2016 TransForce Safety Week: April 10-16

TransForce Safety Week will be April 10-16 this year. This year’s focus will be on Fatigue Management. Throughout this week, TransForce branches will be providing educational materials and training to our drivers and customers on the dangers of driving fatigued, and how to properly mange fatigue.  For more information, contact your local TransForce branch.



Winter Driving Tips To Keep You Safe and On Time

The winter months can be some of the toughest for drivers. Here are some tips for staying safe and efficient during the coldest part of the year. Most importantly, being prepared before and during your trip will help eliminate some of the stress of driving under difficult conditions.

Winter Driving: Before You Start

The pre-trip truck inspection is always key, and it’s even more important when the weather is bad. Make sure your heater and defroster are working well. Your head and taillights should be clear and visible and not covered with snow or ice (you’ll need to keep checking those lights every time you stop). Make sure your tire tread and pressure are where they need to be. Fill up that tank, and do your best to keep it at least halfway full while on the road. This cuts down on condensation and also allows you to run the heat at intervals if you get stuck or stranded.

Before you head out, use all the tools at your disposal to keep track of the weather and road conditions. There are more apps and resources than ever for accurate, up-to-date weather and travel info. Your CB radio is also a great source on the ground updates while you’re driving. Make sure your cell phone is charged and that your charger is on board so you can access those apps and make calls in case of an emergency or delay

Winter Driving: Be Prepared

Experienced drivers say anti-gel diesel treatment is one of the most important things to have on hand during the winter months. Diesel tends to solidify when it gets cold because of wax compounds in the fuel, and anti-gel products keep the fuel flowing and keep you on the road.

Tire chains are also a big one and are required on some routes, particularly when driving at higher elevations. If you’re new to the game, learn how to put them on before you head out rather than winging it in a crunch.

Extra wiper fluid is also a must: it helps melt ice on your windshield—and there are special de-icing formulas available for winter driving. Regular cold weather drivers also recommend keeping a bag of kitty litter on hand. Non-clumping litter can give you traction if you find yourself in a sticky situation.

Make sure you have the right gear in your truck in case you get stuck or need to make a repair or adjustment while traveling in cold or snowy conditions. Winter basics like bungee cords, a flashlight, waterproof gloves, blankets, boots, a warm jacket and a raincoat are a few of the things to add to your list—especially if you haven’t done much cold weather driving.

Winter Driving: On The Road

Driving any vehicle—and a commercial vehicle in particular–in snowy or icy conditions takes practice, patience and skill developed over time. There’s no substitute for experience, but talking to more experienced drivers can help. Here are a few tips for staying safe on the road:

Slow down. This is a no-brainer, but sometimes we’re in a rush to get where we need to be. But no delivery is important enough to risk your life. Even when you’re under pressure, it pays to take it slow and steady under tough conditions. Be sure to leave extra following room between you and the vehicle in front of you and keep a careful eye on taillights ahead. Accelerate gently and brake with extra caution. Defensive driving is more important than ever under tough winter conditions. Most of the general public doesn’t have training in winter driving, and drivers can panic or make bad decisions that can cause trouble for commercial drivers.

Learn to identify and handle black ice. It’s a thin, basically transparent layer of ice that’s hard to spot on the roadway, and if you’re not used to freezing conditions, it can catch you off guard. Watch bridges and exit and entrance ramps as they generally freeze faster and are more prone to black ice than the road.

If you get stuck, stay with your truck. If you’re in heavy snow, it’s easy to get lost if you set out on foot. So bundle up and stay where you are. You can run the engine at intervals to keep warm, but try to take it easy on your fuel supply. And if conditions are bad enough as you’re planning to set out, hold off on your trip. You may not make everyone happy but it’s important to use your judgment—your staffing company or client will understand.

Much of the East Coast has experienced warmer than usual weather so far this winter, but wintry conditions have already been an issue for drivers in lots of places—and who knows what January and February have in store! These are just a few tips to help you stay safe when the weather’s bad. But there’s no substitute for real time training in bad conditions, so try to make your first snow run with an experienced mentor or teacher.

