Driver Survey

Recently we had an in house driver survey for all current drivers to participate in for a chance to win a $25 Butterball Gift Certificate. Rodney James T and Dan B were our winners. The survey was what your favorite Truck Stop is. The options were: Loves, Pilot/Flying J, Sapp Brothers, and TA/Petro. The top pick was Pilot/Flying J. When asked why this was their favorite drivers said, delicious food, clean, friendly staff, plenty of showers and truck parking, high speed Wifi, and they have diet soda in their fountain machines.

Pilot/Flying J is also a great location for our drivers to go because we have a great fuel discount with them. We urge all our drivers to fuel there as our cost is significantly lower than any other fuel stop.

November 20, 1958, James Haslam II opened the first Pilot in Gate City, VA. In 1979, Flying J opens its first full service travel service plaza in Ogden, Utah. Pilot and Flying J partnered in 2010 to form Pilot/Flying J. This was a significant moment in history as two of the best known brands in the travel industry joined forces. The company is based in Knoxville, TN where Pilot Corporation, the majority owner, is based. Today Pilot/Flying J is the largest source of diesel for OTR drivers. There are over 550 locations across the US.

Safety with Motorcycles on the Road

As we all know motorcycles are smaller and harder to spot on the road. They have the ability to weave in and out of traffic easily. Due to their size drivers often times mistake how fast or far the drivers might be from them. Motorcycles lack certain safety devices that trucks and cars have such as, seat belts and airbags. This can explain why in most collisions the motorcycle is most at risk. Below are tips for drivers so they can confidently and responsibly around motorcycles.

Follow the four second rule--When driving behind a motorcycle allow a four second cushion. This gives you time to react to the unexpected. For commercial vehicles drivers should allow 5 seconds.

Respect mother nature--Harsh weather conditions can make for a dangerous drive for anyone but it is more hazardous for motorcycles. Give motorcycles some extra space on the road.

Look before you turn--Many fatal motorcycle accidents are a result of a car trying to turn left while a motorcycle was going straight. If you see a motorcycle at an intersection try to make eye contact with the driver before turning in their direction. Many motorcycles do not have self-cancelling turn signals like cars or trucks, so it is possible that a biker might have their turn signal on because they have forgot to turn it off. If you have to pass a motorcycle with a lingering turn signal proceed with caution.

Check blind spots often--Motorcycles are smaller than cars and trucks as we all know so it is much easier for them to slip into a blind spot while driving. This is greater when they are trying to pass you. Check your surroundings/blind spots regularly and especially before switching lanes.

Allow a motorcycle a full lane width--Although it may seem that there is enough room in the traffic lane for a motor vehicle and a motorcycle, the motorcycle still needs room to maneuver safely. DO NOT SHARE THE LANE!

Signal--Always signal before changing lanes or merging with traffic. This allows motorcyclists to anticipate traffic flow and find a safe lane position.


Distracted Driving


Over the road truck drivers have a difficult job that involves thousands of hours on the road ever year and keeps them away from their family for extended periods of time.  It is important to keep distractions limited while going down the road. What is the definition of Distracted Driving? Anything that can take your attention away from controlling the vehicle. There are three types of distractions, visual, mental and physical. Which activity do you think involves all three types of distractions? The answer would be texting. The FMCSA prohibits truck drivers from holding, texting, dialing, reading or reaching for a cell phone while driving. Drivers who text and drive are 23 times more likely to be involved in a serious incident. Texting requires drivers, on average, to take their eyes off the road for about 4.6 seconds.

Truck Drivers need to know the risk that goes into texting while driving. Not only can this cause a serious or fatal accident there is also a large fine. When a driver is caught having a hand held device in their hand the penalty is large around 2,700 for the driver and around 10,000 for the company. Seaboard urges our drivers to please have limited usage on hands free devices as they can still be a distraction for a driver. To reduce distracted driving drivers should pre-set their GPS devices and music players before they drive.

When a driver is going down the road they need to be as defensive of a driver as they can be. If a driver notices another distracted driver they should slow down and allow the vehicle to go around them. It is equally important for drivers to know how to recognize distracted driving in themselves as well as others. Ignore distracted drivers so they do not bother you.


Tips for Summer Truck Driving

1.      Protect yourself from the sun—there are serious risks associated with over exposure to the sun. Truck drivers have probably heard the saying, “Trucker’s Arm” this is when the sun beats down on only one arm leaving an awkward tan usually on only the left arm. Be sure and stock up on your sun block to prevent any damage to your skin due to over exposure to the harsh rays of the sun!

2.      Watch out for more drivers on the road—summer months usually bring more travelers on the roads. This can make it even more unsafe out on the road for truck drivers. Not every accident can be prevented but try and stay alert and lessen your chances of an accident occurring.

3.      Stay Hydrated—sometimes when on the road we can forget to stay hydrated, but as it is heating up be sure to keep cooled off with some high quality H2O!

