Trucking Companies Eye Excellent Future of Growth

The effects of the recession are all but erased from the trucking industry as transportation companies report running at near capacity. In fact,Jobs 1 2014 was the year when trucking companies stopped talking about how they were digging themselves out of the recession and started talking about how they were growing.

Some companies are talking about expanding their fleets over the next 1.5 years to keep up with demand, which means there will be a need, not only for more trucks and trailers, but also more drivers.

The numbers help tell the story of recovery and growth: In 2013, the industry was responsible for moving 69.1 percent of all domestic shipping, up from 68.5 the previous year. Growth over the next decade is expected to bring that percentage up to nearly 71 percent.

While there is a need for expanded fleets, companies are also having trouble finding enough drivers, which means the trucks currently on the road will be packing more per load. The American Trucking Association says volumes will increase by 3.2 percent every year through 2018.

The industry as a whole is looking to create efficiencies. Technological improvements are gaining ground and helping to cut fuel costs. Engineers are always working to find ways to streamline the rigs to also help with fuel costs. Workers are looking for better routing strategies and packing systems, which improves the amount of time it takes to ship items and in a more cost effective manner.

The power to weight ratio is also getting a closer look by engineers. For instance, they’re looking for ways to make trailers larger, yet weigh the same or less than the standard trailers of today. This allows more freight to be carried, but without the added weight that can damage roads and rack up an expensive fuel bill for trucking companies. The other perk is that larger trailer sizes are going to improve highway safety and reduce the number of trucks on the road, which again will help trucking companies deal with the lack of drivers.

Trucking companies are also looking to legislators to keep new laws from harming the industry. At the same time, lobbyists working on behalf of the industry are pushing for legislation that helps the industry. One example is the work current lobbyists are doing to get the larger trailer sizes put into law.

Not every driver is looking for an over-the-road career with long hauls. Some are looking for more flexibility in their hours, which is what Spirit Miller Driveaway Services can offer. We specialize in truck transport. Located in the heart of the Midwest, we offer vehicle delivery services throughout the U.S. We deliver on time and with safety in mind. We’re currently looking for drivers who are ready to dive into the industry and reap all the benefits.

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Truck Driving Companies Focus on Health

Fast Food 1Anyone who has spent time away from their kitchen knows how easy it is to eat unhealthy foods and how hard it is to find restaurants that prepare healthful foods. Truck driving companies realize their drivers face this issue on a daily basis and are trying to educate their workforce about healthier options.

Getting the word out about what foods are healthy to eat is the educational component that many truck driving companies are embarking on. Here are a few healthy eating tips that can help you, as a truck driver, maintain good health on the road:

  1. Low-calorie, high fiber foods can make you feel fuller, longer, and can provide energy for the workday. Fruits like bananas and apples pack plenty of vitamins and fiber, and they’re easy to eat while on the road.
  1. Avoid high-sodium foods as most Americans consume too much salt on a daily basis. Instead of grabbing a package of salted nuts, pick the one that is labeled “unsalted” or “low sodium.” Nuts are an excellent source of protein, but they’re often loaded with sugary flavors or salt, which makes them an unhealthy choice. Also, avoiding the cashew is a good idea as it is a high-calorie nut associated with weight gain.
  1. To avoid the fast food stops, try packing your own meals. You will have total control of the sodium, calories and carbohydrates going into your body. If you’re going to be on the road for a long stretch, consider investing in a cooler that you can power by plugging it into a 12-volt outlet in your cab.
  1. Another important item to remember is to stay away from sugary drinks. Sweet tea, sports drinks, soft drinks and juice all contain more sugar than your body requires. You can gain 10 pounds in a year by drinking one of these per day.

The Healthy Trucking Association of America has a mission to help transportation professionals arrive home safer and healthier. The organization sponsors free screenings, awareness campaigns and solution care models for the transportation industry. As the industry faces drastic shortages in drivers, an effort is being made to let young new prospects know that you can lead a healthy, happy life on the road.