Happy Veterans Day

Veterans Day Post

Holiday Trucking: Reducing Stress and Staying Connected

The trucking lifestyle can make it hard to juggle spending holiday time with family and friends. For so many trucking families (just like families with members in law enforcement and public safety) moveable holiday celebrations are the norm. If you have to have Thanksgiving dinner on a Wednesday or a Friday, it’s OK. You can make it just as special and perhaps even more memorable. Remind friends and family that flexibility is key! Instead of insisting that celebrations and gatherings be held on a specific holiday date, focus on the importance of being together when you can, and find the joy in gatherings whenever they take place.

Technology Helps Keep You Connected

Skype and FaceTime have revolutionized the way we communicate with faraway loved ones. We know that most truck drivers are already using these important tools to keep in touch with loved ones every day. These technologies are even more important when you’re away from home during the holidays, a birthday or another important occasion. Use Skype to read a special holiday story to the kids, say grace with the family or join in a Christmas carol sing-along. Many churches and other places of worship are streaming services via the Internet, so you can attend that special holiday service virtually. It’s not quite the same as being there in person but it’s a million times better than not being there at all.

Holiday shopping used to be a big worry for truck drivers, but experienced drivers agree that online shopping is the way to go. Get your holiday list together and start buying gifts with the click of a mouse. If you can, arrange to have gifts shipped to a friend or neighbor so everyone at home can be surprised. By shopping online, you can avoid buying overpriced last minute gifts at truck stops, and most online retailers offer free shipping and other great “door buster” deals on Cyber Monday, the Monday immediately after Thanksgiving, as well as throughout the season.

Find Connections On The Road

If you find yourself away from family on an important holiday, find others who are away from their loved ones and create your own celebration. Share a meal with fellow drivers, talk about your own traditions and ask about theirs.

Give Yourself The Gift Of Health

Being away from family, along with winter driving conditions and holiday traffic can make November and December particularly stressful for drivers. Medical professionals agree that it’s an especially important time for drivers to focus on their health. Avoid making unhealthy decisions about food and alcohol and get as much sleep as you can. Also, get regular exercise—it not only helps keep you fit but also relieves stress. For example, one of our TransForce drivers carries a mountain bike in his truck so he can exercise whenever and wherever he stops for the day.

Many in the trucking community are also discovering the benefits of mindfulness and mediation. It’s something everyone can do, and you don’t have to be in a yoga studio to do it. There are lots of free resources online that offer tips and guided meditation. Some suggestions include focusing on your breathing in stressful situations and finding small moments of joy while on the road to help you decompress and diffuse stressful situations.

Remember The Importance Of Your Role As A Driver

The holidays are a season of gratitude, and it’s important that everyone recognizes the immense service that truck drivers provide to others. You are literally helping bring smiles and joy to children around the world, as well as supply the food and goods needed for all of those feasts and celebrations.  

The bottom line is that without truckers, there would be no Santa. Just keeping that in mind should help put a little more joy in the holidays, even if you can’t spend as much time with loved ones as you’d like. A positive attitude and a little help from technology can help reduce stress and create meaningful connections at this busy time of year.

TransForce offers flexible schedules with guaranteed home time. Contact us today to see what we can do for your trucking career.

CVSA Roadcheck 2015 Results are In!

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has published the results of the 2015 Roadcheck that took place on June 2-4. During this 72-hour enforcement period, inspectors across the nation completed 69,472 truck and bus inspections. During Roadcheck 2015, the CVSA reported that Driver and Vehicle Out-of-Service Rates for Level 1 inspection were the lowest on record.

2015 Roadcheck Statistics:

  • 69,472 total inspections were conducted
    • 44,989 were North American Standard Level 1 Inspections
      • 21.6% included Out-of-Service (OOS) vehicle violations
      • 3.6% included Out-of-Service (OOS) driver violations
    • Of all inspections, 777 seatbelt violations issued (as compared to 825 in 2014)
    • The 2015 focus was on cargo and load securement. During this event, inspectors issued 2,439 violations for load securement.


