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Sun Protection Tips for Truck Drivers

Sun Protection Tips for Truck Drivers

Summer is here! And for truck drivers who spend long hours on the road, the sun can be brutal. Not only is the heat a problem, but the amount of sun drivers are exposed to is concerning as well.

“UV rays can damage your skin in 15 minutes,” says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Truck drivers spend a lot of time in the sun. The windows on a truck simply do not provide enough protection. Truckers are also exposed to sun rays when loading and unloading freight.

Avoiding sunlight is inevitable. But there are ways truck drivers can protect themselves. Here are some useful tips for truckers that may help lessen sun exposure, therefore preventing sun damage.

  • Wear sunscreen! It sounds like an obvious tip, but you’d be surprised by how many truckers leave home without it. There are many different types of sunscreens to choose from. However, broad spectrum or multi-spectrum protectants are your best choice.
  • Cover your skin. Hats, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants will help protect truck drivers from the sunlight. Keep as much skin covered as possible.
  • Invest in good sunglasses. Look for sunglasses that specifically block out UV rays, these are your best options. They provide the greatest protection from sun damage.
  • Be mindful of peak hours. The sun’s rays are most powerful during the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Avoid taking breaks outside during this time.
  • Screen for skin cancer regularly. Early detection is key. There are tons of free screenings across the U.S. Additionally, you should learn how to perform self-checks as well.

While there’s no way for truck drivers to avoid sunlight completely, taking necessary precautions will help reduce the impact of sun exposure. What are some other helpful tips for preventing sun damage? Comment below.

Protect Yourself from Skin Cancer While Driving

Protect Yourself from Skin Cancer While Driving

If you’re a trucker, you know there are many dangers out on the open road. Truckers always have to deal with all kinds of issues on the job. Still, one part of trucking that sometimes gets overlooked is the trucker’s health. Specifically, spending all that time out on the road can harm trucker health. This is especially true when it comes to long hours of sun exposure. You may think being inside the truck is protecting you. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Read on to learn more about how you can protect yourself from harmful UV rays while on the job.

Protection From the Sun

When you spend long hours driving, you’re more exposed to the sun than you might think. Additionally, you may never worry about protecting yourself since you don’t realize that the sun can hit you even while you’re driving. Furthermore, you may be too focused on avoiding accidents on the road to think about the problem of sun exposure.

Still, you don’t want to end up harming your health because you didn’t take sun exposure into consideration. When you drive, at least half of your body is sitting directly in the sun. This is the left side of your body, closest to the window. The truck window can only do so much to protect your skin!

Over time, the sun’s rays can cause harmful UV damage to any exposed skin it touches. Usually, this is the left arm. Additionally, the left side of the face can be affected as well.

If you don’t protect your skin over the years, you may face serious health problems in the future. Aging skin, liver spots, and even an increased risk of skin cancer are all serious risks you could face.

So, what can you do to protect yourself from skin cancer while on the road? Simply remember to cover up and wear sunscreen!

Use sunscreen even if it’s cloudy outside. Wear long-sleeve shirts even if its warm as a barrier between the sun and your skin.

Got any other tips? Post them in the comments below!

Truckers Getting an Electrified Western Stretch

Truckers Getting an Electrified Western Stretch

It looks like Washington and Oregon are joining the party. That’s right. These two states, like California, are now pursuing transport electrification.

Power providers in all three of the states will put their heads together. They will then determine a strategy for creating an electric charging infrastructure that would extend along the 1,300 miles of Interstate 5. This stretch runs between Mexico and Canada.

There are exactly nine electric utilities and two agencies that represent two dozen municipal utilities within the area sponsoring the project. Officials have labeled the project the West Coast Clean Transit Corridor Initiative. The desired end-game of the initiative is to enable the feasibility of long-haul battery electric trucks.

Officials say the I-5 is the spine of the goods movement space for these three states. Not only that, officials involved with the project, contend the I-5 stretch is responsible for air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

The study being conducted to analyze how best to execute the concept will consider things like the size of charging stations being manufactured and where the best place along the stretch is to put those stations.

Southern California Edison is one of 11 organizations participating in the study. Others involved include the Los Angeles Department of Water, Portland General Electric, and Seattle City Light.

