Laughter Is The Best Medicine

July 20th, 2015

a-day-without-laughter-is-a-day-wasted

Trucking is a tough business. Whether you’re behind the wheel or on the phones covering loads, the never ending cycle of tight deadlines, strict regulations and increasing expenses is enough to drive even the best of the best crazy.

Now, if you’ve been able to stick it out in the transportation business for a substantial amount of time you probably have your methods of handling stress. But although you may feel like you have your stress under control, it’s important to understand the long term effects that stress can have on your business and your personal life.

Experiencing stress over a long period of time can cause damage to your brain that can’t be undone. Scientists have found that stress actually decreases mental functioning, increases irritability and can even kill brain cells. Even worse for drivers out on the road, stress affects parts of the brain that control paying attention, decision making, and problem solving!

In addition to stresses effects on the brain, it also can have effects on the rest of your body such as low energy, headaches, chest pain, elevated heartbeat, and tense muscles to name a few.

So how to we reduce stress? Good nutrition, regular exercise, and meditation are common methods of reducing stress but one commonly overlooked technique is laughter! According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter can have short and long-term benefits in reducing stress. Their studies found that laughter can active and relieve your stress response, sooth tension, improve your immune system, relieve pain and increase personal satisfaction.

As it turns out, laughter might truly be the best medicine! Now that you know laughing is good for you, you just have to find something to laugh about. I know that for me, when it comes to those dreadful at-home tasks such as laundry, I like to lighten the mood by listening to my favorite comedians while I complete them. Satellite radio has dozens of comedy channels to suit any taste with easy access while on the road. If you’re a trucker, you’re most likely spending the majority of your time in your truck alone, so you are free to relieve that stress and LOL all you want!

For  information on HG Logistics, LLC, located in Cincinnati, OH, please contact General Manager Doug Bierman at 513-244-3026. 

You Snooze You Lose, The Dangers of Driving While Drowsy

July 10th, 2015

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Drowsiness can slow reaction time, decrease awareness, impair judgment and increase aggressiveness. If that sounds familiar, it should. You’ve heard the same warnings about driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Just like driving drunk or driving drugged, drowsy driving causes you to make mistakes behind the wheel that can injure or kill you, your passengers or others on the road.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsiness or fatigue is the principal cause of up to 100,000 police-reported passenger vehicle crashes every year, killing at least 1,500 people and injuring 71,000. Many more fatigue-related crashes go unreported. Many factors can contribute to drowsiness such as age, time, and work schedules. Developing a regular sleep schedule and driving only when well rested are a solid start in avoiding fatigue related accidents. Here are some other ways that you can avoid falling asleep while on the road:

  • Drive at times that you are normally awake
  • Take 30 minute naps on the side of the road when traveling long distances
  • Avoid medications that cause drowsiness such as allergy and cold & flu medicines
  • Avoid carbohydrate-loaded foods – eat foods packed with protein instead
  • Take a break every couple hundred miles – even if you aren’t tired, getting out of your truck and stretching, walking will get your blood flowing and help keep you energized

HG Logistics, LLC, a third party logistics company and freight broker located in Cincinnati, OH encourages everyone to take the appropriate precautionary actions in order to stay safe on the road. For more information on HG Logistics, LLC, please contact our General Manager, Doug Bierman, at (513)-520-7809.

Cargo Theft Trends, Stats, and Tips

June 24th, 2015

As Independence Day approaches, so does one of the top weeks of the year for cargo theft. Cargo Net, a division of Verisk Crime Analytics, has issued a warning to carriers and drivers for the upcoming week about the potential for increased activity by cargo thieves. In the past three years, the July 1-7 week has accounted for nearly 76 cargo theft incidents and nearly $11 million in loss value.

