“In 2007 a study done by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatigue was a critical factor in 13% of all accidents involving large, commercial vehicles. In another study, over 50% of drivers reported driving while drowsy at least once and 25% reported having actually fallen sleep at the wheel,” states an article from Sleep Help, a sleep-heath education site dedicated to bettering waking life by improving sleep.
How is your sleep, Oakley family? Do you feel well rested when you are behind the wheel or do you need help improving your shut eye? Sleep is your main sidekick when it comes to being successful on the road. If you’re having trouble getting proper rest, check out some of these facts and tips below.
According to Guardvant, a global leader in safety solutions for the industrial sector, peaceful sleep offers, 1) health, 2) safety, and 3) productivity for truckers. When you are well-rested, you will have higher reaction times, a stronger immune system and less cravings. It’ll also help you think clearly and make safe decisions behind the wheel, ultimately boosting efficiency during hauls.
How do you know when you are tired and how can you achieve better sleep? Sleep Help says to become aware of drowsiness signs, like yawning. If you feel yourself starting to crash, do not attempt to make yourself stay awake. Tactics like blasting the air conditioning or radio will help for a few minutes, but it won’t last. Know when to pull over.
When you do settle down for a snooze, Open Access Government, a digital publication that provides an in-depth perspective on key public policy ares, offers some suggestions in their article The importance of sleep for commerical drivers.
A few years back, we wrote a blog that highlighted simple ways truckers can stay fit while on the road (read it here). Because exercise is beneficial for staying alert and efficient behind the wheel, we wanted to remind our Oakley family of some quick tips and tricks for staying fit on the go.
It’s as simple as committing to even just four minutes of exercise a day. Try easy movements like walking, running, jumping jacks and crunches, slowly building up to 15 minutes of consecutive work. Travel with small weights and resistance bands that you can pull out for a few moments at a truck stop. If you are stuck on what exercises you should do, check out the Active Trucker Fitness Program (available on Google Play and Apple App store).
Although these tips are something every type of trucker can implement, with it being the end of July, the summer heat can put a damper on exercising outdoors. Trucker News offers a few suggestions on how to stay safe while you workout this summer in their article 5 Tips for Exercising Safely in Summer's Heat
Firstly, make sure you are hydrated before and after physical activity. This doesn’t just include water. Try eating popsicles made with real fruit (no sugar!), chilled fresh fruit like watermelon, smoothies, raw veggies like celery and cucumber, etc.
Second, get your timing right. The best time to exercise is in the morning, before the sun comes up. According to Trucker News, “it’s usually hottest outside between noon and 3 p.m. and it remains warm into the later afternoon.” However, if it’s still too hot in the morning, try some body weight exercises like crunches pushups, jumping jacks and planks inside your cab.
Buy breathable clothing, like sweat wicking shirts and hats, and make sure to put on sunscreen. If you choose to exercise during the day in the heat, take it easy, especially if you have any health issues. Always make sure to check with your doctor first. “According to the American Heart Association, some medicines like beta blockers, ace receptor blockers, ace inhibitors, calcium channel blockers and diuretics can impact the body’s response to heat,” the Trucker News article stated.
Lastly, know when to stop, taking notice of early signs of dehydration. Those include, “thirst. dry or sticky mouth, dry or cool skin, headache, muscle cramps, dark-colored urine, dizziness, etc.”
Like we said in our last blog - “whatever your regimen may be, always keep this in mind: Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
It’s been an exciting last couple weeks here at Oakley Transport with some of our drivers training and competing in the FTA’s Florida Truck Driver Championships. The competition, which happens annually, attracts CDL drivers from all around Florida to compete for awards in multiple different categories - a written portion that is made up of 40 questions regarding FMCSA rules and regulations, a pre-trip inspection and of course a driving portion where they have to maneuver an entire obstacle course with a trailer in tow. Hosted in Daytona Beach, the trucking championships is a once in a lifetime experience!
For the driving portion, there are numerous categories in which drivers can compete, including 3-axle, 4 axle, 5 axle, flatbed, sleeper, straight, tanker, twins, step van and auto transport. Our Oakley professionals competed in the Sleeper and Tanker Division on Saturday morning and they did not disappoint!
But it wasn’t just the bustle of the tournament that made the event memorable.
While at the competition, Oakley family member Joe Skates was selected as the October 2019 Driver of the Month for the Florida Trucking Association based on his professional driving over the last 20 years, his clean CSA score and flawless safety record!
His role with our family has not only lead to numerous customer accounts, but also created incredible customer relationships because of his guarantee for on time deliveries. There was no question about choosing him as the Driver of the Month here at Oakley Transport.