Initiative Assessments

The initiative will make assessments of EV charging infrastructure programs. Moreover, officials will look at technology developments, as well as charging trends. Furthermore, it will examine fleet estimates for medium and heavy-duty zero emissions vehicles. Traffic flow patterns and fueling along the I-5 are also major considerations of the study.

SCE anticipates it will be able to fulfill the increased volume demands necessary to charge battery-electric long haul trucks once they are released to the public.

Katie Sloan, director of electric mobility for Southern California Edison, said, “That’s why conducting this study while the vehicles are being developed is so important. We can have that electricity ready when the vehicles are available.”

What do you guys think?

San Diego cracks down on dockless scooters and bikes

San Diego cracks down on dockless scooters and bikes

The city of San Diego is creating a designated zones on roadways for riders to park their scooters and bikes. They will place the small parking where red zones prohibit cars from parking.

The city calls these new parking spaces “corrals.” The intent is to get scooters and bikes off sidewalks, roads, and other pedestrian walkways.

Many residents complain about riders of motorized scooters. They accuse them of riding recklessly and at unsafe speeds. Residents also complain that scooters are left in front of their houses and on their lawns.

The city plans to carve out roughly 330 designated spaces across the city. The cost comes out of the current transportation budget.

San Diego estimates that there are roughly 20,000 shared bikes, e-bikes and scooters in the city. Six companies in the city offer shared scooters and bikes. This June city council will introduce several new laws aimed at regulating these companies and the use of their products.

In addition to parking corrals, Mayor Greg Block also proposed regulations for reduced speed in certain areas. He also proposed fees and permitting for scooter and bicycle companies.

Scooter advocates say that they save emissions from short car trips and provide cheap and safe transportation for those who cannot afford a vehicle.

Truck Company Fined for Transporting Hazardous Materials!

Truck Company Fined for Transporting Hazardous Materials!

Well… the news is out. A large trucking company from California just pleaded guilty to transporting a huge amount of hazardous materials. Apparently, the company transported more than 128,000 pounds of lead-contaminated battery chips.

And, these products are known to be dangerous. In fact, they can cause permanent damage to young children’s health if they somehow ingest or inhale the substance (like in contaminated dust or soil, etc.)

The company, Wiley Sanders Truck Lines, which operates within California, as long as many other states, is based out of Troy, Alabama. They made a plea agreement at the end of February, in which they admitted to three felony counts. These included them irresponsibly, and knowingly, transporting the product from a battery recycling facility in Vernon, California, to a different facility in Bakersfield, California.

The Effects

So, what happens now? Basically, a hefty fine. Wily Sanders now must pay the federal government a whopping $1.5 million penalty for the crime. And, that’s just the half of it. The company has to pay an additional $1.5 million to an environmental fund. This fund, established by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, supports residents in the areas impacted by the shipments.

Essentially, through the recycling process, the facility ended up creating a lot of hazardous waste. In the end, the product was extremely toxic. And, therefore, it posed as a threat to public health in the nearby communities. In fact, according to the prosecutors on the case, Wily Sanders knew that their trucks didn’t have enough protection to prevent the hazardous materials from leaking out of the truck.

The behavior of the company threatens the health and safety of everyone in the area – but mostly children, who are more likely to ingest lead-invested materials. While they are paying the price and hopefully the toxic materials are cleaned up… what about the traces left behind? What do you think about this hazardous materials case?

Why is Swift Leaving Leased Owner-Operators Behind?

Why is Swift Leaving Leased Owner-Operators Behind?

Swift Transportation, one of the largest carriers in the US, is reacting to the recent California Supreme Court ruling. The ruling, from April 2018, created changes in the way of leased owner-operator.

Before, leasing to owner-operators was the traditional model. But, an alternative to leasing gives loads to independents instead. Essentially, this concept is looked at as a work-around. However, the decision made by the California court set strict conditions on owner-operators. This makes it more difficult for carriers to lease to owner-operators.

Now, there’s been a lot of backlash since the decision. As a result, companies filed cases to fight the ruling. Both the Western States Trucking Association and the California Trucking Association are suing. However, companies are already feeling the impact of the decision.

