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May 16, 2019

Sick on the road? Tips to Get Through It

Being a truck driver is already stressful and hectic enough on a daily basis. However, it only gets worse if you ever get sick on the road!


Unfortunately, it makes sense that getting sick is an inevitable part of the job of trucking. After all, you’re going to be spending a lot of time on the road. Furthermore, there are all kinds of ways to pick up germs and sickness out on the open road and at truck stops. Fortunately, you can keep reading here to learn more about easy ways you can get through sickness, or even prevent it entirely!


Basic rules for acute sickness


Maybe that gas station hot dog isn’t sitting right in your stomach. You feel like you’re going to get sick, soon. Problem is, you’re driving a truck. What should you do?


First, you should always value your safety, and the safety of others on the road, above everything else. Pull over your truck immediately. Any decent logistics company will understand a delay if you need to pull over due to sickness. If you think you’ll need assistance or even medical attention, let your dispatch know right away.


What about the common cold?


It’s no fun to feel sick on the road, but there are ways you can get through even the crummiest of symptoms. An easy thing you can do is drink plenty of hot fluids, such as tea. Even hot water with honey can help soothe a sore throat or upset stomach!


Also, be sure to rest whenever you can! That’s the best way to help the body recover. You can always call your doctor for additional advice!


Easy prevention tips


Of course, the best option is to never get sick at all! Wash your hands often, especially before eating. Drink plenty of water, eat healthy, and rest as much as you can!


If you have any further wellness tips, let us know in the comments below!

April 15, 2019

3 Quick Tips for truckers struggling to get enough sleep

Trucking is a job that comes with many hazards, including a lack of proper sleep. Health professionals will tell you that the recommended amount of sleep is 7-9 hours every night. However, anyone in the trucking business can tell you that their job doesn’t allow for this type of schedule.

Additionally, different freight divisions will place different expectations on their drivers. Some deliveries are able to provide more downtime than others. Generally speaking, truckers are allotted a 10 hour break each day. Consequently, those who are new to the trucking world may think they can use this time period to catch up on their sleep. However, many new truckers fail to take other important tasks into consideration. This 10 hour break window also accounts for eating, showering, doing laundry, and getting groceries — all in addition to sleeping. When it comes down to it, you may be getting less time to sleep than you initially anticipated. Read on to find out more about how you can get the rest you need and still put your best foot forward while on the road.

1. Research Which Policies Work Best For You

When researching a company to work for, look into when they schedule their customer’s load times. Some customers may be flexible, while others may require loading to occur between 10am to 3pm only.

2. Understand Your Personal Body Clock

If you’ve never really stopped to consider at what point during the day you’re most productive, it’s a good idea to start learning about that facet of yourself. For instance, if you sleep better during the day, you’ll want to work for a company that has you driving at night.

3. Grab Sleep When You Can

For example, some customers may take enough time to load that you may be able to squeeze a nap in. Take advantage of moments like this.

Do you have any tips and tricks for getting sleep while on the road? Drop your advice in the comments below.

March 18, 2019

Felons the New Talent Pool for Truck Driver Openings?

The trucking industry has been suffering from a driver shortage for some time. And, despite the fact, that they’ve made a concerted effort to search for solutions, there remain thousands of truck driving openings. Whether it’s been trying to recruit women drivers or discussions about lowering the minimum age, the problem has largely gone unaddressed.

Recently, however, companies are tapping into an unlikely demographic, convicted felons. That’s right. Currently, over 40 large truck driving operators opened the door to this employee pool.

John Lauria is one of these felons benefiting from this new willingness to hire those with criminal records. The 49-year-old Rosemead man spent 30 years toggling in and out of prison for various drug and robbery crimes.

Upon his release three years ago, he struggled to get a solid job. However, in February, with little hope left, he was hired as a truck driver for Haralambos Beverage Co. in the City of Industry. According to Lauria, he was totally honest about his past when applying for the job. Nevertheless, he was selected and now earns $17 an hour.

