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Managing Money on the Road

As an owner-operator truck driver, you have more expenses than a company driver, but hauling RV’s for Star Fleet also allows you benefits that they don’t get (run at your pace, travel the roads big trucks can’t, a choice of where to go, etc). Managing your money spend, especially while on the road, is no easy task, but we’re here to help you get the most out of your money! Below are some small, but easy & mighty ways to save some of your hard earned cash.

  1. Pack your own food! Bring a cooler along and load it up with healthy, easy to eat snacks and meals (celery sticks, bananas, nuts, cheese, etc). This can save you BIG money instead of shopping or eating at a gas station/rest stop all the time.
    • Bonus, when you eat healthy, you’re taking care of yourself which means fewer illnesses and health problems later, also saving you money!
  2. Pack your own first-aid kit. It’ll save you from paying exorbitant prices for bandages when you need one most…which hopefully is never.
  3. Take advantage of fuel discounts. We update the prices in our app regularly & you can save anywhere from $.15-$.45 depending on the fuel center & location. Just remember the discount won’t show on your receipt, but it will show in EFS.
  4. Check your tire pressure! This is very simple but can make a huge impact in your fuel economy.
  5. Maintain your vehicle. This is obvious – if you can prevent a problem before it happens, it’s going to be cheaper than fixing it once it’s broken. Much like your own health…see #1.

What other tips do you have for saving money as a driver?

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Update: Photo Contest Rules

Announcing a few changes to our photo contest, below is an updated list of participation rules.

  • Take an interesting photo of you, your truck, and/or trailer/motor home. This can include, but is not limited to pictures that are weather-related, truckers helping each other, sun rise/set, nature, road hazards, DOT inspections, down time on the road, etc.
  • Post the photo to our Facebook page or submit it to starfleettrucking@gmail.com with the subject line as “Photo Contest.”
  • The person who submits the photo will be entered in the contest (even if there are multiple Star Fleet drivers/trucks in the picture). If the person submitting is not a driver or co-driver, they MUST provide the name & RV number of the driver they’re submitting for when they post/email the photo.
  • Each month, 5 finalist photos will be chosen to be voted on from the previous month. Ex: the 5 finalists posted in July will be photos that were submitted for the June contest.
  • If you submit a photo and it is not chosen as a finalist, you may submit it again the next month or any month thereafter.
  • A link will be posted to a form for you to cast your vote. We will no longer be posting the pictures to Facebook & voting via likes/reactions.
  • The prize for winning will be $500.
  • You may submit more than one photo per month.
  • Driver must be currently leased-on with Star Fleet Trucking at the time of selection to claim the prize.
  • There may be suggested themes throughout the year, and finalists will be chosen based on that theme.
  • Always position your truck and trailer in a safe and legal manner!

 

That’s it! Finalists will be selected based on how engaging the photo is, quality, and overall mood. Please note, by submitting your photo for our contest, you are giving Star Fleet permission to use that photo in future Star Fleet marketing and advertising.

Good luck!

Fun Facts for Each US State

In this country there are 50 fantastic states, but how much do you really know about them? Read on & you’ll find a fun fact for each state the next time you visit!

Alabama – Magnolia Springs is the only city in the US to have mail delivered by boat.

Alaska – Experience around 5,000 earthquakes per year.

Arizona – Can experience the nation’s highest & lowest temps in the same day.

Arkansas – The Ouachita Mountains ridges run east/west rather than north/south.

California – Has a higher population as a state than the entire country of Canada.

Colorado – Home to the longest continuous street, Colfax Ave. It’s in Denver & is 26 miles long.

Connecticut – One of 2 states that failed to ratify the 18th Amendment (manufacture, sale, or transportation of alcohol).

Delaware – The only state to have no commercial flights in or out of the state.

Florida – Has the lowest high point of all the states. Britton Hill is just 312 feet.

Georgia – Peachtree has 90 miles of roads dedicated to just golf carts.

Hawaii – Had their own currency issued during WWII & was their only legal tender.

Idaho – The only state seal designed by a woman.

Illinois – Chicago is the third largest city in the country.

Indiana – The Indy 500 Speedway has the highest spectator capacity than any sports arena in the world.

Iowa – Fort Atkinson is the only fort build by the US to protect one Indian tribe from another.

Kansas – Leads the country in wheat production…is there really any surprise?

Kentucky – Fort Knox has the world’s largest gold reserve.

Louisiana – The longest bridge in the states is Lake Pontchartrain Causeway at 24 miles.

Maine – One of the first places you can see the sun rise in the US is in Acadia National Park.

Maryland – Part of the panhandle squeezes down to just 1.8 miles.

Massachusetts

Michigan – Highway 185 is the only official US highway that does not allow cars.

Minnesota – In 1952 the first open heart surgery was successful.

Mississippi – Blues music formed here just after the Civil War.

Missouri – The tallest manmade monument is the St. Louis arch.

Montana – Flathead Lake is the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi, 28 miles long & almost 200 square miles.

Nebraska – The only state with both east and west borders that are water.

Nevada – Close to 85% of all land in the state is owned by the government.

New Hampshire – The American dollar was designated the standard in 1944.

New Jersey – Has the longest red light which is in West Milford having you wait 5 min.

New Mexico – First atomic bomb was tested in central NM.

New York – Adirondack Park is bigger than Yellostone, Glacier, Everglades, & Grand Canyon National Parks combined.

North Carolina – Housed around 10,000 enemy soldiers in 18 POW camps during WWII.

North Dakota – Houses the geographical center of North America.

Ohio – Home to the shortest street, McKinley Street. It’s in Bellefontaine & is only 28 feet long.

Oklahoma – The state vegetable is watermelon…yea we don’t get it either.

Oregon – Leader in Christmas tree production as well as producing 99% of the nation’s hazelnuts.