Cargo Net posted this infographic with its warning, showing the top targeted commodities (food and beverage, electronics and metal) and the top states — CA, FL, TX, GA, IL — from the July 1-7 theft data for the last three years:

CargoNet-2015-July-4th-Cargo-Theft-Trends-Infographic_

HG Logistics, LLC, a third party logistics company and freight broker located in Cincinnati, OH is dedicated to providing you with the best service possible. This not only means ensuring the safety of our drivers but also ensuring that our loads are delivered in a safe and timely manner. With the holiday week approaching, HG recommends these 3 tips to make sure that cargo theft doesn’t happen to you:

Keep the cargo moving: The longer a loaded trailer or container sits unattended, the higher the risk for theft, plain and simple.

Focus on “hot spots” and “hot times”: As noted earlier, cargo theft is highly concentrated in 5 states, and if you drill down further, in certain cities, neighborhoods, and truck stops and other parking areas. Also, thefts occur more frequently on weekends (especially Saturdays) so focus your security efforts in the places and times they are most likely to occur.

Know who you’re working with: Having your cargo stolen from an unattended lot is one thing, but getting deceived by a thief in broad daylight because you didn’t perform proper due diligence is another. Thieves are getting more creative and sophisticated so you must have a robust carrier qualification process and follow it consistently.

For more information on HG Logistics, LLC, please contact our General Manager, Doug Bierman at (513)-520-7809.

Is Your Coolant/Antifreeze Ready For Summer?

June 10th, 2015

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It’s a HOT one here today at HG Logistics LLC, a third party logistics company and freight broker located in Cincinnati, OH and I know that the first thing I did when I got in my car this morning was crank up the AC. While a wonderful luxury for drivers, AC’s maintenance is often bypassed in vehicles until the coolant that saves us from the heat runs out. Any truck fleets that are planning on traveling the North American continent this summer, whether North to South or coast to coast, know that one of the few constants among those thousands of miles of pavement will be stifling heat and oppressive humidity. That being said, regularly scheduled maintenance throughout the lifetime of a heavy duty vehicle can keep it running for a very long time. Be sure to keep up with maintenance on your vehicles cooling system before this summer season is in full effect!

For information on HG Logistics, LLC please contact our general manager, Doug Bierman, at 513-520-7809

 

If You Can’t See My Mirrors Then I Can’t See You!

June 5th, 2015

Anyone who has driven behind a semi before has seen the words on the back of the trailer saying “If you can’t see my mirrors then I can’t see you!”. This is because when hauling trailers, drivers mirrors can only reach so far limiting the drivers on what they can and cannot see around them. In attempt to resolve this issue, Daimler Trucks North America has come up with new technology and petitioned the U.S. DOT’s National Highway Traffics Safety Administration to allow a camera-monitor system as a compliance alternative to rear-view mirrors. Daimler petition states that “Camera systems can eliminate blind spots and furnish an unimpeded view in all directions, encompassing multiple lanes.”

Currently, federal regulations require that heavy-duty trucks are to be equipped with rear-view mirrors from the manufacturer so in order to make the truck road-legal, Daimler would still have to equip the rig with small mirrors on each side.

This new technology drastically enhances safety for not only truck drivers but also other drivers on the road. Here at HG Logistics, LLC located in Cincinnati, OH, we are dedicated to providing the best service possible to all of our customers and the safety of our drivers while providing our services is one of our top priorities. For more in formation on HG Logistics, LLC, please contact our general manager Doug Bierman at (513)-520-7809.

Information on Daimler for this blog post was found on truckernews.com

Search For Young Truck Drivers Continues

May 20th, 2015

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Trucking in the news lately has revolved heavily around a driver shortage – the industry is facing the largest shortage of drivers the business has ever seen. Why, you ask? According to several reports from the ATA, the industry is lacking younger drivers. The average American worker is 42 years old where as some trucking companies are seeing age averages in the 50’s. With many current drivers retiring, the industry is in desperate need of younger drivers.

Many believe that the lack of young drivers can be blamed on the income, however, according to the ATA, the average income has risen several thousands of dollars from about $42,000 to $50,000 a year. Additionally, trucking has not always been known as the most glamorous job which has caused younger generations to stray away from the business. However, in attempt to target this younger demographic, many trucking companies are coming up with ideas to soften that stigma. For example, many companies are investing in driver lounges and giving longer lead times for shipment pickups. With ideas like these along with increased pay, the industry is hoping to attract young drivers to their companies.