For example, Swift, a branch of the Knight-Swift conglomerate, operates more than 30,000 trucks. And, nearly 5,000 of those are owner-operators. According to reports, Swift decided to end arrangements with its leased owner-operators based in California. They will do so if the owner-operators don’t meet certain conditions laid out in the ruling. In fact, they are now encouraging some of them to transition to independents.

Two of the owner-operators affected by this confirmed that they received notice from the company. Apparently, Swift informed them that they must make a decision by the beginning of March. While it is uncertain how many leased owner-operators the policy impacts, estimates show that it could be up to 20% of Swift’s owner-operators. This means about 1,000 of the 5,000 may feel the impacts.

These recent rulings created tension and difficulties in the trucking industry. This impacts many independent contractor relationships throughout the state of California. What do you think of the ruling? Do you think the federal court will overrule the new laws for leased owner-operators?

TuSimple Speeds into the Future of Trucking

TuSimple Speeds into the Future of Trucking

TuSimple has some big plans for the future. The autonomous trucking startup began its journey back in 2015 and they are now making leaps in the industry!

While the company is based out of China, TuSimple has an R&D facility in San Diego, as well as test operations located in Tucson. And the company is growing. Recently, at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), they announced that they are taking three to five autonomous trips per day. They also stated that they have customers currently on three different routes in Arizona.

And, the trips the TuSimple trucks take have two safety engineers. One of them is behind the wheel while the other monitors the data that comes in for each trip. That is a big change for the industry. As we get closer and closer to self-driving trucks, every change and technology leap is a big one. Which company will get there first?

Right now, TuSimple is not disclosing their customers. However, they did say that they currently have twelve that are contracted with them. And, they plan to expand further. Right now, they have eleven trucks operating in the US. They want to increase that number to 40 by June of this year. In addition, they will add another route from Arizona to Texas early this year.

Driving Technology

As the founder and president of TuSimple stated: “Exactly one year after debuting our prototype system at CES 2018, we’re now running up to five commercial trips a day in Arizona, expanding our fleet and moving quickly toward our goal of creating the first commercial self-driving truck.”

TuSimple is getting closer to making this happen with its use of camera-centric perception. Most autonomous vehicle companies use LiDAR to improve vehicle perception. However, LiDAR has some limitations, especially with large trucks that have to travel at high speeds. The system can detect objects and cars up to about 250 meters. According to TuSimple, they use a camera-based system which has a vision range of 1,000 meters.

As the company keeps trucking along, we’ll see how fast technology changes the industry. Will TuSimple create the first commercial self-driving truck? What will that mean for the future of the trucking industry?

A Sweet End to 2018 – Best San Diego Desserts

A Sweet End to 2018 – Best San Diego Desserts

Calling all sweet-tooths! We are saying goodbye to 2018 and taking a look back at some of the best San Diego desserts of the year. How many new restaurants did you check out this year? Not only are there great meals to be had throughout the San Diego area, there are great desserts as well. And, perhaps you want to bring that sweetness into your 2019. Check out these restaurants’ delicious creations in the upcoming weeks!

One of the best desserts is the Warm Chocolate Brownie at the Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant. The dessert is topped with espresso-Baily’s ice cream. But, wait – there’s more. Pretzel crumbles are sprinkled on top of that. And as the chef who put this together, Tyler Nollenberger, says: “When you’re 10 years old, what’s better than a brownie and ice cream?” And his decision to add the Bailey’s? He says: “Well, that appeals to my adult side.”

Unique and Colorful

Another great, but different, dessert from this year was the Green apple cotton candy. You can find this at Pisco Rotisserie & Cevicheria. It is exactly what you expect it to be – a towering plate of green-colored cotton candy. It is fun, light, and perfect for that nostalgic hat-tip toward your childhood. And, the kids of today are sure to love it, too!

Adding to the colorful (and unique) array of San Diego desserts is the Lemon at 1500 Ocean. What is it? Literally, a lemon – the upscale restaurant wanted to showcase a fun, yet classy, dessert.  Inside the lemon is poached Meyer lemon pieces, tropical finger lime, chocolate mint, and a yuzu-spiked chocolate. That center is frozen and then coated with white chocolate, yellow coloring, and a little spray of gold dust.

