Tag Archives: health

Heart Your Kidneys on the Road

By Sarah Moon

Kidneys are small but mighty. They filter around 50 gallons of blood every single day to remove waste products. Working hard day in and day out can cause stress on the kidneys if you aren’t taking preventative measures and living a healthy lifestyle. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition in which kidneys do not filter blood properly and leaves the body’s waste products to build up. This can lead to many negative health effects, but the primary concern of CKD is it leading to kidney failure, and when your kidneys stop working, so do you.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, 1 in 3 Americans are at risk for kidney disease and prevalence is on the rise. Often times, people do not even know of their condition until it is too late. Some risk factors to consider are diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, smoking, being of age 60 or older, and a family history of kidney disease. If you have one or more of the following risk factors, it may be a good idea to have a conversation with your doctor next time you’re in and talk about kidney disease, or stop by one of the free KEEP Healthy kidney screenings.

Prevention is crucial with kidney disease, but it is not always an easy road. Truckers have a more difficult and unique challenge when trying to be kidney-healthy. Between sitting in your truck for a good part of the day to the food choices on the road, it can be a whirlwind of obstacles to get through to keep your kidneys’ strong and pristinely functioning. Here are a few tips to #HeartYourKidneys and reduce your risk of developing kidney problems:

  1. Stay hydrated
    • Water is crucial to kidney function. When you stay hydrated, blood flows easier to the kidneys. Dehydration can slow that blood flow down and eventually lead to kidney damage. To ensure you’re getting enough, try this water bottle that tracks your intake and reminds you when you need fluids.
  2. Don’t smoke
    • Smoking is a risk factor for many chronic illnesses and kidney disease is no exception. The kidneys can’t filter properly because smoking decreases blood flow throughout the body.
  3. Skip the salt
    • The recommended amount of sodium for a day is one teaspoon. However, Americans consume about 50% more than that on any given day. Cutting down on salt is a difficult task because it is hidden in a number of foods. Asking your waiter/waitress to serve your meal without salt is a good start. You can also try reading food labels for a week. You may be surprised what types of foods contain salt!
  4. Don’t skip the fruits and vegetables
    • Diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure both can stem from a poor diet. The easiest swap that can be done on the road is if you are eating at a restaurant, swap fruit or vegetables in for fries or any starchy side dish.
  5. Exercise When You Get the Chance
    • Exercising regularly helps the body maintain a healthy weight and prevents many diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. It also helps regulate your blood pressure. Prolonged sitting can be linked to kidney disease, so exercising can be done to offset the negative effects. Opt for the stairs or park your truck at distance for easy ways to get in more steps!

Kidney deterioration happens over the course of many years from the added stress we put on them, but by being mindful of the risks and working to mitigate those stressors we can have happier and healthier hauls in the future!

Have questions about kidney disease? The National Kidney Foundation can help! Call toll-free at 1.855.NKF.CARES (1.855.653.2273). For more tips on keeping your kidneys healthy, visit www.kidney.org or follow them on Facebook!

10 Shower Bag Essentials

By Heather Hogeland & Kim Grimm

Shower bags are a very important part of a drivers daily life, especially when he/she spends a long time away from home.  We have learned through the years that a well thought out and stocked shower bag can make us feel the comforts of home no matter where we may happen to be showering.

If your bag happens to be an over the shoulder style, you might consider getting one that has wheels on it.  It doesn’t take long for weight to add up.  By the time you get your clothes, soap, shampoo, conditioner, personal hygiene items, brushes, comb, personal appliances, etc., having wheels could certainly be a welcome addition.

For drivers who are just entering the profession, it would be a good idea to have a cosmetic bag or caboodle case if you’re a woman, or a shaving kit if you’re a man.  You can use this every morning to take into the truck stop or rest area with you so you can brush your teeth, wash your face, comb your hair and help get yourself going in the morning or the afternoon depending on when your day gets started.  Your bag essentials are:  toothbrush, toothpaste, a small hand towel or washcloth, deodorant, comb or brush, moisturizer or lotion, razor, perfume or after shave and any special soap or necessity.  I also ALWAYS carry a spray disinfectant to kill any germs that may have been unintentionally overlooked and left behind! You can never be too careful these days, right?  It’s no different than carrying hand sanitizer.  There are a lot of ugly germs out there and we drivers lead a solitary life that is mostly protected, so taking those extra precautions make sense for our lifestyle.

Some drivers have habits like wearing shower shoes.  This could be a pair of cheap flip flops that are used only in the shower.  Some use a hand towel to lay down by the sink to lay your personal items on.  Bath mat towels or paper mats are always nice for when you get out of the shower.