The Florida Truck Driving Championship reminds us of how just lucky we are to have these incredible drivers as part of our Oakley family! We can’t wait to see what the 2020 Florida Truck Driver Championship has in store for us!
The Florida State Truck Driving Championships are right around the corner, and we are excited to be sending six of our Oakley family members to compete against Florida’s best. Each driver will have a chance to show off their technical talents behind the wheel as they maneuver through tricky courses and tight tracks. Participants will be judged on accuracy, efficiency and precision. They’ll also be tested on their knowledge of the equipment and other industry-relevant information.
With the competition only a week away, Oakley drivers Keli Ragnarsson, Gary Marr, Keith Carter, Joe Skates, Tony Pate, and Matt Nimke are hard at work perfecting their skills. Keli, Gary, Keith & Joe will be competing in the Tank category of the competition while Matt and Tony will be competing in the Sleeper category. Learn a little more about each of these Florida Truck Driving Championship competitors.
There’s no doubt that each of these fearless professionals have played a huge role in making Oakley great, and we can’t wait to root them on at the Florida State Truck Driving Championships!
For more information about the competition, please visit https://www.fltrucking.org/tdc
Hey Oakley family! It’s already Q2 of this year, which means Safety’s Super Sweepstakes 2019 is in full swing. To help you stay mindful of safety goals out on the road, we wanted to reiterate a few of the contest rules and regulations.
Every load, every mile and every minute you put in behind the wheel of your rig counts towards an opportunity to win the grand prize - a brand new GMC Sierra Elevation pickup!
While Safety's Super Sweepstakes is certainly focused on merit-based achievements on the road, it is also an opportunity for us to extend our gratitude for your length of service and exceptional, safe practices out on the road. We really wouldn’t be the great family we are today if it wasn’t for your dedication, excellence and loyalty to the Oakley name!
If you’re looking for a unique, thrilling experience at the 2019 Mid-America Trucking Show, search no further than Oakley Transport’s booth! We are extremely excited to be offering a virtual reality experience that will take you to the helm of one of our brand new Volvo VNL 740’s.
If you’ve never experienced VR, think of it like watching a video, but instead of viewing it on a screen that is encased in 22 inches, when you slip the goggles over your face, it’ll feel like you’ve actually stepped inside and become part of the adventure. Basically, your perceptual system won’t have any way to tell you that you aren’t in a virtual world, so it’ll feel like you are still in the present reality.
The particular experience we’ve created for you was shot behind a real Oakley tractor at our headquarters in Lake Wales, FL. When you come to our booth (#61025) you’ll have a chance to see what it looks like to be behind the wheel and manning the rig yourself! We welcome everyone to give it a try. Come find us at MATS March 28-30 at booth #61025.
Oakley Transport family and fans, we hope you are as excited as we are! The Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) is just about a month out (March 28-30) and we are diligently preparing some exciting experiences to haul your way for the event.
If you’ve never heard of MAT’s, it’s a renowned conference where numerous sectors of the transport and trucking industry band together to display the best in technology and collaborate with other professionals and industry experts. With exhibitors from 47 states and 13 countries and attendees from 50 states and 61 countries, MATS is the must attend trucking event of the year.
As an ISO certified leader in the liquid and dry bulk food grade transportation and logistics industry, we are constantly innovating and upgrading our equipment and procedures to not only provide our customers with top-of-the-line services, but also foster the best environment for our professionals. To show off our latest pride, the Volvo VNL 740, we have designed a virtual reality experience especially for MATS. Picture being transported directly behind the wheel of one of these tractors and sensing what it actually feels like to be right there on the road! Visit booth #61025 to try it for yourself.
We’ll also have Oakley family members, including the loved Meghan Pilkenton (Culture and Engagement Manager) as well as two of our fearless leaders Zane Schwenk (National Customer Service Manager) and Peter DeStasio (Driver Recruiting Director), there to answer any questions you may have about the Oakley family.
To top it all off, we are giving away $500 daily through our 2019 Oakley Transport Challenge. It’s as simple as taking our quiz to test your knowledge on our company. See you there!
Struggling to find post-active duty employment can be a problem for many veterans. We believe the trucking industry can play a part in helping solve this problem. Forbes listed trucking as one of the top 10 jobs for veterans. The benefit? The trucking field extends far beyond driving. From distribution and warehouse operations to a large number of administrative and mechanical positions, veterans have a world of opportunity at their fingertips in this industry. They have a world of opportunities with the Oakley family!
So, what specifics make the trucking industry and our family a good fit for veterans?
Experience: The training process to receive a commercial driver’s license is much less daunting of a task for many veterans due to the past experience many have gained operating large vehicles during their time serving in the military. CDL training is one of the first steps taken for those entering the industry. This training is a specialized instructional program and can take as little as seven weeks.
