Log in Log Out Reminder
e successfully transitioned to the E-logs program, and now it’s time to focus on perfecting how to use it. One area that drivers can improve upon is remembering to log in and log out of the system at the beginning and end of the workday – every day. “It may sound like a small area to focus on, but failing to log in and log out properly has big implications for whether we use E-logs successfully,” said Richard Castro, Excargo’s safety and security manager. “If drivers don’t regularly log on and off, it can mess up the whole system.” That’s because the system won’t log you off automatically, so if you forget to log off one evening, it can be hours or days until the mistake is identified and corrected. For instance, if you fail to log off on Friday, come Monday morning, your hours will be off the charts. “It’s something we can fix, but it causes a big delay,” said Castro. Failing to log off can also make it appear that drivers are failing to comply with hours of service regulations because they appear to rack up too many hours. “We put so much work into complying; let’s not jeopardize it by making simple mistakes,” said Castro, noting that if Excargo is audited, it’s going to have to show that a mistake was made when logging on or off the system and the company will have to explain why. “That creates a lot of unnecessary work and headaches.” Worst case scenario: Failing to log on or off properly can result in an hours of service violation if a mistake is not caught or corrected appropriately. “That gets drivers in trouble and it gets Excargo in trouble,” said Castro. “Please take the time to log on and off the E-logs system properly, and remind your fellow drivers to do the same.”
feature articles 2 Budget: Smart Savings Tips Budget Smart on the Road
3 Sleep Smarts Watch out for Unexpected Expenses
4 Safety Reminder Women in Trucking
Budget: Smart Savings Tips little money saved a day goes a long way toward positively impacting your finances. One of the best and easiest ways to begin saving is by creating a monthly budget and sticking to it. Then, as you become smarter at meeting your budget goals, and gradually tighten up that budget to account for more savings. Here are some tips to help you create an effective budget that boosts your savings: 1. The first step is to calculate your average monthly income. If your income varies each month, add up the total amount of every paycheck you’ve received, then divide that number by however many months’ worth of checks you’ve included,
according to TheHealthyTrucker.net. 2. After calculating your monthly income, make a list of all your mandatory expenses. This list should include rent or mortgage, insurance, grocery bills (on and off the road), etc. If you have a longterm goal, such as a new car, and you want to save money each month to go toward that purchase, consider including that in your list of necessary expenses. 3. Subtract your mandatory expenses from your monthly income. That will indicate how much money you have left to spend for less necessary expenses, such as going out to dinner with your spouse, attending an event, or buying a new item. If you want to boost your savings, set a
monthly savings goal based on the amount leftover after your mandatory expenses are subtracted from your monthly income. Most of us are more successful when we feel challenged and are pushing ourselves to meet a goal. If you create a budget today, you may be surprised at how much you will have managed to save a year from now.
Budget Smart on the Road In addition to calculating a total monthly budget, it’s smart to calculate a daily on-theroad budget. Over the next month, save all the receipts you receive for on-the-road purchases, such as those for meals, drinks, and snacks. Then, add up those receipts to determine how much are you are spending. Finally, divide that amount that by the number of days you were on the road. That will indicate about how much you are spending each day.
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Once you have that information in hand, it’s easy to institute a daily savings plan by setting a goal to decrease your daily spending amount by a certain amount, such as a dollar, or the cost of one soda on the road. It might not sound like a lot, but it can add up to big savings over time. For instance, if you can decrease your spending by $1 per day, that adds up to about $25 per month, or about $300 per year!
Sleep Smarts As a driver, it can be hard to follow a traditional sleep schedule. But that makes it even more important to make sure that when you are sleeping, you are maximizing the effects of a good night’s rest. While a comfortable bed, quiet, and calm can help ensure you get into a deeper sleep (which helps you wake up feeling more refreshed and alert) the time at which you decide to sleep can also help increase the likelihood of lulling off into a deep sleep. So what’s the best time to sleep? That’s the question a recent study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sought to answer. The study was based on a simulated a 5-day workweek in which participants slept either a consolidated period between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m., consolidated period between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. or two five-hour sleep increments — one from 3 a.m. to 8 a.m., and one from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., according to Overdriveonline.com. The study found that a consolidated sleep period at night or a split sleep schedule were more beneficial to drivers than sleeping during the day. More specifically, study participants who slept at night slept 8.4 hours on average and participants who slept the split sleep schedule got 7.2 hours of sleep. On the other hand, the participants who slept during the day got only 6.4 hours of sleep, according to Overdrive.
Watch out for Unexpected Expenses Your personal finances can take a big hit when unexpected expenses arise. That’s why in this edition we’re shedding light on a big expense you may be able to prevent. It has to do with water and wastewater service lines near your home. Many assume the City is responsible for maintaining and repairing any water-related issues that arise, but you are responsible for the costs of maintain-
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ing and repairing the service lines located underground between your home and the city’s main lines. That means if any issue does arise, such as having your water stop working, a water leak occur, or sewage back up into your home, you may need to pay for it. Luckily there are some steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of such an issue arising. A big one: Watch what you are putting down your sink,
toilet bowl, and shower drains. For instance avoid disposing of cooking greases and oils; meat fats; shortening, butter, and margarine; coffee grounds and filters, paper towels, baby diapers, feminine hygiene products, hair, chewing gum, and plastics through your drains. Instead, throw these items out. That can help prevent blockages from occurring in your service lines and the city’s lines, according to the City of Houston, For more prevention ideas, visit corralthegrease.org.
Safety Reminder School’s out for the summer, and while that means happy kids, it also means changing traffic patterns. Over the next few weeks, look out for route changes and anticipate unexpected delays, said Richard Castro, Excargo’s safety and security manager. For instance, Friday morning traffic heading southbound toward Galveston is typically heavier during the summer months. “Drivers have to plan ahead to expect the unexpected,” said Castro. “It’s really important for them to manage their time effectively.” Keep in mind that the summer also means more inexperienced teen drivers are on the roads during the day, so be especially cautious. Also plan ahead for heavy traffic and watch out for distracted drivers as families head off on vacations or weekend trips.
Women in Trucking The trucking industry needs to do a better job of educating those inside and outside the industry about the opportunities for women in trucking. That’s according to an editorial appearing in the May 2013 issue of Heavy Duty Trucking. The editorial was written by Deborah Lockridge, editor in chief of the popular trucking magazine. In her note to readers, Lockridge pointed out that the percentage of women drivers has not grown appreciably over the past few decades. That lack of growth in the industry has important implications for the ongoing driver shortage, she added. She went on to write the trucking industry needs to focus on providing a more “female-friendly” culture. “It’s important to get women more involved in all areas of trucking companies, including leadership positions,” she wrote. “This would be good not only to improve the female-friendliness of the company when recruiting drivers, but it also would be good for the company as a whole.”
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Happy Anniversary! Dionisio Sorto, June 13 Pierre Campeau, June 15 Cecilio Marquez, June 27 Henry Vargas, June 28
Happy birthday! Juan R. Palacios, June 1 Oswaldo Parada, June 6 Victor Martinez, June 10 Dunia Garcia, June 17 Abel Trevino, June 22