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
When Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson rolled out the first COVID-19 vaccines in December, most of us breathed a sigh of relief. We knew that vaccines would be offered in stages, and we expected senior citizens, high-risk individuals, and essential workers to be given first priority. (As they should!) What we didn’t expect was that truck drivers would come almost last.
The CDC has broken vaccine recommendations into three phases. Phase 1A includes health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. Phase 1B includes people over 75 and frontline essential workers. The last phase, Phase 1C includes people between 65-75, people under 65 with elevated risk, and other essential workers. For now, truck drivers are considered other essential workers, falling into the last phase of early vaccine rollouts. 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
If recent events have made one thing clear, it’s that the trucking industry isn’t disappearing anytime soon. About 70% of our consumer goods are shipped via truck, and the impact of trucking on our daily lives is astoundingly beneficial. The impact of trucking on the environment is another story.
Trucking produces a substantial quantity of greenhouse gasses
As of 2016, medium and heavy-duty trucks contribute to about 24% of the greenhouse gasses emitted in the transportation sector. Compared to passenger vehicles at 42%, that’s not bad at all. Still, with around 15.5 million commercial vehicles on the road, the environmental impact has been substantial. Read more
Being a truck driver is awesome. No joke. Truck drivers are essential workers. They help keep this country running in every way. They deliver products that other businesses wouldn’t be able to function without. Truck drivers are a little like screws; most of the time, we don’t notice they’re there. But if they weren’t, everything would fall to pieces. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to work behind the scenes, now’s your chance.
To start, most truck drivers love what they do.
There are a lot of pluses to being a truck driver. Every day is different, which keeps work from getting boring. Traveling and meeting new people is part of the job! Truck driving often comes with good benefits, but the biggest one is knowing that people rely on you on a daily basis. Knowing your work matters makes your job so much more rewarding. 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
Late shipments are never fun. Few of us have the time to hang around waiting for a delivery all day, so it’s understandably frustrating when the delivery window comes and goes with no shipment in sight. So what’s the holdup? In Southern California, we’re lucky to have safe driving conditions all year round, but rainy days are far from the only factor contributing to delays. The following are a few of the main reasons shipments might run late this holiday season. (Plus, a few tips for helping theTL and LTL shipping system run smoothly!) Read more
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