Teamwork: Those who have served in active duty know the importance of functionality within a teamwork setting and the benefit of relying on those that work alongside you. Many have developed lifelong relationships with fellow servicemen they have relied on in the field. In the trucking industry, and especially here at Oakley, we thrive on teamwork. We constantly encourage our staff to build relationships with one another because we’re more than just a business, we’re a family. We rely on one another, knowing we can never accomplish as individuals what we’ve been able to do as a team.
Stamina: Being on constant high alert and exercising caution are an essential on the job. This is a discipline of which servicemen and women are no stranger. Active duty requires physical fitness, mental acuity, and the ability to stay focused for long periods of time. These are abilities that will prove to be of great service no matter what job a veteran may hold within the trucking industry.
Leadership: Taking charge, thinking critically, working efficiently – all essential skills that make an excellent leader. These traits are part of the military mindset and are also expected of professionals at Oakley. Whether you’re training drivers, managing a fleet, or on the road, possessing these skills are what develop a great leader, and a great leader is a quality worker and family member.
The sacrifices made by our veterans are far reaching and we believe it is important to bridge the gap as they transition into a new season of service. Military service may be in the past for veterans but at Oakley Transport we know they still carry with them skills and abilities that will last them a lifetime and would contribute greatly to the Oakley family.
Among the festive celebrations and mounds of iced sugar cookies vehicles packed to the brim with hand-picked Christmas gifts are a common site at our HQ terminal this season. It’s our small, yet caring contribution to spread cheer to the unprivileged during the holidays. For the fourth consecutive year, we are honored to be partnering with XL 106.7 Baby Dj’s Toy Drive, founded to provide assistance to the economically disadvantaged in the Central Florida area.
Working in collaboration with local companies, sponsors and nonprofits, Baby Dj’s Toy Drive seeks to provide impoverished families with a wonderful holiday experience for their children. Already, we have had numerous Oakley family members step up to the plate to donate, organize, and deliver gifts. However, two in particular stand out for their efforts.
As an advocate for Baby Dj’s radio station, HR Assistant Perry Oakley-House first brought the drive to Oakley Transport in 2014 and has championed the movement ever since. From conception to completion of the project, Perry has been instrumental in the entire process. Essentially, she acts as our designated Santa (subbing the sleigh for her SUV), checking twice that every present is properly packed and delivered so Christmas dreams can come true.
“I can’t image some of the pain and heartbreak these families are experiencing, especially families with small children. If there’s anyway we can help make the holiday season better for even one family, we are all in,” Perry says.
As Oakley Transport’s holiday cheer meister, Perry utilized the HR staff to encourage the entire Oakley family to get behind the movement. “I think it helps all of us come together and become closer during the holiday season,” she says. “I’m so grateful for all the employees. They amaze me with their kindness and generosity.”
Amidst the participants, OTR driver Keli Ragnarsson is a beaming example of holiday spirit and a giving heart. Since 2010, Keli has devoted his entire Love’s Travel Stop points to purchase toys. This year, he spent $600 worth on gifts.
“I know [that] through Oakley, these toys are going to the right place,” he says. “If [I] can put put a smile on one child’s face, then [my] goal is achieved.”
When Keli isn’t generously donating his money for a greater cause, he loves to spread holiday cheer with the simple act of a smile.
“That is what Christmas is all about. You never know what other people are going through. Your smile could make a world of a difference,” Keli encourages.
In addition to Perry and Keli, we want to say a collective thank you to everyone who has offered their resources to spread Christmas cheer. We look forward to another wonderful outpouring of support to the local community.
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The long miles logged, the sharpened safety skills, the dedication to excellence, and the loyalty to the Oakley Transport family - your hard work does not go unnoticed. We are so thankful for all of our drivers who provide their time, talents and tenacity each and every day out on the roadways. As a token of gratitude, we’ve created an annual appreciation award for outstanding safety and performance. It’s called Safety’s Super Sweepstakes.
Beginning January 2019, every driver will have an opportunity to earn tickets for merit-based achievements, like length of service and mindful, safe practices. At the end of the year, tickets will be compiled for a drawing and a winner will be announced in January 2020. The prize? A beautiful new GMC Sierra Pickup!
In addition to the payout of our monthly safety bonuses to many of our professionals, the goal of Safety’s Super Sweepstakes is to recognize exceptionally safe performances and thank our professionals who have faithfully served our family for numerous years. For more information about the rules and if you are eligible to participate, please click the link below. You can also reach out to your driver managers if you have any additional questions.
Our employees are our most valuable assest.