Other Forbidden Fruits

Another great one to try is the Pear soufflé at Herb & Wood. While it is not always pear, the soufflé is Adrian Mendoza, the Executive Pastry Chef’s, specialty. The flavors will rotate seasonally. But, it takes a high level of skill to create the perfect souffle. As Mendoza stated: “If you underwhip, it won’t rise as high, but if you overwhip, the souffle will rise tall and then deflate within seconds. If it is whipped just right, the soufflé has a three-to-five minute window before it starts descending.” Clearly, he’s mastered the technique.

One more to add to your list? The Passionfruit butter cake at Red O. Butter – the not-so-secret ingredient to many things sweet. It is the main attraction of this one. They serve this buttery concoction with passion fruit custard, strawberries, coconut crumble, and coconut ice cream. The tanginess of the fruit tones down the sweetness of the cake, creating a perfect balance.

While there are many other restaurants and desserts that also did well this year, these are some of the best ones! So, if you want to try something sweet to ring in 2019, check out some of these best San Diego desserts. Your taste buds will thank you for it!

A Different Type of Driver: How to change your truck driving lifestyle

A Different Type of Driver: How to change your truck driving lifestyle

Truck Driver Stereotypes

Why do truck driver stereotypes exist in our society? When you’re on the road, others driving around you might see you as slow, in the way, and many times holding up traffic. When they see you stopped at a gas station, they may even expect you to crawl out of your truck with a restless attitude and a gut full of coffee and jerky. That may be a bit harsh, but sometimes, is it true? It doesn’t have to be! You change your truck driving lifestyle to improve your  health and quality of life.

Of course, not all of drivers fit this description, but the difficulties of the job can lead to unhealthy choices. There are times when you want to get to your destination as fast as possible. To do that, you might eat quick-to-buy, greasy food and hop back in the truck to make it to your stop on time. Falling into the stereotypes could lead to an unhealthy lifestyle.

Instead, try some of these tips to making alternate choices on the road.

Add Healthier Choices to your Truck Driving Lifestyle

A daily change can transform into a lifetime habit. Plan ahead! This helps you make better choices. If you can pack fresh foods and snacks with you, you won’t find the urge to stop for less healthy options.

What types of foods should you look for? It’s as simple as choosing green, natural foods instead of salty snacks or sweet sodas and candy. Essentially, plan your drive to be healthy over hasty.

Other healthy choices could include choosing to take a quick stroll rather than a long nap. Exercise is especially important for truck drivers, as you are forced into uncomfortable seated positions for many hours per day. Try stretching and doing exercises in between stops to increase blood flow and give your body movement!

Fueling your body with the right foods will fuel your energy to be a better driver. This will be better for you overall and allow you to have a better quality of life in your career. Plan ahead, make better choices, and feel the benefits in your everyday tasks. You’ll thank yourself later.  Give the people on the road a different thought of what drivers really are.

How Much You will Get from Social Security in 2019? Changes Applied

How Much You will Get from Social Security in 2019? Changes Applied

A bigger percent of 2.8 to be applied for social security recipients in 2019. Next year, the system will also be adjusted in different other ways that could have an effect on the payments you pay or get from the system. 2019 Social security changes can amaze you.

Larger payment: Starting from 2012, the 2.8% is considered the largest. The monthly benefit for retired workers is predicted to raise by $39 reaching up to $1,461. Married couples will see a total of estimated $67 increase to the average payment of $2,448 per month.

Each year these adjustments applied to keep the inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Office Workers.

Higher tax cap: The max amount of earnings subject to Social Security tax will raise by $4,500, reaching to $132,900 in the year of 2019. Employees pay 6.2% of their earning into the Social security system until their income enlarges the maximum. The 6.2% Social Security taxable ceiling rises from $128,400 to $132,900. The potential tax burden rises by $279. Workers earning more than the above-mentioned number will see some bump in their paychecks once their earnings have exceeded the maximum taxable amount.

Higher earning limits. Workers who are getting Social Security benefits and continuing to work will be able to earn $600 more than in 2019. When you turn the full retirement age, the limit increases to $46,920 in 2019, and the penalty declines to $1 withheld for every $3 excess earning.

Electronic way of cost-of-living adjustment notification: Starting from December 2018, retirees will be able to check their adjustment online. The COLA notices will be placed in the message section of my Social Security accounts. These notices will not be placed for representative payees, people with a foreign mailing address and people who pay higher Medicare premiums according to their income.

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