4.      Check your brakes—hot temps can sometimes lead to brake fading or the loss of friction when brake components can’t absorb any additional heat. This should be done before you move the truck but remember during the summer months to make sure your brakes are working properly before getting out there.

5.      Keep Tires Properly Inflated—in high temperature, tire blowouts are not uncommon. Be sure before you move your truck that tires are properly inflated. Try your best to avoid a possible blowout.

Note from Safety - International Roadcheck

International Road check 2016 will take place June 7-9, 2016.

International Roadcheck is an annual three-day event when CVSA-certified inspectors conduct compliance, enforcement and educational initiatives targeted at various elements of motor carrier, vehicle, driver and cargo safety and security.

During International Roadcheck, inspectors primarily conduct the North American Standard Level I Inspection, which is the most thorough roadside inspection. It is a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of both the driver and vehicle. Drivers are required to provide items such as their license, endorsements, medical card and hours-of-service documentation, and are checked for seat belt usage and the use of alcohol and/or drugs. The vehicle inspection includes checking items such as the braking system, coupling devices, exhaust system, frame, fuel system, lights, safe loading, steering mechanism, drive line, suspension, tires, wheels , rims, and windshield wipers.

Thanks, Safety






Safety Tips From a Driver

Safety with Seaboard

Seaboard Transport takes pride in our safety scores and we want our drivers to as well! Good safety scores help get us a greenlight at the scale stations. Owner/Operators with Seaboard Transport have the opportunity for a Safety Bonus every quarter. This is based on clean DOT Inspections, no speeding, no accidents/tickets, and good log books. Company Drivers are also rewarded for clean DOT Inspections. We asked a couple of drivers for their advice on how to be an outstanding safe driver. These drivers all scored excellent last quarter as far as safety.

Mike S--Owner Operator

Mike S--Owner Operator

Mike has been with Seaboard Transport since 2014. He takes pride in being a safe driver and has 1.1 million miles of safe driving and has been in the industry for 20 years. When asked what is safe driving to you? Mike replied, "First priority is always safety. Try and be safe and know how to do it right all the time."  Mike has been around trucking his whole life, his father was a truck driver as well. His motto is, "When in doubt back it out!"

Mike is a strong advocate for doing his DVIR and Pre-trips before each load and he also does it mid trip sometimes as an extra precaution. He has had no accidents or incidents in his whole driving experience. He wants to make a suggestion to new drivers, "Take your time. When you get in a hurry that is when accidents happen." Plan your trips and you won't have to rush around to get there on time. There's no load that's more important than your life or someone else's.

Mike would like to advise new drivers to the industry, listen to the older drivers who have bene doing this for 10 plus years. Most have good advice they have been doing this a long time and have been through a lot.

Do you like having Drive Cam on your truck? "Yes, saves drivers careers having that additional safety on the truck." Mike feels that the one camera is not enough and he is going to purchase an additional camera that comes with two mini cameras to go on the side mirrors. He is not upset at having the camera on board his truck. He said that if he is doing his job right and as safely as possible then he does not have to worry about it.

Not only does Mike take pride in his safe driving he also enjoys taking care of his truck and how he looks at a customer. He thinks it's great that Seaboard offers two truck washes a month and he takes full advantage of that. "We are representing Seaboard we should look presentable."

Note from Maintenance - Proper Tire Inflation

Lets talk about tires. There are two things that affect any business. The second largest cost in any fleet operation is Tires. The number one reason for premature tire failure is under inflation. The NTSB says 56% of all commercial tires are under inflated at least 20% or more.

Tires at the proper inflation can increase fuel economy by 2% which is by the way the number 1 cost in fleet operations.

90% of all on the road repairs and replacements are due to under inflation.

Now what does this mean to me the driver or Owner Operator:

If we keep our tires at the proper inflation we will:

  • Save break downs, which means more time driving, more miles.
  • Save fuel, which means lower cost of operation.
  • Distribute weight better, which gives the driver better control.

All of our trailers with Super single tires have an inflation system which helps a lot but keep in mind when the little amber light on the front is lit up the system is inflating a tire. So at your next stop we need to look for a leak.

Thanks and be careful, someone at home needs you.

—Darren Potter, Maintenance Supervisor



Mid America Truck Show 2016

Mid America Truck Show 2016.JPG

Last week, March 31 to April 2, Seaboard Transport attended the 45th annual Mid-America Truck Show (MATS). MATS is the largest annual heavy-duty trucking industry event in the world, held each year at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, KY.

The show attracts 70,000 attendees and more than 1,000 exhibitors from throughout the United States and overseas. This year, representing Seaboard was Tracie Gragg, dispatch supervisor and Jessica Seipel, recruiter. Also helping out was Owner Operator Andrew P. It was very nice to have a lease driver there who could talk to drivers and tell them their perspective on Seaboard Transport.

