Finding a job post-active duty can be difficult for many veterans. We believe the trucking industry can help turn that around. 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!
You’re probably wondering what specifics make the trucking industry and our family a good fit for veterans. Let us explain:
Experience: Many veterans have gained experience 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 be completed in as little as seven weeks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Military Skills Test Waiver program is a great way to fast-track provided certain requirements are met. There is also a large number of Post-9/11 GI Bill approved trucking schools where veterans can gain relevant experience and certifications.
Teamwork: Those who have served in the military understand the value of teamwork and how diverse people can work together to achieve goals. Teamwork grows from a sense of responsibility to colleagues. 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: Veterans have performed their jobs under some of the most stressful situations. They are required to set priorities, accomplish missions and meet schedules on a daily basis. Servicemen and women offer grit, self-discipline and are mission-focused. These abilities prove to be valuable no matter what job a veteran may hold within the trucking industry.
Leadership: The military trains veterans to take charge and accept and execute responsibility for tasks and their own behavior. This means thinking critically and working efficiently. These are the 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.
At Oakley Transport, we are a family for anyone who is willing to put in good work behind the wheel. As long as you have a heart for the road, eager determination and a bit of grit, we want you to be part of our team.
In our eyes, the steering wheel knows no gender. However, according to the American Trucking Association, the percentage of women truckers in the industry is vastly low compared to men - landing at a total of 6.6%. But the industry is changing, women are being advocated for, and we at Oakley Transport are standing alongside other organizations like Women In Trucking to back the movement.
“Oakley Transport supports gender diversity in the transportation industry within all positions,” Oakley Transport Director Of I.T. Julie Hall says. “I am excited about what 2020 holds as we bring recognition to and promote the accomplishments of the women of Oakley Transport.”
According to a WSJ article, the number of women truckers have increased almost 70% since 2010. Why? Equal opportunity. Fleets are paid by experience, route, miles covered, per load, etc, and are never segregated by gender. Furthermore, the industry is evolving to better accommodate women with various upgraded technologies in seating, pedals, gauges, and ease-of-use when it comes to unloading product.
“The Oakley family has embraced this equality and focused on growing our fleet by hiring qualified driving professionals from all walks of life and with various backgrounds,” Oakley Transport Culture And Engagement Manager Meghan Pilkenton relays. “Oakley’s fleet of drivers is currently 4.6% women. We have a goal of getting that to 10% in 2020.”
With these numerous developments, it’s clear that women are not only wanted in the industry, but they are needed.
“The growth in women in the industry comes as demand for transportation workers is high, boosted by the expansion of e-commerce,” the WSJ article says.
For women who are interested in joining the industry, but are hesitant about their place in a male-dominated field, an article by the Advanced Technology Institute lists numerous advantages for being a woman behind the wheel.
• Women are believed to take fewer risks than men. Companies appreciate that.
• Women are believed to do a better, more critical job at filling out paperwork.
• Women are know to communicate well and form good relationships with customers.
• Trucks have become more user-friendly and don’t require lots of strength to unload.
Unlike most professions that take years of schooling, truckers can start a career in less than a 12 months. Plus, women can join the industry at practically any age.
“One of the biggest demographics that we’ve seen start to join our industry are mothers who have raised their children and are looking to see the beauty and splendor of the United States while maximizing their earning potential,” Meghan says. “We offer a premium employment opportunity that caters to a family-friendly, work/ life balance with regular home time availability as well as an incredible potential to earn."
In light of the recent devastation experienced by a large number of residents in our island nation neighbors, we as a family have decided to take up donations to aid in relief efforts for the Bahamas.
We will be collecting donations of non-perishable goods, medical supplies, hygiene products and items for children. We have reached out to "Sun 'n Fun" in Lakeland, FL. who will be transporting donations via private planes down to the Bahamas.
We will set up collection bins in the Tractor Shop Lounge, the HR Department and Operations Department at our Lake Wales terminal beginning today through Driver Appreciation Week. You can also donate monetarily through the Sun 'n Fun organization. To contribute, visit their website - https://www.flysnf.org/help_bahamas/
Thank you so much in advance for your participation and let's show everyone how Oakley rolls in a time of need.
Below you will find a list of items you can donate.
Oakley family! Driver Appreciation Week is here. We are so excited to be able to celebrate and honor your hard work on the road and the success you've brought to our family with some good ole games, prizes (daily raffles!), food and company. Please view below for your terminal's schedule of events for the week.
Lake Wales FL.
West Memphis, AR.
*Terminal Manager Barry Namez will buy lunch for any drivers that come into the terminal throughout the week.
Cedar Rapids, IA
“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.
Our employees are our most valuable assest.