Drivers must now carry a medical certificate that says they are healthy enough to drive their big rigs down the road. This is comforting to fellow travelers that drive side-by-side with truckers in their small sedans and sport cars or motorcycles.

Spirit Miller Driveaway Services hires safe drivers, and as a truck driving company has an excellent safety record. We’re looking for drivers who have driving records that show they too have the same commitment to safety. Call us today if you are interested in joining our team of quality drivers.

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Public Has Positive Opinion of Trucking Companies

Female Drivers 1The American Trucking Association’s (ATA) recent survey shows that Americans hold a favorable view of the trucking industry, which is good news for an industry that desperately needs drivers.

The survey used Public Opinion Strategies to survey 800 voters throughout the U.S. When asked what opinion they had of the trucking industry, 65 percent responded that they had a favorable opinion. Only nine percent said they had an unfavorable opinion, and the remainder had no opinion. As for the perception of the trucking industry being unsafe, only five percent said they felt the safety record for the industry was poor.

An even more positive result coming from the survey is that 80 percent of those polled said they believe truck drivers are safer on the road than drivers in non-commercial automobiles. Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said when accidents do happen between a truck and an automobile, it’s the fault of the driver in the passenger vehicle rather than the truck driver.

The favorable numbers for trucking are higher than the public perception of the railroad and airline industries. For instance, 30 percent of Americans hold an unfavorable view of the airline industry.

Trucking companies have worked to improve the public’s perception of the trucking industry since its hey-day in the late 1970s when popular television programs and movies glamorized the trucking lifestyle. The ATAs recent survey shows that fewer Americans believe truckers are placing a priority on meeting their deadlines than on safety. Previous studies conclude that the public felt drivers exceeded the speed limit frequently, that they were involved with drugs, drinking and violence.

The industry currently has a driver shortage of about 30,000 drivers across the nation. However, that number pales in comparison to what trucking companies are expecting in the next decade – a shortage of 200,000-plus drivers. The industry is looking at demographics where it can work to pull in new drivers. One major demographic is female drivers. NPR reported recently that females that have been attracted to the industry enjoy the good benefits, good pay and the freedom of the road. Women have been historically a largely untapped resource for the trucking industry.

A salary for truckers is an average of around $38,000 a year, but can go much higher for long haul truckers. For people weighing the option of four years of college and an average student loan debt of $25,000 against a few weeks of classes to get the necessary license to drive a big rig, industry experts are wondering why such a large number of trucking jobs are still open.

As the economy continues to improve, more people are spending money, which means manufacturers need to ship more cargo. The bulk of the increase in cargo is put on the shoulders of the trucking industry rather than railroad or boats. This is the big part of the reason so many more jobs will become available. Another is that many of the Baby Boomer truckers are retiring.

If you’re looking for a position with trucking companies, consider Spirit Miller Driveaway Services. If being a long haul trucker doesn’t sound like something you would enjoy, we’ve got routes that will get you home every day. We have pickup and delivers seven days a week, so you have a wide range of shifts to choose from. Contact us today and get started on your new career.

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Trucking Companies Enter the Digital Age Full Steam Ahead

The world has become a data-intensive place and the trucking industry is no exception. Trucking 6

Organizations in every industry are looking to data to drive efficiencies, increase brand visibility, improve on customer-centric strategies, and any number of aspects that improve the profit margin. There are many ways to gather data and companies are filling their databases full of information with every opportunity. How is the trucking industry doing it? Onboard sensors are sending information back to the fleet management center, offering information about every aspect of the delivery.

Any data received before the digital age was through a two-way communication effort between the driver and the dispatcher. Now the truck itself is communicating to the stakeholders and trucking companies.

Global positioning satellites play a massive part in this effort. Wireless communication and mobile apps used on smartphones and tablet computers are also a big part of the game. Truckers can be constantly clued-in to information they need along their route, from upcoming weigh stations to severe weather to traffic delays.