HG Logistics LLC, a third party logistics company and freight broker in Cincinnati appreciates all of our drivers, no matter the age and would also like to point out some benefits of the business.

-When you become a truck driver, you are essentially being paid to travel! With many loads traveling all over the nation, there is opportunity for drivers to see and experience places they otherwise may not have.

-While driving  you are able to reflect while you spend time traveling across the country. You can use your time alone wisely by  listen to CD’s that teach life skills and positive thinking like The Seven Habits Of Highly Effect People or simply use the time to relax and enjoy time to yourself.

– JOB SECURITY! The job security in trucking is high. In fact, the department of labor statistics expect the need for 250,000 drivers by the year 2016. There is a huge shortage of drivers. Even in today’s economy many companies are continuing to strive. Truckers are right in the middle of all the action. Raw materials must be transported to factories and then finished products must be transported.

For more information on HG Logistics, LLC, located in Cincinnati, OH, please contact General Manager Doug Bierman at 513-244-3026. 

U.S. Trucking Companies Revenue Reaches Record $700 Billion

May 15th, 2015

money-rolls

A shortage of drivers and persistently low fuel charges are driving money into the pockets of trucking companies, as the industry reported a record $700.4 billion in revenue in 2014.

Trucking revenue rose 2.6% last year, according to the American Trucking Associations’ “American Trucking Trends” report released Monday.

The growth marked a slowdown from the previous year, when trucking revenue expanded 6.2%, but marked the first time industry-wide revenue exceeded $700 billion.

Revenue has been on an upward trend since the beginning of the economic recovery, as shippers, including everyone from apparel retailers to grocers, responded to the recovery in demand following the 2008-2009 economic downturn.

Part of the issue is demographic: for whatever reason, younger workers aren’t signing up to become truck drivers. The average age of a truck driver is 49, compared with 42 for workers overall.

The ATA estimates there is a shortfall of about 40,000 long-haul truckers needed to meet demand for moving goods, of a total of 1.5 million long-haul drivers nationwide, which is driving up shipping rates. ATA’s index that tracks revenue per mile grew 3.2% in 2014 to 154.1 from 149.4 in 2013.

Another factor is fuel prices. A gallon of diesel fuel is $1.07 cheaper than it was a year ago, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Most truckers charge shippers a surcharge based on fuel expenses on top of a base shipping rate. Those surcharges have declined over the past year, making truck shipments more cost-effective for shippers.

For information on HG logistics, LLC, a third party logistics company and freight broker located in Cincinnati, OH. please contact our general manager, Doug Bierman, at 513-244-3026 ext 3021.

Diesel Prices Rise For 2nd Week in a Row

April 29th, 2015

The average U.S. cost of on-highway diesel moved higher on Monday for the second straight week as oil prices also gained last week.

The U.S. Energy Department reports the fuel increased 3.1 cents to $2.811 per gallon. This follows diesel falling for five consecutive weeks, when it lost a total of 19 cents, which was preceded by five straight weeks of price increases totaling 11.3 cents. This week’s price is still $1.164 lower than the same time a year earlier.

Regionally, prices moved higher in all parts of the country over the past week, ranging from just 0.8 cent in New England for an average of $3.057, to as much as 6.1 cents in the West Coast region for an average of $3.026.

Diesel now ranges from a low of $2.683 in the Gulf Coast region, up 2.4 cents from last week, to as high as $3.11 in the Central Atlantic states, where it’s up 2.9 cents during the same time.

Meantime, the average cost of regular grade gasoline posted an even larger increase than diesel over the past week, 8.5 cents, registering $2.57 per gallon, its highest level since early December. Compared to this time a year ago gasoline is still $1.143 less per gallon.

Prices are up in all parts of the country over the past week and range from a low of $2.305 in the Gulf Coast region to a high of $3.182 in the West Coast region.