According to the American Trucking Associations, the trucking industry needs over 50,000 drivers just to keep up with increased shipping demands from Amazon, Walmart, and other massive retailers.

A New Way to Deal with the Shortage

What does this all mean? Well, it means trucking companies are no longer dismissing felons outright. In fact, more and more companies are giving non-violent, ex-offenders a hard look to fill these openings.

Naturally, it’s no easy transition to flip from ex-con to employee. There’s training both in prison and after release that allows this rebirth to happen.

Even better, a lot of truck driving schools welcome non-violent offenders. They understand that this demographic is eager for work and that companies are simultaneously hungry for drivers.

Most of the companies hiring these ex-felons are mindful that there’s a line to draw in the sand. Almost all make a point to say they wouldn’t hired people with a violent arrest in their past. Though they are definitely open to those with drug convictions from long ago.

While hiring felons hasn’t solved the truck driver shortage, it’s certainly a new pool of talent worth investigating. It just takes a little faith and due diligence.

So, what do you all think of tapping into this group of candidates? Good idea?

February 26, 2019

Californians Soon to Make One Less DMV Visit

A newly proposed bill would permit Californians to register their cars with the Department of Motor Vehicles every other year.

Senator Beall put forth a bill, Senate Bill 460, that would enable the DMV to create a biennial registration period for cars on or after January 1, 2020. Going forward, renewals would be mandatory at biennial stretches after the bill is passed.

Senate Bill 460 isn’t the only DMV related bill being proposed this session. Additionally, Assembly Bill 867, if passed requires the DMV accept credit cards in 2020. This change would start on July 1 of that year.

Proposal of Bill 867 is a direct result of Governor Gavin Newsom criticizing the DMV for some of its questionable practices. Also included among his complaints was the DMV’s refusal to let people pay with plastic.

Another piece of legislation meant to impact DMV related practices is AB 317. This bill makes it illegal to sell, or even offer to sell, an appointment at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Furthermore, if this law passes it would apply to individuals, firms, corporations, or associations.

Authorities will charge anybody guilty of selling or offering to sell scheduled visits at the DMV with a misdemeanor. They face a possible fine of up to $2,500. Furthermore, all money accrued from enforcement of this crime would be deposited into the State Transportation Fund.

Governor Newsom calls for swift change to the department because public criticism of the DMV has been so widespread. In fact, after calling the DMV, “chronically mismanaged”, he created a task force to deal with several issues. These include the inflated wait times at all walk-in locations.

What do you guys think? Would registering only once every two years make life easier?

January 23, 2019

Trucking Industry Frustrated by Retirement Rules

There are new rules for retirement savings plans in California… which may cause some issues in the trucking industry.

So, what’s the latest? In November, California began the first phase of the CalSavers program. While it is not yet mandatory for businesses to sign up, it will be in about a year and a half. Companies with more than 100 employees are required to sign up by then. But, two years after that, all trucking companies and business with just five employees or more need to follow the new protocol.

How will this impact the trucking industry?

With the new policies, trucking companies must spend a lot of time processing new-employee paperwork. The problem? Many motor carriers tend to have a high driver turnover rate. As Ron Falkner, the president of Faulkner Trucking in Tulare, stated: “If people stuck around, it would be a no-brainer. But it’s going to be cumbersome and worthless.”

And, this won’t just impact the industry in California. Trucking companies in other states have new rules for retirement plans, too. Some require an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan. Others require employees to participate in a state-run retirement plan.

Basically, the plans are in place to address smaller companies. Low and middle-income workers at these companies often don’t receive workplace retirement savings plans. Since workers are more likely to sign up for a plan through work than on their own, these new policies are in place to help.

But, does it help everyone? In November, California officials stated: “Inadequate retirement savings affects not only the quality of life and physical health of individuals, but also significantly increases the burden on the state’s retirement income support programs.”

Perhaps the overall goal of the retirement savings plan laws is a good one… but will it just cause an unnecessary headache in the trucking industry? What do you think about the CalSavers program?