Obviously, some trucks can bypass certain weigh stations, but only if the federal CSA scores are up to regulation. Waiting on clearance to proceed and getting back up to speed on the highway takes time and money. Armed with technology that can improve safety, trucking companies have a better chance at earning a rating that allows them to bypass more weigh stations.
Vendors are beginning to focus on the trucking industry, offering new automated features to trucking companies who are looking into a “smart mobility” to improve the way they transport their freight. To enter a new era of connectivity, trucking companies are feeling the push to implement new technology. Some in the industry have gone as far to say that smart mobility implementation will be just as impactful to the industry as the combustible engine. While that statement might be a stretch, the importance of technology in improving trucking cannot be understated.

One vendor, Peleton Technology, is developing a system that will improve truckers’ ability to brake more efficiently. The driver will obviously maintain control of the wheel, but with technology taking over the braking process, it’s expected to improve fuel economy. A trucking company testing the technology claims to have seen a seven percent fuel savings. When used in tandem, the lead truck sees a 4.5 percent improvement and the following truck 10 percent.

What’s next? Looking at the busing industry, which have created rolling WiFi hubs, the trucking industry might not be that far behind with hubs of their own.

If you’re looking to get into the mix with an industry that is improving with time, consider joining Spirit Miller Driveaway Services. We’ve got the truck routes that suit just about any preference. If you don’t want to do overnights in towns far away, we’ve got routes that will keep you close to home. Contact us today to find out more about our opportunities.

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Truck Driving Companies are Seeing Freight Tonnage Grow

Jobs 5If the recession caused some worry among the trucking industry, projections by the American Trucking Association (ATA) should put any fears to rest for the next decade.

According to a report from the ATA, it appears that by 2025, Americans will require 17.3 billion tons of freight a year to be shipped, a majority of which will find its way from one place to another through the trucking industry. That’s a projected 23.5 percent increase in tonnage over what was being shipped last year (14.02 billion tons).

Truck driving companies are hoping that 72 percent-projected increases in revenues through 2025 will spell big profits for them. An ATA executive said recently that the trucking industry could expect to retain its position as the biggest transportation provider of freight in the nation. However, carriers will certainly have to adapt, and they have a hurdle to jump as there is currently a lack of drivers to carry the freight, and that deficit of drivers is only expected to grow.

The carriers that will do best are those who have mastered the logistics of the business as well as the ability to find good drivers to fill their routes. What about pressure from other freight hauling industries, such as boat and rail?

Indeed, the ATA report says there will be an increase in competition. The dominance that freight haulers currently have, while expected to continue, can’t keep up with the tonnage. For instance, the trucking industry’s share is expected to grow from its current 69.1 percent to 71.4 percent in 2025. The rail industry will see an annual increase in intermodal tonnage by 5.5 percent per year through 2019, according to the report. However, the railroad market share is expected to drop from 14.5 percent in 2013 to 13.8 percent in 2025.

Another aspect to consider is that work is currently underway to expand the Panama Canal, portions of which are already completed. This could alter the flow of the tonnage out of the U.S. In some cases, carriers will see increased opportunities because of this expansion while others will see a decrease. Details on why this occurs are available in the report, which can be purchased at www.atabusinesssolutions.com.

The image of the stereotypical truck driver has morphed over the years. Not all carriers require their drivers to take on cross-country jobs that require them to be away from their family for weeks at a time. Some carriers are giving their drivers the opportunity to choose their own routes, local or far from home.

Spirit Miller Driveaway Services is ready to answer the call as more trucks are needed on the roadway. At Spirit Miller, we’re focused on driveaway services that are fast, safe and dependable, which means we’re looking for drivers who will help us maintain our reputation as a dependable carrier. If you are looking for a career that pays better than what most college graduates earn after four years of expensive schooling, contact us today and find out how you can become an integral member of the team.

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