TransForce Inc., is an active member of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, and continues to maintain a commitment to safety, quality, and compliance. For more information on CVSA Roadcheck, click hereCVSA

Basic Requirements to Become a Truck Driver

There are lots of excellent reasons to go into trucking. It’s a growth industry and, with the right company, offers competitive pay and benefits along with a flexible schedule. But it’s a skilled profession that isn’t for everyone. Becoming a commercial truck driver requires a higher level of knowledge, skills and physical ability than driving a non-commercial vehicle. The U.S. Department of Transportation has developed a set of strict requirements for commercial drivers. And at TransForce, we set the bar even higher. Our drivers are required to meet a tougher set of requirements above and beyond the U.S. DOT rules. These additional requirements help us maintain our outstanding safety record. And we don’t cut corners on verification procedures.

According federal requirements, drivers must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be 21 years old.
  • Must speak adequate English.
  • Must be able to safely operate the type of equipment he or she is assigned to drive.
  • Must be physically qualified to drive a commercial vehicle (according to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration standards). You’ll need a valid medical certificate completed by a registered medical professional.
  • Must provide a list of moving violations in the past three years.
  • May not be disqualified from driving for any reason.
  • Must have a valid commercial license and a road test certificate–usually a CDL (Commercial Driver License).

To get your CDL, you should get a copy of your state’s CDL manual (available online). You are required to pass a skills test (and in some cases a written test). You’ll be issued a CDL learner’s permit that allows you to practice with a licensed CDL driver before earning your license. Special endorsements are required to operate the following types of vehicles:  a truck with double or triple trailers, a truck with a tank, a truck carrying hazardous materials or a passenger vehicle.

At TransForce, we have a list of non-negotiable requirements above and beyond those listed by U.S. DOT. These have been put in place to make sure we preserve our outstanding safety record and get the very best drivers. We run a nationwide background check on all candidates to let us know about any disqualifying criminal convictions. Our additional requirements are as follows:


Our drivers must have a minimum of one year of recent (within the last 24 months) experience driving the type of equipment that they will be assigned to operate.

Clean Accident Record

Our drivers may not have DOT defined accidents in the past three years (in any type of motor vehicle). This includes all accidents in which the driver was convicted for a moving violation in connection with the crash or charged with responsibility for the crash.

Limited Moving Violations/ No Convictions on Serious Offenses

Our drivers may have no more than three moving violations in any type of motor vehicle in the past three years.

Our drivers may have no convictions for any of the following serious offenses (in any type of vehicle) in the past seven years:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol (.04 or greater alcohol concentration, driving under the influence under state law, or refusing to test).
  • Driving under the influence of a controlled substance.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident.
  • No more than one excessive speeding violation (15 mph or more above the posted speed limit).
  • Reckless driving.
  • Any moving violation in connection with a fatal accident.
  • Vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide.
  • Eluding a police officer.
  • Operating a vehicle with a suspended or revoked license.

At TransForce, safety is a top priority, and we are serious about hiring the very best drivers. If you are an experienced driver with a CDL, are medically fit and have a safe driving record that meets our very strict requirements, we want to talk to you.


Top Tips for Choosing a Truck Driver Staffing Firm

Companies in the market for a reliable firm to manage their truck driver staffing are looking for a way to save money and hassle. One thing they aren’t looking for is extra headaches because they chose an inferior staffing company. With their reputation on the line every time a truck bearing their name is on the highway, companies need to know they can safely rely on their staffing firm to deliver the best drivers possible.

We know that one of the most important things for clients is a sense of trust. For us, this means transparency and clearly structured contracts. Our commitment to safety and reliability has allowed us to attract the best drivers, which in turn has led to our remarkably low accident rate. We attract great candidates by offering them competitive pay, solid benefits and flexibility. And this lets TransForce offer our clients the very best talent available.

We’ve come up with some thoughts on what to look for in a truck driver staffing company. And– you guessed it– we meet every single one of these criteria with flying colors.

For Carriers

We know that while our drivers work for us, they’re representing your company on the road. Here are some things to think about as you look for a staffing firm:

Access To Driver Records

From the client perspective, transparency is key. While our drivers are our employees, we know that they’re working for you in a very public role. And we understand that providing our clients with timely access to driver records is important. Our contracts guarantee access within 48 hours, and most can be forwarded instantly.

Past Employer Checks

At TransForce, we don’t take shortcuts. We know that not all issues or personnel problems show up through government records. Consulting former employers can provide important insight to driver conduct. We don’t give up on contacting past employers, and we require extensive documentation about past employment from all candidates.

