Truck driver health issues are a primary concern in the trucking industry today. Illnesses and diseases severely impact our nation’s truck drivers. Truck driver’s health could be improved immensely by incorporating exercise in their lives on a daily basis. Obesity is a terrible problem in the trucking industry. Far too many truck drivers are overweight or obese. Truck drivers are more prone to obesity than non-truckers because they sit behind the wheel for a large part of each day. Additionally, only a small percentage of them exercise regularly.Trucking companies are urging their drivers to exercise and improve their diets because they are beset with rising insurance costs. Furthermore, they need them to pass the Deptartment of Transportation (D.0.T.) medical exam. Truck drivers that have conditions which prevent them from obtaining the required D.O.T. clearance can’t continue working as truck drivers. Trucker’s diets should include far less fat laden foods and more healthy food choices. Trucking companies and other leaders in the trucking industry are working to bring the importance of health and fitness to truck drivers. Some truckstops have installed fitness centers and walking trails to encourage drivers to exercise. Walking trails allow for safe walking and jogging at truckstops away from trucks.For the third consecutive year, The MATS Health Awareness Walk took place on May 23, 2012. This was a 1.5 mile non-competitive walk in which participants chose to walk all or part of it. Participants received T-shirts, goodie bags, free blood pressure checks and great information on health and fitness. This walk was sponsored by the Trucking Solutions Group along with Travel Centers of America. Travel Centers of America and Pilot Travel Centers have excellent fitness centers at many of their U.S. locations and are adding new gyms.Aerobic exercise is the primary type of exercise that should be incorporated into a fitness plan. Aerobic exercise aids in weight reduction, stress levels and helps to keep hearts healthier. Aerobic exercise also helps to increase energy levels. Doing regular aerobic exercise will help you to be healthier and leaner as you age. Truck drivers should strive to do 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days per week. Aerobic exercise includes activities such as fitness walking, jogging, cycling, swimming and dancing, etc.Study after study confirms the benefits of aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise increases the amount of oxygen in the body and thereby also increases the flow of oxygen to the brain. This helps to improve brain health in addition to overall body health. Exercise improves circulation throughout the body. Aerobic exercise increases sweating which aids in eliminating toxins from the body. Many truck drivers suffer with constipation and hemorrhoids. Exercise helps to prevent constipation and the development of hemorrhoids.Keeping workout attire and a few pieces of exercise equipment in the trucks is a good plan which may motivate drivers to exercise regularly, especially if the truckstops they frequent don’t have exercise facilities. They can use various types of equipment to get a good aerobic workout. For starters, invest in a good pair of running shoes. They should fit well and be very comfortable. Use them to walk or jog around the truckstop. Buy a pedometer which counts your steps if you want to cover a specified distance each day. Rebounders are small trampolines which are excellent for aerobic exercise. You can buy a folding rebounder and use it outside the truck to bounce or jog in place. The rebounder absorbs 7/8% of the impact to the skeletal system so exercising on it puts very little stress on the joints. Folding bicycles can easily fit in a truck and enable you to be able to ride around various areas as you are on the road. Alternating your exercise routines provides increased variety and interest.Exercise provides both psychological and physical benefits for participants. So all you truck drivers please take the time to incorporate exercise into your schedule. You may be rewarded with a longer, healthier life.