December 24, 2018

San Jose Holiday Events

Looking for interesting holiday events in the San Jose area this week? There is fun for all ages.

If you’re into ice shows, Kristi Yamaguchi will be performing through January 27th in Kristi Yamaguchi’s Downtown Ice. The show will be at downtown San Jose’s outdoor ice rink and is only $15 to $17 dollars.

Trying to find a great Christmas light display? Plaza de Cesar Chavez will once again put on its Christmas in the Park celebration. There are over 40 musical and animated exhibits, lights, and a huge 60-foot tree. Hurry, this only lasts through tomorrow, December 25th, on Market Street in downtown San Jose.

For those who are interested in adopting a pet this holiday season, the WeCare Alliance is offering $20 adoption fees for all adult cats and dogs through December 31st. WeCare is made up of the Human Society Silicon Valley plus five other Santa Clara County shelters. The event takes place is several locations.

Theater Productions

There are a couple fun theater productions in town for anyone seeking a thespian experience this holiday season. Guggenheim Entertainment is presenting an adults-only comedy, Who’s Holiday, through December 30th at 3Below Theaters and Lounge. The show follows a grown up Cindy Lou Who, who now lives in a trailer on top of Mount Crumpit. And if you want to take the whole family to a show, there’s Santastic at the same theater. The show features youthful performers doing Motown, big band, and rock ‘n’ roll versions of holiday songs in a 45-minute one-act musical. After each show, the cast leads fun activities for kids, including card-making and holiday cookie decorating. There is, of course, also a meet-and-greet with Santa and his elves.

For more information about some excellent San Jose holiday events for citizens of all ages, visit here.

December 6, 2018

San Jose City Council Decides on Google HQ

As of Wednesday, San Jose City Council established a $110 million deal with Google for 10 acres of land. The deal upset many members of the community because of the plans to greatly modify San Jose’s downtown area.

The protests of this deal led to a closing of the council chamber and multiple arrests. The uproar was based on the lack of jobs and affordable housing and evictions that may take place.

After a debate that began Tuesday morning, and ended Tuesday night, the city council voted to bring the deal to life. It included 20,000 jobs to be provided by 2035, although the buildings and final approvals are assumed to take years.

Many opposed to the plan exhumed of evictions, raising housing costs and Google’s lack of minorities. Although, Google came forward recognizing that they could not have a headquarters that was ignoring the members of the community.

But whose side are you on?

During the meeting, while council members were ready to vote, rivals held up the meeting for an hour. Some locals even chained themselves to seats until officers had to remove them with bolt cutters.

City council members continually pressed on the advantages of the act, but opponents refused to listen. They stated that the program would bring jobs to the city and greatly increase tax revenue.  They proposed that Google, as a single growth, would give the city more room for negotiation with community aid. Many small business owners near the site are excited for the project, so they are excited about the business that they will attract.

In conclusion, Google and the city signed an agreement and the project is now ongoing. Google’s representatives look forward to proving their worth to the community.

November 15, 2018

Will Wearing a Mask Keep You Safe from the Fire Smoke? Let’s Find out

Are you in the Bay Area, right now? Be careful!

 

san jose fire smokeIf you have been outside in the last couple of days, you have probably experienced some smoke and haze. It is a result of the Camp Fire which is currently burning in Northern California. The Air Quality Index is above 150, which is higher than the average 0-50, and the county warns everyone, even healthy adults to take precautions. According to an expert, everybody is at risk.

However, people with heart or lung diseases, older adults, children, and teenagers have an extra precaution warning. It is essential to keep you and your children safe.

Californians are told to be prepared for earthquakes, and now, some more information is needed for self-protection from the wildfires which are becoming more common in the state. It means that people must learn how to monitor the smoke-filled air from raging fires and avoid breathing it.

 

Should I buy a mask?

For those who are wondering to buy a mask or not, the California Department of Public Health advises that most regular masks don’t usually prevent inhalation of small particles. The regular masks include those used during surgeries and dust masks.

 

So, What Should I do?