Motor Vehicle Records From The Source

We get drivers’ motor vehicle records from state agencies, not the drivers themselves. This reduces the potential for fraud and gives you more confidence in your driver’s safety record. It seems simple enough, but not all staffing firms take this extra step.

Verification Of Hours

Tired drivers are dangerous drivers. In the interest of safety, we check hours before each assignment to ensure that the driver has available hours to complete the assignment within legal limits. Our drivers’ health and public safety are of top concern.

DOT Compliant Drug And Alcohol Screening Program

This is another area where it doesn’t pay to take the easy road. Other companies may use invalid testing programs (such as instant tests). But our testing is completed according to DOT approved procedures at certified laboratories. Our contracts also guarantee clients access to all testing results and notification of positive tests. Once again, transparency and safety are key.

Sole Employer Status With Employees and Workers’ Comp

The reason our clients hire a staffing company is to remove the administrative headaches of hiring drivers. Our contract establishes TransForce as each driver’s sole employer. We are responsible for hiring, termination, discipline, wages, salaries, benefits and compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act. This is clear to our employees from the outset, and takes all of these issues off our clients’ plates entirely. This includes the all-important workers’ compensation, which is solely our responsibility in the event of a claim. Because our drivers are TransForce employees, and not independent contractors, this means no tax-related surprises for clients.

Contractual Indemnity

Our contracts are specifically designed to protect clients from workers’ compensation claims and other liability claims. Our goal is to build a relationship built on trust with our clients. That’s why we put it in writing.

For Drivers

Our record of success is based in large part on the fact that we recognize that our drivers are professionals and treat them as such. We offer our drivers a combination of flexibility and job security that’s unparalleled in our industry. We also pride ourselves on treating our drivers with the respect they deserve.

Here are a few things for drivers to look for in a staffing company:

Employee Status

Our drivers are our employees, plain and simple. We take responsibility for your salary, benefits, workers’ compensation and more. This helps ensure that drivers are valued employees rather than dispensable contractors.

Competitive Pay

Driving a truck is a professional occupation that requires skill and training. We believe in paying our drivers as the professionals they are.


Like most great companies, we offer medical, dental and vision insurance, paid time off and a 401K program. We know that employee health is key to offering clients the best drivers available, and we’ll work with you to keep you healthy. We also believe in the importance of rest and family time, as well as saving for retirement.

Assignment Flexibility

We offer local, regional and Over The Road driving options and allow drivers to change assignments when circumstances change. Instead of changing jobs because of a life change, we work to keep our great drivers on board by being flexible. We also believe that combining steady home time with steady, reliable work schedules is the key to happy, productive drivers.

Whether you’re a carrier looking to get rid of the administrative headache of managing a truck driving staff or a driver looking for the best workplace for flexibility and job security, it’s important to do your homework. Once you know what to look for in a staffing company, we think you’ll agree that TransForce meets these important criteria. That’s why we’re the industry leader, and that’s why we’re 100 percent ready to meet your needs.

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week: September 13-19, 2015

During this week, the staff at TransForce Inc. would like to take a special opportunity to thank all of our drivers who operate safely each and every day.

We are proud of our group of drivers–and thank you for the professionalism and dedication you exhibit. Please join us in thanking all professional Truck Drivers  nationwide. For more information regarding National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, click here to visit the American Trucking Associations website. NTDAW_LOGO

6 Things to Look for in a Trucking Job


Man standing in front of truck

Now is a really good time to become a trucker. The current shortage of qualified drivers means that truckers can be choosy about which companies they work for. Competition among employers is heating up, so it’s a great time to review the top six things to look for in an ideal trucking job.  TransForce is one such company that offers employees all of these benefits and more. Before accepting a trucking job, do your homework and compare!

Feeling valued. Lots of companies will say that they value their employees, but it’s best to look for an employer who demonstrates with their actions just how valuable their drivers are to them. For instance, does the company ask and care about what you want to do?  Do they try to work with you to deliver the ideal run and home time when you want it?

Strong emphasis on safety and training. Companies that proudly talk about their safety record and can show you the numbers to prove it are class operations. Being part of a culture where safety and proper training are emphasized, publicized and rewarded will take your trucking career to a new level.  You can be proud of what you do and all the while you know that your employer not only wants to keep you safe, but has programs in place to ensure that safety.