Newly remodeled showers at the Iowa 80 Truckstop in Walcott, IA

We love when the truck stop provides a hair dryer, especially when it’s cold outside and you really shouldn’t be going outside with wet hair.  It’s not a bad idea to carry your own hair dryer for the times that the truck stop doesn’t provide them.

There are some days that just being able to stand under that warm or hot water is just what you need to get rejuvenated and ready to go out there and get on down the road!  The places that have good water pressure and private showers that are nicer than my bathroom at home, always make it to the top of my ‘favorite place to shower’ list.

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.


 

Cooking in the Truck 101

Cooking in the truck 101By Heather Hogeland & Kim Grimm

Some drivers have cooking in the truck perfected, but this blog is for the drivers who are just getting started or want to dip their toes in the kitchen and see if this will work for them.

Let’s get cookin’!  A lot of companies provide generators and a small refrigerators in each truck.  If your company provides these it will be easier, but if they don’t you can still make it work.  After all, we did years ago before many of today’s conveniences became standard equipment. For a minimal initial investment you can get started cooking your own meals. This allows you to keep the wheels turning and earn money while the smell of dinner cooking wafts throughout your entire cab! When it’s time to stop for the night you’ll have fresh, hot food ready to eat right in your truck.

If you don’t have a generator or an inverter you can purchase appliances that use power from the 12-volt cigarette lighter plug.  A lunch box cooker is priced at most truck stops between $30-$40, a small hot pot runs about $20-$25, and a refrigerator will cost $200+ (you can even start out with a cooler and ice until you gather all these other 12 volt goodies!) If you are going to cook, it’s a must to be able to keep food cold.

After gathering a few of these appliances, you will need the food. The cookers include a few recipes and there are also many online resources you can tap into for ideas. Let’s use a simple dinner example of pork chops and mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes and peas.

First make a list of ingredients. It’s really easy to over-buy, which can be a problem if you don’t have much storage space. Get a couple of spices, salt & pepper, and butter. These are staples that we always seem to use. The lunch box cooker will let you cook meats, bake a cake, and get creative all while enjoying the aroma of your cooking lunch or supper. Get a small package of the foil liners for the cooker, it makes clean up a breeze!

Back to the list. On that list you should also add everything you need for easy clean up.  Paper plates and bowls, plastic silverware, paper towels, baggies and a big container of antibacterial wipes. I’ve used them for years without ever having a problem getting sick from clean up of my appliances or utensils.

Cooking in the Truck 101- Some drivers have cooking in the truck perfected but this blog is for the drivers who are just getting started, or want to dip their toes in the kitchen and see if this will work for them.Get a small package of pork chops (2 chops), 1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, 1 small bag frozen petite green peas, 1 small envelope of garlic or butter instant potatoes, 1 small container milk, 1 small butter/margarine, salt and pepper.

First, put the pork chops into the foil liner inside the lunchbox cooker and cover with the cream of mushroom soup. Then, plug it in and cook it according to directions, usually 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pork, like chicken, needs to be thoroughly cooked and the stirring keeps it from sticking to the bottom. The foil liner isn’t a requirement, but you will find that it is well worth the extra investment! Depending on the thickness of the chops, the time to cook will vary, you will have to determine that by checking them yourself.

When you stop, fill the hot pot with water to boil the peas. When they are done, remove them and use the same water to add the instant potatoes in a bowl so you get the nutrients from the peas as well as the flavor! If you don’t have enough water left, add some and reboil before making the potatoes, making sure to add dry potatoes SLOWLY as they take a few seconds to get to proper texture.

When everything is done, put it together on a plate, add the gravy on top of the chops and potatoes and voila! Hot, hearty supper in the truck! This works no matter where you happen to be! Cooking in the truck can be a life saver, and a reminder of home, when you find yourself in the middle of nowhere. You may find that you enjoy it and just the beginning of a lifetime of “Cooking In The Truck.” Happy Cooking!

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.


 

Food & Fitness on the Road

By Heather Hogeland & Kim Grimm

It’s not always easy to get and stay healthy when you are a driver, but many truck stops like Iowa 80, are helping by offering fitness centers where drivers can workout whenever they have time off. Some truck stops have even built walking paths where a driver, or a driver and their pet, can get out and take a nice leisurely walk.

Walking is great exercise, its low impact, good for getting your blood pumping and working your muscles, besides, getting fresh air is always good for you! Parking way at the back of the lot is an option many times, doing this will increase your exercise for the day just by making the distance you have to walk that much farther to get into the truck stop itself. If you choose this option, be sure you are extra vigilant when you are out walking around among moving trucks, always be sure they can see you and take extra precautions to remain safe. NEVER walk out from between two trucks, stay in aisles and driveways, stay in lighted areas, wear visible clothing, carry a small flashlight to be sure other drivers can see you! The best prevention is caution.

