writer. Heather writes for various trucking publications and enjoys traveling with her husband Roger.