This happed as overseas the price for Brent crude hit a 4 and half month high in trading on Friday, settling at $65.28 per barrel, and finishing higher for the third straight week. In the U.S., crude added 2.5% last week and was up for the sixth straight week, closing slightly lower on Friday after hitting a 2015 high of $58.41. Monday it settled at $56.99 per barrel, just 16 cents lower on the day.

 

HG Logistics, LLC, is a third party logistics company and freight broker in Cincinnati, OH. For more information on HG Logistics, Please contact Genernal Manager, Doug Bierman, at DBierman@hglogisticsllc.com

How to Extend Tire Life and Improve Fuel Economy

April 17th, 2015

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For any vehicle, fuel effieciency and tread mileage go hand in hand. When one is bad, chances are the other will be too. By following these easy steps, you can kill two birds with one stone and improve fuel economy while also improving your tread life.

-Keep your tires properly inflated at all times. Believe it or not, truck fleets often don’t do a great job of maintaining proper inflation pressure. Underinflation of your tires kills both your tread life and fuel economy so keeping your tires at the correct target pressure should always be a priority in the maintenance of your truck.

-Take advantage of technology. Inflating tires can be such a hassle but technology now exists to inflate tires at any trailing wheel position. Alongside the inflation systems are tire pressure monitoring systems, which admittedly will not inflate a tire for you, but they will alert you via a warning light when you have a tire going south on you.

-Switch to low-rolling-resistance tires. These tires offer several benefits for you if you maintain them. They generally have less tread rubber to squirm and wiggle away your fuel dollars, and the casing and rubber compounds are formulated for greater stiffness, which translates into less energy needed to keep them rolling.

-Keep tractors and trailers aligned. Tandem axle parallel disalignment is one of the largest contributing factors to fuel consumption on a vehicle and can eat up to 2% of your fuel just from being misaligned!

-Keep a tight reign on your vehicle speed. Speed kills just about everything on your vehicle, tread life, fuel economy, profits, etc. Tire rolling resistance becomes more of a factor at higher speeds, and speed is the single largest variable effecting fuel economy. Cutting your speed from just 65 to 55 can increase your tires’ life by 16%.

These tire life and fuel economy tips are courtesy of HG Logistics LLC, a third party logistics company and freight broker in Cincinnati, OH. For more information on HG Logistics, LLC, please contact our General Manager, Doug Bierman at dbierman@hglogisticsllc.com or by phone at 513-244-3026 ext 3021.

3 Ways Low Fuel Prices Affect Carriers

April 8th, 2015

Springtime is upon us and seasonal trends in fuel prices are beginning to show. According to AAA’s fuel gauge report, diesel was $2.90 per gallon on average nationally at the end of March, $1.11 cheaper than the previous year. As a result, the average fuel surcharge in March 2015 was down to 29¢ per mile, 11¢ lower than last year. Changes in fuel prices means changes for freight business; Here are six ways that lower oil prices are changing trucking in 2015:

1. Cost of Doing Business: Obviously, the lower the price of fuel, the less expensive it is to run a truck. Let’s say a truck averages 6 MPG. The lower diesel prices in February meant that carriers on average spent 18.5¢ less per mile on fuel compared to 2014. 

2. Shift in Customer Needs: With oil prices low, there won’t be as much new drilling in the coming months. That means less oil-industry cargo to move and less competition for drivers from that sector.

3. Freedom to Chase Hot Markets: While changes in the oil industry are shifting freight patterns to other markets, consumer spending for goods and services has grown as a result of declining fuel costs. Carriers that are less worried about fuel savings can focus on targeting their operations where the demand of trucks is since they might be more willing to run lanes that they previously avoided.

Here at HG Logistics, LLC, a third party logistics company and freight broker located in Cincinnati, OH, we are determined to provide the best service possible. With fuel trends becoming apparent, we are focused on providing the best rates and smooth service to get your loads where they need to be quick and hassle free.

For more information on HG Logistics, LLC, please contact General Manager, Doug Bierman at  513-244-3026 Ext. 3021

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