Good benefits. These days, it’s not only about your paycheck. Good healthcare, dental and vision benefits, paid time off, life insurance, disability insurance, options to contribute to a 401K and other perks of the job help truckers lead a balanced, healthy and happy life. Look for an employer that has an excellent benefits package.

Fair pay. For most people considering a trucking job, the bottom line is certainly how much money they can expect to earn. Look for positions that offer a fair wage and compensation package. Also, be sure the company can keep you on the road for as many hours a week as you’d like to drive. Balance the pay versus the hours you can expect to work each week to be sure the compensation is fair.

Flexibility. Sometimes you can end up taking a trucking run that just doesn’t work out for you, for whatever reason. If you are stuck on that assignment, and there is no wiggle room for you to try another gig, you’ll wind up starting the job search process all over again. If you work with a staffing agency like TransForce, you can either take a dedicated run, or have more flexibility. And, if you choose to be flexible, but then change your mind, that’s OK, too. What you really should look for is a company that offers you the most ways to enjoy what you do. For most drivers, that means having a lot of flexibility.  

Investment in technology. Technology can make a trucker’s job so much easier and safer. If you’re eyeing a job with a company that seems “outdated”, you may want to instead look for one that invests in modern technology and also provides training on that new technology to its drivers. Not only will it make your job easier and more rewarding, but it also provides you with critical skills to take you into the future.

Ready to start looking for your ideal trucking job?  Start here.

How Truckers Can Avoid Distractions While on the Road

We all know that hand-held mobile devices can be the biggest cause of driver distraction. But, did you know that there are many other things going on in the cab that can also distract truckers from keeping their eyes on the road?

A San Diego-based company that specializes in video driver safety technology recently released figures that show a whole range of activities that can easily cause truck driver distraction. The company, Lytx Inc., uses in-cab video and audio systems to deliver driver safety and predictive analytics to fleets. Their program captures video and audio inside and outside of the vehicle and uploads data to a review center, where it is analyzed.

According to figures from the first four months of 2015, hands-free phones caused 32% of distraction events, while hand-held devices caused 27%. Eating and drinking accounted for 20%, while outside distractions (11%), computers/TVs (10%) and passengers (1%) accounted for the remainder of the recorded incidents.

Greg Lund, director of corporate relations for Lytx, said that the data shows a marked increase over last year of incidents involving hands-free devices, which are often thought to be safer than hand-held phones. Meanwhile, the number of incidents involving hand-held devices was virtually unchanged from year to year. “Using a hand-held cellular device makes you 4.7 times more likely to be in a collision than not using one,” Lund said. “Using a hands-free device is nearly as risky — 4.6 times more likely to be in a collision.”

The National Safety Council (NSC) says that motorists who believe a hands-free phone is safer are wrong, pointing to more than two dozen studies that confirm hands-free devices are equally as dangerous as their hand-held counterpart. The council says that the human brain remains distracted by the conversation on the phone, whether it’s being held up to the ear or the conversation is taking place on a speaker.

Researchers estimate that drivers can miss up to 50% of what’s happening around them (such as traffic lights, stop signs, pedestrians) when talking on a cell phone and driving.

Lund says that the smartphones, tablets and computers can all provide real benefits to drivers, but they need to be used properly. Bridget Bradshaw, marketing manager for NationaLease, one of the largest truck leasing companies, agrees that the technology needs to take a back seat to safety. “And it’s not just about texting and cell phones,” said Bradshaw. “It can be focusing on the navigation system instead of the road ahead or unwrapping that burger to take a bite. No matter the reason, taking your eyes off the road for just a few seconds can spell the difference between a safe drive and a disaster.”

Bradshaw suggests these safety tips for drivers:

  • Focus: Keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road constantly.
  • Dump the devices: Put away the cell phones, the iPods, and the tablets while you’re driving. If you must engage with these devices, pull over to the side of the road.
  • Plan ahead: Make sure you plan your trip ahead of time so you’re not staring at a navigation screen instead of the highway.
  • Wait: Check your messages and return calls during your next fuel stop.

At TransForce, our number one priority is driver safety.  We’d like to know what you think causes driver distraction, and hear your tips for staying safe on the highways. Tell us in the comments below!