Food & Fitness on the Road- It’s not always easy to get and stay healthy when you are a driver, but many truck stops like Iowa 80, are helping by offering fitness centers where drivers can workout whenever they have time off.
Fitness Center at Iowa 80 The World’s Largest Truckstop

There are many useful tools today that are available to help us get and stay fit; from something as simple and basic as a pedometer to something that I, personally have, a FitBit. I love it! It not only keeps track of my exercise, my steps, my calories, etc., it tracks my sleep! It tells me how much, how well and how interrupted my sleep was. It’s amazing. I set it to sync it with my iPhone continually and I charge the dongle about once a week (it even tells me when it needs to be recharged), and it keeps me on track with as much information as I choose to input. This thing even has a feature on it that allows me to set a silent alarm! It vibrates around my wrist so it can wake or alert me without bothering anyone else, I happen to think that’s pretty cool. There are also plenty of apps available you can put on your smartphone that are free and easy to use; apps like Map My Walk, Fitness Buddy, Daily Workouts and such. All of these can provide  you with help on your journey to get fit.

 

Eating right is not always easy to do while on the road. The ‘grab -n- go’ choices that are so readily available to us are usually the wrong choices. There are alot of greasy, fatty, salty, starchy, sugary fast foods with zero nutritional value. Thankfully though, changes are being made, there are healthier options showing up if you just look for them. There are fresh salads and fresh fruit cups at almost every truck stop fuel island these days along with mixed nuts, hard boiled eggs, celery and carrot sticks as well as yogurt and cottage cheese. There are also a variety of granola and protein bars. The right choices are there and available, it’s up to us to choose them. You have to fuel your body like you fuel your rig if you expect to keep them both running and running right.

Soup is a winner any time but seems to taste even better on a bitter cold day or night. Chili is good and most places have that one as a staple and then offer a variety of other choices sometimes rotating them on a day to day basis. We have noticed that a lot of truck stops have begun carrying 3 or 4 different soups on their take out counter area so that its an easy thing to get, hot, nutritious soup to go.

Food & Fitness on the Road- It’s not always easy to get and stay healthy when you are a driver, but many truck stops like Iowa 80, are helping by offering fitness centers where drivers can workout whenever they have time off.
Fitness Center at the Joplin 44 Petro

The beating our bodies take while driving our nation’s highways is beyond description at times and it definitely does a number on us physically. There are times you get so out of whack that you really would benefit from a visit to a chiropractor, both of us are firm believers in them! It’s a wonderful thing when you find a truck stop that has one, getting an adjustment can do wonders for an aching body!

 

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.


 

Winter Wellness

Winter Wellness- The cold, dry air of winter is hard, not only on your truck, but on you and on your skin as well. You need to bundle up when the cold temperatures are hovering outdoors! Staying warm; keeping your core temperature up becomes a priority.

By Heather Hogeland & Kim Grimm

The cold, dry air of winter is hard, not only on your truck, but on you and on your skin as well. You need to bundle up when the cold temperatures are hovering outdoors! Staying warm; keeping your core temperature up becomes a priority.

It’s important to remember to wear gloves or mittens to protect your fingers and hands and to wrap a winter scarf around your neck and face. When it’s very cold outside having a scarf covering your nose and mouth will help tremendously because it will filter the air you breathe in,  warming it before it enters your airways.

Whenever you are going to be out in the cold for any length of time wearing a stocking hat that keeps your head and ears covered is a necessity since we lose most of our body heat through our heads.

It doesn’t take long to get frostbite on fingers and toes, and, if it’s extreme enough, you could lose some of those digits. So, make sure you have heavy socks and good winter boots, along with a pair of warm insulated coveralls included with your regular wardrobe during the winter months.

As our dear friend Bette Garber always used to tell us, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Keeping your skin hydrated is important, using a good moisturizer is a necessity for men and women, especially at this time of year when cold temperatures cause all of the moisture to disappear from the atmosphere. Get, and use, a good ChapStick for your lips as they are almost always exposed and dry out easily.

You still need to use sunscreen, just like it was summer, maybe even more so. In winter the UV rays have less contaminants in the atmosphere to block them, so even though the days are shorter, the harmful rays are still shining down and the reflective effect off the snow is dangerous.

Another winter tip we use but often forget to mention is saline spray for nasal passages. Doing what we do, traveling through climate changes and altitude differences daily, one of the things we can experience is sinus pressure. We have found that carrying a bottle of saline spray mist is a very useful tool that helps tremendously to relieve the pressure buildup and headache that oftentimes accompanies the pressure. The problem is created due to the drying out of the nasal passages, using the saline mist puts moisture back into those areas.