This is the third year we have attended MATS and this year was much larger than last year. This year Seaboard show cased our new 2016 Kenworth T680's and drivers were very impressed. We hope to see everyone again next year!

Tips for Night Driving

Tips for Driving at Night

Truck drivers don't have a normal 8-5 job. Most have unpredictable work and sleep schedules. Days can be long and hard to stay awake but this is crucial if a driver wants to be safe out there on the road. Below are some tips:

  • Exercise: This can be hard to keep up with when out on the road but keeping up with your physical health will help drivers out on the road and this helps fight fatigue.
  • Eat healthy: try and make good decisions on the road. Avoid heavy meals before a long period of night driving. Try and eat smaller meals and more frequent.
  • Sleep: Try and get good uninterrupted rest. Avoid: caffeine, nicotine or foods high in sugar before rest. All of these are stimulants and they can affect your sleep.
  • Change it up: If you are starting to feel sleepy try rolling down your window or turning your radio on. If you need to stop and take a break get out and walk around your truck try stretching and get your blood flowing.
  • Keep a cool head: Many things can happen on the road that cause anyone to get frustrated or angry. A car cut you off, a fight with your dispatcher or something troubling you at home. Try and stay calm and let it go.



Healthy Snacks for Your Truck!

Healthy Snacks

Stock up on these healthy options to keep you from eating junk on the road! Try to stay away from all the junk in the truck stops. Check the backs of labels if you are wanting a quick snack. Try and keep your sodium and sugars low.

Here are some options:

  • Peanut Butter Balls
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Popcorn (My personal favorite is: Skinny Popcorn--only 39 calories per cup!)
  • Almond butter
  • Almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Jerky (Turkey)
  • Roasted Chickpeas
  • Dried fruit
  • Heart healthy trail mix (make your own and keep your ingredients low sodium)

6 Healthy Habits That Are Good All Year Round!

Six Year-Round Healthy Habits

  1. Drink more water! Try switching out energy drinks, soda and sugary beverages for good old H2O!
  2. Do some type of physical activity for 20-30 minutes daily. Before heading to the sleeper take a walk or lift some hand weights in your truck. Taking 34 laps around your truck is equivalent to 1 mile!
  3. Spend more time with loved ones. Even if you’re apart you can still spend time with family back home. Facetime or Skyping is a great option for OTR Drivers. Not only will it give you something to look forward to but it will provide some consistency in an otherwise inconsistent work schedule. Or even sending postcards to children or grandchildren while you’re on the road. I mean who doesn’t love getting mail!
  4. Save more money! The biggest one is buy your own groceries and keep them in a cooler rather than eating at a truck stop or fast food joint every day. You will save in your health as well as your wallet!
  5. Just relax from time to time. We know situations can quickly become tiresome when it comes to getting loads or requesting home time. But try and see things from the other side too—many times your fleet manager is feeling overwhelmed with balancing multiple drivers at one time. Take a moment and have a little patience this can really help.  Find something that helps you to relax maybe it’s a certain song or thought that can help you when managing stress. Trucking can be stressful and finding time to relax can go a long way!
  6. Quit Smoking-- Now this one is a tough! This will help you with your health and your budget! Think of the money you could save and how much better you will feel!

5 Truck Driver Money Saving Tips

Five Money Saving Tips

  1. Make a budget
  2. Skip fast food restaurants
  3. Use free Wi-Fi when possible
  4. Take advantage of deals
  5. Refrain from Cash Advances

It can be difficult to manage money when you're in a different place everyday. With these five tips, you can get on the road to becoming a little bit more financially savvy. Saving money boils down to effective planning and budgeting -- impulse spending will only make it more difficult in the end.

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5 Fuel Saving Tips

Potter's Fuel Saving Tips

  1. Keep tire pressure at company recommended pressures and check them weekly.
  2. Keep the truck maintenance up to date. Dirty oil and dirty air cost fuel.
  3. Keep your trailer as close to the tractor as possible.
  4. Keep all aerodynamic devices intact and get them repaired if needed.
  5. Keep your truck clean. The slicker the truck, the smoother it goes through the air.

Stay Fit Out There

Staying Fit on the Road

Exercise: Walking around your truck and trailer 32 times is considered a mile.

Food: Being on the road makes it hard for the drivers to make healthy lifestyle changes sometimes but below is a list of some options that are less than 400 calories:

  • McDonald's – Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich (350 calories, 9 grams of fat)
  • Subway – Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki 6" Sub (370 calories, 4.5 grams of fat)
  • Burger King – Whopper Jr. (350 calories, 21 grams of fat)

Some general fast food rules to live by: Avoid fried sides, such as fries or onion rings. Don't drink your calories; forego milkshakes, sugary coffee drinks, and soda. Beware of adding calories when you get condiments. Adding that extra BBQ sauce can add a bunch of hidden calories to your meal.

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