“A Symbol of Strength, Always the Iron Mark”Volvo Trucks has a very exciting history of their transitional journey from manufacturing their very first Volvo, to becoming the renowned giant truck manufacturing company in the world today. This is not just the history of how Volvo Trucks evolved, but also an anecdote of how the modern day trucks were developed.Where It All BeganVolvo Trucks is a subgroup of the Volvo Group of companies. The first ever car from the Volvo Group came out in the market in 1927, from their first factory in Sweden. Their very first truck from Series 1 was released in the beginning of 1928. During that time, trucks were recognized as the complementary means of transporting goods along with railways, cargo ships and horse-drawn wagons.The decade of 1930s saw rapid growth for Volvo. There were new and improved products and successful launches of many ranges. Initially the first Volvo Trucks were slightly old-fashioned, as compared to those of their competitors. Soon, Volvo had caught up with the market and became the leading manufacturer of trucks in the Nordic region.Entering World MarketsVolvo Trucks are present in more than 130 countries across the globe. This availability is a result of their more than 650 dealerships, which are currently existent along with their 1,450 workshops. They are by far the third-largest manufacturers in the world of heavy-duty trucks. They have 9 assembly plants all over the world. Apart from that 8 factories are also owned by their local partners. What started as a Swedish company with export sales soon became a European company with assemblies in Belgium and Scotland as well.They first entered the truck market of North America in 1959. By the mid 1970s, Volvo of America Corporation was formed and they became an established part of the United States truck market. Since then, there has been no looking back. There has only been one way to go for Volvo and that is ‘up.’Evolution of Volvo TrucksBy the 1950s, the design of the trucks was slightly modified and stayed the same. But there were major changes in the development of their engines. Older trucks had been using a basic pre-chamber-combustion diesel engine that was fuel consuming. Even the petrol engines weren’t any better. Volvo introduced an efficient direct-injection diesel engine.In summary, Volvo Trucks was the pioneer in the development of turbo-charged engines. These engines made it possible to build trucks that were longer and could lift heavier weights. Today, almost ninety percent of Volvo Trucks are heavy-duty and can carry weight of up to 16 tons.Soon power-steering was added to the trucks to make handling of the truck easier for the driver. Volvo also was the first to introduce sleeper cabs in the trucks for its drivers.From the beginning, Volvo Trucks were designed by its founders to bear the harsh cold climate of Sweden. They were also designed to perform best, with great care taken to make sure you don’t constantly have to replace Volvo truck parts given the bad condition of Sweden’s roads at the time. For Volvo, safety was and always will be the foremost important feature of all their vehicles.
We all like to go to interesting destinations and we travel for many different reasons. All these reasons are usually good. However, we like to go in our preferred way. The associated costs vary greatly with each style. Be aware that value can be achieved in all styles of travel with the right opportunities and a proactive travel agent. It is not unusual for travellers to choose alternate styles of travel for different experiences.The Fully Independent TravellerThe Fully Independent Travelers (FIT) are usually people who are confident of seeing the world on their own. This mode can provide great value and allow flexibility. It allows them to be active participants rather than an observer of all the experiences. The Fully Independent Traveller may have more opportunities in cultural immersion when staying with locals, for example, and generally have greater access to intimate events. The people using this style of travel need to assess and mitigate risks.The Group TravellerThe Group Traveller enjoys the comfort of a guide and fixed itinerary and the start date of the tour is called the Fixed Departure Date (FDD). Group sizes vary with small groups ranging from 8 to 20 and larger groups having up to 100 participants. Mostly the group size is determined by the transport options and the accommodation options available at the destinations. One of the benefits of groups is the possibility of meeting like-minded people. Many a long-term friendship has been made during group tours, particularly small group tours. The group leader can also add insights into the activities during the trip making it more interesting. Small group tours tend to be more relaxed and a little flexible in their activities.The Specialty TravellerThe Specially Traveller is looking for something particular, like corporate, photography, adventure health, mission, volunteer or special interest. The needs of these people varies greatly and care should be taken that risks are identified and mitigated. These tours are usually like groups but can be for Fully Independent Travelers also.In conclusion, choose the travel style that suits your needs. If you are not a frequent traveller, perhaps a place to start is in group travel and move on to becoming and independent traveller as you gain confidence and understand the many challenges of traveling. Irrespective of the style of traveller that you might be, enjoy the opportunity to see the world as it is. We all come back a little different after our travels.