We have also noticed that there are even snow chains available that you can get to “chain up” your shoes. These studded shoe covers can be a lifesaver when it gets icy out! A slip on the ice could be devastating to you physically, emotionally, as well as financially if it resulted in an injury that prevented you from working for weeks or months. The recovery time for an event like that could crush a family, so take care!

The basic winter checklist should still apply here:

  • Winter clothing: coats, boots, hats, gloves, extra clothing
  • Sweatshirts, insulated pants, thermals, layer clothing
  • Extra blankets or comforters/throws
  • Food, peanut butter & crackers, tuna fish packets, granola bars
  • Bottle water!!
  • Fresh batteries & flashlight
  • Rock salt to help if you get stuck to the road surface
  • Pet Parents – Remember to pack plenty of food & bottle water for your fur baby!

Speaking of pets, don’t forget them when the temperatures plummet! Have a coat and boots for them and use a warm, dry towel to dry them off as soon as they get back in the truck. Be sure to carry plenty of bottled water for them so you can be sure of what they’re drinking. Keep plenty of food onboard, you never know when or where you might get snowed in.

Lastly, always keep your fuel tanks at half full or higher whenever the weather forecast looks ugly! You never know when you may need that extra fuel to last due to a road closure! It’s ALWAYS better to be prepared and safe.

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.


 

Getting Things in Order

By Heather Hogeland & Kim Grimm

Most of us don’t like to talk about the day we will no longer be on this planet, but for all drivers, ESPECIALLY those drivers with families, there are some very serious things you Getting Things in Order- Most of us don't like to talk about the day we will no longer be on this planet, but for all drivers, ESPECIALLY those drivers with families, there are some very serious things you really need to think about.really need to think about.

It’s not the happiest of topics, but none is more important! It seems to so many of us that there’s always time to take care of these matters, we have a real reluctance to deal with these issues because the mere thought of our death seems so absurd. We need to get past that and get our stuff together. Not a single one of us can come back after the fact and fix it once we’re gone. If you get sick and know the time is coming sooner than expected, you may be able to put things in order. However, if you are young and healthy you tend to think “it won’t happen to me”. Sadly though, sometimes it does.

Drivers of all ages have a responsibility to those at home to take care of business, which includes the future of the family, not just the present. Being on the road can be dangerous, in fact truck driving consistently rates on the Top 10 list of most dangerous jobs in America. So we really need to take this seriously, as well as our jobs. It can happen to the very best of us; no matter how many safe miles we have behind us. You need to be like a Boy Scout and “Be Prepared”, just in case. As you know, we are not the only drivers on the road and can only control how we drive, not how others do. We’ve all seen completely crazy tailgating, distracted driving, and don’t get us started on being cut-off!

There are things you should have in place, even if you are not a driver. If you have young children, do you have a guardian in mind? Someone you have spoken with who has agreed to take on the responsibility of raising them in case of your absence? Of course this means in the case of the loss of the other parent as well, but this must be addressed. You need to make your wishes known. You need to have these wishes written down and witnessed, at the very least, along with your wishes regarding a living will, advance directive, power of attorney, and organ donation, then signed and notarized. As soon as you can, you need to get the legal documents, fill them out according to the directions and provide copies to those you have chosen, someone you trust wholly and completely.

It’s a really good idea to file copies of the documents with your primary doctor and local hospital. They can, in turn, provide them to facilities you may be admitted to when away from home, so they will be able to follow your wishes if you are unable to tell them yourself. It’s also a great idea to carry them with you, even inside your permit book for easy access, so emergency personnel can honor your requests in the event that you cannot speak for yourself.

Make sure that someone you trust knows where all your important papers are; your insurance policies, will and any other important documents that your family would need. You could even make additional copies for that person and store the originals in a safe or safe deposit box.

If you have items that you would like to see go to certain people in the event of your death, make a list. This is especially important if they aren’t specifically mentioned in your will. This is the best way to make it known whom you want to get what. This helped a great deal when my mom passed away 10 years ago. It didn’t take much time and it all helped us so much, so we all knew we each had exactly what she wanted us to have, which made it even more precious to each of us.

One last tip, keep your beneficiaries and power of attorney up to date. Sometimes people change, get married, divorces occur, etc. It’s a good idea to revisit those questions every so often to be sure the answers are still relevant to your life! Once you have done this it will be a huge weight off of your shoulders. You can relax and enjoy your family, knowing you have done everything possible to look after them.

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.