COVID-19 hit the U.S. at full force in March of 2020. Small businesses were among the hardest hit. Many were forced to close their doors permanently. As a company with decades of experience and stability, BYX was able to weather the storm. Sadly, the full ramifications of the pandemic are still unfolding. Even now, we’re struggling to find qualified, reliable workers, and we’re not the only ones. Businesses around the country are facing a frustrating labor shortage, and there appears to be no end in sight. What gives? Read more
It’s late. You’re driving on an open stretch of road, it’s quiet, and your eyelids begin to droop. We’ve all been there, and man, isn’t it scary? Driving is such an ordinary task that it’s easy to forget how dangerous it is. A moment of distraction can easily become your last moment ever. Sleepiness is even more dangerous, and truck drivers who work long hours or night shifts need to be especially cautious. Concerningly, getting enough sleep isn’t always enough to fight back fatigue. Sleep apnea, one of the top five most common sleep disorders, can lead to persistent fatigue and drowsiness. Many drivers don’t even realize they have it.
Sleep apnea is a bigger health concern than you might think.
The most obvious symptom of sleep apnea is snoring. The disorder is more complex than that, however. In people with obstructive sleep apnea, the muscles in the throat relax during sleep to the point that their airway temporarily becomes blocked. They stop breathing briefly before awakening abruptly to gasp for air. These episodes are so brief that the individual often doesn’t recall having ever woken up.
While one night of interrupted sleep is no big deal, people with untreated sleep apnea suffer from a wide range of symptoms that can significantly affect their health and daily lives. There are three main reasons truck drivers should be on the lookout for signs of sleep apnea:
- It leads to more serious health problems.
At first people with sleep apnea may notice nothing more than waking up with a headache, irritability, and snoring loud enough to wake the neighbors. Over time, the symptoms become more serious. They often develop brain fog, insomnia, and intense daytime sleepiness.
If left untreated, it can also lead to or worsen high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Weight gain is another common side effect. All of these issues are often linked, each one magnifying the others. The ramifications go beyond productivity, impacting drivers on every level.
- It endangers drivers and others on the road.
Daytime sleepiness and general fatigue are extremely dangerous when your job entails long hours on the road. Those with sleep apnea are up to five times more likely to get in a car accident than people with normal sleep patterns. Falling asleep at the wheel can be lethal not only to the driver but to other drivers and passengers as well– Especially when the driver is operating a massive truck.
- Irregular sleep schedules can make sleep apnea side effects worse.
Sleep apnea is problematic enough for people working a 9-5. It’s even worse for truck drivers who work night shifts. Odd hours don’t worsen sleep apnea itself, working during the night often leads to increased drowsiness. Drivers are more likely to rely on unhealthy energy drinks to stay alert, further damaging their health in the process.
All truck drivers should be screened, just in case.
If we’re making sleep apnea sound like a big deal, that’s because it is. Fortunately, treating it is much less challenging than living with it. If you or someone you know is experiencing any symptoms that could be tied to sleep issues, like persistent sleepiness, morning headaches, irritability, or loud snoring, visiting your PCP is the first step.
They’ll likely order a sleep study to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment can entail using a breathing machine at night or wearing a special night guard to help keep your airways open. It’s a headache, but it’s much less of a headache than falling asleep at the wheel. For trucking companies like BYX, it’s always a good idea to inform drivers about the common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea. Better safe than sorry.
Time Magazine published an article in late 2021 claiming that the truck driver shortage is a fallacy. As a decades-old trucking company, we beg to differ. While their statistics are on point, Time lacks perspective. To clear things up, here’s an insider view on one of the biggest issues plaguing America’s supply chain issues today.
The claim: The driver shortage doesn’t exist.
To start, TIME’s infamous article covered some indisputable basics: America’s supply chain is struggling, leading to frustrating delays over the holidays and ongoing product shortages. The crisis began months ago, and yet our favorite muffin at Starbucks and the new smartphone we saved up for remains stubbornly unavailable.
Many experts have cited a truck driver shortage– the largest we’ve seen in decades, as a strong contributing factor to the recurrent delays, but TIME says it doesn’t exist. To be specific, their article stated that:
If our headline seems melodramatic, that’s only because the news hasn’t covered this nearly enough. Central Freight Lines, also known as CFL, was founded in Waco, Texas in 1925. Nearly a century later in 2020, it won the title of Carrier of the Year from GlobalTranz. Yet, despite 96 years of excellence and expertise, just announced that they’re ceasing operation.
The logistics giant stopped picking up freight on December 13, and aimed to make all remaining deliveries by the 20th. While BYX is alive and well, the downfall of CFL is proof that no LTL carrier is immune to the effects of driver shortages and rapidly rising expenses.
Where did CFL go wrong?
Truth be told, it didn’t. The climate for logistics companies has turned increasingly volatile. The company’s announcement may come as a shock, but in reality, it came after years of struggling to remain profitable. Jerry Moyes, CFL’s owner, took up the reigns as CFL’s interim president and CEO in July, 2021 in an attempt to reduce expenses, pouring as much money into it as he could, but it simply wasn’t enough. Read more
Equality in the workplace has been an issue for as long as equality has been an issue. In other words, forever. The years since Martin Luther King gave his famous speech and Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus have trickled by, but race is just as important a topic today as it was at the beginning of the Civil Rights movement. 60 years ago, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Black truck driver. Today, diversity in the trucking industry looks a lot different. It’s far from perfect, but we’ve come along way. Read more
At BYX, having our entire staff in one place doesn’t happen every day. In addition to managing multiple departments, our drivers spend most of their workday out of the office and on the road.
Because of this, we’ve been taking deliberate steps to develop a sense of team unity since day one. It’s just part of how we operate. Now that COVID-19 has changed how many companies function, leaders are dealing with the same obstacles that our team has been dealing with for decades. Fortunately, reconnecting your company’s team is an achievable goal if you know where to start. Just take it from us! Read more
2020 has been a strange year across all industries. For trucking companies in Los Angeles, however, a significant upheaval has been brewing for years. A combination of factors has led to plenty of demand, but not nearly enough supply. The economy took a hit when COVID-19 first began, but the limited number of drivers on the road will pose challenges as it begins to reopen. To find out what the future of trucking might look like for local freight companies and their customers, keep reading.
Between COVID-19 and wildfires, 2020 has thrown up plenty of roadblocks. This is especially true for business owners and their employees. For local freight companies like us, work has been busier than ever, but in many other industries, that’s sadly not the case.
When work is slow or sporadic, even the most productive team can become sluggish and stressed. Fortunately, business owners can help! Keep reading to learn five easy ways to elevate, engage, and excite your employees. (Even in 2020!)
1. Show Gratitude
Everyone thrives off appreciation, and your employees are no exception. Team meetings are a good start, but teams are made up of individuals. By acknowledging the skills and contributions of each team member, you’re telling them, “Hey! You’re not just a chess piece to me. You’re important to this company and I’m glad you’re here.”
The more your team members feel valued, the more value they’ll add!
If you work in the trucking industry you know that a major obstacle, if not the most difficult obstacle today, is driver recruiting and the obvious driver shortage. They say that the shortage is, in part, due to the large number of truck drivers retiring from the industry as well as a smaller number of individuals from the new generation who are willing to take on the truck driving profession. The slow increase in driver pay over recent decades and the physical demand play major roles in less drivers entering the market. Read more
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