Pennsylvania – Centralia’s ground has been on fire over 50 years from a coal mine fire & is expected to burn another 200 years!

Rhode Island – The first state to pass a gradual emancipation act.

South Carolina – Played host to the first Civil War battle.

South Dakota – Agriculture is the top industry with 98% of the state’s farms being family owned & operated.

Tennessee – Has the most visited national park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Texas – Its northern most point is closer to Michigan than it is to its southern most point.

Utah – I70 contains 106 miles of interstate with no fuel stations, the longest in the country.

Vermont – One of the first ski lifts was developed in 1934.

Virginia – The infamous speech that included, “Give me liberty or give me death” was given in Richmond.

Washington – Largest producer of apples, pears, & sweet cherries in the US.

West Virginia – Where the Grimes golden apple & the Golden Delicious apple originated.

Wisconsin – The republican party was established in 1854.

Wyoming – The least populated state in America.

 

What fun state facts do you know?

Worst Roads in The U.S.

In an article written by Business Insider this last summer (http://www.businessinsider.com/states-worst-roads-2017-6/#2-connecticut-21512-miles-of-public-roads-with-57-in-poor-condition-7),  they told us that America’s roads received a D on our infrastructure report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers then listed the 8 worst roads in the nation including our capital. They are as follows:

  1. Washington DC – 1,507 miles of public roads, 95% in poor condition
  2. Connecticut – 21,512 miles of public roads, 57% in poor condition
  3. Rhode Island – 16,691 miles of public roads, 54% in poor condition
  4. California – 195,834 miles of public roads, 50% in poor condition
  5. New Jersey – 39,065 miles of public roads, 38% in poor condition
  6. Pennsylvania – 120,091 miles of public roads, 32% in poor condition
  7. Washington – 14,252 miles of public roads, 31% in poor condition
  8. New York – 114,365 miles of public roads, 28% in poor condition

 

Do you agree? What roads do you think are the worst?

Benefits of being an RV Transporter

Lately we’ve been asked quite often what the benefit of being an owner-operator RV transporter and working for Star Fleet Trucking is. While our contractors come from a variety of backgrounds – construction, military, finance, government, medical, retail, etc. – they all came to us & stayed for much the same reasons.

  • It’s less physically demanding.
  • They promptly get back to you when you have questions and are willing to help.
  • There’s less stress and I run on my own schedule.
  • They value safety and never force me to take a load.
  • So impressed with their professionalism. They are also personable.
  • Quick pay!
  • I love that I get to travel and see places I never would have otherwise.
  • They are friendly and always go the extra mile to be helpful.
  • The refresher course!
  • Drive For Gold is a top notch program.
  • Their attention to training and safety are unsurpassed.

If you know someone interested in this line of work, let them know the benefits straight from the source…our contractors!

5 Steps to Safer Driving

Safe drivers aren’t just something we want; in our industry it’s necessary. Without them, many companies would go out of business and the rest of us would probably have less “stuff,” to put it simply. As the weather across the nation turns colder and more slippery, we find it important to remind our contractors of safe driving practices.
So what are the makings of a safe driver? Well it depends on who you ask – the insurance company will say someone with no accidents, your grandparents might say someone who doesn’t speed, and some may just say men. However, for us, we believe a lot of it lies in the Smith System which is made up of the following 5 steps:

  1. Aim High
  2. The Big Picture
  3. Keep Your Eyes Moving
  4. Leave Yourself an Out
  5. Make Sure They See You

Let’s break down what each of these means.

Aim High – this refers to steering and focusing your attention on the road as a whole and not just what’s right in front of you. This will help avoid rear-end accidents while alerting traffic behind you to slow down.

The Big Picture – Pay attention to how other drivers are driving & have an awareness of your surroundings…always!

Keep Your Eyes Moving – Fatigue on the road is nothing new & while a good rest can never be replaced, one thing that can help is to move your eyes consistently, although not repetitively as that can worsen fatigue.

Leave Yourself an Out – Don’t get in a position on the road that you can’t get out of.

Make Sure They See You – Stay out of drivers’ blind spots and make sure other drivers know your intentions.

 

Keep yourself and your fellow drivers on the road safe – know your limits and when you reach them and pull off the highway. Do you use the Smith System? What other tactics do you use to stay safe?

Make the Call, Save Lives

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and it’s a very real problem. If you’re unfamiliar with what human trafficking is it’s “the action or practice of illegally transporting people from one country or area to another typically for the purposes of forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation” (Google). Often times traffickers use force and coercion and it can happen in a variety of places such as truck stops, rest areas, hotels, motels, and even private homes.

Truck drivers see and hear a lot while on the road & that’s why we’ve partnered with Truckers Against Trafficking. We want to do our part to end this suffering and that’s why we now train every one of our drivers on what to look for & what to do if they suspect a person is selling sex under someone else’s control. You can help too!

What to look for:

  • Person has lack of knowledge or confusion on where they are
  • Signs of branding or tattooing (often on their neck)
  • Don’t carry their own ID/passport
  • Acknowledgement that they are making a quota
  • Controlled or restricted communication in that they can’t speak for themselves
  • CB radio talk of “commercial company” or flashing lights signaling “buyer” location

If you see any of these red flags, make a note of these “actionable items” to help police open an investigation:

  • Description of vehicles (make, model, color, plate #)
  • Description of people (height, weight, hair, age, race)
  • Date, time, & address/location you saw suspicious activity
  • DO NOT APPROACH TRAFFICERS YOURSELF!!!

Remember that if you see any of these indicators, for males or females, call 1-888-373-7888 (US) or 1-800-222-8477 (Canada) & if the suspicious activity is at a truck stop or travel plaza, notify the manager as well. Do your part – make the call, save lives.