As you are informed, that regular masks will not work, you should consider other ways. There are the ones which will surely help. These masks will protect you while filtering up the dust for up to 95%. Check out and remember their names, maybe, they will save your or your relatives’ lives. Here are their names – P95, R95 or N95. There are even masks with more filtering features such as P100, R100 or N100, according to California Department of Public Health. Be sure to get the ones you think your area advises you to use.

The smoke around the Bay Area forces some of the area schools to be closed for several days. San Jose University even announced that its campus will be closed Thursday and Friday. They describe the situation “Unhealthy air quality levels…”

Use the right masks and stay safe!

 

August 31, 2018

Water Wars in California: What Makes it So Difficult?

If you live or spend much time in California, you know that the water policies and politics are complicated and contentious.

The Trump Administration should take some steps for that.

california water newsThe Burau of Reclamation of Trump told that they want to negotiate the landmark 1986 agreement for the federal and state water projects and how they get water through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

 

There is a goal of getting more water to Central Valley farmers, at the expense of millions o Southern California residents.

 

The surprising move to relocate water in this San Joaquin River and its three tributes, the Tuolumne, Stanislas an, Merced.

The state says leaving more water in the rivers to flow through the Delta to the ocean would ease an “ecological crisis” for fish. It wouldn’t mean less water for farmers and nearly 3 million people who live from the Bay Area to Modesto, Valley farmers and many local officials are criticizing the plan.

After a huge criticizing, legislatures canceled a hearing on Thursday on expanding to water contracts needed to help finance the tunnels.

Of course, the federal government should have something to say because it built the Central Valley Project. It provides protection from flood and supplies water.

Rep. Ken Calvert of Riverside County tried to put a provision about spending a bill that would have banned any state or federal lawsuits against the Delta tunnels, earlier this year.

As on wildfires and forest management, Trump officials want to demonize conservation groups on water issues. But environmental groups, along with agriculture interests, and state and local officials, have every right to fully participate in the debate. Indeed, they are far closer to these water decisions than D.C. bureaucrats.

 

In California’s water wars, it’s famous to accuse the other side of a “water grab.” However, the Trump administration’s actions are doing look a lot like a power grab that will make our water conflicts worse.

 

August 13, 2018

San Jose International Airport Uses Facial Recognition Service to Speed Up Lines

Mineta San Jose International Airport is one of the unique ones that is chosen by the United States Customs and Border Protection agency to use facial recognition service to scan all arriving and departing international travelers.

 

san jose airportYou’ve probably endured long lines upon landing to clear U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CPB). The process will go faster now because Mineta San Jose International is upon using the system to speed up line time at the airport.

 

“Wait time prior to facial recognition is around 29 minutes per passenger,” said Brian Humphrey, regional director of CPB for San Francisco and Portland. “Now we’re below 22 minutes.” On Friday, it was down to 20 minutes.

 

Arriving passengers have their photo taken, and it’s matched to the photo already on file from a previous visit, from a visa application or from a passport.

 

“We’re using a computer algorithm to make sure the person standing in front of us is the same person that that passport was issued to, rather than a human being just looking at the two and comparing it visually,” said John Wagner, CPB’s deputy executive assistant commissioner for field operations.

 

The success rate at Mineta San Jose has been around 99% as the system started operating in late June. Part of that high figure is tied to the limited database it’s searching. The algorithm only has to check against the list of people on board a particular flight. If that fails, then the backup plan requires a passport or other paper authentication.

 

Here’s one of the biggest changes travelers can expect: all departing international passengers will be photographed at the gate before they board their flight. The images give the government verifiable biometric proof that a U.S. visitor has left the country, and presumably, will also be used to match citizens when they re-enter the country.

 

When entering the United States off a flight, passengers are photographed at passport control. Facial recognition software compares the image against passport or visa photos the federal government already has on file. The process takes less than a second. It eliminates the need for agents to scan passports manually and visually compare travelers to their passport photos — both are time-consuming tasks that slow down immigration lines.

 

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