Why is it the minute people find out you are pregnant, they assume you won’t be traveling anywhere anytime soon? I find that annoying and make it my personal challenge to get out and see the world with my kids. Traveling with an infant can be a challenge though and if you do a search online, there are dozens of articles out there explaining how to travel with an infant, many provide long lists of all those essentials and must haves to bring along. I fell for a lot of that when I had my first child, but now that I am expecting baby #4, I realize that those necessities really aren’t that necessary. True, if you want all the comforts of home then by every means, bring it all. But I enjoy traveling light, even when traveling with the whole family including our infant. And here is how I do it.Hotel Necessities: Think comfort and safety when traveling with an infant. If you are staying over night at a hotel, ask ahead of time if they rent or loan a crib. Then you can save yourself the hassle of having to pack a travel bassinet. If you don’t want to take a chance and feel more comfortable bringing along that bassinet for your new baby, then there are a few on the market that fold down to a compact size that fits in your suit case like the Pea Pod by Kidco. There are also portable bed bolsters that inflate and attach to the hotel bed if you prefer to have your infant in the same bed with you. I have used them and not only did it work well while traveling, I continue to use my inflatable bed bolsters at home to keep my active sleepers from toppling onto the floor.Diaper Bag: Lets face it, your diaper bag is simply a necessity, but it doesn’t have to be an oversized hassle. I’ve tried out many different diaper bags ranging from big to small, sturdy to flimsy, and none of them met my needs for carrying everything I need in an organized, comfortable manner. That is until I discovered that a diaper bag could be a back pack. My all time favorite diaper bag is a diaper bag backpack made by Baby Sherpa. I use it as my carry-on luggage on flights, as well as my daily diaper bag that also has an insulated compartment for food, snacks, and liquids. As an avid backpacker, I love the feel of a well built backpack on my back.Flying with an Infant: I love to avoid carrying a lot including a car seat. Many airlines allow parents to use an infant airplane harness like the Baby B’Air so your infant sits on your lap and is tethered to the same seat belt as the parent. This allows you to avoid lugging around a car seat and checking in a stroller while you fly. That’s a lot of gear I would rather leave at home. There are also nifty travel seat attachments that attach to rolling luggage so kids can sit on them like the Ride-on Carry-on. These work great for toddlers.Extra Clothes: Yes, you simply will have to bring extra clothes for your infant. They are cute, but they are messy. Good thing those little outfits don’t take up a whole lot of space in the suitcase. An extra pair of clothes for Mom might not be a bad idea either, unless you have stain free-wrinkle free out fits.Transporting Baby: Is a stroller really necessary? Well that would depend on the size of your infant, your comfort level, and the structural integrity of your back. When I travel with an infant, I prefer a sling or baby carrier like the Baby Bjorn. I don’t like to be weighed down by all the baby stuff like bulky strollers and prefer traveling like the Native American Indians did with their infants in the papoose for long distances and Moms hands free.Toys, Games, and Extras: Should you bring toys, games and items to entertain your infant? Chances are, your little one will be just fine interacting with you and does not need all the extra stimulation that many infant toys provide while you travel. I have had the experience of traveling on a long road trip with a teething baby. Out of desperation, I handed her my lavender soothing eye satchel. She held it to her face, and instantly stopped crying. Not sure what that was all about, but I would recommend carrying some aromatherapy items along just in case.Traveling with kids is a little more complex, though and unless you are a stand up comedian with endless energy, then it is advisable to bring along a little something to entertain or educate them with. We always rely on audio books and self contained coloring kits, a few toys, and a lot of snacks on our long road trips. I am not one for car clutter so we use a car travel tray that folds up compact when not in use, and allows the kids to keep there travel activities, snacks and such organized in one spot on their tray while we travel.Strive to travel light with your infant. Don’t let the fear of being without something cause you to bring everything. Write down the items you feel comfortable bringing, then try to downsize as much as possible. Whether that means switching from a large travel bassinet to a small, compact one, or losing the stroller and car seat all together. You will need to do some footwork to be sure you have a car seat available upon arrival or with your rental car company, but it’s really not that difficult and only takes a phone call and reservation. Call your hotel to secure a crib, and attach your baby to your body with a baby carrier/sling to avoid a stroller. Then you can be proud of yourself in knowing that you are truly traveling light with your infant. The world is a fascinating place to see, so get out their and see it without all the extra baggage!Happy Travels!