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Drive safely

How to Drive Safely Around Trucks (Or in One)

We all think we drive safely, but do we really? August 16, 2022 started out like any other day. 71-year-old Larry Lee Atham, President of a West Virginia-based trucking company, got behind the wheel for a routine day of driving. At mile marker 132 on the I-79, everything changed. He lost control of the truck, hitting a guardrail, skidding across traffic, hitting the guardrail again, and catching fire. That was his last drive. Just a day later on a winding mountain highway in Buffalo, Wyoming, another driver, Texas-based Javier Cardoso-Reyes, couldn’t slow down, rolled over a guardrail and down an embankment, and never made it home. He was only 47. 

29 truck drivers lined up their vehicles to pay their respects after Atham’s memorial service, rolling slowly past the funeral home to say goodbye. As touching as their gesture was, the loss of Atham, and just a day later, Cardoso-Reyes, in single-vehicle trucking accidents, raises serious concerns. Just one driver lost is one too many. Are we doing enough to prevent casualties?  Read more

Trucking at BYX

What It’s Really Like Working at BYX

As you probably already know, Best Yet Express has been family owned and operated since day one. We’ve grown a lot since the company was founded in 1978, but our values are just as important to us today as they were over 40 years ago. We firmly believe that the best way of serving our customers is by building real relationships with them– And we wouldn’t be able to do that without building strong relationships within our own team.

Some of our employees have been around for over a decade.

We owe our success, in part, to them. We spoke with one of our oldest employees to share an inside look into the company culture of BYX. Roger Huckstep came into the logistics industry almost by chance. He had been driving a water delivery truck when he heard about a more serious trucking job at BYX, and something clicked. He already knew the owner and decided to go out on a limb and ask for a job. The rest is history. Huckstep’s been with us for 15 years, and he’s not planning on leaving anytime soon. 

On his first day, he committed to being the best employee he could be. He’s done that and more. His commitment to BYX has helped us weather a tumultuous industry and come out on top. Our core team stuck with us throughout the 2020 pandemic and the driver shortage that followed, and we wouldn’t be able to continue caring for our customers without them. 

Our best advice for fellow business owners? Take care of your people.

Hiring a Local Trucking Company is About More Than Price

Keeping up with the latest tech developments isn’t cheap. When it makes it easier for your team to be efficient and safe, however, it’s worth it. According to Huckstep, the evolution of transportation technology “has made it easier to assist drivers and (improved) the flow of our processes and operations.” 

In addition to evolving technology, the culture of a company should evolve over time as well. We chatted with Huckstep about that as well and were happy to hear that he had nothing but positive things to say about how the culture of BYX has shifted. “It has gotten better throughout time. I have known the family for a very long time and I like the family environment. Means a lot to me!” 

It means a lot to us, too. Just take it from Lara Newjahr, Chief Operating Officer at Best Yet Express, Inc. We are a family business and have worked to maintain that “family feeling” while transitioning in many ways. While no longer directly managing most of the staff, Jay and I are at work daily and interacting with everyone on the floor. We have developed a division of labor and delineation of departments, but we maintain an open door policy. We emphasize traits that we find important like hard work and determination to succeed but leave it to the staff to support and encourage each other directly. I think that growing family businesses are unique in that they create a vastly different culture than one found in a large corporation. However, an essential part of growth is not depending on the family to do all the tasks that were once necessary to get the business where it is today.”

Family values are at the heart of everything we do, and we strive to offer all our employees family-friendly schedules, great benefits, and competitive pay. If you’re considering getting into the trucking business or know someone who is, give us a call! We have several job openings available, and becoming a driver comes with some fun perks. After over 15 years in the business, Huckstep still believes truck driving is a promising career choice for anyone who enjoys driving. After all, you get to see new sights every day. Beats sitting in an office, right? 

For more information, check out current openings here, or contact us for more information.

 

Truck driver with sleep apnea yawning

3 Reasons Sleep Apnea Is a Concern for Truck Drivers

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.

Truck driver sleeping

Truck driver sleeping. About 35 years old, African male.

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: 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 

 

truck driver vaccine

Truck Drivers Need Vaccines. Here’s Where They Stand

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

Truck driver getting in his truck

Being a Truck Driver: What It’s Really Like

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

Empty trucking warehouse

Trucking Companies in Los Angeles Expect a Driver Shortage in 2021. Here’s What It Means.

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.

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Happy truck driver working forlocal freight companies

5 Simple Steps to Enthusiastic Employees

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!

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local trucking

Top Pieces of Advice For New Truckers

Starting a new career can make you feel excited and a bit nervous…especially one as thrilling as truck driving and you may feel some pressure to start out on the right note and put your best foot forward (literally speaking). To help you get settled in and comfy behind the wheels, here’s a list of the top pieces of advice for new truckers. Read more